Black Magick #1 (Image Comics)

Black Magick #1The superstar team of writer Greg Rucka and artist Nicola Scott have created a bewitching mix of crime and the supernatural in Black Magick #1, the world’s first witch-based crime procedural. But will this title be a spellbinding success or will it end up brushed aside with it’s own broom? 

Black Magick #1Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott(Artist), Chiara Arena (Colourist), Jodi Wynne (Letterer)
Price: £2.49/$3.99 from ComiXology

[yasr_overall_rating size=”large”]

Black Magick #1 is the story of Rowan Black, a member of the Portsmouth Police Department and, unbeknownst to her colleagues, a practicing witch. However, the divide between her two lives begins to crumble away when, while participating in a ritual with her Coven, Rowan is called to the site of hostage-taking. Once there she discovers that the man responsible will only speak with her, a conversation she reels from when he confirms to her that her secret life isn’t so secret… and her life is in danger because of it.

Fresh from his continued success of writing Lazarus, Greg Rucka has once again crafted a captivating and incredibly well written title in Black Magick. Despite writing into the issue characteristics of both supernatural and procedural stories, Rucka manages to mesh the two well, creating something which feels very natural. He also manages to write something which, despite the dark overtones of the plot, is still able to display some levity to stop it getting too morbid, such as the ritual scene where a phone interrupts things. In fact, if there is one criticism to this book it is the slow burn nature of the story and the blank slate feel of the characters, although both are standard of a Rucka story and so will, hopefully, be built upon in future installments.

However, the main draw to this book comes not in the story but in the art, which is just top notch. Nicola Scott, whose main works have recently been superhero comics like Earth 2 and Sensation Comics, really ups her game here with some of the most beautiful monochrome pages to appear in a comic in recent times. Of course, if that wasn’t enough, the biggest shout out has to go to colourist Chiara Arena who, despite very little colour appearing throughout the issue, really makes her mark when the colour does bleed in. From the subtle inclusions, such as the veins in the villains eye, to the more obvious, like the splash page of a spontaneous combustion, this colour on black and white is really something standout.

“Black Magick leaves the reader with more questions than it does answers but, while the story is intriguing, it is the artwork which will absolutely bewitch you here. Rucka, Scott and their coven have hit the ground running with this opener, laying the groundwork for another deeply layered thriller. Based on this, Black Magick will be a title you should be (witch) hunting down to read.”