Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1 Review

Writer: V.E. Schwab

Artist: Andrea Olimpieri

Colorist: Enrica Eren Angiolini

Lettering: Rob Steen

Cover: Claudia Ianniciello

Publisher: Titan Comics




I really love the idea behind artists crossing over into different mediums, especially when they bring their creations from one form of storytelling to another. Such is the way of The Steel Prince, a character from the Shades of Magic novel series. I have heard of these books, but I have not yet obtained them to read, though they have been on my list. So, when I saw that a comic featuring one of the characters was set to come out, I grew quite excited.


The multiple Londons are a very interesting setting, and one that is helpfully described right in the beginning of this first issue, for those not familiar with the novels. I really am intrigued by the concept, and when I got to meet the main character, I found myself even more drawn into the story. Maxim is a young, brash prince, slightly stereotypical so far, with clear motives and goals, which may or may not be progressive. He thinks he’s slick, but he’s got a lot to learn, as young men often do. As a character in this world, I think I like following him around so far, but I am also interested in delving into the thoughts and actions of others.


The plot does it’s purpose: it sets up a story with promises for future conflicts and characterization. The dialogue wasn’t great, unfortunately. There were too many cliched phrases that made me clench my teeth, and too many errors in the text that made me clench them tighter. All of this puts me off of wanting to read the novels, which is a shame, but I am curious to learn about the setting, so I will probably still check them out some day.

As for the art, I’m digging it. There’s a lot of playing around with light and shadow, and there’s a sketchy feel to many of the panels. I like how the colors for this series are muted reds, grays, and browns, though I do wish some of the shading in the colors was just a tad more prominent to make the scenes a little less flat. All in all, it’s a cool book, that could just do with some better editing, but that seems to be a common thread lately.

Overall: 7/10


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