Thursday, August 17, 2023

Comics Review: "THE MAGIC ORDER 4 #6" Flows Like a Harpoon


STORY: Mark Millar
ART: Dike Ruan
COLORS: Giovanna Niro
LETTERS: Clem Robins
EDITORIAL: Sarah Unwin
COVER: Dike Ruan with Giovanna Niro
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Javier Fernández with Alejandro Sánchez; Dike Ruan
36pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 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 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 #6 opens as Madame Albany prepares to face the consequences of bringing the Wizard King from the world/dimension known as “Kolthur” back to Earth.  However, Albany wants to face the consequences.  It's all part of her quest for revenge, even if it means she goes back to being dead.  The only ones who are around to face the Wizard King are several apprentice wizards.

Madame Albany isn't the only one with a trick or two up her magical sleeves.  How will Cordelia defeat a being of infinite power?  And can she finally end the long-running “wizard wars?”

THE LOWDOWN:  In late 2021, the Millarworld division of Netflix began providing me with PDF copies of its comic books for review.  That has given me the opportunity to read many Millarworld titles, especially my favorite, The Magic Order.

Because of The Magic Order 4 #6, I can justify saying that The Magic Order series is the most interesting comic book about magic that I've read since Alan Moore and J.H. Williams' Promethea.  I can also safely say that The Magic Order is the most inventive and intense comic book about magic since Steve Ditko and Marvel Comics' Strange Tales unleashed Doctor Strange on newsstands.  When the Netflix series adaptation of The Magic Order arrives, I hope that it is every bit as weird as Disney and Marvel Studios 2016 film, Doctor Strange.

Writer Mark Millar never disappoints with The Magic Order.  It seems that he loves his readers enough to keep throwing one surprise after another at us.  Not only does he cleverly resolve this fourth volume with something he's previously referenced, but he also drops a bomb on the last page about what is coming in the next series.  And the surprises certainly explode under Clem Robins' lettering.

Artist Dike Ruan turned in some fabulous graphical storytelling in this series.  His every line and every brushstroke is an exercise in the intensity and insanity of dark magic.  Ruan made this series feel dangerous, and colorist Giovanna Niro made it all burn before our very eyes.  I hope this isn't the last we see of Ruan in this franchise.

The Magic Order 4 #6 is a delight from the first sound effect to the last caption box.  Dare I say, dear readers, that The Magic Order 4 is magical?

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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