This issue begins a new story arc that has Patience and Kristof searching for a piece of the One True Cross. Even though she doesn’t feel that this is a mission she should be undertaking, Cardinal Innocent assures her that she is perfect for this. It’s also quickly revealed to her that she is able to authenticate the pieces of wood in a way unique to her. The piece they are looking for has been found in Mexico, but the location isn’t a secret as the two quickly find out. Which only means that there are those who would kill to posses this ancient relic, and that just complicates things for Patience.
It’s great to see Nelson and Marquez back on the pages of The Magdalena! From that opening sequence with Patience and Kristof fighting the demon, to the ornate detail of some of the backgrounds, it’s just one amazing looking book time and time again. There is one panel where the smoke rising from the demon is used as a border which gives that scene a little extra kick. I’ll also add that the “Yeah, I just did that” look on the face of Patience is just the icing on the cake. Not to mention the fight choreography for the last few pages was damn near perfect in terms of accuracy. The visual story here is just as good as Marz’s dialog, which has me secretly hoping that maybe we’ll get a silent issue that just lets the artists showcase their skills a bit more.
The book isn’t just all visual flash, as Marz is writing a pretty good story here as well. There is a certain dynamic to Patience and Kristof’s partnership that helps me to tolerate her otherwise by the numbers sidekick. Though I am hoping at some point we get Patience on more of a solo agenda and a deeper look into who she is. Aside from that, this issue begins a new arc that is still new reader friendly and very well paced out. Plus, Marz hits you with a sequence that makes for one hell of a cliff hanger. It was also pretty cool that he touched on the whereabouts of Anton from the first arc. This is also used to illustrate that Patience isn’t too trusting of the Church, so it will be interesting to see how Marz approaches the return of young Anton later in the series. I’m pretty sure that Cardinal Innocent isn’t going to remain cool about not knowing where he is for too long.
This title is only nine issues deep, and this creative team is quickly making this the definitive Magdalena series. Effectively changing my mind regarding the character and Top Cow’s decision to start this title again. Since the first issue there has been a solid and steady build, so I’m hoping that these guys keep taking the subject matter to new and exciting levels for the fans.