REVIEW: ‘The Magicians,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Magicians #1

The Magicians #1, which is published by BOOM! Studios’ imprint Archaia, is written by Lev Grossman and Lilah Sturges, illustrated by Pius Bak, colored by Dan Jackson, and lettered by Mike Fiorentino. Earlier this year, BOOM! Studios adapted the first book in Grossman’s series into a comic book but told through the perspective of Alice Quinn. Given the positive feedback from that comic, a new series was announced with a whole new set of characters. As a long time fan of Grossman’s books and the TV show on the Sy Fy network, I was very excited to read new stories within this universe.

Many years have passed since Quentin and his friends have graduated from Brakebills Academy for the Magical Pedagogy. Dean Fogg welcomes a new group of students to the school who also happen to be hedge magicians. This is quite a historic accomplishment since hedge magicians are known for practicing unsanctioned magic and are often labeled as dangerous. This news is met with mixed reactions as some feel like these new students would disgrace the name of the school. Tempers are at an all-time high from both hedge magicians and Brakebills students as they try to get along in a new class.

After reading the comic adaption of the first book, I was eager to see if there would be any more comics within this universe. I was pleasantly surprised that new comics would be released, especially since they follow a new group of students. Reading about new characters within a familiar environment adds a level of nostalgia while also keeping me in suspense for whatever comes next. While I appreciated reading The Magicians: Alice’s Story, I was already familiar with how the story would play out. A new story with new characters will surely make this a much more memorable experience than reading an adaptation.

This new team is much more diverse, which is adds a new feeling to the overall series. The new students are also hedge magicians, which will hopefully mean more will be revealed on how it works. The television series attempted that within the first series but not to the extent that I expected them to.  Most importantly, the hedge magicians all seem like they have their own reasons for being there. I can already tell this will add a grounded perspective that wasn’t there in the original trilogy.

There was bound to be resentment from the Brakebills students after hedge magicians were invited without taking any proper lessons. Since reading the books, I was given that there was a sense of elitism within the students Brakebills. I’m glad to see that this series is going forward in terms of getting rid of this notion. The hedge magicians in this new series all come from different backgrounds, which may have prevented them from being admitted into Brakebills from the start. However, they’re being given a shot in proving how their previous knowledge of magic can improve the ways of formal education. I’m hoping that this is explored in future issues of the series.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Magicians #1. It’s a new start to an already immensely popular series. This new group shows such promise for never-before-seen magical adventures that I’m extremely looking forward to. The fact that they need to team up with Brakebills students who may not be as excited for them to be there adds this new dynamic within this universe. The ending was completely unexpected but sets the tone for how I imagine the rest of the series will go.

The Magicians #1 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

The Magicians #1
4.5

TL;DR

I really enjoyed reading The Magicians #1. It’s a new start to an already immensely popular series. This new group shows such promise for never-before-seen magical adventures that I’m extremely looking forward to. The fact that they need to team up with Brakebills students who may not be as excited for them to be there adds this new dynamic within this universe. The ending was completely unexpected but sets the tone for how I imagine the rest of the series will go.