Mind Capsules – Legendary Star-Lord #9 and King: Mandrake the Magician #1

Legendary Star-Lord #9

Writer – Sam Humphries
Artist – Paco Medina
Inker – Juan Vlasco
Colours – David Curiel

Come the end of the latest issue of Guardians of the Galaxy, it looked as if our heroes were transformed by the Black Vortex into more powerful versions of themselves.  Here, we find out that it was just a reflection of what they could be should they have chosen to submit.  One person who does choose to accept is Angel and he joins Gamora and Beast as the newly transformed.  What follows is more arguing between the team members until Mister Knife shows up to solve the problem for them.  Sam Humphries continues the fun and the action with Kitty giving Peter a hard time about wanting to use the Vortex, to which he really does not have anything to say.  The way the teams are being split down the middle is interesting to see and you can predict that soon enough, more people will submit to gaining more powers and it will be those without against those that do.  Thane continues to impress this issue, showing some of his father’s attitude as he deals with Mister Knife/J’son and speaking of father/son relationships, there was one moment in the book where it looked as if J’son was going to blow a gasket when Peter was mentioned.  When those two eventually meet up, it should be a battle of epic proportions and whether it comes to physical blows or words, the two are in for a fight.  It still remains to be seen exactly how the Brood fit into all of this and though it will probably be made apparent soon enough, it is one of the most intriguing aspects of the book to make itself known so far.  The only downside to this crossover thus far, is its size.  At the moment, there is no conceivable reason it needs to be as large as it is going to be unless looking at it from a purely monetary point of view.  As it stands, the Black Vortex is still firing on all cylinders and hopefully it remains that way.

4 out of 5

King Mandrake the Magician #1
King: Mandrake the Magician #1

Writer – Roger Langridge
Artist – Jeremy Treece

Mandrake the Magician takes center stage in Dynamite’s latest title to fall under the King banner and it immediately distinguishes itself from its brethren in both tone and artwork.  Roger Langridge provides a fun story that sees the venerable magician a little bored and wanting to help his fellow man out.  So it is that he decides to hold a charity show with all the proceeds being donated to help with various relief efforts.  But Mandrake, who is a master of illusion, decides to use some real magic which always carries a cost, and after the show there is a chance he might not be up to battling with one of his old foes.  Landridge stays true to Mandrake’s character, but also gives the reader enough information so that should they be new to the character, they will have an idea of who he is and what he does.  The issue sets everything up perfectly, introducing both hero, supporting cast and villain as well as leaving the book on a cliff-hanger to bring you back for more.  Aside from being a shade more serious than the other titles story-wise, the artwork is a sharp departure from what has been seen in the King line up until this point.  At first, Mandrake looks like he could be a puppet, but it quickly improves and the quirky art-style by Jeremy Treece really starts to grow on you.  While it would have been nice to see the book associate itself just a little bit more with the others of the line, setting itself apart is working quite well for it.  Like all the King books so far, this one can be called a win with a solid effort by the creative team.

3.5 out of 5

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