REVIEW: ‘Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1

Liliana Vess is a Planeswalker, a necromancer, and a powerful villain and hero alike. But now she’s hiding from her past at Strixhaven University, teaching Necromancy. Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 is written by Mairghread Scott, illustrated by Fabiana Mascolo, colored by Francesco Segala and Gloria Martinelli, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire. Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 is published by BOOM! Studios

Try as she may, Liliana can’t hide forever; the presence of an unfamiliar Planeswalker calling for help threatens to upend her newfound stability. But because she wants to help the Multiverse now, she feels like she needs to come to their aid. Unfortunately, this causes a run-in with a Planeswalker she’d be happy never to see again: Tezzeret.

Liliana Vess is an interesting and complex character, and Scott captures this perfectly.  Liliana’s life started with a traumatic failure to save her brother, despite unlocking her necromantic powers. This trauma leads her to seek as much power as possible, believing this to be the key to never being hurt again. But that Liliana is long gone. Scott references enough of Liliana’s past to give readers an idea of who she is without affecting the plot’s forward momentum.

One can’t help but feel sorry for Liliana in this story. This isn’t the same Liliana that made deals with demons—the seemingly heartless necromancer who cared about no one but herself (and, on occasion, Jace). This Liliana is sad, lonely, and broken by the weight of her mistakes and regrets. Strixhaven is serving not only as a place to hide but as an opportunity to try and do good. She may not be able to undo the past, but she can try and protect the future.

Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 does speak of concepts in the larger world that aren’t explained within the story; casual references to other critical Magic characters like Nicol Bolas and Jace Belaren and concepts such as Planeswalking. While readers unfamiliar with the franchise may be a little lost, it’s nothing that will ruin their understanding of the larger story. 

Magic: The Gathering is known for its wide variety of creatures—human, nonhuman, magical, and mundane. Mascolo takes advantage of this, illustrating a large cast with a lot of visual interest. Segala and Martinelli’s beautiful colors enhance this.

Dukeshire’s letters are clear and distinct without taking attention away from the art. And the use of different colors within the speech bubbles is a great choice because it distinguishes narrated flashbacks from present conversations.

While only considered canon within the larger BOOM! Studios Magic comics’ universe, it’s not required reading to understand the larger Magic: The Gathering multiverse. But I highly recommend reading Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 anyway. As a huge Magic fan and an even bigger Liliana fan, I’ve been looking forward to this comic since its announcement. And it went above and beyond my expectations and hopes.

An entertaining read, Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 is perfect for longtime fans, and it’s still accessible for readers brand new to the world of Magic the Gathering. 

Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1
5

TL;DR

An entertaining read, Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 is perfect for longtime fans, and it’s still accessible for readers brand new to the world of Magic the Gathering.