Saturday, April 22, 2023

Comics Review: "THE MAGIC ORDER 4 #4" - I Am the Boss of You


STORY: Mark Millar
ART: Dike Ruan
COLORS: Giovanna Niro
LETTERS: Clem Robins
EDITORIAL: Sarah Unwin
COVER: Dike Ruan with Giovanna Niro
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (April 2023)

Rated M / Mature

The Magic Order created by Mark Millar at Netflix

The Magic Order 4 is a six-issue miniseries from writer Mark Millar and artist Dike Ruan.  The is the fourth installment of The Magic Order series, which began with the 2018-19 miniseries written by Millar and drawn by Olivier Coipel.  The Magic Order is a band of sorcerers, magicians, and wizards – with a focus on the Moonstone family – that live ordinary lives by day, but protect humanity from darkness and monsters of impossible sizes by night.  Colorist Giovanna Niro and letterer Clem Robins complete the series creative team.

The Magic Order 4 focuses on a coup within the order, one that has left the Moonstones defeated … seemingly … by the dark one who always wanted to rule the order – the supposedly defeated Madame Albany.  Now, to save everything, Cordelia Moonstone, the now deposed leader, will have to go way down in the dirty dirty to restore order.

The Magic Order 4 #4 opens with Cordelia and Francis King still captives in the world/dimension known as “Kolthur.”  Fellow prisoner, Ubris Obrughast, has informed the duo that the state of affairs within The Magic Order on Earth is well known in Kolthur.  This is the realm of the Wizard King, and currently that king is Perditus.  Who is Perditus?

Girl, he is the Moonstones' eldest son, the one who was given to the Hordes of Kolthur when he was but a child.  Now, Perditus just wants to kill his li'l sis.  And who might that be?  If you guessed Cordelia Moonstone, I won't disabuse you of that notion.

THE LOWDOWN:  My favorite Mark Millar Netflix creation is The Magic Order.  It always surprises me, and before I read each issue I wonder not if, but how I will be surprised.  Every time I think I might creep away and choose a new Millarworld favorite to love, The Magic Order drags me back.

Several years ago, a big name writer and big name artist launched a new Doctor Strange comic book series for Marvel Comics.  And they started off with a bang, presenting some kind of other-dimensional being that was determined to wipe out all magic.  The creature seemed like something rare – a true and genuine threat to Doctor Strange and everything for which he stood.  After a few issues, I began to think of this awesome new villain as less a great adversary and more a mere obstacle.

If Doctor Strange is the “Sorcerer Supreme” of Earth, as such, he is as much a danger as he is a paladin, both because of his power and his position.  The Magic Order is what a Doctor Strange comic book could never be, and that is be honest in its depiction of people wielding what is practically unlimited magical power.  People with that much power are a danger to themselves, to others, and to existence.  It is not so much about how power corrupts, but that they believe they are right.  Thus, they will frequently make decisions that ruin or destroy the lives of others.

In The Magic Order 4, more so than in the other series, writer Mark Millar and artist Dike Ruan just throw it in our faces.  These people with great powers of both creation and destruction seemingly live to create destruction.  Even the so-called heroic elements of The Magic Order are not really good for each other, including family members.  Just what will the hero have to do in order to fix things?

In The Magic Order 4, Millar and Ruan have created riveting, thrilling serial fiction.  They have corrupted me also; I am simultaneously fearful and hungry for the destruction that will come next.  I can't wait for the shit to really hit the fan!  No one is safe, and imagination and invention are the sires of the most horrible means of death and destruction.  I promise that Perditus and The Magic Order 4 #4 will make you come back for the fifth issue.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Mark Millar and of The Magic Order will want to read The Magic Order 4.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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