Review: Charismagic #1

If real magic existed I don’t think I would fuck with it. People always get jacked up by it or at the very least power hungry and make other people’s lives miserable. Charismagic returns for a second volume and picks up shortly after the events of the first volume. There are familiar characters, but a new baddie that wants to screw over the earth just after it was getting its bearings again. Magic, pssh, if it ain’t dark it ain’t right!

Three months after the “vanishing” the story picks up in South Central L.A. with a drug/magic transaction occurring, but it’s interrupted by a creature of the void appearing and jacking up everything! A gas truck explodes and some suspected criminals pull out guns and open fire on the void creature, but the effects are minimal if any. In Vegas, Hank and Sudana are enjoying a peaceful morning when suddenly Sudana springs up from bed. She’s had one of her visions, but… it’s a bad one. Sparkles, the ass kicking magical cat, comes in to check on them, but Hank assures him it’s just a bad dream. Sudana is quick to correct him and lets them both know that the creatures of the Void have made it to earth. Sudana begins getting dressed in a scene that is pleasing from the male perspective.

There’s a knock on the door and Sparkles asks who it is and to be “let at them”, but it’s just Hank’s agent Kenny. No one apparently likes Kenny as they give him a rather “blah” welcoming. He turns on the news for them to show the attack in South Central and suddenly the plot thickens. The story cuts to the Void realm where we meet the ring master behind everything as he sends his army to be controlled by Hank’s friends Hector and Alle who have gone through some changes.

I was off and on with the first volume of this series so I choose to go back and catch up on the franchise before beginning this volume, but I wouldn’t say that it was necessary. Sure the reading experience is enriched when you already know all the characters, but there’s enough of a recap via the dialog that you’re not going to be left starring at a character wondering what their deal is. Some of it will of course be revealed later in the story since it does a have few layers of plot in the works. The bad guys definitely seem to outnumber the good guys, but we’ll see how it all shakes out in the end.

The writing was really good and I the dialog was believable and short. Maybe it was because it was an established series, but the characters didn’t stand around and over explain everything for the audiences shake. While there were quite a few characters to the story, they’re staggered introduction kept it from being overwhelming and helped to make it easier to remember them all. I would have personally liked more time with Hank and Sudana to get a better understanding of their relationship, but hopefully it’ll be covered more in the next issue.

The art is beautiful, but I would expect no less from an Aspen title. I appreciated the fact that not everyone in the world was a beautiful slender model of some gender, but rather the one-off characters introduced had a range from plain to handsome, to overweight and even a variety of ages. It made a world that has been absorbed by magic, believable and grounded. The female leads were very attractive, just going to point that out again.

I actually like this series more than the first volume so far, but that will ultimately be decided by where the story goes from here. It looks like it’s attempting to be bigger and bolder so we’ll definitely have to wait and see. For me it was a good read and definitely worth picking up if you either: A) enjoyed the first series or B) enjoy a modern day adventure story riddled with magic… and a sassy cat that throws down any chance it gets. And if my review didn’t sell you on it, then it’s only a dollar… just buy it already.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Vince Hernandez

Artist: Vincenzo Cucca

Publisher: Aspen Comics

Price: $1.00

Release Date: 5/1/13