The penultimate issue of high fantasy guns and wizardry adventure, Gutter Magic, has delivered another solid mix of action and storytelling prowess.
To say I’m going to be sad to see the back of this four issue run of wonderfully realised characters against an immaculately detailed universe would be a huge understatement. What lurks within the delicious artwork of the latest Gutter Magic front cover is something that would be comfortably at home upon the big screen. It really is that good.
I won’t spend too much time covering plotlines here, if you haven’t read any of Rich Douek’s tales of Cinder and Blacktooth yet I’d hate to be the one to kill any of the surprises coming your way. I’ll quickly say that issue three sees a brotherly fallout between Cinder and Victor, the recruitment of the Ratcatcher, The Morgue’s daughter Shiver back in all her twisted glory, magnificent airships, guns, bullets, broken bones and fantastic magic! Yeah, that’s a decent overview.
Where issues one and two delivered moments of action in between story building, issue three ramps up the pace considerably. This time out Douek has gone all action movie on us and keeps the pedal to the floor right up to the closing section. It reads like a runaway train with barely a moment for the reader to breathe and take in what’s going on. I’d certainly recommend a second, and possibly third read through to truly appreciate the journey.
The close sets up nicely for the concluding chapter and I’m already excited to see where this tale takes us.
In terms of quality the team behind Gutter Magic haven’t dropped a single note. Rather than being a little standalone story from a cardboard world, Douek and artist, Brett Barkley have produced something more akin to glimpsing a little slice of incredible adventure that’s taking place in a much bigger, living and breathing universe. There are no hollow characters and I can imagine beyond the story of Cinder so many other equally thrilling adventures are playing out. It’s quite the creation.
Barkley’s work is striking and fantastically detailed, when coupled with the wonderful colour delivered by Jules Rivera every page has a life of its own with a power to captivate the reader. Again, another reason to read and re-read.
With one issue left, Gutter Magic holds up as a stellar slice of work from all involved. If the climax can live up to what’s gone before then everyone had better buckle up and hold on tight!
Find Gutter Magic here