Mage: The Hero Denied #8
Written by: Matt Wagner
Art by: Matt Wagner and Brennan Wagner
Published by: Image Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

Each and every issue of Matt Wagner’s Mage: The Hero Denied just gets better and better. Matt Wagner has dug deep into the mythology he has created over the past 25 years and has unleashed a rash of shit onto our hero Kevin Matchstick and his family. Kevin finds himself at perhaps his lowest point in this issue though that will not stop him from trying to protect his family at all costs.

Kevin’s wife Magda finds herself a prisoner of the Umbra Sprite ,who wants nothing more than to see Kevin and his family suffer and killed. Imprisoned along with her son Hugo, Magda finds herself imprisoned and unable to use her magic to help themselves in any way. They are the bait that will draw Matchstick to the Umbra Sprite and, unless the figure out something, the bait will ultimately work.

That is if Kevin survives his battle with a gigantic ogre the Umbra Sprite unleashed to take him out. The ogre completely destroyed Kevin’s home and Kevin has no clue what has become of the rest of his family. He’s pissed and even though the ogre keeps kicking the crap out of him, Kevin gets back up for more. He’s the Pendragon and he’ll figure out a way to defeat this ogre and try to start looking for his family.

Issue #8 takes its time playing out the action that was set up in issue #7. Nearly the entire issue is dedicated to resolving the plotlines from last issue and it feels great to read a book like this where there is no rush. Matt Wagner gets to tell his story the way he wants to tell it and the storytelling here is absolutely perfect.

Hell – this entire book is absolutely perfect. In terms of publication history, Wagner has had some hardships and also has taken his sweet time in getting Mage out to the masses. The fact that the final part of this trilogy is finally here is one thing, but for it to be so flawlessly executed speaks volumes to Wagner’s professionalism. Mage: The Hero Denied may be the best work that Wagner has ever created. With his large body of work, that is truly saying something.

Mage: The Hero Denied #8 continues this wonderful story and, as we start counting down to the end of this series, we all know that we are truly in for some sort of huge cataclysmic event. I still think that Kevin can ultimately fail in his quest which is what makes Mage so brilliant.


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