Black Magick Volume 1
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott
Colors by Chiara Arena
Letters by Jodi Wynne
Review by John Dubrawa
Black Magick is an absolutely stunning comic series. For the last five months I’ve been consuming this title as if it were the last comic I would ever get the chance to read, and now that’s collected into its first volume, titled “Awakening,” I can’t wait to read it all again. For a stupidly low asking price of $9.99, Black Magick Vol. 1 includes the first five issues of writer Greg Rucka and artist Nicola Scott‘s supernatural police procedural, though it won’t take more than an issue for it to become your new favorite series. Hell, after reading the opening pages of the first issue I knew this was going to be something I would want to keep up with every month, lest I be depriving myself of something truly special.
But it’s no wonder Black Magick is as suburb as it is: the series is the end result of two comic maestros at the top of their respective games. Rucka’s writing throughout these five issues is as on-point as ever, crafting not only a compelling main character in homicide detective/secretly practicing witch (yes, that’s right) Rowan Black, but supplying the world of Black Magick with a slew of interesting and colorful side characters as well. We’re given glimpses into the meaningful relationships Rowan has formed in both of her lives–one with her partner Morgan and another with her sister-in-witchcraft Alex (who leads a double life of her own as a kindly school teacher)–which helps to not only flesh out Rowan’s character but shows what she stands to lose, granting the book a palpable tension as our heroine’s double lives begin to become entwined over the book’s freshman arc.
Keeping that world looking as beautifully as it is written is Scott, whose pencil work throughout these five issues is positively mind blowing. Seriously, take any single panel from Black Magick on its own and it’s a work of meticulous perfection. Even the backgrounds are rendered with a kind of attention to detail that demands the reader’s longing gaze. It’s hard to imagine how Scott was able to get all of Black Magick’s issues looking this good but she does it, alongside Chiara Arena and her gorgeous colors. Although most of Black Magick is presented in a shaded greyscale palette, the bits and bursts of colors we do get are reserved to create some breathtaking splash pages. I don’t want to ruin the moments here so I’ll note that there are splash pages in both the first and fifth issues that perfectly bookend each other as multicolored masterpieces on the page.
If it wasn’t too obvious from everything I said above, this one is a MUST BUY. Greg Rucka has gone and done it again: he’s created another series that demands to be read. Pair his script with Nicola Scott putting out her best pencil-work to date (and that’s saying something) and Black Magick is an incredibly special new series. The only negative thing I can say about it is that it’s a shame the series is on hiatus until 2017 because I want to be back in this world as soon as possible.