Mystic v. 1: Rite of Passage by Ron Marz & Brandon Peterson illus. by Tony Bedard. Crossgeneration Comics Inc, 2002. ISBN 978-1931484008 192 pp. $19.95
Rite of Passage binds the first seven issues of Mystic. At first glance, it looks like a typical chauvinistic guy comic with scantily clad large bosomed women. Thankfully, they turn out to have brains as well as beauty. At the heart though, it is a story of the power of sisters, and how, in spite of typical sibling rivalry, when one is in trouble, the other always comes through.
Magic makes the work of Ciress go round, and Genevieve has spent years studying and preparing for her induction into the Guild Masters, a group of leaders that protect and control magic. When her socialite younger sister Giselle shows up to support Gen, Giselle unintentionally usurps all of the power including that meant for her sister. The seven magical spirits are drawn into Giselle, whom it turns out has been marked as a powerful mystic. Genevieve, though angry at first, quickly sides with her sis when the Guild Masters would destroy Giselle to get their powers back.
Much of the first seven issues is caught up in setting the basic plot of a character who needs to become a hero but isn’t sure how. A mentor and guide in a slightly feline form offers advice along the way as Giselle fights against those who would strip her of her newfound powers. It is unclear by the end of issue seven exactly what the Guild Masters did and what the new Mystic will do, but the drama is high and characters interesting.
The art is bold, rich and vibrant, with beautifully filled in backgrounds. The lavishly illustrated pages are a homage to nouveaux style art popularized in the early 19th and 20th centuries, devilish monsters and creepy skulls and roses abound. The bonus of the seven in one edition are commentary by the creators, writers and artists. All seven covers are appended.
I didn’t find this appealing enough to want to collect the whole set, but my personal tastes in comics run more to romance manga style or fantasy rather than scifi. Recommended for most graphic novel collections.