Life, Death & Sorcery #1
Writer & Artist: Danny Zabbal
Review by Josh Canales
Introducing us to a couple on the run with some unknown magical presence, Danny Zabbal throws readers directly into the midst of the action as Life, Death & Sorcery opens 100 years before our story takes place. Almost immediately we see the pair get attacked by someone they seem to know with some intense magic. The attacker is trying to retrieve something the couple has taken. With some quick-witted trickery, our couple barely escapes by sending their attacker forward in time.
Jumping 100 years to 1995, we meet an angsty teen named Amelia as she parts ways with her friends. As she is on her way home, the unknown magical presence makes another appearance, speaking to her so only she could hear. Ignoring it, Amelia goes home to sleep, only to have a night full of nightmares. The next day as we learn more about Amelia, the magical presence offers to take her away from her troubles. There is one catch; she has to take this unknown magical voice in her head to its “home”.
Opening on a high note, Life, Death & Sorcery draws readers in with a sense of mystery and excitement, but falls off around the middle of the issue. The issue doesn’t do much in the way of explaining what is going on or who our main characters are, causing a slight disconnect with the story. Danny Zabbal does write interactions between people in a very believable manner, especially family interactions. The short time we see Amelia with her family, it feels very natural and flows like a conversation between sisters really would. As the issue goes on, we see more and more of Amelia, but not much else. It doesn’t do much for world building, the status of magic is unknown and the world this takes place in is a mystery.
Danny Zabbal’s art on the book is simplistic and fun, in almost an Archie-esque manner. The colors create a darker, more mysterious tone more fitting to the story being told. With simple panel work, the issue flows well and is easy to follow, but also fails to portray content dynamically. Overall, the art is nice but lacking that final oomph to push the book forward into being great.
Wait for the trade. Reading in a collected format seems the best way to get the full effect of the interesting story Zabbal is writing. Life, Death & Sorcery is a fun book overall and I am really looking forward to reading the completed story.