Book Review: Magdalena Volume 1 by Ron Marz, Nelson Blake II, Ryan Sook

Magdalena Volume 1 is written by Ron Marz, and illustrated by Nelson Blake II and Ryan Sook. This is a collection of the first volume of Magdalena stories. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the Magdalena is a direct female descendant for Mary Magdalena and Christ that stands as a warrior and defender for the Roman Catholic Church. The current Magdalena, Patience, has her doubts about the virtue of the men in the church giving the orders and has distanced herself from their influence though continuing to fight demons and evil where she finds it. Patience is drawn back to again work with the church as demons seem to hunt for her and the threat of the Anti-Christ on earth and making his play to claim us all seems to be real. Will Patience live long enough to stop the danger and discover who is pulling the strings?

Magdalena is not a well-known story to those that do not follow Witchblade. However, the set up in this collection gives significant background so that new readers will not feel like they are missing anything. The reason for Patience's distrust of the current church is not explained, but it really does not need to be for the story to flow well. Kristof, Patience's mentor that aides her and works to reunite her with the church, seems to harbor a little reservation about the church's leadership as well, which will not shock people who have been paying attention to the church and politics in recent years.

The art in Magdalena is beautiful and captures the details of mood, storyline, and individual emotions perfectly. Readers of other popular Image titles will not be surprised, since the artwork is what I expect from their team of writers and artists. They consistently release stories with adult themes, strong heroines, and fantastic artwork. I have yet to be disappointed with the artwork for any Image Comic releases, and this holds true here as well.

I recommend the Magdalena Volume 1 collection to graphic novel and comic fans that have enjoyed Witchblade, Spawn, and similar works. Readers that enjoy graphic novels with strong women, conspiracies and scary children will all enjoy this as well. Those that would be offended by the violence or twist on religious teachings are not likely to be looking forward to this title, but they would be the only people I suggest skip this title.
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