Creator Jeff Schiller brings us a fantasy tale with a difference as he adds gangsters into the mix and that combo was more than enough to get me interested.
It drops us into the city of Thesz that exists outside of the control of the all-conquering Elves who have been in control of everything else for centuries. The city itself houses the dwarves, orcs, and goblins who have formed a series of their own cartels who are more than content with the outlaw way of life but the finely balanced world that’s evolved between them is beginning to destabilize as influences both inside & outside the City start to have an effect.
The usual suspects are there for everyone to see as the power struggle within kicks in with lowly Elf librarian Zjah starting to use his knowledge of sorcery to force a war to start. The magic and the mob is a cruel combination but there’s a world of possibilities in what happens next and who will be involved giving every page turn the potential for a surprise.
Jeff does an amazing job at layering up a world of magic but adding in the details around the mob & it’s cartels gives this a grittier edge than your usual fairy tale world might entail. Instead, it’s got devious plots seeping out of every corner and as each set of characters are given a chance to show themselves it’s clear that there’s a strong sense that this can go beyond each of the individual story elements it has on offer. The art, colours and lettering from Daniele Aquilani has to be seen to be believed as it shines with it’s very own level of magic to capture the neon-soaked world of gangsters & goblins with a look & flow that captures the range of characters that are grating against each other. Kudos to Samuel Iwunze on that cover that catches the idea and shows off the darker side of these fairy-tale creatures in all their glory and there’s a nod to Raven Schiller who does the design, logo and a ton of other things for the book too.
This opening issue of Magic Powder is a stunning introduction to what feels like a unique combination of characters in a story that could go anywhere it wants and while there would always be a risk of too many ideas floating around to overwhelm things, it instead feels like it’ll be able to steer clear of that thanks to the plot from Jeff and the connection between all the other elements from Daniele.