Charmed always had a special place in my heart, not for what it was, and not really for what it wasn’t either but because of all of the things it could be. When the show was good it was really good and when the show was bad well… it verged on unwatchable. I’m not going to get into the show too much because if I ever decide to rewatch the show it will be something that’s covered here, so for now this is going to strictly be about the comic book.
Much like IDW Publishing’s Angel: After the Fall (a.k.a. Season 6) and Dark Horse’s Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (currently wrapping up season 8 now, and after a break we’ll be getting season 9) we have an official comic book adaptation and canonical continuation with Zenescope’s “Charmed” (they don’t call it ‘season 9’ but it takes place after season 8 so it’s technically officially unofficially season 9.) However unlike Buffy and Angel there wasn’t a whole lot of fanfare or promotion surrounding Charmed’s relaunch. There was one promotional image teasing with the symbol on the cover of the Book of Shadows and underneath a caption reading “The Girls Are Back Summer 2010.” A little while after that there was a leaked cover, that thankfully so far has absolutely nothing to do with the actual series (I HATED the art on that, the image on the right is the one I'm talking about.)
The lack of promotion for the comic actually worked out as a plus because the series doesn’t start with issue number one, it starts with zero and is billed as “The Book of Shadows.” This is really clever because not only does it give us a glimpse at the upcoming first issue but the entire issue is devoted to recapping the series mythology. The pages are formatted to look like someone scanned a copy of the actual Book of Shadows, it includes the incantation that started it all as well as the etchings and spells that were used throughout the entire series.
There are pages ‘written’ by each of the girls where they talk about everything from their hopes and dreams to their love lives. There’s even a section for Prue! The book really does cover everything and everyone: Melinda Warren, Patty, Victor, Sam, Henry, Coop, Leo, Chris, Wyatt, Prue, Andy, Cole, Billie and all the main demons too. Of course they also cover everything from the ‘Up There’ to the Underworld, Magic School and The Hollow and everything and everyone in between. There’s also a section devoted to every single season of the show and the B.O.S. closes out with each of the girls talking about the events that have taken place between the end of season 8 and the start of season 9.
While Charmed #0 “The Book of Shadows” is a great way to kick off the series and to anyone who followed the series when it was on TV can understand how monumental it is to have Prue, Piper, Phoebe and Paige all included in a form of media at the same time; there are a few things that I didn’t really care for. Sometimes when the girls are ‘writing’ it switches off too gradually and it’s hard to tell exactly which sister is the one doing the writing at the moment. Another thing that doesn’t sit right with me, mostly because of how much I liked the character is the fact that it is established that back in season 6 when Piper gave birth to Chris while Future!Chris dies Future!Chris’ death doesn’t get ‘undone.’ In this new reality Wyatt is good yet somehow Chris still ends up traveling back in time and dying. I hope they can find some way to undo this because I really liked the grown up version of Chris. Two things that I really do love is that Prue is included in this, this implies that somehow Zenescope worked out some type of deal with the rights to Shannen Doherty’s likeness. Granted it’s a photograph of Shannen, but legally they couldn’t have used it unless they owned the rights to use her image. I hope this somehow paves the way to Prue visiting her sisters like Grams and Patty do. Another thing is the fact that Billie is included in the B.O.S. now she was a major part of season 8 and couldn’t be ignored but the fact that she was included in there, no where near as much as Prue, but much more than Cole, Patty, Grams and even almost more than Leo gives me hope that we’ll see Billie in season 9.