Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Charismagic #5

It's always a bit tricky to create a compelling story based on magic.

That's because the rules tend to go out the window when dealing with mystic forces. When the hero or villain can do anything, it takes away the natural suspense any story needs.

But writer Vince Hernandez has (mostly) avoided that trap in the Aspen comic Charismagic. That's because the main character - a stage magician named Hank - only has one superpower. He's able to teleport himself to any location, and that ability has kept him on Earth while most of the population has been sent to another dimension. It also provides limits to the story, so he can't win the day by an unfair trick.

(The Harry Potter books are great examples of how to use magic in a story while playing fair - basically, you establish the rules and then stick with them.)

Aided by his talking demonic cat Sparkles and a beautiful druid named Sudana, Hank seeks out the most powerful magician on Earth as the best hope in stopping an evil, incredibly powerful force.

Unfortunately, things don't go according to plan, and this issue sets up next issue's final confrontation with the evil Samsun.

Having an "apprentice" learn the ropes from a wise (and in this case, beautiful) teacher is a great way to bring the reader along as the ground rules are set and the characters moved into place.

Charismagic also benefits from terrific artwork, as Khary Randolph creates some strong, attractive heroes, beautiful landscapes and kinetic action sequences.

It's not all magic and mayhem - there are some nice romantic touches in there, too, as Hank gets hot for teacher (or maybe that should be "gets the hots for teacher").

The final judgment on the opening story arc will have to wait for the end of the next issue, but so far, I'm enjoying this series, and I admire it for playing fair with the reader.

Grade: B+


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