Written by Roger Langridge
Illustrated by Jeremy Treece
Colors by Omi Remalante
Letters by Simon Bowland
Published by Dynamite Comics
Release Date: 06/17/2015
Almost four months have passed since the debut issue, but finally this week we see the return of the classic Lee Falk character in King: Mandrake the Magician #2 from Dynamite Comics. It’s become common to see the creators of an ongoing title frequently take a sabbatical, usually to allow the artist to catch up or get the writer’s creative juices flowing again. It is a bit unusual to see such a delay between a first and second issue on a limited series. That being said, after reading this issue the wait was well worth it.
Issue two picks up right where we left off, with Mandrake and Karma captured by one of Narda’s soldiers, we see Acheron (who has possessed Cleopatra) and his dark supernatural abilities battle against Mandrake’s power of illusion. As a result, our heroes find themselves transported to the Royal Palace in Cockaigne where they come face to face with the magician’s wife (Narda). It is here when Mandrake’s discovers that Narda (now the head of the snake) is using a gatestone to teleport herself and others to steal powerful mystical artifacts from around the world. More than that, she threatens and then ages the leaders of the world by ten years with a spell, giving them an ultimatum to surrender or face certain death. The issue concludes with Narda giving Mandrake an ultimatum of his own.
If you are familiar with Falk’s universe and the cast in the classic Mandrake comics, my guess is you are enjoying this series as much as I am. It can at times be a little difficult to dissect, especially with Narda’s backstabbing of Mandrake (something I would have never imagined seeing in the old strips). Whether or not Narda is acting on her own recognizance or perhaps unknown forces are at play has yet to be seen, but so far it appears to be one of the most unexpected betrayals of the heart. Even seeing Narda strike Karma (once the closest of friends) is heartbreaking. There are still signs of love between the married couple, but Narda’s wickedness and commitment to her new role is obvious and frightening.
Jeremy Treece continues to grow on me with his technique that combines a cartoonish appearance with a stylish finish, giving this book a sort of animated elegance that I did not expect to see in a Mandrake book. Omi Remalante’s color work is equally impressive, lending an illuminating touch one might expect in such a spellbinding story.
Despite the long wait between issues, I am entirely committed to this series. Roger Langridge continues to conjure up a fascinating spellbinding script that captures the spirit Falk created many decades ago. His writing and reimagining if you will of those classic characters is making this a truly magical comic series.
REVIEW: KING: MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN #2
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)