In the first issue of Rise of the Magi a young Asa Stone was sent from the world of Rune to Earth with a small vial of magic. The magic was scratched off the surface of the Orb, an object made of all the concentrated magic that exists in the universe.
Once arriving on Earth, specifically Times Square in New York City, Asa has to find a way to keep the magic safe from the monsters of Rune that followed him through the portal, while also trying to find a way back home.
The first issue was one of my recent favorites, but this time around there were some small problems. First is the issue with trying to describe what and where Rune is in relation to Earth. From a reader’s perspective, I’m not all that interested in whether Rune is another planet or if it’s, as the comic states, a “reality in the spaces between our own.” That description sounds magical and esoteric, but it doesn’t really mean anything and I’m distracted by trying to parse it. Does that mean it’s not a physical place? If so, how is it a reality? If it is a physical place, why not just have it be a physical place and avoid the mental gymnastics? Take Star Wars for instance. I’m not interested in which specific galaxy it takes place in; merely knowing that it’s far, far away is enough to service my suspension of disbelief.
Also, the sub-plot developing about the still open rift between Rune and Earth felt like extra weight. Revisiting that part of the story interrupted the flow from one scene to the next. Having said that, I’m curious to see if something could happen that would make it an integral part of the main story line, but on a micro level it felt wonky.
Despite the minor quibbles I had with Rise of the Magi #2, this continues to be a great adventure story. The art by Sumeyye Kesgin and Mirka Andolfo is fantastic, and Marc Silvestri‘s writing is compelling enough to whet my appetite for the next issue. This title should be on your reading list if you’re looking for a great fantasy story.