Mystic: Rite of Passage
by Ron Marz,
Brandon Peterson
(CrossGen, 2002)

"Unintentional" is not a flattering word. It implies error or oversight, not excellence. But it is also descriptive of Mystic: Rite of Passage, a collection of the first seven issues of an excellent new series from Crossgen Comics.

Uninformed is why unintentional is only implied in this review. Only the writer and artist know their purpose, and apologies are offered if this uninformed review is unintentionally wrong. For you see, Mystic sends mixed messages. It is written for a young audience and drawn for more sophisticated readers.

Young, beautiful and silly, Giselle has devoted herself to hedonism. Genevieve, her older, beautiful and serious sibling, has dedicated her life to the study of occult power. But during Gen's initiation into a clutch of sorcerers, Giselle mistakenly receives the arcane powers meant for sis.

Yes, this series is set on a world where magic is as common as cute, and therein lies the rub.

Picture, as did the artist, a hellish, shark-fanged demon that, while trying to abduct Giselle, pauses to say: "I'm not a bad guy! No more so than the next infernal minion. But I got a family to feed, so...." Picture this mixed message over and over, with minor variations. Cute. Serious. Cute. Serious. Cute. Serious. You have pictured Mystic.

And mixed messages lead to mixed feelings, like finding out the beautiful, sexy woman who just winked at you actually has a hair in her eye.

Mystic looks like an exciting, suspenseful, fantasy novel and reads like a sanitized, Saturday morning TV cartoon. That is why it gets a mixed review.

[ by Michael Vance ]
Rambles: 4 January 2003

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