Set in a parallel world where WWII was won with magic, grifter Cinder Byrnes hails from a long line of respected and powerful magicians. This makes things pretty unfortunate considering that he has no magical powers of his own. With the aid of his goblin friend Blacktooth, Cinder learns to solve problems with his fists, a magic bullet spewing revolver, and a devil-may-care attitude.
Check out our episode talking with Rich Douek!
This is the basis for the story that writer Rich Douek sets up in issue one of Gutter Magic. The story starts off pretty fast and takes the reader on a quick journey through the magic filled, and almost “steam-punk” transformed New York City. I really appreciate how Douek doesn’t spoon feed us the story, instead the writer allows the reader to take it in and savor it morsel by morsel.
There are no massive info-dumps to be had in this issue. The largest indicator that the reader has been transported to a land of magic are deftly handled by the art team of Brett Barkley, Jules Rivera, and Nic Shaw. The world we see is old and lived in. This isn’t a world that has largely benefited by the existence of magic. This is a world where magic spells are paid for in blood and violence.
I would encourage lovers of urban fantasy, or readers looking for something outside of the realm of superhero, to check this book out. There’s a two page sequence where magic is used to escape the antagonist where the team pulls the reader into an M.C. Escher world of twists and turns that is worth the price of admission alone. I honestly haven’t enjoyed reading a comic this much in a while, and given the trajectory of this story, I’m sure the team keeps up the momentum.
Go buy this book now.