Magik #1-4

magik-4The Magik mini-series has a simple purpose: it’s to flesh out what happened to poor Illyana Rasputin when she was pulled into the other dimension known as limbo.

In story-line, Illyana was missing for only seconds. But while in Limbo, she experienced the events of several years of her life. She was a small child at the beginning of the story but returned as a teenager. What had happened was the evil  sorcerer Belasco pulled her into his dimension in an attempt to make her his dark apprentice. Fortunately for Illyana, that dimension’s version of Storm (who is an elderly sorceress in this reality) and Kitty Pryde attempt to keep her safe from Belasco. The villain’s plan is to use her teleportation powers so he can leave limbo and conquer the Marvel Universe.

And as much as Storm and Kitty want to save Illyana from Belasco, it is up to the young girl to save herself. There is an extra element of difficulty, as if Belasco dies, his soul will wind up possessing Illyana’s body.

Magik is a lot of fun. The story is filled with swords and sorcery, and it makes it pretty different from a lot of the Marvel comics at the time. It’s kind of like the X-Men are hanging out in the He-Man or Thundercats universes. While this isn’t “required reading”, it’s worth reading.

It was written by Chris Claremont, who pretty much did most everything involving any X-Men related character during that time. The art is fine; it’s by John Buscema and Ron Frenz, but what makes it sticks out is all the detailing that inker Tom Palmer put into it. There are all kinds of Easter eggs hidden in the pages that don’t affect the plot, but add nice touches.

About that new Thundercats series

It’s a pretty well-known fact that I’m a sucker for 1980s cartoons. Many an evening with my girlfriend have devolved into us watching Transformers or GI Joe, sometimes even Jem. As much as I love these characters and concepts, sometimes I find myself not enjoying the updated versions. When I heard that Cartoon Network was relaunching Thundercats, I didn’t know what to expect.

When I saw last week’s two-part debut, I was hooked.

This new version of Thundercats is very faithful to the original concepts, but is telling a new story. Most noticeable is that its set on their home planet Thundera as opposed to Third Earth. Oh, and the fact that Lion-O is a young adult as opposed to a full-fledged man. This gives them a lot more room to explore his character. Will Friedle is the voice of the character, and at times reminded me a bit of his earlier role of Eric Matthews.

Larry Kenney, who was Lion-O in the original series, lends his voice to Claudus, the king of the Thundercats that dies at the hands of Mumm-Ra. This leads to Lion-O, Tygra and Cheetara fleeing to find the Book of Omens in an effort to stop the evil mummy and gives the framework of the show’s story.

The animation has grown on me, as I’m not usually a fan of the more anime stylized cartoons. I will say that it looks nothing like any of the other modern cartoons. I like the new character designs, but Lion-O’s hair seems a little too Dragonball Z for my liking.

One of the things that fans of the original series like to reminisce and joke about was how they forced social themes into the episodes. We did see a bit in this, when Lion-O pleaded to his father to not kill their enemy Lizards, preaching peacefulness and tolerance of those who are different. This scene played out very well.

Consider me hooked. I can’t wait for the next episode.