Writer: Gary Turner
Art: Carlos E. Gomez
Colors: Teodoro Gonzalez
Lettering: Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt, Jaymes Reed and Gary Turner
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT (January 2016)
Kai is traveling in space in an extremely high tech society that holds mystical beings in containment with magic not mixing well with A.I. After Kai is bullied and talks with his father, one of the mystical beings escapes and damages the ship to the point that everyone must leave … and where Kai lands … is where his life changes and begins again.
Gomez and Gonzalez clearly work well together as Gonzalez really complements the pencils and inks of Gomez. Gomez’s style is a nice fusion of influences like anime, Humberto Ramos, J. Scott Campbell and more. Yet, Gomez make the panels unique enough with the details and perspectives he lays out through out the issue. There is pretty solid work from start to finish. There is a great sense of atmosphere as Gomez’s backgrounds and Gonzalez’s colors really immerse you within the spaceship society and again later in a different locale. The detail is great and Gomez really gives his style a great spin while Gonzalez’s colors really makes Gomez’s work pronounced, demanding attention from readers.
Turner’s zero issue constructs an origin story extremely well. We get to really mean one of our main leads, Kai, and get into the heart of his personality. Turner makes Kai very relatable and likable with dealing with an age old problem: bullying. What’s even better is that Turner makes a very interesting answer to stop said bullying … which wasn’t as predictable as I thought it would be. Much of this #0 issue I couldn’t really predict, which I give kudos to Turner. Kai’s narrative and the world we started to see was engaging. The characterization was fairly solid and I applaud Turner working in his own jargon in this universe and making it feel nature on his first time. Normally, new jargon takes some time to get used to, but Turner makes it feels very nature. The pacing of the issue is really good and it left a lot of questions while presenting us with an entertaining set up for our main series to come.
While this is Kai’s story, there is clearly another lead and we saw very little of her. While I enjoyed what I saw, I feel like she should have had a couple more pages. Yet, it is a small gripe.
I, Mage #0 makes a strong set up issue. Anyone can see why this is numbered #0. It gives us Kai’s origin to his current places where the main series will take place. Turner making interesting notes about magic and technology alongside its own jargon gives this book and universe its own distinct flavor. Readers can really get a good idea of Kai and who he is while the rest of the issue provides strong set up. Gomez and Gonzalez make an excellent art team, bringing this universe in colorful fruition. And while we got little of the world we will come to know, there was still enough to make you interested. With strong writing and good art, I, Mage #0 will keep fans enraptured for issues to come.