Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Charmed Season 9 Issue 2 'No Rest for the Wicca' Review

You know, honestly I wasn’t looking forward to the second issue of Zenescope’s Charmed Season 9. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Charmed, but after being blown away by the ‘Book of Shadows’ issue it would be an understatement to say I was underwhelmed by ‘Charmed Lives.’

Honestly I’m not familiar with how Zenescope formats the books because Charmed is the only thing I read from this particular publisher; so it’s taking me a little while to get used to it. I actually like the fact that there are no ads until the end of the issue, but the downside is it makes it seem like a quicker read than it actually is. “Charmed Lives” had 21 pages however “No Rest for the Wicca” only has 20; 21 if you count the recap as a page. This wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that out of the 20 pages four of them are full page spreads and two of them are two page spreads. It seems to me like they could find a better use for the story than what they’ve used these pages for so far.

Out of the three covers for this issue I ended up with the wraparound cover, and I’ve got to say for the second month in a row I’m disappointed. The covers are so phenomenal, next to all the Jo Chen covers for Buffy the Charmed covers are my favorite. The problem is though the art on the covers is so good that when you look at Dave Hoover’s art on the inside you almost feel cheated. Don’t get me wrong though he does well with Holly Marie Combs’ likeness and he did a great job capturing the essence of Rose McGowan, it doesn’t look exactly like Rose, but you can tell it’s how ‘Paige’ would look as a comic book character. Phoebe though, wow she is definitely drawn the worst out of all the sisters. Leo doesn’t come off much better, he doesn’t even look like how Leo looked in the first issue, at least Phoebe is still the same as issue one.

Thankfully the plot pays off a lot better than the art does. The little recap written by Paige is kind of campy, but it works. I’m not entirely sure which of the two plots is supposed to be the A plot or the B plot because they’re both used equally. Phoebe and Piper go to the funeral of an innocent they saved who died of ‘natural causes.’ What makes this significant isn’t just the fact that the writer decided to access the huge library that is Charmed’s mythology; he went back almost to the beginning, all the way back to episode TWO of SEASON ONE- Piper’s friend Brittnay who was a victim of the demon Javna. Phoebe touches Brittnay’s casket only to have a vision of Brittnay’s rapidly aged corpse. Piper freezes everyone and they open the casket confirming Phoebe’s vision.

The C plot involves Neena and Hogan in the Underworld using a handful of lower level demons to construct something. It appears that they summoned something and have made a deal with it, although exactly what is going on still remains unclear. We do learn one thing though, Hogan can’t blink. I don’t know if this is supposed to imply that he’s also a lower level demon, or if he’s a Warlock who maybe hasn’t fully accessed his powers yet.

Meanwhile Paige is off trying to mentor her newest charge a nineteen year old High School senior named Brent who is just coming into his powers. She stops him and his friends from giving a swirlie to another student. After trying to explain to him about his powers Paige is forced to tackle Brent and orb him out of school when he attempts to use his powers on a teacher. She explains to him about Magic School and how important the next forty-eight hours are to how the rest of his life will play out (this ties into yet another plot from Charmed, you really have to respect the fact that the writers are actively using the history of this show in a way that actually makes sense); Brent says he needs a little while to figure everything out so Paige instructs him to call her name when he’s ready and she orbs back to Halliwell Manor. Seconds later Brent runs into Hogan and Neena who try to tempt Brent into being evil.

Back at the Manor Paige arrives to see Phoebe and Piper frantically looking through the Book of Shadows when suddenly Phoebe has a vision of many people in danger, she explains to her sisters that the vision she just had involved every innocent they ever saved and every charge Paige ever had being in great danger. The issue ends with Brent’s bloody corpse (his neck had been snapped) laid out on display to the entrance to Magic School.

The plot is amazing if for nothing more than the fact that it was dripping with references from previous seasons. Coop wasn’t in this ‘episode’ at all, but that’s fine because he wouldn’t have really served a point, not that Leo did either, but he’s been a staple of Charmed for so long that he kind of has to be inserted into at least one scene. I’m a little concerned by the fact that we still haven’t seen Henry at all, but it took us two ‘episodes’ before we even saw his and Paige’s children.

I’m looking forward to the next episode/issue especially with how “No Rest for the Wicca” played out. The fact that we got another mention of Prue, Neena and Hogan going after the Charmed One’s previously saved innocents and Paige’s charges really gives me hope that Billie will make at least an appearance, the teaser image of issue 3’s cover looks like it has the demon of Fear on it, so I’m hoping we’ll get more Prue references, if not even a flashback or a ghostly visit like Patty and Grams do. Of course the image of the woman drowning in Phoebe’s vision makes me think even more that we might get Prue soon if it really is the demon of fear on the cover because he used Prue’s fear of water and drowning to magnify her fear of loosing a sister to torment her. And this issue alone proves that the writers have no problem bringing up things from the past. I mean they used Brittnay and Javna and they were stand alone characters.

Rating: A+
Still not a fan of the art but the use of history blew me out of the water


  1. the man in issue #3 is tyler from season 4 not barbas

  2. Thanks for clearing that up, I hadn't been able to get a hold of issue 3 yet. I'm still holding out hope that we'll get Prue in the comic (and adult Chris, and Billie) so I'll be honest I saw the image of the dark haired woman drowning, knew that the writers were using the history of the show and then saw a man who looked like he had white hair and let my hope get the best of me. lol

  3. Issue 3 will be available october 6. Here is my charmed comics fansite for everything on the charmed comics including news covers previews early art reviews and more