Since first debuting and breaking sales records, Boom Studios' Magic The Gathering comics have been making waves among fans of the franchise that drove Wizards of the Coast past the $1 billion-dollar earning mark in 2021.
In the main Magic series, written by Moon Knight's Jed McKay and Ig Guara, the comics have seen the return (and subsequent defeat) of a massive villain in the form of the god, Marit Lage, the death of a fan favourite Planeswalker, the return of a master manipulator in Tezzeret, and most recently cutting off a trio of popular Planeswalkers from Ravnica. That trio includes Chandra Nalaar who is prominently featured in early promos for the upcoming Netflix show set to debut in the back half of the year.
Previous publishers relied on promotional cards packaged with the comics to drive Magic collectors to purchase rather than the content itself. But Boom's focus from the outset has been on telling massive, high stakes, multi-plane spanning stories clearly designed to appeal to Magic fans' love of the mythos. Making comics a meaningful part of a massive franchise has definitely paid off for properties like Star Wars where character first appearances and key storylines have ramifications outside of comics… and drive big aftermarket sales. Can Boom pull off the same "magic" trick here?
With over 40 million Magic fans worldwide, if Boom's bet pays off, it could be massive. The publisher is already connecting with those fans through sponsorships of popular YouTube channels like The Command Zone, which has over half a million subscribers, and working hand-in-hand with Wizards of the Coast to debut a new card from the recently released Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set. I'm hearing that even bigger collaborations within the Magic community are on the horizon.
Up to this point Boom has been telling these stories with existing characters and settings from the card series. However, that will change when Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker launches next month. The series promises the debut of a brand new Planeswalker, which creates an interesting first appearance opportunity for comic and card fans alike.
While a Planeswalker has debuted in a Magic: The Gathering comic before, in the form of Dack Fayden in IDW's Magic: The Gathering #1, he was also featured on the promo card that was bundled with the same issue. Meaning that Magic enthusiasts could view the card as Dack's first appearance rather than the comic.
Since Boom is not packaging any cards with their comics, Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker will be the first time a new Planeswalker debuts exclusively in a comic book. And considering that we saw Dack migrate from the comics to the official cards and the War of the Spark novels, it wouldn't be surprising for this new Planeswalker to quickly be featured on a card and added to official canon as well, much in the way Boom's Lord Drakkon has become a mainstay in Hasbro's Power Rangers franchise. Add in Magic's Secret Lair card sets, which have crossed over with comics thanks to art superstars like Saga's Fiona Staples and Jen Bartel providing new art for fan favorite cards, and it increases the chances that whoever this new Planeswalker is will be added to canon sooner rather than later.
As I understand it, Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 will not have a full first appearance, but rather a cameo of the powerful new character with the ability to destroy, or save, entire planes of existence. So fans and collectors alike will be chasing not just the first issue of the series, but likely the second one if it features a full first appearance… and perhaps even a first cover appearance down the line.
This series could be a big turning point for Boom's Magic comics, just like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 where Lord Drakkon debuted, but fortunately, you can still get your pre-order in for Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 before Final Order Cutoff closes today.
MAGIC HIDDEN PLANESWALKER #1 (OF 4) CVR A DARBOE
(W) Mairghread Scott (A) Fabiana Mascolo (CA) Karen Darboe
Delve even deeper into the Magic: The Gathering universe with comic and screenwriter Mairghread Scott (Transformers, Guardians of the Galaxy) and artist Fabiana Mascolo (Firefly: Brand New 'Verse)! ! While our heroes have many dangers to face throughout the multiverse, the powerful Necromancer Liliana Vess returns to her new home as a professor at the greatest college of magic in the Multiverse. But she doesn't return alone. Sensing the presence of a distant planeswalker calling for help… one with the power to save, or destroy, entire planes, puts her on a collision course with the diabolical machinations of the Tezzeret, the Master of Metal…In Shops: Apr 20, 2022 SRP: $4.99