With his wife and son kidnapped, Kevin Matchstick scours the faerie realm for information.  But the real threat lies inside… an insurance agency?  Your Major Spoilers review of Mage Book Three: The Hero Denied #10 awaits!

MAGE BOOK THREE: THE HERO DENIED #10

Writer: Matt Wagner
Artist: Matt Wagner
Colorist: Brennan Wagner
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Diana Schutz
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 18, 2018

Previously in Mage Book Three: The Hero Denied: With his family torn apart and their home destroyed, Kevin Matchstick is left to his own limited resources to try and save them all.  Delving deep, he seeks an artifact that will help provide protection for his daughter, even as Magda and Hugo take steps to escape their luxury prison cell.

THE PLOT THICKENS

We open with Magda and Hugo, trapped in their room, as she finds that even her magicks can’t get communications out.  Her son, for his part, discovers that the one door opens onto a sheer nothingness, an endless span both up and down, though he hears things moving around somewhere.  As for Kevin, he and Miranda have a quest of their own, one that will protect her from harm, presuming that he can fight his way past what looks like a giant, mystical angler fish.  Back at the evil insurance agency that the Umbra Mother is using as cover, she admits that she has seen bits of the future, and there’s about to be a portentious meeting.  Kevin, The Fisher King and someone who is presumably the next Worldmage are about to collide, and not only does she not want to interfere?  She’s actively trying to make sure that it happens, shocking even daughter Karol with her admission.  As the issue ends, Magda gathers an assembly of items to serve as weapons, and even captures a faerie from outside to be her new familiar…

A SLICE OF LIFE STORY WITH FANTASTIC OVERTONES

The fact that the new familiar is a winged purple cat is fun, as is how Miranda uses the magical cloak Kevin finds, but the real magic of this comic comes in how this issue hybridizes the slice-of-life story of two parents managing their day-to-day lives and the desperate battle against what could be end of reality.  Kevin and Miranda are cute as heck, and Hugo’s disbelief that his mom can make magic weapons out of chopsticks, umbrella and a hat is a wonderful moment.  Visually speaking, it’s a lovely issue, from the fight with the fish to the dizzying view outside the apartment door, but the best parts come in the quiet moments, like Miranda’s transformation into a butterfly princess as soon as she gets her magic cloak or the wide-shot reveal of the hidden cave that Kevin has to enter.  It’s a lovely book…

BOTTOM LINE: ANOTHER EXCELLENT ISSUE

Reading Mage Book Three: The Hero Denied #10 is watching a master artist engaging in a labor of love, making the quiet preparations for the third act of this tale into compelling reading, introducing important elements (and a couple of mysteries) and looking really good doing so, earning a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall.  (I only hope that Kevin’s third arc ends as well as the first two, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but ‘The Hero Denied’ is a really ominous title.)

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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