Take Dr. Strange or Harry Potter and toss the supernatural giblets into Star Wars, with a little bit of Game of Thrones sprinkled in for good measure. Congratulations, you just concocted the core of Star Mage. The title isn’t particularly ambiguous, but the IDW comic takes all the favorite elements of the nerd kingdom and blends them into this all-ages story of war and the Great Young Hope. You have Gandalf look-alikes, evil Dr. Strange wannabes, and even an Odin stand-in. The beauty of Star Mage is that it takes itself so seriously that the intense and immersive world-building overshadows all the RIYL references I can throw at it. Star Mage is a comic book with grand, ambitious plans to deliver the next world kids everywhere fall into and never quite escape.
I say “kids” without condescension as well; this is simply a strong all-ages book with a tone and narrative geared towards a younger crowd. This is coming from a grown, bearded man who reads Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane with unbridled joy, so honestly there’s no critique here. The central story of Star Mage is a young boy of immense untapped magical power. There are ten levels of Star Mage skill, and our helpful wizard informs us that the hero in waiting is likely an eleven. Somewhere, Spinal Tap nods their approval.
The young boy hero is surrounded by his equally young friends and space companions. They help him escape his training to confront the Big Bad on the “Planet of Sorrows,” along with his (possibly) mind-controlled father. Surely nothing bad will come of this. Meanwhile, the “good” King and his men prepare for an inevitable war: of magic, in space. The boy is the key. Sound familiar? Good. It should.
“Star Mage #5″ is the type of immersive comic book experience that could easily become a younger reader’s most favorite story ever told. Once you dive into Star Mage, you’re firmly entrenched in the world. Nearly incomprehensible names start flying around like there’s a sale on “Ozymandias” soundalikes.
“Star Mage #5” isn’t for everyone, but for a select set of younger adventure fans, I could see Star Mage being hugely important. Everyone is always asking: Where is the next Harry Potter? As it turns out, maybe he’s in space.
“Star Mage #5” earns 6.7 / 10