Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Charmed #9 Review (SPOILER ALERT!)

Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Writer(s): Paul Ruditis
Artist(s): Dean Kotz
Release Date: May 2011

A family member lost. The Elders under siege. An unstoppable force about to wreak havoc on the world! Leo must reveal an ancient secret to The Charmed Ones about the very source of their craft and the true origins of the magic they possess if they have any chance of defeating their latest threat.

After a frustratingly long wait, Zenescope has finally released issue nine of Charmed which picks up immediately after the events of Issue #8. Overall this was a good issue, which had a good mixture of story and action. The sisters (sans Piper who was sent to an unknown location by villain Neena at the end of the previous issue) are receiving a (much overdue) history lesson from Leo about the origins of their magic. The origins of the sisters' magic has always been thought to have started with Melinda Warren in the 1600's, however we find out in this issue that ALL magic comes originated with the first witch, who was revealed at the end of last issue, as Neena. I think that this was not only a very brave thing to do as it delves much deeper into the origins of magic than the TV show ever did, but also creatively is quite cleaver as we get a play on the Adam and Eve story. I don't know if it will be explored further in the next issue(s) but I liked how Paul Ruditis put a spin on Adam and Eve in a similar vein to that of how Charmed often put their own stamp on popular stories and fairy tales.

The cliffhanger we are left on is quite possibly the best of the entire series so far. It is revealed that the Adam to Neena's Eve is none other than Cole Turner, who appears to Piper in the final panel of the issue. This was one of the biggest surprises so far and I am happy that it wasn't spoiled for me before I read the issue because it wouldn't have been the same. What this means for the sisters, I don't know, although considering that in Cole's last appearance on the TV series he was unable to be seen by Phoebe and Paige, I am not expecting him to return to the real world. I am wondering how he will factor into Neena's eventual destruction by the sisters, if of course they do destroy her. There is still so much we do not know about her so at this point so it will be interesting to find out how Cole reacts to everything which has been happening with her.

Artwork wise, the art was much better than Issue #8's art which was horrendous in most places. Dean Kotz's work wasn't the best art the Charmed series has seen but it was an improvement on the last artist and by the end of the issue I felt like he did a good job, particularly on the scenes involving Piper in The All which were also coloured beautifully. There were some really nicely drawn scenes, The All was impressive as was a scene in the manor where Leo looked out of the window. Character likenesses were okay, I think Piper was the sister who looked the most like her TV counterpart (although the artists generally do a good job with Paige as well). I wasn't overly keen on character poses, especially when someone was pointing and there's a really awkward image of Paige standing in the first panel of the comic. But the art definitely improved as the issue went on, and as I understand this artist is returning to do another issue, so hopefully when he does come back the art will be more like his good work than his bad.

Overall, Charmed #9 offered up some amazing revelations, answered some questions but also offered up more. I loved the pacing of this one, it was very explanatory heavy but the issue seemed to move fast without skimming on any important details. The artwork was better than I had expected from looking at the previews Zenescope released last week but there were still several issues I hope will be overcome the next time we see this artist. If you haven't been following the Charmed comics then now would be a good place to start as after quite a slow build up, the comics are finally starting to come into their own and I hope this is a sign of things to come.

Rating: 4/5

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