Title: Black Magick: The First Book Of Shadows (Hardcover)
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Nicola Scott
Colors:Chiara Arena, Eric Trautmann
Published: May 22, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: “Black Magick: The First Book Of Shadows The complete first chapter of the critically acclaimed series from New York Times bestselling creators GREG RUCKA and NICOLA SCOTT, assembled together for the first time! Rowan Black is awakening to the almost unimaginable power that is her inheritance—a power she neither wants nor is able to refuse. But all power comes at a price, and those who seek to destroy her may not be as dangerous as those who wish to control her. Yet when one’s will can alter reality, the ultimate enemy may be the human heart. Collects BLACK MAGICK #1-11, plus additional content, artifacts, and backmatter designed by ERIC TRAUTMANN ”
When an incantation attempted by a circle of witches is interrupted by a cell phone call to one of their members who happens to be a cop, it becomes clear that this isn’t going to be either a typical horror story or ordinary police procedural. Rowan Black, the detective in question, is drawn into a dangerous confrontation she would have rather avoided, but because of her unique heritage, she knows it is one she that she could never escape.
In Black Magick, Greg Rucka blends the mundane with something otherworldly and produces a supernatural detective adventure that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Rowan Black is enough of a driven police detective to support the weight an entire mystery series, but it is the addition of her magical abilities that broadens the scope and adds great opportunity for thrills. Here, we get a blend where both aspects of the character relate to each other, complement each other and only at times work against each other. It is also the elements of Ro’s personal relationships that cement these fantastic tales in the here and now. These people, regardless of their connection to supernatural, are believable and fully conceived as human beings.
Nicola Scott’s artwork is also a splendid portrayal of the real and the unreal. Each frame has a hyper real representation, but frayed at the edges as any alternative reality is supposed to be. Her work is as compelling and suspenseful as the prose that accompanies it and both are obviously well suited to each other.
The Bottom Line
Black Magick is an astounding series full of poignant character moments within a sprawling conspiracy that conjures chills and suspense. It is imaginative yet populated by fully realized characters. Come for the police procedural and stay for the witchcraft, or vice versa, either way it delivers.