ADVANCE COMIC REVIEW: Gutter Magic #3 – The Spire | FanboysInc

ADVANCE COMIC REVIEW: Gutter Magic #3 – The Spire

By Buddy Beaudoin

ADVANCE COMIC REVIEW: Gutter Magic #3 - The Spire

Writer: Rich Douek

Artists: Brett Barkley, Jules Rivera, Nic Shaw


IDW Publishing

In the first two issues of IDW’s Gutter Magic, we follow Cinder Byrnes and his goblin pal Blacktooth as they attempt to track down information on Robert Oppenheimer, the man believed to be the author of an ancient spell. There’s much of the same in the the third issue, but now it would seem that the whole world, even those they think are on their side, are against them.

ADVANCE COMIC REVIEW: Gutter Magic #3 - The Spire

Gutter Magic # 3 – Page 2

Gutter Magic #3 opens up right where the second issue leaves us off. Cinder has crashed his cousin’s party and attracted the powerful sorceress, Morgue. She takes a bit of Victor’s soul and demands that he deliver Cinder to her to return a stolen book. As we open up, we learn that Victor may have some altruism in him yet as he plans to let Cinder go free after giving him a stern talking to. As thanks, Cinder steals his airship with the help of Blacktooth and a double-crossing Ratcatcher and makes his way towards the forbidden spire in the middle of the city.

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The art seems to get tighter with each issue, but the airship segments are really something gorgeous. Cinder and Blacktooth are attacked by their pill-sized nemesis, Shiver, and the way that the art team has crafted mid-air magic and teleportation is excellent. Since the world they’ve built is so dreadful, the bright magic colors in contrast with that look astounding and make the power of the magic users all the more palpable.

ADVANCE COMIC REVIEW: Gutter Magic #3 - The Spire

Gutter Magic #3 – Page 5

What seemingly only Cinder knew was that the spire was guarded by a dragon, so now the two warring parties on airships have a common, and gigantic, enemy to deal with. Again, the use of color and the panel design on these pages are where the art team shine. Since Shiver is undead, she has no problem slitting the dragon’s throat as it attempts to make a meal of her — proving that her character is far more of a problem for Cinder and Blacktooth than we’ve seen thus far.

Gutter Magic #3 – Page 13

Inside the spire, the art changes quite a bit. The outside world is grimy and bustling. There’s a plague about, and you can really tell from how the world is drawn. The interior of the spire is sleek and shiny. It seems that, in here, technology takes more of role than the magic of the outside world. Also, in here is where Oppenheimer lives. As the book closes, we get a few teasing images of him inside some sort of giant mechanical contraption that seems to be keeping him alive.

The world building of Gutter Magic is fantastic. It grows slowly, but with each issue we learn more about the world and it seems that the writing and planning on behalf of the art department must have been painstaking. Though there’s only one issue left, the way they’ve crafted their universe makes this book feel like it could have sequel after sequel worth of content for the reader to digest.

ADVANCE COMIC REVIEW: Gutter Magic #3 - The Spire

Gutter Magic #3 – Page 19

The “Best There Is:” The detail in the art makes these pages beautiful. Douek has proven to have a firm grasp on his storytelling, and the world that comes to life in Gutter Magic is bright and fantastical. For a four-part series, there’s a lot of content in here to catch.

The “Not Very Nice:” In fact, there’s so much going on that ending this book brings up some concerns. Between Victor and Morgue, Cinder and Shiver, and the duo of Cinder and Blacktooth tracking down Oppenheimer, there’s a lot of set up in the first three issues. With only one issue left, it’s beginning to feel like some things may go unresolved.

FBI Score: 8.5 out of 10. Gutter Magic is an elegantly illustrated tale of fantasy. The world building is top of its class, and they whole team manages to pack so much content into each issue that it’s worth reading each one two or three times to really appreciate all it has to offer. If you’re not reading this series, you’ve got some time to catch up. Gutter Magic #3 will hit shelves on March, 9.

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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