Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Magnus' #3 by Kyle Higgins, Jorge Fornes, and Chris O'Halloran

Think of your favorite science fiction book, television show, or movie. Now make some room for your favorite science fiction comic book with Dynamite's reinvented 'Magnus' series by Kyle Higgins, Jorge Fornes, and Chris O'Halloran.


MAGNUS #3

Writer: Kyle Higgins
Art: Jorge Fornés
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)

World-building is a term reviewers use a lot to describe the scope of an entirely new environment a writer and artist use to set their story in. In the case of 'Magnus,' there's not just one world to build but two. Our near-future world where androids with AI are at our disposal to use as domestic help and the digital world those same androids escape to. It's the perfect setting for a murderous android who straddles both worlds to be on the run from justice. Luckily, Kerri Magnus also traverses these same worlds as a former bounty hunter and as a shrink for robots, she knows how they think. Kerri is a no-nonsense and tenacious detective, a Clarice Starling for the robotic age.  

What stands out is how Higgins wades through the mud, the dark seedy side of this futuristic world instead of extolling its virtues. Because it's not too far in the future, it's only 2020, the hateful way that distrust can fester and infect the public by painting a whole population of beings, androids in this case, as dangerous because of one deadly incident mirrors real life right now. For the androids, apart from earning more time in the Cloud, a world of their own making, illegal upgrades give birth to a black market that mutually benefits humans, namely Larry Mooney. 

The trail to find Frederick, the killer robot, leads Kerri to an old acquaintance from the Cloud, Larry. He may hold the key to Frederick's whereabouts but Larry has to be nudged to give it up. This entire sequence is a masterclass in hard-boiled detective interrogation and manipulation. The dialogue is so fluid and rhythmic and soaked in crime noir. It's smart, tense, and wickedly choreographed. Kerri manages to bridge both the real world and the Cloud to get what she wants and it's riveting to watch. 

Jorge Fornes is a formidable talent. If ever there was an artist paired with a writer and a genre that speaks to his strengths this is the pinnacle of such a collaboration. Fornes captures such detail and wide-ranging perspectives on each page that it's a cornucopia of innovation and imagination. The scene that will stick with readers is the sequence of jumps and somersaults across elevators Kerri does to infiltrate the building that houses Larry. It's a splash page that demands your attention and keeps you glued to the page. Fornes uses video screens, news footage, negative space, silhouettes, and up to 16 panels on a single page to keep wrapped around his finger. He uses every tool in his toolbox and 'Magnus' is better for it. 

Of course, such dynamic pages requires a colorist who understands the tone and pace of the story. Chris O'Halloran continues to impress with sharp and smart color choices. Most of the story takes place in darker spaces, full of black, blue, and purple. The lighter shades come from inside the Cloud where it's bright but given the lava lamp treatment in a sky of yellow and green. Where color plays an important contrast is in a gun fight near the end. The sudden blast of colors highlight the action intuitively.

I don't give letterers enough credit but Taylor Esposito does yeoman's work here with the varied captions, dialogue boxes from both humans and androids that help give these characters their personality. Taylor has his work cut out for him but really helps to keep the reader engaged. 

'Magnus' is a magnificent literary feat that captures the imagination, transports the reader, and tells a riveting crime story as good as any novel or television show. My make-or-break point with a new series comes at the third or fourth issue. 'Magnus' #3 so deftly moves the plot along that you not only get important details but get more than you bargained for in the end. This is an easy "make" for this criminally underrated comic. If you want something to sink your teeth into, something that mixes 'Blade Runner' with 'The Matrix' but feels totally original then this is the one for you. 

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

PREVIEW: 'Sovereigns' #5 by Ray Fawkes and Dylan Burnett

This is it!  All your questions will be answered, all the mysteries revealed!  What has obliterated humanity?  What the hell happened to the moon?  What is the true nature of the Hidden Jungle?  Why do the heroes you know and love—Turok, Magnus and Doctor Spektor—seem like completely different people?  And perhaps most importantly, how will the world be saved, and at what cost?



DOCTOR SPEKTOR PART 6: The story of the all-new master (and we use the term lightly) sorcerer continues... when Doc gets drunk & summons a demon – and good decision-making ensues!
Sovereigns #5
writers: Ray Fawkes (main),        Aubrey Sitterson (Doctor Spektor) artists: Johnny Desjardins (main),              Dylan Burnett (Doctor Spektor) covers: Stephen Segovia (A)               Johnny Desjardins (B)               Fred Hembeck (C)               Kenan Yarar (D)               Stephen Segovia (RI-B/W) FC  •  32 pages  •  $3.99  •  Teen +











REVIEW: 'Betty and Veronica: Vixens' #1 by Jamie L Rotante, Eva Cabrera, and Elaina Unger

Archie Comics is not afraid to spice things up with non-continuity books featuring the Riverdale gang in alternate realities. Whether it's a zombie horror book (Afterlife with Archie), a fledgling rock band (The Archies), or crossing over with other characters (KISS, Ramones, Predator, Punisher), Archie and the gang have been through a lot of fun adventures. None have been more fun or as liberating as this new series, Betty and Veronica: Vixens.


BETTY AND VERONICA: VIXENS #1
Writer: Jamie L Rotante Artist: Eva Cabrera Colors: Elaina Unger Letters: Rachel Deering Publisher: Archie Comics Release Date: November 15, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
From the opening splash page of a girl biker gang rolling down the highway clad in black leather you
can almost hear "Born to be Wild" playing in your head, Jamie Rotante sets the tone as they circle a trailer of Southside Serpents. These badass bikers mean business and aren't to be trifled with. The shocking part is…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable New Releases 11/15/17

Another great week of comics is upon us with some big-name talent attached. Mike Mignola delivers Jenny Finn #1, Gail Simone and Darick Robertson bring Conan/Wonder Woman #3,  James Tynion IV pens a 'Dark Nights Metal Tie-In' The Batman Who Laughs, and Christos Gage offers the action-packed Ninja-K #1.


NEW COMIC BOOK DAY 11/15/17 by Slidely Slideshow
Music by Melkbelly

There's so much more this week too. Bryan Hill and Isaac Goodhart bring the climatic issue of Postal #24, Matthew Rosenberg does double duty this week with Secret Warriors #8 and Punisher #8, James Asmus, Joe Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, Joshua Williamson, and Joe Infurnari debut with Evolution #1, Margarite Bennett drops Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #3, and Vault Comics has two highly anticipated titles this week Alien Bounty Hunter #2 and Zojaqan  #2. All-ages books are well represented with Kid Sherlock trade paperback, Princeless Raven Year 2 #1, and The Legend of Wonder Woman trade paperback. Happy read…