Writers: Brian Haberlin, David Hine
Artist: Brian Haberlin
Colorist: Geirrod van Dyke
Publisher: Image Comics
The Marked #1 is a dark tale about magic, self-expression, and belonging. A fashionable group of young influencers choose Saskia as their member. This well-funded secret society protects the world from evil by using magical glyphs tattooed on their bodies. But occult threats are rare nowadays, so the Marked spend their time partying. Liza (another of the Marked), bored with her training, invents a form of dangerous hybrid magic. The fun is over for the Marked. And, for Saskia, the encounter with terrifying magic and evil is just beginning.
The artwork is my favorite aspect of this new fantasy comic from Image. Brian Haberlin’s energetic and varied paneling techniques keep the pace of a double-sized debut that never feels as if it is dragging on too long. Lurid shadowing, facial expressions, and the different angles and perspectives from which we glimpse Saskia ensure that we care about this young woman’s struggle to find herself through art and magic. Tattoos, the mechanism through which she finds her tribe, provide for the comic’s most important artwork. Haberlin and Geirrod van Dyke draw on an array of bright colors, florid line work, and textures to turn the glyphs at the center of this story into compelling characters in their own right.
The back story to this coming-of-age comic will keep readers busy with epic battles, factions of magicians, and sinister cabals. The Marked are an ancient order with a history of battling occult forces that threaten humanity. Their last great struggle was during World War II, when they teamed up with the Mages and other mystical groups to defeat the Lords of Chaos. Upon their defeat, occult Nazi artifacts were allowed to fall into the hands of governments that have an eye on Saskia. In The Marked #1, Saskia’s fate is also the fate of humanity.