An­i­mal Magic

SFX - - Reviews -

From Prophet and 8house to the ex­per­i­men­tal an­thol­ogy Is­land, the Im­age Comics ti­tles over­seen by writer/ artist Bran­don Gra­ham over the last few years have stretched the lim­its of main­stream comics sto­ry­telling. Now, a tale that started life as part of the 8house shared uni­verse has be­come a full-scale on­go­ing se­ries, one that com­bines a lyri­cal nar­ra­tive style with truly beau­ti­ful vi­su­als.

Telling a story that un­folds across mul­ti­ple time­lines, Mirror fol­lows the lives of young mage Ivan and dog-girl Sena, who grow up on a colony on the as­ter­oid of Irzah. Here, an­i­mals have been gifted with in­tel­li­gence and mag­i­cal abil­i­ties, but the hu­man colonists want to ex­ploit those abil­i­ties, lead­ing to Ivan and Sena’s sep­a­ra­tion, and years of blood­shed.

Writ­ten by Pretty Deadly artist Emma Rios, with amaz­ing vi­su­als from Malaysian il­lus­tra­tor Hwei Lim, Mirror mixes SF and fan­tasy in a sim­i­lar man­ner to fel­low Im­age ti­tle Saga, but tells a much stranger, more chal­leng­ing story. The el­e­gant page lay­outs give the dense plot­ting a sense of po­etry and magic, while Lim’s wa­ter­colour-in­flu­enced style con­jures up gor­geous vis­tas and char­ac­ter­ful crea­ture de­signs.

Three is­sues in, the plot is al­ready re­veal­ing fas­ci­nat­ing in­ter­con­nec­tions, although there are times when the com­plex sto­ry­telling and mul­ti­ple time­lines get in the way of the book’s emo­tional core. Beau­ti­ful and a touch in­scrutable, Mirror isn’t the most ac­ces­si­ble of the cur­rent batch of Im­age-pub­lished genre comics, but it’s still a lushly crafted odd­ity that’s well worth your at­ten­tion. Saxon Bul­lock

Mirror is beau­ti­ful and a touch in­scrutable

Rios was in­spired by Osamu Tezuka’s 1970-1971 manga Ode To Kir­i­hito, about a dis­ease that turns peo­ple into an­i­mals.

Is he talk­ing about tak­ing up smok­ing?

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