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"Tommy Gun Wizards #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dark Horse Comics


Written by Christian Ward
Illustrated by Sami Kivela
Colored by Christian Ward with Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 28th, 2019


Take the story of the Untouchables and replace booze with magic. That's the premise for Tommy Gun Wizards and it's nothing short of riveting. Al Capone is making a killing – literally and figuratively – dealing Lick, a drug that grants magical powers to anyone who uses it. Eliot Ness and his team will stop at nothing to put down Capone and his cronies, but how far is too far in this war against magic?

Tommy Gun Wizards could have floated by on its unique setup. Instead, writer Christian Ward roots this in history, crime, and drama, weaving this compelling story that pulls you in from the jump. You instantly understand the danger Lick faces and why Ness is so desperate to put a stop to it, not to mention the lengths Capone will go to keep his businesses going.

Sami Kivela's artwork is absolutely amazing. The pacing, layout, and flow are perfect in Tommy Gun Wizards #1. Kivela guides your eye through the action with some brilliant art direction. I love how he'll hold on a scene for an extra beat, giving it some more time to sink in and provide just a bit more flavor by changing a facial expression. This provides a nice reaction shot to someone dropping a bombshell.

Click images to enlarge

There's a subtle move on the last page of this issue that shows a sequence of panels going down. This works as a brilliant metaphor that I won't spoil here. It's a helluva way to end a debut issue and you'll definitely be clamoring for more after reading it.

Ward and Dee Cunniffe handle colors for Tommy Gun Wizards, mirroring the look and feel of 1930s Chicago, while adding a bright flair when magic is involved. You get the grit of a pulp crime story mixed with the explosive energy of fantasy with a bit of horror running throughout. When someone taps into magic, everything changes. The colors are livelier, like you see the world differently under the influence of Lick.

One effect that really stands out is how one of Capone's lieutenants is basically shining. He has this spectral glow to him, appearing all in white. It's eerie and unnatural, adding to his creepy appearance. Of all the characters introduced so far, he's the one I'm most intrigued by.

Click images to enlarge

Ness and his team are visited by a swamp monster because that's how bad guys send messages in a magic-filled Chicago during the 1930s. This is one of the most unsettling sequences in Tommy Gun Wizards #1. Letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou puts it over the top on the scare factor with a rough voice that looks like it's coming from the ground itself. The word balloons appear scratched into the page with violence and anger. This is what the Untouchables are up against.

Tommy Gun Wizards perfectly mixes genres to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It's not just the Untouchables fighting magic. That might be enough to get you in the door, but you'll stay for the great character work, incredible artwork, and shocking twists and turns. This book is something special.


Story: fivestars Cover
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Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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