What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about The Magicians #5! In other words, the last issue to this mini series which has brought the world of The Magicians to comic book form. I’ll be honest, this book has been anything but what I expected from it. Since the initial announcement of this book, this has all been new territory as someone whose only experience with this series has been through the tv series. Though does that mean any negative feelings towards the direction taken in these five issues? Not at all. You couldn’t have asked for a better story which made the bold push towards creating a future where the walls between Brakebills students and Hedge Witches could begin tearing down.
Now obviously before any of that could truly become a thing, both the school and these students have to survive the latest threat brought to their doorstep. From the flip of the first page in The Magicians #5, no time was wasted jumping right into what happens when these students and teachers come face-to-face with this powerful new enemy. In typical Magicians fashion, there was very little time to dawdle or ask too many questions instead of jumping right into the action. The intensity was at its peak between the teachers who want those books back, and the students who are trying to correct the problem they have caused.
At the start, it was engaging to finally have Dean Fogg come face-to-face with Nafarro. That was the point where things came together after so much build-up between both sides. When it comes to Fogg, it always goes a long way to get both sides to a story. This guy isn’t the villain, but neither is he perfect either. It meant a lot to see things from Nafarro’s perspective to understand why they were going to such great lengths to get these books.
As for the students, it was nice to see how everything could begin coming together with what they have learned up to this point. Not only when it came to piecing together the puzzle that was their situation, but also being able to come up with solutions on the same page. Overall it was quite nostalgic to experience that magic from a group of magicians capable enough to pull off something that can only be accomplished during specific circumstances. Some could argue that there was not enough risk to what they brought to the big encounter, though right now it would be too early to miss out on what any of these characters could offer if the story continued after this.
When it came to Nafarro, credit where it is due that this turned out to be a “villain” worth saving for the end to understand. If there was anything that this mini was lacking leading up to the last issue, it was a proper understanding in what it is we were supposed to fear about these books getting in the wrong hands. I mean, we still don’t actually know what someone could do with these books, but what we do know is the end game that it could lead to. One which I should say creates the right kind of conversation about the line drawn in the sand between right and wrong in this world. I liked that they put more effort into us grasping what they were trying to accomplish before putting any idea into our heads that we should sympathize with anyone. We’ve seen what happens when the heroes go down that road paved with good intentions. It doesn’t always go smoothly. So they shook things up rightly where instead we question what happens when you have to cross some lines to get the job done.
This issue was by far the best that we got out of this art team. This is not to say that anything was lacking in the visual department, but the imagery was never the biggest thing about either of these issues. I was happy to say that the artwork was actually standout this time around, and better now than not at all. Off the bat, the color work was excitable. Seeing how this is a big magic battle which erupted, there was no better time than now to get explosive with it. This color flying in this direction, that color flying in the opposite direction. What we saw was what should be expected when multiple battle capable magicians step into a confrontation. At the same time I loved the emotional work put into the drawing of these characters. This was a time where tensions and emotions in general were running high. We saw that in their expressions, the intention in the way they used their battle magic, and even their reluctance. It made the biggest difference in the end to also show where all this casting can also be dangerous to the user when pushed to their limits. The pain and the presence of blood was great for the sense of urgency.
By the end of The Magicians #5, I found myself impressed by what this grew into, and what this still has the chance to become if this is not the end of the story. Personally, I hope it is not. This mini series proved that even in comic for this is a story which can go the distance with the right set of characters to focus on, and the right kind of danger to drive its longevity.