Stonebot Comics/Red5 Comics 2020
Written by Erica Shultz
Illustrated by Diego Giribaldi
Coloured by Ramón Bunge
Colour Flats by Ludwig Olimba
Backgrounds by J.P. Massa
Lettered by Yasmin Govoni & Martin Casanova
After taking over the mantle of the great Mandrake The Magician, Mandy finally has control over her mystical abilities. Her life is great, her confidence is boosting… but something seems off. Why can’t she enjoy her new life? Why is it that everything good must come with a price?
Here’s what I noticed reading this, Erica is pretty damn awesome and she’s hella talented oh and that her powers of foreshadowing are par excellence! I really enjoyed seeing what I had thought was going to happen though by no means how I thought it would happen so it’s a joy to see how Erica works these moments into the story in such a natural easy breezy kind of way. I am usually wary of legacy characters because they seem to be done to fulfil some imaginary quota of gender and or racial reimagining and for me this one so far is making much more sense as the story moves forward. I really am impressed the further I get into the story.
I am thoroughly enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is beautifully presented. I like that this is more of a day in the life kind of story and not moving back and forth through time it makes a larger impact upon the characterisation of Mandy. The character development we see is phenomenal and I really am enjoying how we see these characters interacting with one another and helping to define who they are and who they can become. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way we are treated to a lot of great storytelling.
I like how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story are continuing onward and gaining a little momentum. This means they’ll lead into the main story soon and it’ll be among the major catalyst we’ll see, at least in my humble opinion. The way that everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow is utterly delightful.
The interiors here are utterly charming. There is a team of folks here working on them as well so that we see the linework and it’s varying weights being utilised to create the detail work is beautifully rendered. That we have backgrounds is fantastic now if they could be a tad better, i mean in the house with nothing but blank walls no thank you. I mean whomever is responsible for the outer shot of the high school, thank you for this it’s amazing and the kind of scenery I think we should see throughout. The utilisation of the page layouts nd how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is beautifully rendered as well. I see a few techniques here to lay it down and I like that because we see some nice subtlety this way. The various hues and tones within the colours utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is so beautiful to see on the page.
This is delightful and the idea of the legacy of Mandrake the Magician being passed on we really haven’t seen before. Heck even in The Defenders of the Earth he was there alongside the kids of Lothar, the Phantom and Flash Gordon. So I think this is well on it’s way to establishing itself as a new series featuring a strong female lead who possesses magical powers and it’s time for that to happen.