September 9, 2010

Top Cow Reviews: The Magdalena #3

The Magdalena #3
Top Cow
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Nelson Blake II
Cover: Ryan Sook

“Blood of the Lamb pt 3”: This issue opens with Patience scaling the walls of a castle on her way to hopefully confront the Anti-Christ. During this we are privy to a conversation between Patience and her mentor Kristoff that obviously took place before this mission started. It does help with explaining the motivation of both as to why Patience has decided to come back (albeit on her terms), and why Kristoff serves the Vatican. So, while Patience is doing her best Spider-Man impression, Kristoff is playing the part of lost hiker as he tries to gain entrance at the ground level. After almost being turned away, he’s soon invited in by the sexy red head of the house, and of course she’s a bit too friendly, but that might just be how they do things in the Ukraine. After refusing her advances, she decides that it’s time he meets the real “her,” and that’s when we get the horns, talons, and spiked tongue. It also seems as if this demon has a particular grudge against Patience, since she killed her brothers in the first two issues. So this is payback time, as it seems as if this has been nothing more than a trap set just for these two.

Three issues into Magdalena and it seems as if Marz is just teasing us with the story so far. Nothing wrong with that when the story is this good, it’s just that I’m a little anxious to get things going a bit more. There is, however, great character building and the dialog between Kristoff and Patience is damn near perfect! Marz has them play very well off of each other with a very natural back and forth banter that hopefully continues well into the series. Even the fight scene didn’t lend itself to corny one liners and shtick, but played out panel by panel with the serious intensity it was meant to have. Marz did have Kristoff deliver a pretty nice line when it was perfect to do so, as well as the follow up comment from Patience.

If the minor delay in the release of this title keeps yielding great artwork from Nelson Blake II, then I’m all for it. This guy just continues to improve, and each issue of Magdalena has looked fantastic! From the close ups to the distant shots he keeps the eye entertained and moving through the story. I have noticed on several of the panels during the action scenes that the background only shows up when necessary to the action or just for a place of reference for the characters. Other than that you get the full on fight as Patience and Kristoff go up against the demon. The fact that it took up most of the book didn’t bother me, because it’s just a fun fight to look at over and over again.

Now, the overall plot has me a bit concerned as to “where do you go after you’ve defeated the Anti-Christ?” I’m pretty sure there will be a twist or two in the future, but that’s just where my head has been at since the first issue. Plus, who actually said that Patience would actually defeat the Anti-Christ and his followers? Oh, and did anyone else notice that the Anti-Christ looks a bit older in this issue? That may or may not be a hint as to where the character is going to go in the story, but if it’s legit then maybe Patience won’t have to worry about killing a child after all.

The art is great and you have characters that display the duo dynamic quite well. Each of them having an issue with how the church is doing things. Patience was screwed over by the Vatican and will continue to do God’s work, just on her terms because she only trusts herself. Kristoff’s role is one steeped in family tradition and honor, and he’s the only one he trusts to train up the woman who would step into the role of the Magdalena. Both have a legitimate case, and it’s great that each one is being shown without the book becoming all preachy and muddled with nonsense.

So for anyone not on this title yet, or who turned away from Magdalena years ago (like I did), I say give this one a chance and see how you like it. Plus, Ryan Sook has pumped out yet another great looking cover, and for all of those people who speak Latin, give that stained glass window a look!

Infinite Speech



  1. Kristin

    Huh. Well, I’m pretty much convinced that I need to read this. May wait for a trade, though.

  2. I’d suggest the trade as well Kristin since at that point you’ll get everything at once and it might read a little better. As I said in the review there were some gaps in the release date but it has been worth the wait.

  3. Billy

    Tpb +1!!!:D

  4. […] getting my art from.  Artifacts artist Michael Broussard was sitting front and center along with Nelson Blake II and Afua Richardson. Now if Rocafort and Sejic would have been in the place, it would have been a […]

  5. […] of the Lamb pt 4″: After avoiding a trap last issue, Patience and Kristof leave the Ukraine for France to continue their mission to find the son of […]

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