Saturday, 11 June 2011

Charmed #10 – Three Little Wiccans

Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Writer(s): Paul Ruditis
Artist: Reno Maniquis
Release Date: June 2011

With the Power of Three torn asunder, Phoebe and Paige work to bring their family back together. But a tragically ill-advised plan pulls The Charmed Ones further apart and could leave one of the sisters lost forever.

Charmed #10 picks up pretty much where #9 left off. There has been a short passing of time between the issues where Paige, Phoebe and Leo have came up with the plan of sending Paige and Leo ‘Up There’ glamoured as demons in an effort to find Piper and discover what Neena is up to. It would have been nice to see them coming up with this plan because it does come out of nowhere and one of the things I have felt the comics have been lacking is those moments where the sisters are in the attic discussing their various options for getting themselves out of whatever mess they are in. However, I did like the fact that glamouring was used since it was relied on quite heavily in the last season or two and it’s always good to have throwbacks to the series because if anything the Charmed comics have in most instances stayed true to the show.

Story wise I felt that this issue, like many others in the series didn’t move as fast as it could have and lacked action and instead there was a lot of talking rather than anything significant actually happening. I was left disappointed by the Cole and Piper scenes, especially after such a big shock at the end of #9 where Cole reappeared I was hoping for lots of explanations and we didn’t get any. Still, those scenes stayed true to the characters and reminded me a lot of how Piper used to interact with Cole on the show, especially during their time in The Seven Year Witch in the seventh season. I really liked Phoebe’s role in the issue, she was doing what Phoebe always did best in the series – using magic in a resourceful way. Although her efforts ultimately didn’t work, it was nice to see her thinking outside of the box.

Finally, Neena, still very powerful and still very mysterious gets the juiciest storyline of the issue in that she’s involved in a lot of action as well as being very savvy in her efforts to capture two glowing balls (until we know what they are that's the best way to describe them), one blue, one red which she needs in order to be reunited with her beloved. She successfully separates the sisters and by the end we are left with one of the best cliff-hangers so far in that the sisters have been torn apart and Neena appears to have been successful in her plan. Of course I fully expect to see the sisters’ thwart her at the last minute (that is what they do best after all) but considering how far she has come to defeating them and achieving her goals, Neena has without a doubt proved to be the sisters’ fiercest enemy since Zankou.

The artwork for this issue was done by Reno Maniquis, who out of all of the artists thus far (possibly with the exception of Tess Fowler) does a great job with the art both in terms of likenesses and depicting the actual action and scene. I particularly liked how he drew Neena, who has been somewhat inconsistently drawn by previous artists. The second page of the issue (right) features a full page image of Neena at the front of her demon army and this is one of my favourite pages out of the entire comic series. The colouring also is much better than it ever has been thanks to Jorge Maese, I hope they keep him on board for more issues.

Overall, while Charmed #10 isn’t the most spectacular issue in terms of story, it does a good job of setting things up for (presumably) Neena’s defeat and the artwork was for the most part spectacular. My only real complaint is that the story is moving too slow and often feels like it is setting the scene, which at this point in an arc shouldn't still be the case.

Rating: 3/5