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MW Book Club! The Magic Order - volume 1

The first collection of Millar & Coipel’s The Magic Order comes out next week, on 17 April.

But I’m kicking this thread off a little early, partly to remind people to read it and partly to point out that if you haven’t checked the series out yet, five of the six issues are currently available for 69p/99c on Comixology.

So you’ve got no excuse!

We can kick off the chat in earnest from next week when Book One comes out.

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Trade should be available soon too,will post the best price when I find it.

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:wink:

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You think I’m waiting that long?

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Nice one.

I actually spotted this last night and meant to post something. I checked my preorders and I don’t have an order in for the trade, and I was sure I did. I’ve already bought the first issue full price so I’ve just grabbed the other 5 digitally.

Looking forward to reading it with you all.

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I have to go back and read my singles again, or maybe just comb through the new comics thread and post my reviews from each issue. :wink:

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I floppied digitally, so am adequately prepared for the nonce.

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:smirk:

Going to retrieve my issues from the long box so that I am adequately prepared.

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Copy ordered:

Currently £11.04

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All right, I bought it, just say when to start. I’m excited for it—I haven’t read a new Millar book in ages. Not for any reason but laziness. I always mean to buy the trades and then forget when they come out.

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Feel free to start whenever. I’ve only read up to #4 so I’m going to do a reread this weekend and add #5 and #6 to complete the story.

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Here are my initial issue by issue reviews of the series from the New Comics Thread.

Magic Order #1 - I’ve really been looking forward to this book. @Mark_Millar has created another fully realized world that feels at parts Jupiter’s Legacy and Empress with a little Harry Potter meets The Godfather mixed in for good measure. It’s great to see the first fruits of the Netflix deal on the stands. I can’t wait for more of this book and more Netflix Millarworld in general.

Magic Order #2 - Wow! Another amazing issue. This book feels a bit like Empress to me where there is at least one scene in every issue that just kinda blows your mind. The castle hidden in the painting was that in this issue. Loving this series and can’t wait to read more.

Magic Order #3 - Another great @Mark_Millar and Olivier Coipel issue. There are a couple really brutal moments in this issue as we start peel back some of the layers of the family story. The ending of the issue really resets a lot of things. It’s the kind of surprise that I should have come to expect from Millar but usually gets me. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Magic Order #4 - Love the intro to this issue and how it ties into the history of the Order. This installment also represents my favorite part of a Millarworld story, what I call “The Turn”. It’s the point in the story where the heroes are beat back as far as they’re going to go and start to turn the tide in their direction. With this story it’s Gabriel Moonstone getting back into the magic game. Coipel’s art is pretty fantastic too. Looking forward to the rest of this series and the eventual Netflix film/TV show.

Magic Order #5 - Just when I think I have @Mark_Millar figured out, he surprises me again. I seriously didn’t see the twist in this issue coming. Even when it was telegraphed early in the issue, my assumptions were much different than reality. So excited to see the wrap up of this series. I honestly can’t tell how it’s going to end.

Magic Order #6 - As always, Mark piles on the twists in the last issue. I really enjoyed that the uncle guarding the house was not their to protect him from the world but was there to protect the world from his Hulk-like temper. I wasn’t entirely in love with the mechanism by which they put a lot of pieces back on the board. It leaves some things in some odd areas like Gabriel’s wife being so severely punished after being made so sympathetic through the series but mostly set things up really well for subsequent series. All in all this was a great read and I’ll look forward to the future Netflix show.

I’ll try to reread and see if I can give a more unified review.

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Like others, I did digital floppies, so I’m all set for a reread :+1:

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17 April? :angry:

I thought it was this week. Spent ages examining the shelves of Forbidden Planet yesterday :frowning:

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Do you even read this thread? I mean, there’s a bargain price already posted by someone

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Yes, but silly me thought “I’ll support my high-street comic shop” :expressionless:

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Sorry I had some downtime so decided to get a head start on this.

For me this was my first Millar book for a while, I found myself disinterested by Jupiter’s whatever and Empress. My last Millar comic before this was Chrononauts. I was quite excited to get into this and added it to my subscription list as soon as it was announced.

The Magic Order: Issue 1

Hey there is a qr code thing, I totally missed that the first time. It opens a cool Facebook camera app which uses the cover to play an animation. That is pretty cool.

The first four pages really set the tone for the upcoming story. We learn that these villains, or at least those who we assume are villains, are utterly unflinching in their mission and will use any means necessary. The whole sequence is a pretty terrifying prospect. We also learn a little about the world, “We live in a world of science and logic”.

We then head into the character introductions, Cordelia’s tells you everything you need to know about her really. There are shades of Jessica Jones about her except with magic. The whole setup for her escape is well constructed if a little obvious.

Leonard’s intro also gives us a nice insight into his character but the most important section for me is his view of his children and how none of them will be following him in his stage magician routine.

The funeral scene fully introduces the villain, Madame Albany, and gives us our first real hints at the why behind the attacks. We get some cryptic remarks about a book, an inheritance and the past “protecting humanity from things they can’t imagine”. We also get a bit of a feel for the way this organisation works, an inner circle and apprentices.

Gabriel, here we are introduced to the final sibling alluded to in Leonard’s introduction. We are shown the division between Gabriel and Regan, little aspects such as the discussion about shopping but also the more blatant such as Regan floating around on a cloud. During the flashback young Gabriel’s eye appears to betray his future self’s commentary on missing the magical lifestyle. Then we are introduced to the daughter that has been a focal point of the previous discussion. While a comment like “I’d still have a daughter” is pretty clear the image of the coffin makes it perfectly clear what has happened but not the how it why.

The final sequence serves to demonstrate, again, just how powerful the enemy actually is. And we get our first full image of the magical assassin, the eagle eyed will have noticed that this is not a character who was at the funeral. What I liked about this sequence was how calm the victim was, his realisation that he was trapped but also that it was powerful magic being used.

Overall this is quite an introduction to the series and it moves at a hell of a pace. We are dropped into a story that is already progressing and this gives a sense of mystery. There are things we just don’t know or understand as an observer, just as if we are a non-magical individual in the world of the story, these unknowns do well to serve as the hooks to keep us interested. It is a testament to Millar’s world making that everything seems so well constructed and thought out. I imagine there are aspects of this world that Millar worked through which barely even feature but serve to make this world tangible for him as a storyteller.

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I’m halfway through the story now (just finished #3 last night) so here’s a few initial thoughts on what I think is one of the better Millarworld series of recent years.

The first is that the art is really impressive. The Millarworld books always get good artists but Coipel must rank as one of the best - not just for his great composition and detailed, finessed rendering (which really helps to bring the characters to life and make them and their surroundings feel ‘real’ - which is important for a series where you’re dealing with the clash between the real world and a world of magic) but also for some of the storytelling tricks he uses to show the effects of magic.

There are a couple of lovely panel transitions in the first few issues that show the effect of magic in a fairly simple way but in a way that only comics could pull off, like this:

There’s also a fantastic sequence at the end of issue #1 that shows a room and its inhabitants being transformed in a disturbing, magical fashion, but it’s drawn in a way that makes it still feel very tangible - you really buy that this is actually happening. With a looser or more cartoonish artist the effect just wouldn’t be the same.

I really like the way the art is used to show the transition between real spaces and magical spaces in general. This is a great page that uses the panels in the centre very cleverly - using the gutter as the barrier between real and magical space - and also makes the middle row of panels work as a barrier between the real space in the large panel at the top, and the magical space in the large panel at the bottom:

It’s all stuff that demonstrates that a little bit of extra thought (from both Millar and Coipel) has gone into how to make the relationship between the real and magical worlds work visually, in a way that’s unique to comics.

The writing is good, too. The opening sequence of the first issue is a great lead-in to the series that sets the magical-yet-gruesome tone from the start. It makes it clear this is going to be an “adult” take on the world of magic that’s removed from the likes of Harry Potter and it provides the model for the series going forward (which, so far, is a fairly straightforward progression of various magical folks gradually being picked off by an unstoppable magical assassin).

Also - given that this is the first new Millarworld title to come out since the Netflix acquisition - it’s impossible to read that opening scene and not think of how it could work as a cold-open for an eventual TV adaptation. You can almost see it playing out in your head.

Otherwise, I think there are some interesting touches here that add a little bit of extra depth to the story (which you don’t always get in a Millarworld book, but which is welcome here). I like the hints throughout to a wider world of magic and the suggestion that this story is only exploring the fringes of a much larger magical universe.

I also thought the King Lear allusions were interesting - with the children Regan, Cordelia and Gabriel (instead of Goneril) inheriting their father’s magical empire, after a fashion. We’ll see if there are any further parallels as the story plays out over the concluding three issues.

The only criticism so far is that the story is maybe a bit too simple for its own good. A progression of characters being picked off by an unstoppable villain isn’t the worst framework for a story (think Terminator), but it feels like there needs to be a little more here to make me care beyond the great visuals and cool concepts. There hasn’t really been much time to flesh out many of the characters enough for me to do that yet, with the possible exception of Gabriel.

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I finished it off this evening and thought the ending (specifically the cliffhanger to issue #5) was excellent, really well done. Several twists come in quite quick succession and none of it was quite what I expected, but worked really well.

Basically, everything after this page was great.

Lots more lovely art from Coipel in this back half too, including a great action sequence involving this creature.

The story is tied up nicely at the end, but also left open for more. I’d certainly read another series.

I’m actually tempted to pick up a hardcopy of this even though I have it in digital. It turned out much better than I expected.

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