The Magic Order (Book 2) by Mark Millar and OthersThe Magic Order (Book 2) by Mark Millar (writer), Stuart Immonen (artist), Sunny Gho (colorist), David Curiel (colorist), and Clem Robins (letterer)

The second book of The Magic Order continues the story of the Moonstone family that was started in book one. It is equally good even with a new artist taking over the series. At the beginning of the comic Cordelia Moonstone is the head of the Moonstone family and the magic order itself. But there are members of the magical community who do not like her leadership and are plotting against her, particularly the members of the Korne family. The descendants of the great Soren Korne feel that they should lead the magic order and therefore scheme to take over and defeat Cordelia and the Moonstone family. Book two tells the story of their attempts to overthrow Cordelia and make a major change in the magic community.

We are introduced to the Korne family descendants and how truly evil they are in the opening pages when a young Korne father, Victor, takes his son to see an older female relative in the park. She has the ability to control people’s minds. She demonstrates her power to the young boy by having two cops kills innocent people and then turn the guns on themselves, leaving four dead bodies lying on the ground as park visitors run off in fear. Instead of being horrified, the young boy is excited by this display of power, showing the reader that the Korne family is rotten from the old to the young. Mark Millar is very good at setting up evil people in his comics so that we know from the beginning whom we are rooting for. Millar may not be great at nuance, but he does know how to engage our emotions quickly in a good versus bad plot.

Millar then shows us what the good guys look like: Regan Moonstone is out with another magician saving the day when a young boy accidentally brings into being an evil monster of a man who kills his parents. This evil being is loose in the world, and the two magicians need to defeat it. So, we get to see the good guys saving the day as we witness the Moonstones in action. But the real star of the book is Cordelia, who continues to struggle with alcoholism and the fallout from her decision at the end of book one. Her old boyfriend, Francis King, is out of rehab, and reenters her life once again, so her personal life gets more complicated at the same time she is leading the magic order to discover who is releasing evil into the world of a magnitude that hundreds of people are dying as a result (They do not know at first that the Korne family is scheming against them).

There are quite a few moving parts to this wonderful story. Francis King is a great character, and he has more going on than at first appears. And the Korne family cannot succeed without getting those inside the order and inside the family to do their evil work, so a lot of mystery is involved, and as readers, we do not know who to trust when it looks like so many good people have been compromised or are struggling with their own demons. Victor Korne is also reaching out to other families to form alliances, and we see the extent of his ambition when we realize what he is willing to sacrifice. He is truly an evil character, and we fear for Cordelia and her family as Victor gains allies and acquires powerful totems. All-in-all, book two of The Magic Order is a page-turner as we watch the conflicts between the Magic Order and Victor Korne and his allies build in magnitude.

New artist Stuart Immonen captures the feel of the comic book, while still having a distinctive style. I perhaps do not like it quite as much as the art in book one, but it is close. Generally, I am a fan of Immonen in other comics I have read with him as artist, so I do not mean to criticize his art; it is just that I liked the art so much in book one that this art pales in comparison slightly. It is still very much serviceable and carries the story quite well. I got used to Immonen’s style fairly quickly, and it did not detract from the story after my initial disappointment wore off. Like most people, once I get used to a comic book artist on a series, I find it hard to accept a change in the looks of the main characters, even if they are slight. But Immonen is an accomplished artist, and I can see some readers liking him even better than the original artist. Tastes will vary.

Overall, The Magic Order Book 2 is a worthy sequel to Book 1. It may not have the thematic richness of Book 1, which was partly based on Shakespeare’s King Lear, but it is a great story nonetheless. The tension increases steadily throughout the six issues, and it ends with a stunning conclusion featuring Cordelia who has a particular specialty as a magician that comes into play at the end of issue six. Do the good guys win? Of course they do! It’s a Mark Millar book, and good usually triumphs in a spectacular way in his comics, and this one is no different. But it is fun ride, and I highly recommend it as a worthy follow-up book. And you will definitely want to pick up Book 3 when you finish this collection.


  • Brad Hawley

    BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia.