Review: Eye of Newt #1

I like wizards and dragons which made me an easy mark for Eye of Newt. As long as there was some inkling of a story I would have been fine, but the story surprised me by crafting an interesting world and making the main character one that you want to follow on their journey. The story stars with Newt day dreaming that he’s a dragon. It really shows how young he is and his childish nature. After that though, the story throws you in as he travels with his master an older veteran wizard. They’re traveling through a forest called “The Gloom.” It’s enchanted of course and not really just a forest as its home to many creatures and its path’s lead everywhere. Newt’s master is preparing him for his test to become a sorcerer and needs to show him which door to go through. Eventually they make it there and Newt even gets to ride on an actual dragon which is the highlight of his life it seems.

His master leaves him at the door and tells him to try and find the path back, but if he gets lost to use his wizardly powers to call for him. When he’s left alone though, a creature named Grint finds him. He gives newt the fairy queen’s crown and tells him what the crown will do for him. He tells him he needed to give it to someone with Newt’s heart in order for it to be returned. He also gives him a piece of information, there was a witch and her disciple standing in front of the same door a few days earlier.

I’m going to leave the story there, but there’s actually a lot more going on. It’s a story with a lot of depth and there’s also a bit of mystery going on as well. The master doesn’t know why Newt has been picked for his trials at such a young age, but it worries him. Newt is keeping a secret by not telling him about the crown, but then the animals he’s talking to seem to think that it’s okay for him not to or at least they continue to help him when he’s in trouble.

Eye of Newt #1 Cover copy 2The story is impressive. This world has a lot of mystery to it, but it’s captivating. As the reader you just want to explore more and more. With as much of the world that is explained, wizard trials and rival witches, there are still questions to be answered. Why do the wizards and witches war? Why do they do the same trail if they oppose each other? That’s the best part of the story because by the time you’re done reading you actually have a lot of knowledge of this imaginary land, but really you’ve barely scratched the surface.

The issue doesn’t use traditional comic book panels. Most of the pages are set up as a complete page and then smaller panels lying on top of the page. It gives it a storybook look that works well with the setting. Each page is very detailed and looks like a mini-masterpiece. I don’t think I’ve seen a style like Michael Hague’s in the interior of a comic before, but it works quite well.

The impression I have is that this is going to be a great little mini-series. It’s clear that Hague has a finite story to tell with the mini, but he’s putting in the work to make sure that its worth being invested in. Currently, I’m invested and can’t wait to check out the next issue and peel back the veil a little more. If you like fantasy stories then this is a must read.

Score: 4/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Michael Hague Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/18/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital