MYSTIC: Siege of Scales

Ron Marz, Author, Tony Bedard, Joint Author, Brandon Peterson, Illustrator
Ron Marz, Author, Tony Bedard, Joint Author, Brandon Peterson, Illustrator . CrossGen $15.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-931484-24-4
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Although produced by two writers and an unusually large illustration team, this fantasy adventure holds together well. The planet Ciress developed magic, rather than science, as civilization's basis. The Masters who lead the seven major guilds of magic rule the world. Genevieve Villard trained all her life to become one of the Masters, but it's her flighty younger sister, Giselle, who is marked with a Sigil, CrossGen's mysterious mark of power that gives her supreme magical power over all the Guilds. Genevieve remains the responsible one, trying to protect her sister and keep society from falling apart. Giselle would rather go on sleeping late and flirting with a non-magical artist, but the Sigil makes her a target for envious guild Masters and for nasty beings like Animora, the Demon Queen. Marz and Bedard's scripts mix light and dark moments deftly, but like many CrossGen books, the artwork may be the best thing about Mystic. As the volume opens, Giselle meets the artist in a tavern crowded with an entertaining collection of supernatural barflies cleverly borrowed from old comics and literature. Marvel's Dr. Strange, Harry Potter, the Seven Dwarves and D.C.'s Sandman raise glasses, while Batmite and Mr. Mxyzptlk hover toasting above the crowd and a four-armed bartender serves drinks. The giant creatures Animora sends to trample over villages resemble Japanese movie monsters, but the story isn't a satire. And Giselle isn't a selfish airhead, just immature for her age. Readers will look forward to watching her grow up and face magical challenges. (Apr.)

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