Comics Features

REVIEW: I, Mage

Written by Scott Austin

I Mage is a new comic from writer Gary Turner and artist Carlos Gomez. And while there is a lot to like about it, there are a few things that could use a little more work. Below is my review of the first two issues of this new adventure, so let’s not dawdle, let’s get right down to it!

The story revolves around a precocious 12 year-old – Kai Xander, who lives on a spaceship along with his family and other members of his space ship community. Until, that is, when something goes horribly wrong and Kau, as well as the entire crew of the ship, is forced to evacuate. In the ensuing madness, Kai is trapped by himself (except for a large robot protector that is repurposed worker drone) and crash lands on a strange planet of magic, zombies, and dragons. Once there, Kai is quickly befriended by two of the planet’s inhabitants, and from there the story truly begins.

Now, as I said above, there are lots of good things to be said about these initial issues. To begin with, the detail throughout the issues is very impressive. The characters are well-fleshed out, with idiosyncrasies and personality traits. Each character is unique, and as the reader, you want to continue on in the series to learn more about them and where they come from. There are also “splash” skills pages packed with even more information about the character’s – successfully demonstrating just how well thought out these characters are. It is clear that Turner has a solid feel for these characters and where he feels that this story is going. The cast of the story is also very large – which will certainly provide plenty of fodder for future storylines down the road.

The tone of the issues are also perfectly calibrated for the story. Turner deftly balances the storyline bewteen being overly serious and tastefully comedic and playful. At one point early in the series, Kai admits to, and apologizes for, speaking out loud (to the reader), in an amusing and brilliant way of breaking the 4th wall and of introducing Kai to the reader.

Throughout the issues, I also consistently found myself surprised by what happened next. The storyline kept me on toes at all times.

Gomez’s illustrations are fantastic. He seems to have an illustration style similar to that of Mark Bagley. Interestingly, every character seems to be drawn as a Calvin Klein model who probably wouldn’t be hurt by eating a cupcake or two.

There were, however, also a few aspects of the comic that I felt could use a little re-working. The amount of “camp” in the comic was a bit much for me, for example calling the spaceship a “Sci-vessel,” and the comic’s tagline of the “Adventure begins where science ends.” The pace of the story was also extremely fast. It was hard, at times, to keep up with all of the information that was being presented. The reader is already being forced to acclimate to a new world, so a sped up pace only compounded the problem of trying to understand just what was going on.

All in all though, I Mage is a sleek looking comic with a lot of promise, and if you like magical adventures in far off lands, then you should do yourself a favor and pick this bad bot up at: ActionLabComics.com on the double!

Have you read I, Mage? What did you make of it? Let us know in the comments section below or send us a Tweet!

About the author

Scott Austin