Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
In 2016, Image published the first issue of Greg Rucka‘s and Nicola Scott‘s Black Magick. Black Magick tells the story of Rowan Black a police detective in the town of Portsmouth located somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. She also just happens to be a powerful witch. The story begins after a man takes several people hostage and demands to talk to Rowan. After a tense standoff, he tries to burn her alive after calling her, but she casts a spell that kill throwing fire onto him. She quickly realizes that her identity as a witch has been compromised.
While Rucka may have initially envisioned Black Magick as a police procedural, the story is more focused on witchcraft and the supernatural. There is still the classic cop scene where Rowan he gets called into her supervisors office whenever something goes horribly wrong. Ultimately, Rowan’s effort to untangle the supernatural mystery and come to terms with her powers as a witch are the central core of the story.
The story is aided by the addition of several interesting characters. Alex is Rowan’s best friend and a fellow witch. Rowan also appears to have a complicated relationship with her partner. In addition to the supernatural forces that are allied against Rowan and Alex, they are forced to deal with members of Aria. Aria is a group of witch hunters whose goals are opaque. Finally, there is Rowan’s foulmouthed familiar who guards her home.
Angelica Bastien states that the Black Magick “offers propulsive action, evocative horror and noir, and beautifully emotional drama while the putting the gaze of its complex heroine at the forefront.” Scott’s art is a key component to the comic’s success. Scott chose to hand paint each page with ink wash on board. While this process slows down the book’s production, it gives the Magick a unique look that is gorgeous and earthy at the same. While the comic predominantly in black and white, there are flashes of color are added in key scenes by Chiara Arena.
Greg Rucka is one of the busiest comic writers alive. His first series, Atticus Kodiak, was published in 1996, but Whiteout (1998) caught the the comic book industry’s attention. Rucka was nominated for Best Writer for the Eisner Awards. Since then, he has worked with with DC, Marvel, and created his own characters with Image comics. Both Whiteout (2009) and Old Guard (2020) have been turned into movies. Another one of his series, Stumptown, which was recently turned into a television series that aired on ABC.
Nicola Scott has worked on several series, including Dark Horse’s Star Wars, Halloween Man, Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and Superman. She also worked with Greg Rucka on Wonder Woman. On her website, you can order original art pages from Black Magick.
Where to get Black Magick
You should be able to get Black Magick Volume 1 if your local comic book store is well stocked. You have several options – hardcover, softcover, kindle and comiXology.
Black Magick Volume 2: Awakening II (2019) – paperback, kindle, & comiXogy
Black Magick Volume 3: Ascension I (2021) – paperback
Black Magick: The First Book of Shadows (2019) – Hardcover, kindle and comiXology