Comic Review: Magic: The Gathering: Chandra #1 (IDW Publishing)

IDW Comics releases your usual childhood card game which now has a comic adaptation and a selection of characters in Magic The Gathering: Chandra the completed graphic novel. Now, I’m […]

IDW Comics releases your usual childhood card game which now has a comic adaptation and a selection of characters in Magic The Gathering: Chandra the completed graphic novel.

Now, I’m gonna be honest with you, I’ve never played the Magic The Gathering card game, other than playing Yu-Gi-Oh! a card game from my childhood. But when my sister introduced me with those cards, it’s most likely happen like I’m seeing D&D with cards on it. But obviously, every card game needs to have a story and world to fit in. I just spent my whole Saturdays watching Yu-Gi-Oh!, since I was 9 years from the beginning to the end with the Pharaoh’s name, after that, I jumped a few arcs to 5Ds to Vrains and the 7th arc of the series. But of course, this whole series started before Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh was released later on when this whole series is still a thing for card games in the 90s. But now, IDW gets a comic adaptation, along with the story itself of Chandra Nalaar. The story is written by Vita Ayala and drawn by Harvey Tolibao and Tristan Jurolan. And the whole story is one of those side stories of every character of the series.

The front cover of this graphic novel is most likely what the creators are making an image of a trading card of Chandra Nalaar. The way she poses is almost like you’re replaying your mind when you play Elemental HERO Blazeman posing the other side, clenching with his fiery fist as if he’s about to punch the fourth wall, with the effect to get a Polymerization card from your deck on your first move from Duel Links. I know that I’m referencing and reminiscing the past from the series that I’ve watched. But seriously, the cover is so fiery, the creator would want to have this image as a trading card. The story starts when Chandra is narrating the whole story as if she speaks to herself from experience as a Planeswalker. And whether she’s fighting for, she’s fighting to protect the weak from chaos and destruction. With all the power that she has, she could use her powers to go between time and space around. She is loved by family and friends and those people whose lives were saved by her, that is until something hit her head, revealing a vision of the past from her errors and mistakes that she had done. You know, the way that she goes on fighting and saving the world, it reminds me of Avatar Korra when she usually uses her power to keep the balance of the world going. And Chandra’s trauma is like when Korra had a memory when Zaheer is trying to kill her in the Avatar state. Speaking of, I forget about her battles during the time. At the beginning of the story, there is a devil who desperately wanted to force Chandra out of the throne and fight him, then while fighting some ice monster, the devil shows up and revealed that it’s all a trick. And then afterward, the devil took her mother as a hostage to the throne. And then she came, fought the devil and defeated him.

The story is quite unique coming from a card game, even for a character like Chandra to be on this comic. However, the world of Magic: The Gathering is transforming into a different world from the card game. As much as I like fantasy stories, this one is quite different from the card game. The art is a no brainer, the illustrations are stunning, especially the front cover, but whenever you see every illustration of the panels of the comic is almost reminding you of the illustration from the D&D comics. It’s no surprise by showing any resemblance. But that is how the fantasy world is made of. I’m surprised that an old trading card game gets a story and its great. If you rather want to read a comic that is based on a trading card game, then this is for you.

About Kevin Bermeo

I'm a New Yorker Artist, and I traveled a lot. I enjoy making comics, illustrations, paintings, and digital art. Besides drawing, I'm also a writer, I used to be a Gamer, and I love adventures, food, and dragons.