Black Magick #7
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
Letterer: Jodi Wynne
Colour Assists: Chiara Arena
Publisher: Image Comics
A review by Stephanie Pouliotte
In Black Magick #7 Rowan and Morgan get in some legwork looking for Dunridge’s last-known associates, as we dive back into the world of this occult procedural after the flashback to Rowan’s Awakening in Issue #6. The tension between the two partners has been simmering quietly and Rucka does a brilliant job of slowly teasing it out. It’s a fairly obvious direction for the story to take and you can almost see the convergent plot structure at work as Rowan seems to be dropping important clues all over the place for Morgan (or Hammer) to find. I mean he’s a detective, his job is to connect the dots, you’d think she’d be a little more mindful. But unlike Rowan, Rucka and Scott manage to keep things subtle in the execution, taking the time to show small, yet important details that are likely to offer some incriminating payoff later on.
Again, it’s really Scott’s facial expressions that convey much of the tension between the two. Morgan’s expression is at once concerned, suspicious, and maybe a little hurt that his partner seems to be in another headspace all the time. He’s not sure what’s going on, but he knows there’s something, and Rucka injects just the right amount of passive-aggressive tension into their conversation to keep things from boiling over too soon.
We spend a bit more time with Stepan in this issue, who’s doing some grim work to get on the right scent in Portsmouth. I’m certainly interested in learning more about Aira (though the backmatter provides a lot of interesting backstory), but after the last issue I was really hoping to see more of the cabal of evil creatures who look like they’ve been meddling with Rowan’s family since her childhood. At the end of the last issue, the creature with the sewn lips is carrying a doll much like the one that she was holding at the end of Issue #5, except the doll was dressed as Rowan during her Awakening ceremony. So their relationship to the Black family, and to Rowan particularly, runs deep.
Buy it! Rucka brings back the detective work in Black Magick #7 as Rowan and Alex recover from the events of Issue #5. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get more information on the main villains, but it was still a tense chapter that plants clues for future issues.