Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Comics Review: "THE MAGIC ORDER 4 #5" - The Bitch is Back and Another One is Coming


STORY: Mark Millar
ART: Dike Ruan
COLORS: Giovanna Niro
LETTERS: Clem Robins
EDITORIAL: Sarah Unwin
COVER: Dike Ruan with Giovanna Niro
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Dan Panosian; Dike Ruan
36pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (May 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 #5 opens in the world/dimension known as “Kolthur,” the realm of the Wizard King.  Cordelia must face her brother, Perditus, her parents' eldest child, 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, Cordelia Moonstone.

It is looking like Cordelia won't be able to defeat her powerful sibling, but she must if she is going to return to Earth.  Madame Albany is already plotting to destroy reality.

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.

I mentioned in my review of the final issue of Millar's superhero miniseries, The Ambassadors, that he is really good at writing penultimate issues.  I referenced The Magic Order series as being great examples of what Millar can do with penultimate (second-to-last) and last issues.  The Magic Order 4 #5 perfectly encapsulates how well Millar sets up the penultimate issues of The Magic Order.  It's the end of the world and more, if our heroes can't save the day, and it feels like it.  I don't have any idea how the sixth issue will conclude this arc, but I'm sure it will be heart-stopping.

Artist Dike Ruan has turned in some of his best work here.  He creates the visual and graphical landscape of reality in the throes of madness as it approaches oblivion, and Giovanna Niro's colors lights it all on fire so that this issue resembles a view of a Hellscape.

So batten down the hatches, it's rough sailing to the end of this great big fuck-apocalypse of a miniseries.  If you want to really be here for the ending, dear readers, catch up on The Magic Order 4.

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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