by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott
The second issue of Black Magick picks up not long after the climactic ending of the opening chapter. The story, which introduced readers to the unconventional detective, Rowan Black, continues to dive deeper into each of her worlds. Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott continue to impress here in this second issue as Rowan Black lets readers into her world just a bit more.
Though the timeline of the second issue manages to cover a bit more than the first did, the story still feels very focused and unwilling to rush through scenes to press the plot forward. Instead, Rucka manages to include short sequences within the script that give readers information about the universe or the characters in a much more natural way. Here, in issue two, Rowan Black has a few stops on her list and it is through these short scenes that readers learn a lot more about the detective and the universe in Black Magick. The trip to the I.A.B. gives readers a bit more information about how Black explained the events that occurred inside the burger joint as readers see her recount the tale and defend her actions. While this sequence does not exactly press forward on the plot, it is a short and effective scene showcasing a bit more of Black’s personality through subtle choices in the dialogue and art direction.
The most thrilling scene in the issue comes when Rowan meets Alex for lunch to discuss the events of the previous night, her phone disrupting the ceremony and the man at the burger joint. Rucka and Scott dazzle in a sequence that could otherwise be a bump in the momentum of the chapter. Scott frames the conversation beautifully, pressing the perspective in closer and closer on the two faces as tension rises between them. Suddenly, the entire frame is simply Rowan Black’s eyes and a bit of dialogue that stalls the conversation and the heat of the moment. Immediately following, the perspective pulls back, and the two characters are left sitting in silence. Simultaneously, Rucka’s understanding of how to provide pertinent information to the audience without relying on unnatural exposition is what makes issues like this one so impactful. Readers learn just enough to follow the story, and the character never appear as though they are speaking simply to inform the audience.
Here, in the second issue of Black Magick, the creative team have done a magnificent job in developing more of their universe and giving a sense of direction for the story in very natural ways. The spark of color in this issue feels less necessary than did the moment in the first issue, but it is possible that this moment will have implications later. With excellent development of characters and a number of compelling mysteries, Rucka and Scott have given the audience exactly enough to be anxiously anticipating the next chapter.