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Gail Willaims dabbles in the dark arts...

Detective Rowan Black works robbery/homicide for the Portsmouth PD, but her greatest mystery is the truth about herself...both who she has been, and who she will become.

It’s the fall equinox, so I’m guessing we’re in America. I don’t recognise Mabon as a place name though. It’s all mystical and deep and meaningful until the semi clad ritual leader has to ask the inevitably question:
“Who the Hell forgot to turn off their fucking phone?”
The better clad owner of the phone sheepishly answers, with fatal words that sound like a threat. But it was work and she has to go. Not much to the amusement of the others.

Turn the page, the pagan rituals are gone and we are faced with a really cool two page spread of modern day American, somewhere in Portsmouth judging by the badge on the front cover. The gorgeous girl from the ritual turns out to be Detective Rowan Black, and she rides a nice bike, a BMW no less (yes, I can read all kinds of badges). Of course before we get to the action we have to meet her partner, the equally gorgeous Morgan, tall and muscular of course, but this is a comic, why shouldn’t we have some male eye candy?

Turns out, there’s a hostage situation. Four hostages for one wild-eyed taker. One that knows Black is there when he can’t possibly see her. But he wants to talk alone, what police force in the world wouldn’t exchange one officer for four innocent hostages?

Odd then that the first thing she smells when walking into the burger joint is Kerosene. Not only does the hostage taker not, as promised, give up the four hostage, his first order is for Black to get undressed. Sexy young woman, so again, why not? Well at least this time the guy with the gun has a good reason, he wants to check she’s not wearing a wire. Unfortunately she is. Now the hostage taker destroys the wire, but at least he sends the hostages out.

Turns out that Rowan Black may not be this detective’s real name. The guy knows what it really is, and he knows she’s a witch. And we all know what Americans do to witches in Massachusetts. Admittedly Portsmouth is in New Hampshire, but it’s not exactly the other side of the continent is it?

But witch that she is, Rowan can turn the flame away from her and so she’s not the one who gets burned. The final two panels are where this series gets truly launched. Rowan calls someone called Alex.
“It’s starting again.”
From the very first page of Black Magick the sepia tones of this comic set the story off. The occasional splash of colour adding to the impact of individual panes and points. Initially I was somewhat ‘not surprised’ that it was the women who were mostly scantily clad, but another glance showed a guy full frontal too, so there is some equality here at least.

And as soon as we’re off the ritual nakedness, the artist Nicola Scott shows her talent, and there is very real talent here. I’ve never brought anything from Greg Rucka or Nicola Scott before, but this comic shows both are very good at what they do. The story and the art are fantastic and absorbing, and this is one has a brilliant hook for a first issue.

I have to admit something odd. I brought issue one of Black Magick on a whim of boredom. I went into the Comix Shoppe to pick up my usual order, and the guy in front of me was chatting about this comic with the guy who owns the shop, both were raving about just how good it is. The guy in front of me was buying about fifty comics - and no I am not exaggerating, he left with two bags full - which meant I had some time to kill, so I went over to take a look at Black Magick, it looked okay. I figured I’d give it a go. And I am glad I did.

I love this one, I can’t find fault (yet) and I will be buying more. Five out of five.

Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find out more about Gail, check out - Dare you!

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