Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Nelson Blake II & David Marquez
Publisher: Top Cow (Image)
Directly descended from Christ's bloodline, the Magdalena are holy warriors that serve the church and fight for justice, or exact vengeance, on behalf of the Vatican, as God's weapon. Only one person can wield the power of the Magdalena at a time, but the bearer is always a woman whose bloodline is tied to the divine. The current Magdalena, Patience, is possibly the most skilled and intuitive Magdalena that has ever been, able to harness the power of her bloodline and channel holy force through the Spear of Destiny in a way that her predecessors could not. But her skills and intuition also led her to discover the truth about the Catholic Church, the web of lies and manipulations which they use to manage the world how they see fit. And in their schemes, the Magdalena are merely pawns, disposable weapons, whose lives are not truly valued. Upon this realization, she broke away from the church, choosing to still use her birthright and power to battle evil, but no longer being held accountable to a corrupt system. Or so she thought.
Cardinal Innocence does not tolerate disobedience. To him, regardless of the obvious skill that Patience possesses, she is a liability if she will not obey him without question. And since there can only be one Magdalena at a time, she will either need to come back into the fold, or be eliminated. When a new plot to bring the son of Satan into his power is discovered, it seems that the church must try to convince the Magdalena to fight for them once more, or the very fate of the entire world might be at stake, and perhaps the Cardinal will get his ultimatum for her, one way of the other.
But things are never quite as they seem, and while Patience, and her mentor Kristof, hunt down leads and battle demons to get closer to this satanic cult which claim to have the true son of Satan, things become complicated, problematic, almost as if their efforts are not only anticipated but even expected. But Patience had learnt long ago to rely on herself, to trust in her own power and ability, and let her personal faith in her God and her destiny drive and lead her. No longer does she fear the devil and his minions. And no longer will she let herself be used and deceived by those who would call themselves allies. Even the best laid traps can be beaten. But sometimes, that in itself, is the trap.
This series is actually collecting the first story arc from the third volume of Magdalena comics. In the earlier volumes we saw Patience discover her birthright, grow in her powers and strength, and the story behind her break from being the church's puppet. Although this volume does give a brief rundown on what the Magdalena are all about, it doesn't go into any detail about what happened in the earlier volumes. This isn't really a problem to the story however, so even if a reader is entirely new to the title, they won't be lost. I found the script and story to be quite compelling, and the artwork is very much in line with the old-school Top Cow style, so if you've liked other hit books from this publisher, like Witchblade, or the Darkness, then you should find that this has a very similar appearance and artistic flair.
For me, what was perhaps a bit less appealing, while still being a small thing, is that in explaining the background of the Magdalena, Marz could maybe have left a little of it unsaid and just implied (as earlier versions of the story did, if I recall correctly), so as not to be unnecessarily offensive to religious readers. In this day and age that's not really something that is criticized much, but I do feel that, unless a book is trying to offend a potentially large portion of their market, they could at least consider small steps to avoid doing so. It wasn't a big thing, for me it was even a bit funny, but I do know those who would just stop reading right then. Still, the character, by her very nature, is steeped in religious conations and assumptions, and anyone who is offended by such things would and should probably just avoid reading any of the Magdalena comics. But for those who are a little more easy going in these matters, they could find an enjoyable and engaging story in this book.
Boardgame and graphic novel enthusiast. Marvel or DC? Image. Old-school gamer. Avid role-player. Kermit for president. I believe that werewolves will rule the world one day.
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