Review: Magic the Gathering – Theros #1

I like to check in and out with this series. Sometimes it’s quite enjoyable and other times I’m completely uninterested with the story. It’s strange to me that this issue actually follows the same planes-walking character I previously read in two other minis. It makes me wonder if the entire series has really been about this one character and that IDW has cleverly contained the stories to minis much in the way that Dark Horse does with Hellboy and the entire Mignola-verse for that matter. At any rate this issue was short and sweet, but I liked it. Dack Fayden kicks off our story with a trip to Ravnica a place that he considers his home. He’s also returned to being just a magic using thief. A new artifact has been discovered that will likely start a Guild War that would end the city, so he decides to steal it for himself and save his home in the process. He breaks into the Boros base mostly unnoticed, but wastes too much time thinking and doesn’t grab the artifact before one of the winged Amazony women arrives. He begins battling with her, but when two of her companions arrive, Fayden is forced to leave without the artifact. He blends in with the crowd for a bit before hiding out in someone’s home. He gets drunk and curses himself while the owners cower in fear of him in the corner. He’s actually not an evil man as he leaves their home and gives them money for the booze. As he’s leaving a gauntlet in the bag he managed to steal, begins calling his name and he suddenly doesn’t feel so empty handed (pun intended).

MTF_Theros_01-pr-1As I said the story is short and sweet. Fayden heads to another dimension because of the gauntlet and we have a quick introduction there. This small event is the catalyst to something big, but also something we’re not aware of yet. The writing and set up reminded me a lot of Dungeons & Dragons: Cutter. The stories are very different, but the pacing is similar as it hits certain beats with the action and dialogue. Overall that’s what made me enjoy the story and the fact that it was a familiar character that wasn’t on this long and somewhat boring pilgrimage of revenge anymore.

The art is actually some of the best for the series and for IDW. I don’t know what it is about the Magic the Gathering and D&D series, but they bring in some incredible talent. The style reminded me a lot of the latest Darth Vader series from Dark Horse, so if you enjoyed that you might want to check this out as well. Since Fayden uses magic there are different styles of imagery used. His one basic attack looks the same each time, but the creativeness for the invisibility and the gauntlet was visually entertaining. The art relies on the narration unfortunately, but the two elements work in tandem very well in order to bring you the entire story.

The thing I liked about this story is that you don’t need to have read the previous series or even know anything about it to enjoy the issue. Sure it makes one-off references useful, but I’ve probably missed one or two minis starring Fayden and I was able to jump right back in. It’s a great way to continue the universe, but without alienating the audience. If you’re looking for a solid fantasy series to enjoy this week then check this issue out.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Jason Ciaramella Artist: Martin Coccolo Colorist: Joana Lafuente Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99