Numbers Racket

June 22, 2004

Mystic: The Mathemagician
Publisher: CrossGen
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Alan Lopestri

By Avi Green

I actually wrote a review of this before, but now, here's another one for the TPB, which, in my effort to write something more authentic as a review, I wrote as well.

It’s a shame that for now, Mystic, one of CrossGen’s first titles, is coming to an end, since, especially when Tony Bedard took over, it really started picking up speed. But it’s still a title well worth reading, and if you can buy this latest compilation, of Giselle Villard’s matching wits with an evil wizard called Artemus, who claims to be part of the “Geometer Guild”.

Following her trip to a world without magic, she now journeys to the Dark Magi lands, to question the Magus, ruler of the land, on how she ended up stranded in a dimension where magic wasn’t useful. Following en encounter with a rebel former member of the Magus’ guards, Tancred, who turns out to be pretty screwed up himself, she finds out the appalling way that the Magus and another adversary of hers, the sorceress Vashua, are in league with Artemus, who’s got mathematical sums written all over his head, who paralyzes her and her magical powers and then takes her sister Genevive and the other members of the circle of guilds prisoner in his secret fortress hideout, where Giselle finds another old adversary of hers, Darrow, imprisoned. How Artemus manages all this contains a most interesting twist.

One of the things that makes it Mystic work so well is the tongue-in-cheek, satirical approach used in the storytelling, such as how she speaks in a slang-like dialect (“Aw, c’mon”, and “I’m gonna check on Tancred.”) similar to real life. There were some parts here that really made me laugh pleasantly, including at least one possible in-joke regarding Giselle.

Alan Lopestri’s artwork puts him solidly on the map as one of the best good girl artists in comics, and his artwork here continues to shine well.

It’s a shame that this marvelous series has come to an end now, and I hope that in the future, it’ll be revived and that Giselle and all the other characters who make up her world will return. With his writing here, Tony Bedard has proven himself to be a very talented writer, and this trade collection is one that I’d very much recommend for some great escapism into the world of fantasy and sorcery.

Sad part: I don't even know if this was actually published or went to press! Sad, isn't it? Sigh. With CGE now filing for Chapter 11, it's just plain depressing.

Copyright 2004 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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