FIRST IMPRESSION: I, Mage presents a unique but welcome blend of futuristic sci-fi with mystical fantasy. Gary Turner creates a truly original epic tale that is safe for the kids to read to still entertaining enough for adults. It is described as a d20 Dungeons and Dragons adventure with a twist, the characters even have their own stat sheets!
I do so enjoy good sci-fi or fantasy, but rarely, if ever, do you see them married together, especially in such a way that makes sense. The foundation of the I, Mage universe and mythos is that when each world is formed it is filled with magic, both of dark and light sort. However, over time this magic dies off, making room for medicine, science, and technology. A simple, yet effective, explanation for our real world and a way to bridge these two similar but unrelated genres.
Our hero Kai is from a futuristic technologically advanced world. His family and others of his kind are on a space expedition observing and collecting specimens from more archaic worlds, worlds still flourishing with magic. Kai is an exceptionally intelligent kid. Like most kids with that profile, he is bullied and picked on. Unexpected events leave him and his new best friend and protector, a reprogrammed loading dock robot, stranded on one such archaic world.
On a strange world, our band of adventures doubles with the addition of an experienced, whimsical, if not crazy, mage Skirnir and his apprentice Zawa. The mentor and student find the stranded Kai and his robot L-Derone and take them under their protection in this dark and treacherous world. An interesting piece of this story telling is how they view each other’s gifts: technology and magic. The magically minded see the science from their own perspective, calling L-derone a golem and seeing Kai’s hologram display as some sort of magic. On the flip side, Kai is fascinated by the magic. While he understands the concept, he cannot fathom how it works, or even see it work fully as he does have the magically sight.
My only grievance with this book is the world is so large as you read, much of it remains unexplained. But I do see that they are building a potentially epic world and story, so the assumption is to hold on to the reins and go on this journey we’re being led on.
The artwork is very suitable for the subject matter. A bit cartoony at times, but we’re taking about a computer whiz kid teamed up with a wizard in a fun adventure, so it fits. Pleasantly, there are many types of characters, so each type is so distinctly drawn, from humans to orcs to dwarves, you get the idea.
Gary Turner is the creator and writer of this kickstarted comic and hails from my birthplace of Honolulu, Hawaii. Artwork by Carlos E Gomez, Eddy-Swan and others.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a fun book for sure with solid story telling and artwork. I am interested to see where this book goes. Recommended for younger readers and anyone who enjoys some good fantasy in the likes of Dungeons and Dragons.
I, MAGE TPB
Writer(s): Gary Turner
Artist Names: Carlos E. Gómez & Mel Bontrager
Colorists: Eddy-Swan & Teodoro Gonzalez
Cover Collage Featuring: Carlos Gomez, Étienne St. Laurent, Mel Bontrager, Jomaro Kindred, Eddy-Swan, & Gary Turner
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment