Image Comics 2015
Created & Written by Greg Rucka
Created & Illustrated by Nicola Scott
Colour Assists by Chiara Arena
Lettered by Jodi Wynne
I’ve said it since the get go this is an amazing series and quite possibly the best thing being published this year. There’s just this way that Greg is writing this that mixes the most mundane and human elements with the whole magic, coven and this opposing organization whose motives are unclear but extremely dangerous. This is what Charmed SHOULD have been like with the kind of characterization that doesn’t come along all that often.
I adore the opening of this issue as we see Rowan having dinner with Morgan and his wife. What Greg does here with the dialogue and the characterization is amazing, we see such ordinary everyday conversation and then you realize Rowan can’t help but infuse her life into it. Inside the nursery for instance it’s a wonderful example of her dual life. Oh and Nicola what is it about Morgan at the sink doing dishes hmm maybe that tushy or something you’ve definitely got another subtle moment there.
Stepan trying to find a group to practice with is somewhat obvious. It’s interesting for a few reasons and just the fact that he can come across as this completely innocent and endearing man then show his true hardened and cold persona not only demonstrates his acting skills but again shows the layers of Nicola’s talent. Though I have to be honest are we so open with everything in our lives that we aren’t suspicious of new strangers in town anymore, in the scheme of things it wasn’t long ago that witches and those practiced other aspects of religion were persecuted. That we think of things that go further than what’s presented to us is a sign of great writing.
Ah sweet sweet build up to what we’ve all been waiting for and that’s to find out what happens from last issue’s ending. It’s not very often that you can actually feel the fear, tension and anticipation coming off the page as palpably as it does here. It is the absolute perfect mixture of writing and artwork to bring the reader to a place that these feelings come to them as easily as the air they breathe. I won’t reveal what happens that’s something you need to experience but wow what an array of gorgeous imagery and dialogue it is.
Then this issue’s ending takes us to a place I honestly hadn’t expected to be taken to. Suddenly this world is much more vast and scary than I had banked on. Incredibly revealing and utterly mesmerizing this book is what makes people fans of comics.
I want to talk about Nicola for a moment. The intricacy of the interior artwork here is beyond much description. It feels like pure shades of pencil work that’s infused strategically placed pops of colour from Chiara. There’s a true depth to the work that I wasn’t aware could happen in comics. The subtlety and boldness mixed with the definition and softness of what we see usually only comes from the kind of shading pencils can bring and for me to see this amount of sheer ART on each page is breathtaking. The skill required for this blows me away.
This is the new standard in comics storytelling.