Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Oliver Coipel
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Peter Doherty
So let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. The cover. I know many people have attributed this to Mark Millar’s “in your face” style. But wow, what an absolutely bold choice by Image to make this the main cover. I really love the style choice and Coipel’s art adds a level of sensuality and lust that has left me speechless. It’s a choice like this where Image allows their creators to push forth the product for their brand that I love about this company.
Regan and Cordelia are on the hunt for anyone who knows information about The Venetian. Coming across lowlife Rufus, battling him in the subway of New York before turning him into a melting candle. We find out that the Moonstone family cannot track him because he is wearing Venetian robes. Leonard continues to convince Gabriel to join them because his entire family is in danger, but Gabriel continues to rebuff him. As Leonard is closing out his last show, The Venetian appears to kill him. After a futile attempt to fight The Venetian, he is ripped to shreds by a creature from a child’s nightmare. With the Moonstone children being alerted of their father’s death via their bond, and Madam Albany coming for Gabriel and his family next issue. Most interestingly, Millar reveals Madam Albany’s motives for wanting The Orichalcum: she wants to prove everyone wrong by showing that she can be normal.
So my first inclination in reading this issue is that once again we have some backstory, we have Leonard trying to convince Gabriel again, and The Venetian killing another member of The Magic Order. Since this is only a six issue mini, I can forgive the repetitive nature of each issue and looking at Coipel’s art definitely helps. But I do think the story is a little recycled, with emphasis being put on the methods in which magicians can kill each other, rather than character development. However, given that Millar is at the helm, it does not surprise me, and I knew this when I signed up for the book. My other compliant is the story choice to separate our cast. If Madame Albany and The Venetian are as dangerous as we believe them to be, why is everyone carrying on with their normal lives? It seems an odd story choice, aimed at simply making our cast easier to kill.
Stylistically this book is absolutely gorgeous, Coipel’s art is so polished and smooth. There is a reason why he receives critical acclaim for every book he is on. The candle scene in particular in this issue as we watch Rufus melt, his teeth falling out, eye sockets receding into the wax. It’s such a gruesome but beautiful death. Stewart’s colors excel in this issue, and I love that he is coloring The Magic Order and The Weatherman, two completely different books in terms of color palette. Coloring Coipel’s line-work cannot be easy, but his colors just add to how beautiful this book is. Especially when our villains stand over Leonard’s body and a literal pool of blood so deep that it is reflecting on their bodies. It is just gorgeous.
Does anyone else think The Venetian could be Gabriel Moonstone? Given that we have seen what he has been through and sworn off magic, I think its a possibility. It has been mentioned several times that he is the strongest of the Moonstone family, stronger than Cordelia and Regan. Just food for thought for next month.
Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10
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