NeedCoffee.com has a list up of its Top Five Comics That Get Magic Right, and it’s definitely an in-depth set of reasoning for everything. Here’s some highlights of the top five:
5. Phonogram:”See, in his world, Kohl is what is called a “phonomancer”–someone who can use the feelings and symbolism produced by the experience of music to produce the effects he wants in other people and in the world at large. He can, for example, use the encounter of a certain song to divine the major themes of a crisis, or he can find the literal harmonic resonance between a person, their music, and their world, and use that to…well. Get laid, mostly. And that’s the trouble. Kohl uses music and the primal reverberations it brings into being in almost every person on Earth to dig deep into the inner workings of the world around him and make it do what he wants and, in doing this for a very long time (ten years is forever, in Indie Music), he has forgotten the thing that made him who he is.”
4. Lucifer: The Morningstar Option: “While Lucifer is still the Morningstar, and the progenitor and embodiment of the Fire of the Will, he knows that there are certain actions one can take to make life easier. There are certain words and phrases, certain kinds of commerce and communication which, when pushed with enough self-determination, make it possible for gates to be bypassed and rules to be bent long past the point where they should have broken. This is the hallmark of magic, in the Lucifer universe: when we know the rules as intimately as we know ourselves–and we must know ourselves very intimately–we know exactly where to place the lever–or twist the knife–to get exactly the results we’re looking for. There will be twists and turns as our drives and desires run up against those of others, but they’re nothing that can’t be ploughed through or burned down. They’re only obstacles, after all, and what are those to an indomitable drive to attain your goals, but something to be utterly and completely destroyed?”
3. Promethea: “Because Promethea is an archetype, living in the “Immateria,” the only way she can come to exist in the “Real World” is through someone with whom she has a strong enough symbolic, emotional, mental resonance and connection. When Sophie Bangs becomes Promethea, she is the eighth person known to have done so, including the “original.” The others must teach the new inhabitant of this mantel how to use all the magical weapons at her disposal, so that she can do what needs to be done in the face on an onrushing Apocalypse. As Sophie travels, fights enemies, and learns from gods, demons, and other persistent stories and living conceptual patterns, she grows more and more accustomed to her role, and she and Promethea become more aligned.”
2. Kid Eternity: “Identity is a lie. The totality of Time is the sound of a single word. Heaven is really a stagnant Hell. Hell is a constantly shifting ideascape dictated by the combination of symbols and ideas of the inhabitants viewing and experiencing it, with a few specific horrific landmarks. Death and rebirth, in quick succession, are the entryways to the machinery of the universe which can be reconfigured, adjusted, and broken, by someone with the right tools… While Promethea is about the intellectual and rational basis of magical knowledge, Kid Eternity is designed to eradicate the ability to rationally dissect the experience. Every action and event is an emotion, an instinct, and a psychic emergence of both individuation and connection with the totality of existence.”
1. John Constantine: Hellblazer: “Here we have John Constantine as quintessential dilettante of the occult arts, with much more than a little knowledge of any tradition you can think of and describe, let alone actually name. He can draw a Voudon veve in salt; make a deal with the Aztec God of Death; drag the goddess Kali out of a possessed man; harness the collective unconscious of all humankind to destroy an apocryphal evil that has hunted us since the dawn of time; and he can even get magicians to work together toward a common goal. He’s like freaking Superman. It’s obvious that Carey did more than passing research into occult traditions in preparation for his run on this series, as he gets names, symbols, places, and historical contexts important to students of various traditions right, while providing new insights into them and making them understandable and (above all) entertaining to anyone who just wants a Good Comic.”
On the one hand, I think this is an interesting read — on the other, I think as the list progresses, the author gets a little too bogged down with AP Magic, to the detriment of outright articulating what is so good. Curious about getting some magic in your comics library? Click here to read the whole article.
[Tip of the hat to David Gallaher for the link]