Review: Millar And Immonen Go Large On Action And Shocks With ‘The Magic Order 2’ #5

by Olly MacNamee


One issue left and Mark Millar and Staurt Immonen ramp up the action, the drama, and the bodycount. Things are looking bleak for the Magic Order and Victor Korne and his family try to welcome in a new magic world order.


Since being a major player in bringing widescreen storytelling to comic books with comics like Marvel’s Ultimates, writer Mark Millar has established himself time and time again as a writer who can do big! Blockbuster level big, and this penultimate issue of The Magic Order 2 does that in spades. But, not before we get a little more history behind the titular magical group who have been looking after the world’s safety from the shadows. A slither of history that is startlingly interrupted with the tragic suicide of Francis King. Made all the more poignant given his father’s financial sacrifices and his hopes for his son. Sacrifices and hopes that were too little too late for Francis and, one imagines, has real world consequences for his father too. It’s certainly a bold opening that definitely shocks, but also gets the reader ready for what’s to come.

And what’s to come is even more shocking scenes involving surprising deaths, the return of the Lovecraftian giants that upscale the action, threat and scale of the story and visuals as east meets west in a battle for reality. And one that Victor Korne and his family most certainly seems to be winning. All-in-all it’s looking rather bleak for the Magic Order and Earth. 

Stuart Immonen’s imagination has worked overtime on this issue as he has to conjure up a who bestiary of mythical monsters drawn from a number of different cultures and histories around the world. His magical flourishes – of which there are many flying round this issue – are given a little bit of pizzazz by David Curiel’s colours. Immonen’s master of the human form and the way it moves and flows really helps convey the violences, and it’s effects, truthfully and thereby bringing some real-world horror to the battle.

And while other comic book companies would never shoot any of their golden geese, what I enjoy about Millar’s characters, and his writing, is that no-one is safe, and there’s no return from the dead. Millar is a creator with plenty of ideas and plenty of future projects yet to be even imagined. And so he isn’t afraid to kill off a character for the purpose of the story, the drama, the shock. And this is certainly a trope he uses lavishly in this issue. And as a result, it’ll leave you somewhat shellshocked unlike any other comics. But then, that’s how it should be. Comics should still be able to thrill from time to time and readers should not take anything character for granted. It’s just one of the many ways Millar has changed the comic book landscape over the years. I don’t think he gets enough credit for this. And so, we are encouraged to feel real emotions for these characters, because in Millar’s comics death often means death. 

One issue left and the world has definitely become a darker place. But then, they do say it is darkest before the dawn sun, right? 

The Magic Order 2 #5 is out now from Image Comics

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