• Mage The Hero Denied #6



    Mage The Hero Denied #6
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: February 14th, 2017.
    Written & Illustrated by: Matt Wagner
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    “Over a year after relocating in order to escape their supernatural enemies, Kevin Matchstick and his family have slowly settled into their new hometown. As Magda searches for the perfect house to anoint with her protection potion, Kevin feels powerless and trapped by his enforced inactivity. Meanwhile, the Umbra Sprite has spent the intervening months cocooned in darkness for the cost of her summoning. Kevin’s ennui is relieved by an unexpected visit from Joe Phat, who reveals the sad news that their former comrade, Kirby Hero, has died. Their reminiscence is broken by the sudden appearance of a rare and mysterious creature.”

    When issue six begins, Kevin and Joe Phat have come face to face with a questing beast, a rare supernatural creature. It sees them and makes a run for it, and they give chase because Kevin knows that it’s a creature that can assist in mystical quests such as his! He sees it as a sign and wonders if it might lead him to The Fisher King. Joe bails on him, he tells Kevin this is ‘your path’ and he takes off.

    Now flying solo, Kevin decides to poke around the neighborhood and see if he can’t find the thing again. He eventually heads inside and his wife wonders where he’s been, coming home at 2am like this. They sit in the kitchen and he explains that Kirby Hero was killed. She’s sympathetic but reminds him that any supernatural activity on his part risks exposing his family to those who would do away with them. They have a bit of an argument over this – she wants him to get a job, but being ‘The Pendragon’ is all he’s ever known. She goes to bed and he stews alone in the kitchen a bit.

    Meanwhile, in the Acheron Insurance building, the Umbra Sprites update their ‘mother’ as to their progress using the homeless shelter as a filter of sorts hoping to track down the true Fisher King. They’ve got nine suspects caged up but soon figure out that none of these candidates are the real deal.

    When Magda goes to work the next day, Kevin heads to Heavy Jefferson’s Magical This-N-That where he acquires some eye drops that should help him see the questing beast he’s so bound and determined to find…

    Wagner continues to do a great job with what would appear to be the final chapter in Kevin Matchstick’s story. The humor and warmth that stems from Kevin’s relationships with his wife and kids grounds the character and makes him human while the maging and wizardry that gives the story its element of the fantastic keeps things entertaining. There’s good suspense here, it’s interesting to see where Kevin’s allies come from and where they disappear to. It’s also interesting to see the subplot with the Umbra Sprites getting increasingly darker as the storyline progresses. The artwork is also up to Wagner’s typically excellent standards. This issue, maybe not so surprisingly, ends on a fairly heavy cliffhanger, but that just serves to keep us hungry for the next installment.





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