Comics

Mean Girls With Magic – Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice

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When Crossgen folded and closed its doors, it was doubtful that we would ever see any of those properties again.  As of 2014, fans of the publisher are still waiting for their favourite series to be continued and the storylines finished off.  In 2011 though, Marvel did try and reboot the properties, a few of them anyways, of which Mystic was one.  Written by G. Willow Wilson and drawn by David López, the miniseries would be fairly self-contained, yet be left wide open for a possible sequel.  Due to poor sales, and because people were not as interested in a reboot as they were in the original material, the efforts by Marvel were soon discontinued.

The book, which was a take on the Cinderella story, would feature two friends who would go on to be enemies as one became an apprentice at the magic school and certainly well-to-do, and the other who would remain poor and jealous of her friend’s good fortune, believing she was robbed.  The story would focus heavily on class distinction as it factored into every part of the story from the way people live in the city, to the way the ‘magic’ and its power is doled out.  As the two friends grow apart because of their new circumstances, the divide between the rich and the poor is made more apparent.

There were some interesting concepts in the book one of which is the way that magic works in their world.  In fact, there really is not any magic at all per se, but a working of certain energies so as to appear as sorcery.  This energy is harvested from the stars during those times an eclipse would happen and is more like a science than anything else.  Of course, that energy is controlled and can only be manipulated by the rich who would then direct those energies towards whatever purpose they see fit, whether practical or simply for entertainment.

Reading this book is like watching a Disney princess movie, not only because of the story, but the beautiful artwork by David López which really made it pop.  His style is inviting with its clean and open look, with a very animated quality to it that fits the book perfectly.  It is a style of art that is not usually seen at the bigger two publishers these days and is frankly, quite refreshing.

The series had a lot of potential going for it.  There are some genuinely funny moments such as the rivalry between Genevieve and some of her school mates that gets a little out of hand at times, but really lightens the mood as the story gets a little dark at times.  It had a great setup with some interesting lead characters in Genevieve and Giselle and the rift that is created between them by events out of their control.  Could they be friends again?  What about the energy harvested by the people in the poorest part of town?  Would the balance shift in the city with the stranglehold by the upper class not being as strong as it once was?  There were a lot of unanswered questions that another series could have addressed and while we might never have that series, this one at least gave the reader closure.  If you are in need of some light reading, or something suitable for a young reader, this book will fit that bill.

4 out of 5

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