It's probably foolhardy for me to call Black Magick (Image Comics) my new favorite series after only one issue, but the heart wants what it wants, so I'm going for it. It follows the story of Detective Rowan Black, a Wiccan who fights crime while coming to terms with her own magickal powers. It ticks a lot of boxes for me right out of the gate: Badass female protagonist? Check. Fantastic writing? Check, courtesy of Greg Rucka's steady pacing and strong ear for dialogue. Striking visuals? Check, thanks to Nicola Scott's beauteous monochromatic washes and refined details. Occult goings-on that are well researched and insightful? Check. Pagan folks who feel contemporary and grounded? Well, that's not usually on my shortlist, but it's something I'm extremely appreciative to see reflected here.
I went on a bit of a rant about occultic fiction here a couple weeks back, and the same challenges can be applied to comics. I've read a lot of magickally-oriented comics over the years, but beyond Sandman, Promethea, and their ilk, and some indies (here's looking at you, Tin Can Forest, Ron Regé, Jr., Annie Murphy, Theo Ellsworth, and everyone else I've covered here over the years), it's been difficult for me to find series that are well-written and lovely to look at, that don't venture too much into kitsch or horror, and that have depth and intelligence. It's a tall order, I know, but it's one that Black Magick immediately met, so I'm optimistic that this is that start of something special.
Issue 2 is out on the 25th, and I really can't wait.