Mystik U Book One from DC Comics by Alisa Kwitney, Mike Norton, Jordie Bellaire, and Deron Bennett presents a different look at the mystical characters of the DC Universe: re-setting them as college students at a secret magic university.
For those sticklers of continuity who would point out that Zatanna has been seen as an adult since the start of the New 52 era, it’s a little unclear if this story fits in with continuity or not… but it potentially could. Essentially, without giving too much away, something catastrophic occurred and using magics, a couple of the characters have rewritten reality and time to create this new setting. This might mean it eventually connects in continuity, or it may exist as its own universe and story in and of itself.
Either way, that’s fine, because the story we get is fun, hip, and full of intrigue. In fact, it feels very much like the latest CW teen drama of the moment (which I guess right now is Riverdale) with teen characters that are emotionally complex, a high-drama situation, and heaps of sexual tension.
As a result, it may actually be the most honest and true representation of teens in a while, willing to admit and show that teens can be complex and get up to things they probably shouldn’t — which makes for much more compelling drama.
It would also be impossible for a story of this type to escape comparison to a certain other magical education melodrama, and sure, it feels like Harry Potter to some extent. But much like how Riverdale is Archie meets sex and drugs, Mystik U is kinda the same for Harry Potter, only involving classic and new DC magic characters.
Kwitney’s characters feel young and realistic, with a subdued and real sense to the dialogue and character interactions. Such interaction in a magical, crazy environment filled with sentient blobs, trolls, and Frankenstein’s monster always makes for an entertaining juxtaposition.
The art by Norton and Bellaire is clear and detailed, with Bellaire drastically altering the colour palette depending on the scenario in a way that keeps the images look fresh and non-static. Norton has a great sense of emotion in the characters, and the redesigns are really interesting.
Mystik U Book One is a great start, with plenty of intrigue and fun teen drama to keep the series fresh and entertaining moving forward.
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