It’s here! It’s here! Okay, so the empaths reading this may have picked up on the fact that I’m just a bit excited. You know why? Charmed is back for season 10! It’s been so long since Paul Ruditis kicked all kinds of ass writing season 9; a season that expanded the “Charmed” story in epic, exciting and controversial ways (yes, I mean Prue). But the wait is over and Pat Shand is now at the writer’s desk as we take Charmed into the first season that has double digits. So without further ado, this is my review for issue 1. However, I should first warn all readers that this review will contain some spoilers that are as big and juicy as Gaxageal. You have been warned!
The first instalment of the season; “No Country For Old Ones” takes place over a few months and focuses on the Halliwell sisters (Piper, Phoebe and Paige…in case you forgot their names) thwarting several attempts on their lives by a demon named Gaxageal. But Gaxageal is not just any demon, no siree bob! He is in fact an Old One; a demon that existed long before the creation of words. So he’s a big deal. Green, hulky and waving his giant tentacles in the air like he just don’t care…which, by the way, is something I’ve always loved about the comics. Budget restraints led to most demons on the show looking human, whereas in the comics, there are obviously no such restraints; so we get to see some cool monsters far more regularly.
We are quickly reintroduced to all the main characters and this is done in a way that doesn’t waste any time jumping into the story and getting into the action. During this issue, we also have an unknown voice informing us that he has been watching the Halliwell sisters and gathering info on them. This is a pretty good way of recapping what each character has going on, without it actually feeling like a recap. I think if someone wanted to start with season 10 having never watched or read Charmed before, it wouldn’t be too hard to do with this issue.
Now let’s talk magic. That witchy, kick-ass, magic. You won’t be disappointed with this issue. The only reason you’d be disappointed is if you hate when the sisters use that witchcraft stuff and you were hoping for an issue where Piper shows us how to make cakes without the bottom going soggy. We have magic powers galore; Piper setting demons ablaze, Phoebe taking to the air and putting those martial arts to good use and Paige… well, Paige is just bad ass. Something I’ve always loved about Paige is that she often seems kind of freaked out by her own strength. In season 8 she tosses two demons into the air and slams them against a trash can. Look at her expression when she does it, she cringes all: “Holy crap, did I do that?” There’s a moment like that at the end of this issue and I just have to love her for it.
That takes me nicely onto dialogue. The dialogue is so spot on in this. Paige is particularly fun to read, but all the characters sound as they should. Piper’s dry sarcasm, Phoebe’s charm and Paige’s quirkiness are all there and the witty banter between the sisters is very enjoyable. I could quote so many lines from this issue that made me laugh. It’s Charmed style wit at it’s best.
We catch up with Prue and Cole who are also being watched. It’s fun to see how The Nexus of the All has changed as well as get a little glimpse at Prue’s new powers.
The issue ends with the Halliwell’s voyeurs being revealed as a demonic duo called Fritz and Valen. The scheming pair speak of how the Warren line never seems to truly die and talk about finding an Ancient Athame capable of destroying souls. Worst of all, they know where to find it!
We have a new artist. Elisa Feliz. So far, I am loving her art work. The likenesses are great, the settings are drawn very well with lovely details added, that I can assure her do not go unnoticed or unappreciated by us fans. The magical effects are illustrated very well; from pretty sparkly orbs, to fiery vanquishes. Teamed with colours by Valentina Cuomo, this issue is rather stunning. The artwork is vibrant, colourful and very appealing to the eye. David Seidman remains the cover artist and his art is as beautiful as ever. I particularly like the cover for this issue; it has been said that this season will have a dark edge similar to season 3 and 4… I can see that in the intense tone of the cover.
I am so excited to see where this season goes. The writing is so strong and I can just feel that this season is going to be so much fun. I have a feeling we’re going to have some really dramatic moments and I am more than confident after reading this issue that my faith in Pat Shand is well placed. I already felt pretty secure in that, in no small part due to the very open dialogue he’s had with the fan base and the passion he’s shown for the project. But now, you can take that surety and times it by P3, because I truly believe that the series is in great hands.
Thank you to Pat Shand, Paul Ruditis, Zenescope and everyone else who works on the comics, for keeping Charmed alive, for treating the series and the characters with such love and respect… and for giving us new and exciting stories that have that wonderful “jump into their world and block out that pesky reality for a while” vibe that Charmed always had in spades.
I look forward to issue 2- “Magically Malicious”