The Magic Order #5

After the murder of his father and the attacks on himself and his wife, Gabriel has finally agreed to join with Regan and Cordelia to confront and take down Madame Albany. But first they must find her, so they approach someone who knows where she is, and the way they get him to confess to them is nothing short of brilliant.

This sort of thing really is the biggest strength of this series. Writer Mark Millar has come up with some wildly creative and inventive uses of “magic” in these issues, and it is worth buying each one just to see what he comes up with next.

Unfortunately, this issue also showcases what I think is one of Mark Millar’s biggest weaknesses. There is a SHOCKING PLOT TWIST in this issue. I won’t spoil it exactly, but the twist is that someone turns out to be a traitor. On the one hand, no, I didn’t see it coming. And once revealed, it sort of makes sense. But the thing is that it that it just doesn’t feel as impactful as it should, and I think it’s because if you’re familiar with Mark Millar’s work then you’re used to this typical plot twist. He’s used it in Ultimates 2, Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates, Kick Ass, Nemesis, Starlight, MPH, and Huck, and that’s just from the work of his that I have read.

So now it feels almost like a weakness in Millar’s storytelling, it’s like he doesn’t have the confidence in his own ability to tell a story without some gimmick. This story was just fine without this twist, good people using magic vs. bad people using magic, but Millar didn’t think that was good enough and needed to fall back on his proven trope of the traitor to make is seem more clever than it is.

Yes, I’m probably being too hard on this. It’s been a good series up to this point, and this was a good chapter, and I’m still looking forward to its conclusion. Perhaps there will be another twist or two before it ends?

And the art by Olivier Coipel is great! Chacebook rating: 4 STARS


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