ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Necromancer’s Map,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Necromancer's Map #1

The Necromancer’s Map #1 is published by Vault Comics, written by Andrea Fort and Michael Christopher Heron, with art by Sam Beck, colors by Ellie Wright, and letters by AndWorld Designs. The series is a continuation of Songs For The Dead, featuring the same creative team.

The Necromancer’s Map #1 finds the necromancer Bethany and Elissar, her now-dead prone-to-brawling companion, off to find the Covenant, a sanctuary for Bethany’s otherwise reviled magic. However, while their map is written in symbols of Foggard origin, they have not been used for hundreds of years.

Now, with the help of a young wizard named Jonas, whose knowledge may unravel the map’s secrets, Bethany and Elissar discover a mysterious illness, void sickness, plaguing The Foggard temple, home to the ancient order of mages. But thanks to their recent and violent encounter at Boulder’s Envy, Bethany and Elissar are ill-equipped to take on the situation.

Despite being marketed as for readers new and old, The Necromancer’s Map #1 is hard to understand without having read Songs For The Dead. That story immediately starts off feeling convoluted since the world-building has already, most likely, been established in the previous run. That being said, the tumultuous relationship between Bethany and Elissar is compelling. The two have a clear history with Bethany having raised Elissar back from the dead. The book and their dialogue, especially, delve into the murky ethics of being a necromancer.

Bethany also explores this further in her conversations with Jonas as she begins to question her own motives for using her powers. However, Bethany must decide if raising the dead, without their consent, is worth saving lives. Meanwhile, Elissar feels like he is unfairly tethered to Bethany since being brought back from the afterlife. Though he uses his resurrection to tie-up loose ends on his own quest.

The Necromancer’s Map #1 marks my first time exploring the world of Bethany and Elissar. And while I am still confused and lost on a lot of history between the characters and the world as a whole, I am deeply intrigued by this story. Bethany’s empathy is relatable and anyone who has ever dealt with grief knows the pain of wanting to bring a loved one back. The idea has been explored hundreds of times whether it be in Full Metal: Alchemist or even “The Deathly Hallows” stories within Harry Potter. However, much like everyone grieves differently, The Necromancer’s Map #1 explores these themes in a unique way fitting of Bethany.

Outside of Fort and Heron’s narrative, Beck’s art is a shining beacon within the story. Every character’s expression is beautifully captured and adds to the emotional punch the comic packs. Coupled with Wright’s fantastic colors, which I have raved about in other comic reviews, the art adds a breath of whimsy to the fantastical story. The detailing over Elissar, showing his undead status, is particularly well done. He has an ethereal glow that jumps off the page and offers a strong visual cue that shows how separate he is from the rest of the world.

Overall, The Necromancer’s Map #1 is not the easiest comic to jump into but it is well worth the ride. Fans of high fantasy should absolutely add this to their pull list. And while the genre of fantasy is usually not my cup of tea, I will be waiting on edge for the next issue nonetheless.

The Necromancer’s Map #1 is available in comic book stores everywhere August 28, 2019.


The Necromancer's Map #1
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TL;DR

Overall, The Necromancer’s Map #1 is not the easiest comic to jump into but it is well worth the ride. Fans of high fantasy should absolutely add this to their pull list. And while the genre of fantasy is usually not my cup of tea, I will be waiting on edge for the next issue nonetheless.