Magus #2


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Magus #2


  • Words: Jon Price and David Norton
  • Art: Rebekah Isaacs
  • Colors: Charlie Kirchoff
  • Story Title: "From the Ashes, Part Two"
  • Publisher: 12 Gauge Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Feb 9, 2011

“Where were you when magic came back?”

The best speculative fiction always challenges our perceptions by posing the big questions. It makes us wonder about all of the intangible things we’ve managed to put names to but never defined. Concepts such as good and evil, life and death, and love, romantic or otherwise, have always remained resistant to labels and structure. At the end of the day, it’s the mystery of how we relate to these ideas and deal with their impact on our lives that makes living magical.

In the first issue of its new fantasy-action series, Magus, 12 Gauge Comics and creators Jon Price and David Norton introduced fans to a world on the brink of chaos, as magic stands poised to return – to every man, woman, and child on the planet. At the center of this sudden and potentially violent reunification are a wild, young “magi” and her would-be band of protectors, who seek to prevent her from losing control of her powers and unleashing a violent tsunami of magic on the world. 

Price and Norton expand upon the repercussions of such an unexpected socio-cultural sea change in the second issue of Magus, balancing the epic with the intimate as they shift POVs from Lena Cullen’s and her protectors to the President of the United States. It’s an interesting juxtaposition we see a lot nowadays in recent TV series such as Fringe and V and FlashForward. External conflicts are huge, requiring government intervention of some kind, while protagonists experience intense, internal emotional beats mirroring the physical challenges facing them.

The ill-fated FlashForward managed this contrast remarkably well in the first few episodes before fading out and it's perhaps best illustrated in this second issue of Magus during President Johnson’s vehement and shocking confession to his wife about magic and magi. If he had his way, all magi would be exterminated before they could upset the established order of things (i.e. overthrow the government). Unbeknownst to the leader of the free world, his own wife is a wild magi.

The character of Father Swain embodies the book’s contrasting themes particularly well. As a Catholic Priest, he belongs to the largest organized religion in the world. What does the return of magic mean to a man of the cloth? How does it impact his faith in God? How will magic change humanity’s beliefs?

These are only a few of the big questions inherent in Magus. The return of magic would of a necessity impact every aspect of society from politics to economics to industry. Even how we spend our leisure time would be affected by new strange and wondrous abilities. War would never be the same. Although only on their second issue, the creators of Magus have already begun touching upon these issues in small ways. So far, the outlook has been appropriately grim and chaotic, with only slivers of hope preventing total anarchy from enveloping the world.

But it’s all been about what we’d expect, right? Of course the shit’s gonna hit the fan if everyone could suddenly fly or shoot fire out their butts or teleport to work. How we would deal with such a drastic societal change on a personal level makes for the more intriguing conflict, in my opinion.

Where was I when the magic came back? Well, I’m not sure it’s even present, per se, but I’m hoping that as Magus progresses, I’ll be able to one day mark the date on the calendar.

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