The Magicians #3, which is published by BOOM! Studios’ imprint Archaia, is written by Lev Grossman and Lilah Sturges, illustrated by Pius Bak, colored by Gabriel Cassata, and lettered by Mike Fiorentino. The previous issue deals with the aftermath of Sophie’s fire spell backfiring and killing her. The rest of the group, still completely in shock, try to figure out what to do. The hedge magicians want to come clean about what happened with the belief that it’s the right thing to do. Meanwhile, the Brakebills students know the consequences of performing magic outside of school. They opt to stay quiet and never speak of this by implementing a binding spell amongst everyone. However, they soon find out that this isn’t just something that can be completely forgotten.
The Magicians #3 picks up with the group still being in shock that Sophie isn’t dead. With Dean Fogg and Keshawn out of the loop in regards to what happened, they make a choice to train the entire group how to use battle magic. Given that battle magic is extremely dangerous, Dean Fogg and Keshawn outline the strict rules and procedures of how their training is going to be. However, tensions are still at an all-time high because Sophie’s somehow alive and they don’t have a plan on how to handle explaining what happened. The division between Brakebills students and hedge magicians stars building up again and ominous forces are beginning to make their move.
I was on the edge of my seat when I finished reading the previous issue. Even though there have been numerous moments within Grossman’s original books that left me feeling speechless, Sophie’s death felt much more emotional. From the beginning of the series, she was introduced as someone who cared for magic and others. Seeing her die the way she did was completely unexpected, even for any death within The Magicians franchise. I was hoping that they would’ve more into what actually happened to her or if any explanation would be given. Some interesting theories came up in this issue, but having a more concrete answer would’ve made me decide whether I should have cared for her “death” in the first place. There’s also the point of whether her death actually had any meaning only for her to still be alive only after one issue in the series.
One of the best aspects of this issue is the debate on battle magic that Dean Fogg and Keshawn have. The name alone implies danger, but battle magic has been essential in this franchise. Given that they’re both adults, it makes sense that Dean Fogg and Keshawn know the dangers that come with using those kinds of spells. However, they realize that something ominous is coming for the school and possibly for the group of students they’ve taken on. Without going into too much detail, it appears that the students are up against more than they can bargain for. There are always issues with using battle magic, which I’m hoping that the series goes into more detail about.
Speaking of battle magic, I have to praise the way the battle sequences were drawn by Bak. Fans of The Magicians show on the SyFy channel have seen spells begin used, but most of those deal with hand movements. While there’s an art to seeing how the spells are cast on the show, seeing them in comic form is incredible. The fights look exactly how I always imagined they would but there’s also something much more unique about them. The spells and all the colors are an art form of their own, which was quite pleasing to look at. I’m excited to see how future battles look as the knowledge of the students grows.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Magicians #3. Sophie’s resurrection added a much more surprising direction that I didn’t think the series would take. I’m excited to see what the explanation is for her resurrection but knowing this franchise, I have faith that it’ll be something amazing. The ending of this issue is quite shocking, but it calls for a much more intriguing aspect that I’m looking forward to seeing develop. I know it’s only three issues in, but I’m already referring to this as one of my favorite comic series.
The Magicians #3 will be available on January 8th wherever comic books are sold.
The Magicians #3
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Magicians #3.