Magic Order III No.5 (of 6) #CVReview

By | November 29, 2022

The spirit of competition has been alive and well this NCBD week as Image Comics has been trying to outdo their titles one after the other with the most shocking introductory panels. It’s been a close race with “Department Of Truth” and the return of “What’s The Furthest Place From Here?” (Who needs to give Alabama her melanin back and tap the artist who started things off because Ricardo Lopez Ortiz really isn’t doing the book justice), but GiGi Cavenago inched by thanks to Mark Millar’s script for the penultimate issue of The Magic Order III.

The recipe for Magic Order books always has it’s loudest climax on these issues before the latest book closes, and here issue five is no slouch. Big battles, deep fakes, and a character gets unmade in the vein of “Back To The Future” but in a more graphic and scientifically accurate style.

Millar’s Rosie is the most sympathetic magical prodigy in comics since Gaiman’s Timothy Hunter. I don’t know how many more times she’s going to die in this series, but every time she’s placed in peril, I get concerned for her like she holds a stake in my personal life. The focus of this book is on Rosie, but every member of the coven is just as important and draws the reader in, as they pull up in a way that could easily rival what Williamson just did in “Dark Crisis”. Even without speaking roles and with their essential reason for even existing in the tale just to be a human shield.

This does not matter : Their actions are admirable, when in any other situation being on the outside looking in of someone protecting their family looks contrived and corny. Somehow Millar makes all the members of that coven, that family, feel personal and connected to the reader as if they are their own. Even when one of the characters ends up erring against the coven, his selfish actions are granted a level of empathy, because hell, in the Millarverse to this universe some things are more important than a full 24 hours that the entirety of humanity usually tends to waste on mundane practices and the daily murder of ingenuity and action for perceived comfort and complacency.

The ideas of sacrifice for the the concept of the greater good are explored heavily within this volume, and amongst all the action the seeds are planted in this issue giving serious food for thought for reader’s to feast on way after they finish the initial consumption. Millar’s Magic Order in general has been a slow cooked series, something that Image Comics has been known to deliver while other companies tend to churn out digests that can be burnt or tepid. Though there has been an increase in stories amongst the shelves that have been engaging and produced to a level that meets a high art criteria, certain books leave me with worry for the industry.

Yeah the stories might be mature, but when the art style is juvenile it can make a comic book head feel ashamed to even be reading panels in public. Thankfully, Cavenago understands the seriousness of Millar’s script and Millar understands that hard truths are best served with bitter humor. The fifth installment of “Magic Order III” is far from dumbed down and will leave even the casual reader with an attachment to the characters in this corner of the Millarverse.

Score : 5/5

(W) Mark Millar (A/CA) Gigi Cavenago