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Ravnica. A city that stretches from horizon to horizon, inhabited by a thousand cultures, home to countless wonders and terrors. Ravnica. Where ten great Guilds stand forever in balance, each holding power over their own purview.
— Issue #1

Magic is a 2021 comic published by Boom! Studios based on the Magic: The Gathering trading card game. It is written by Jed MacKay, with art by Ig Guara and covers by Matteo Scalera.

Across the vast Multiverse, those gifted with a "spark" can tap into the raw power of Magic and travel across realms — they are Planeswalkers.

When coordinated assassination attempts on Guildmasters Ral Zarek, Vraska, and Kaya rock the city of Ravnica and leave Jace Belleren's life hanging in the balance, a fuse is lit that threatens not just these three Guilds, but the entire plane of Ravnica.

Now these three must covertly infiltrate the wild plane of Zendikar and form a tenuous alliance to uncover why the targets of the assassins have all been Planeswalkers...

This comic is not canon to the Magic: The Gathering setting. While the backstory is similar up to War of the Spark: Ravnica, some details are different, and the comic takes a very different turn once it gets going. The comic runs concurrently with a limited series, Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker and two oneshots, Master of Metal and Nahiri the Lithomancer.

Tropes included in Magic:

  • Adaptational Badass: In the canon timeline, Nahiri could only create hedrons because of the immense power that came with being a pre-mending planeswalker. In the comic, she can apparently create them even without that power as seen on amonkhet, or at least transport them across planes which should also be impossible.
  • Alien Sky: Kaya has a flashback to her home plane of Tolvada, who's sky is described as "broken." The sky there is red, with aurora-like cracks expanding across it.
  • Alternate Continuity: The book is technically non-canon to the main Magic the Gathering multiverse, although it does only differs mildly from the main continuity. Notably, Vraska and Kaya are still on Ravnica, whereas in canon they are out hunting for war criminals; Lavinia is guildmaster permanently, while she's only interim in canon and finally, Niv-Mizzet transferred his consciousness into a new body of Mizzium instead of being wholesale resurrected like he was in canon.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Tezzeret is undisputed ruler of Ravnica, commonly held to be the center of the multiverse, and even that's not enough for him. He seeks to become like the planeswalkers of old, a Physical God.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jaya Ballard repeatedly clashed with a Dominarian cultist of Marit Lage named Balash Xev throughout the ice age. Somehow he always survived their encounters, until she became a planeswalker and killed him easily.
  • Ascended Extra: Before these comics, Marit Lage was basically a minor lore footnote primarily known for her iconic card Dark Depths. Here, she makes a huge return as the Big Bad.
  • The Atoner: Isona Maive wants to heal her plane [[spoiler:to atone for having destroyed it in the first place. Her intentions seem genuine, but unfortunately they lead her to work with Tezzeret, Nahiri, and Nicol Bolas.
  • Back from the Dead: Downplayed. Jace turns out to be the death spectre that was chasing Niko, and when his soul enters the Cauldron of Eternity he becomes strong enough to interact with the living as a visible but bodiless ghost. At the end of the second story, he possesses one of the Empty Shells Tezzeret created.
  • Batman Gambit: Only one assassin survives the attempt on the three Guildmasters' lives and they are taken to Jace Beleren for a mind read... which was the plan all along, as the assassin has a memetic trap implanted in his mind, placing Beleren in a coma from shock.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Issue #19 and #20 has first the planeswalker against the guilds, then once Niv-Mizzet reveals himself and orders the guilds back in line, the planeswalkers and guilds against Tezzeret's army of automatons and mindless Jace-clones.
  • Big Bad:
    • For the first arc, this role is shaping up to be taken by Marit Lage.
    • For the second arc, the role is taken by Tezzeret, disguised as Niv-Mizzet. The Master of Metal oneshot reveals that he was actually this all along, having caused the Abbot to become a worshipper of Marit Lage in the first place.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: For the third arc, the villains are Isona Maive, working with Nahiri and Nicol Bolas.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Jace and Vraska make up their mind about dying together on Amonkhet, Kaya planeswalks in and grabs Vraska to bring back to Dominaria.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Some of the assassins sent after Vraska have had their eyes removed to be immune to her petrifying stare. Too bad she's also a golgari assassin, guildmaster, pirate captain and planeswalker. She doesn't need her petrification powers to win a fight.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: On a rather grand scale, this is Chandra's quest in the second arc: Since planeswalking by way of Spark is somehow blocked from Ravnica, she tries looking for technology that could planeswalk before the Mending of Dominaria.
  • Character Death: Aurelia is killed by Vraska in self-defense in the second arc.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Kaya's ability to bring one person with her through the blind eternities finally becomes relevant in issue #10, with Kaya grabbing Vraska just in time to save her from Marit-Lage.
  • City Planet: Most of the action takes place in Ravnica, the greatest city in the multiverse. It doesn't quite cover the entire plane, but it's large enough that no one knows the city limits.
  • Continuity Nod: Just because it's technically an Alternate Continuity does not mean it doesn't do a nod from time to time.
    • Niv-Mizzet got his mizzium body in the events of Bolas' invasion (although this did not happen in the main continuity, where his new body is same as the old).
    • Niv-Mizzet also mentions that the Dimir have evacuated their guildhall before, after the previous guildmaster Szadek tried to destroy the guildpact.
    • While visiting Innistrad, Ral narrates that the plane was once protected by an angel, until she went mad and the blood of the innocents rained from the sky.
    • Jaya recounts the Dominarian Ice Age, how Freyalise ended it with the World Spell, and how planeswalkers were second only to gods in those days.
    • In issue #8, Tezzeret asks to have a pardon from the Guildpact in return for his aid against Marit Lage. He became a wanted man on Ravnica due to helping Bolas in the war of the spark.
    • The Golden Sun is still on Ravnica after the War, and Tezzeret uses it to ban planeswalkers from leaving or entering the plane.
  • Cool Old Lady: Jaya Ballard has been alive since the days of the Dominarian Ice Age, and will gladly lend a hand in saving a plane or two. She's also the mightiest pyromancer in all the planes, rivaled only by her student Chandra.
  • Cosmic Horror Story:
    • Kaya's homeplane of Tolvada was in the middle of one of these when her spark ignited; The sky was "broken", covered in cracks that expanded every day, and looking at it caused its denizens to Go Mad from the Revelation.
    • The appearance of Marit Lage fully plummets the story into this, being an Eldritch Abomination that not even oldwalkers could defeat, creating death cults of mutants and requiring a very risky manneuver to attempt to stop her.
  • Crying Wolf: Lazav remarks on the irony of having built his entire carrier on lies and deception, so now that he actually needs to share important information, no one is going to believe him.
  • Dead All Along: Niv-Mizzet is dead, existing as a ghost. The metal body serving as Guildpact is actually a construct controlled by Tezzeret.
  • Death by Adaptation: Jace Beleren is alive and well in the canon storyline, but is killed by Marit Lage in the comic. Also Tezzeret later.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Jace, one of the most iconic planeswalker of current Magic promotional material, shows up in the first issue to extract some information from one of the assassins. He is then immediately put in a coma by a memetic trap and is later kidnapped by an evil cult. And then he dies.
  • Dirty Coward: Davriel Cane is a survivalist above all, so when the trio put pressure on him, he caves quickly.
  • Disability Immunity: Played for laughs. In issue #5, Vraska goes to Ixalan where she meets some old crewmates who had a siren among them to defend against dinosaurs with her Brown Note song. They ran into Ixalan's only deaf dinosaur.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The actual mastermind behind the attacks on the guildmasters is the abbot of the Frozen Heart Hospital, which is actually a front for an evil cult.
  • Doomed Hometown: Doomed home plane. Kaya's home plane of Tolvada was in the process of being shattered from unknown causes when she left. By the time she figured out a way to save at least some of its denizens, there was nothing left to save.
  • Empty Shell: Since Jace is dead and beyond his revenge (as far as he knows), Tezzeret creates legions of soulless Jace clones that he can kill at his leisure. They also serve tripple duty as soldiers in his guard, and as a way to torment Vraska since she can't look around without risking petrifying the man she loves.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Ral Zarek wonders why the cult was so obsessed with the comet, since it's just a giant shard of ice. And then realizes that Marit Lage was last seen imprisoned in a glacier that Jaya dumped into the blind eternities.
  • Fearless Fool: The second trio. All of them.
  • Fantastic Racism: When the trio returns to Ravnica at the end of the first arc, the populace hates and fears them for being planeswalkers. It turns out that in the days it took to defeat Marit Lage and recover, Tezzeret-as-Niv-Mizzet used his influence to convince the remaining guildmasters that planeswalkers are a threat to Ravnica, leading to a purge and arrest order for any planeswalker.
  • Foreshadowing: It is a mystery, after all.
    • The assassin Jace tries to mindread turns into a tentacled monster after his memetic trap is triggered, foreshadowing that he's a cultist of Marit Lage, a betentacled Eldritch Abomination.
    • During the attack at the hospital, the position and opening strike of the assassins makes it obvious that they were actually targeting the abbot.
    • Marit Lage sleeps beneath the ocean of Dominaria, and was most active during the Ice Age. The Hospital of the Frozen Heart is also associated with ice, and its logo is an ocean.
  • For the Evulz: Tezzeret is a right bastard who combines several different Ravnican guild magics just to create clones of Jace that he can kill again and again for his sadistic pleasure.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: In contrast with its Hyperspace Is a Scary Place portrayal in canon, the Blind Eternities in the comic takes the shape of whatever a planeswalker finds most comfortable. Ral Zarek sees an eternity of clockwork, not unlike Mechanus, Kaya sees a realm of souls where her victims rest peacefully, and Vraska sees a representation of the endless cycle of death and life.
  • Fusion Dance: Jace, Vraska, Ral and Kaya merge their minds into a "super-mind" where each member contributes their own skill as part of Kaya's plan for defeating Marit Lage.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Issue #20 reveals that Aminatou the Fateshifter has been pulling the strings of fate to make the Power Trio come together. The next arc shifts her towards greater scope neutral, as Isona convinces her to help her heal Aykan.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Master of Metal oneshot reveals that Tezzeret was the one who influenced the Abbot into becoming a cultist of Marit Lage in the first place, making him this for the entire story.
  • Guile Hero: Kaya's plan for defeating Marit Lage isn't about overpowering her, but rather about giving her what she wants: worshippers. She suggests that the team take advantage of Amonkhet's enormous amounts of zombies and reprogram their minds into worshipping her, using Jace's telepathic aptitude, Ral's scientific understanding of programmable minions, Vraska's leadership skills, and her own ability to connect with the dead.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with the first trio. Ral is competent enough with hand to hand combat to survive being attacked by assassins, but he's not nearly as skilled in close quarters combat as Kaya or Vraska. Instead he uses his electrokinesis as a powerful midrange crowd control weapon. Played straight with Chandra and Garruk.
  • Hidden Depths: Chandra asks if Garruk has been keeping secrets after it turns out that he's on good terms with the royal family of Eldraine.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: In issue #17, Teferi is plainly visible among the planeswalkers ambushing Tibalt. However, his clothes (which are more suited to New Capenna than his normal Dominarian vestments) and the artstyle means that most readers, and certainly not Tibalt, will recognize him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Kaya has some reservations about working with Vraska, who's a bit infamous for assassinating guildmasters. Vraska points out that Kaya got her own position by killing the Obzedat, which Kaya insists was different because they were evil. And already dead.
  • I Have Your Wife: Tezzeret forces Ral to work for him by putting assassins on Tomek, Ral's romantic partner. Later, Isona does the exact same thing.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Niko, tired of how everyone talks about Ravnica like the center of the multiverse, decides that, once they sees it for themselves, they won't be impressed no matter what. That resolution lasts for thiry seconds.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Niv-Mizzet is antagonistic in the fifth issue, being insistent on blaming the Dimir despite their apparent innosence in the main trio's eyes, he brings up fairly solid points; The Dimir are notoriously untrustworthy, have tried to undermine the guildpact before, and only a fool would take their word at face value. Jace may have disappeared without a trace, but he is also a planeswalker who's been known to do that quite often.
  • Jumping-On Point: While the series uses an established setting and established characters with long histories, you don't actually need to know any of that to read or enjoy the book. Anything you need to know is explained within the book.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • When confronted by Chandra and Garruk in the Stronghold, Tibalt tries to bury the nearby village under a stream of flowstone just to spite Chandra. Fortunately, Chandra manages to persuade Garruk into helping her to save the village, but it establishes what a nasty piece of work Chandra, Garruk and Niko have to face.
    Tibalt: Until the next time we meet, Chandra. Enjoy your massacre.
    • Tezzeret's only reason for keeping the first trio alive after taking over Ravnica was so he can imprison and torture them in a variety of unnecessarily cruel methods.
  • The Leader: Chandra, much to her annoyance, ends up taking this role when adventuring with Niko and Garruk. She's the one who brought them together and has the most experience dealing with planar anomalies.
    Chandra: Look, do you want to be the leader? Because believe me, I'm much more comfortable in the role of "the one who burns things and laughs".
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Isona Maive. Tezzeret wants her for her ability to channel and amplify aether which, properly exploited, could make him as powerful as an Oldwalker. Chandra & Co want to keep her away from him for this same reason.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Davriel Cane fancies himself a man of higher culture, enjoying things like good books, fine dining, and finder clothing.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: The shade pursuing Niko can only be seen in mirrors. Once his identity is revealed, Jace theorizes that it's because people look into mirrors specifically to see something.
  • Mugging the Monster: An Innistradi werewolf pack tried to kill Ral Zarek when he visits the plane. He makes short work of them, and leaves the only survivor to be handled by an angry mob.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Played for Laughs when Kaya teases Ral for capturing one of the assassins who attacked the Izzet alive, even though Ral himself electrocuted some of the assassins to the point of disintegration.
  • Mythology Gag: In issue #6, Jaya recounts how she dumped Marit Lage into the blind eternities with a massive explosion. This would not be the last time in Magic history that a pyromancer would blow an Eldritch Abomination up something good.
  • No-Sell: The Abbot proves immune to Vraska's petrifying stare, which he attributes to the protection of his goddess.
  • Not Quite Dead: Like in the canon timeline, Nicol Bolas is still alive, kept prisoner by his brother Ugin. Isona meets and agrees to work with him in issue #22.
  • The Older Immortal: Jaya dismissively remarks that she was already nearly 500 when Teferi was in diapers.
  • Only Sane Man: Chandra laments that, compared to Garruk and Niko, she's the closest they have to a voice of authority.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • Marit Lage is this for Ravnica, since an Eldritch Abomination goddess is not what the guilds usually deal with. Except for that time with the Nephilim, but they were native to Ravnica.
    • On the heroic side, the cult does not know how to deal with planeswalkers. Kaya manages to save Jace from being sacrificed by taking him to Dominaria.
  • Physical God: Planeswalkers up until the Mending of Dominaria were powerful enough to create planes.
  • Power Copying: Isona Maive can copy, amplify and channel any magic used against her, which is why Tezzeret wants to use her to amplify his own power. Davriel Cane uses a less powerful but more malicious version of this, outright stealing magic from other mages.
  • The Power of Love: Jace initially theorizes that he was brought back as a ghost because of some quirk of Liliana's magic, or possibly the nature of Amonkhet, but ultimately decides that it was just his love for Vraska strong that refused to let him leave her behind.
  • Power Trio: Each storyarc (so far) focuses on a different trio of planeswalker seeking to accomplish a goal:
    • In the first arc, Kaya, Vraska and Ral Zarek work to uncover the dark cult from Ravnica's underworld.
    • In the second arc, Chandra Nalaar, Garruk Wildspeaker and Niko Aris work to find out what's stopping them from planeswalking to Ravnica.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Jaya delivers one to Balash Xev, head cultist of Marit Lage.
    Jaya: Ah yes, your god. Maybe I'll kill her next. Goodbye, Balash Xev.
  • Professional Killer: Three groups of assassins attack Ral Zarek, Vraska, and Kaya on the same day at the same time.
  • Puppet King: The construct body of Niv-Mizzet is actually controlled by Tezzeret, the real living guildpact.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Subverted. When it turns out that he is welcome in Castle Ardenvale at his leisure, Niko and Chandra ask if Garruk is secretly royalty. He's not, but he has a good relationship with the Kenrith royal family because of the events of Throne of Eldraine.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Niv-Mizzet is old enough to remember when the Guildpact was first signed more than 10 000 years ago, which contributes to his distrust of the Dimir. Teferi is also getting on in the years, having personally studied under the legendary planeswalker Urza and lived through the Mending of Dominaria. Jaya Ballard is even older, born sometime between 1700 and 1600 years ago.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The three protagonists, though incredibly trigger happy, are this since they are the heads of their respective guilds. During the meeting of the guildmasters, Trostani (the Mind Hive guildmaster of the Selesnya) is also the only one willing to give the Dimir the benefit of a doubt, though she does vote in favor of an investigation, albeit with reservations. Aurelia and Niv-Mizzt both try their best to be this too, but are being misled by personal biases and misleading evidence. Aurelia and Niv-Mizzet come around after hearing Jaya Ballard's testimony, Mizzet even apologizing to Ral.
  • Red Herring: As any good mystery should have.
    • The Dimir's involvement is such an obvious one that it doesn't even warrant a spoiler. Assassins with mind magic try to kill three guildmasters, followed by public murders all over Ravnica marked with the Dimir sigil? Everyone both in and out of universe knows that this is way too obvious to be the Dimir's work. The only ones who actually fall for it are those who already have a bias against the Dimir, like Niv-Mizzet and Aurelia.
    • The assassination attempt at Jace is a more subtle one. It looks like whoever ordered the attack on the main trio are making their move on Jace... but actually these assassins are from the Dimir, and they're trying to kill the abbot of the hospital they're in. Jace just happened to be there.
    • While the main trio learns the name of the cult's god in issue #4, the audience only learns that it uses female pronouns. Considering that they had already visisted Zendikar, and Ral Zarek is next seen on Innistrad, it'd be reasonable to assume that the god is Emrakul. It's actually Marit Lage, an ancient evil of Dominaria.
  • Retired Badass: Teferi, the legendary planeswalker who lived through the Phyrexian invasion and contributed to the Mending of Dominaria, is happy to retire in peace and spend time with his daughter.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Wouldn't be Ravnica if the Boros and Azoirus hadn't been at each others' throats about who gets to attack the hospital.
  • The Smart Guy: Ironically, Chandra, who is fairly Book Dumb by her own admission, ends up having to be the one that explains everything to her companions, since she's the most experienced planswalker among them.
  • Speech Bubbles: In the flashback in issue #6, Jaya Ballard's speech bubbles are drawn in red, with yellow text, reflecting her status as a Physical God planeswalker. Before her spark ignited, and in the present, they're drawn the usual way.
  • Shock and Awe: Ral Zarek's magic mostly revolves around lightning and electricity.
  • Shout-Out: Jace suggests that he clone his own consciousness in order to lure Marit Lage into another plane, which is more or less the same method that can be used in Prey (2017) to avoid being attacked by Nightmares.
  • Sixth Ranger: The second trio is eventually joined by the ghost of Jace Beleren.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Jace Beleren has been turned into a psychic beacon by Marit Lage, meaning that she will follow him to whatever plane he goes to.
    • Niko is chased by a death specter sent by Klothys as punishment for defying their destiny. They hope that Kaya, who is trapped on Ravnica, can help them defeat it.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Tezzeret imprisoned and tortures each of the first trio in ways tailored to their abilities:
    • Ral Zarek is kept in an open cell with no guards, using his lightning to power Tezzeret's schemes. the moment he stops channeling said lightning, Tezzeret's guards will kill Ral's partner, Tomik.
    • Kaya is locked in ghost form by Azorius magic, free to wander but unable to interract with anything. Not to mention that every ghost on Ravnica wants her head, and Ravnica has a lot of ghosts.
    • Vraska is in a normal cell, filled with semi-sapient clones of her beloved Jace. She can't open her eyes without risking petrifying one of them.
  • Taken for Granite:
    • As a ravnican gorgon, Vraska can petrify people with a look, though she can turn it off and on when she desires. She admits that this does make it difficult to form personal relationships, since most people are too afraid to look her in the eyes. Part of the reason she likes Jace is that he was never afraid.
    • In issue #20, Tezzeret is robbed of his spark by Maive and petrified by Vraska.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Ral Zarek, Kaya and Vraska start out as this, only working together out of necessity with a lot of snarking back and forth. By issue 5, they've mostly grown out of it, and their banter take on a more friendly tone. In issue 8, Kaya goes as far as to send Ral's boyfriend to see that he doesn't exhaust himself trying to find a way to beat Marit Lage, and by issue 9 they openly acknowledge each other as friends and trust each other enough to have Jace merge their minds.
  • Teleport Interdiction: In the second arc, Chandra discovers that she can't planeswalk to Ravnica, describing it as hitting a wall and then being spat out on some other random plane. She attempts to dig out pre-Mending ways of planeswalking to circumvent it, enlisting Niko Aris and Garruk for aid.
  • Tempting Fate: Ral smugly dismisses the abbot's warnings about a commet as the fixation of a madman on the natural phenomenon that is a chunk of ice that evaporates in the atmosphere. Right after he finishes the sentence, he sees another chunk of ice entering the atmosphere. A chunk of ice that contains Marit Lage.
  • Time Master: Teferi specializes in time magic. Which he uses to help the planeswalker heroes to follow Tibalt back to Ravnica in the split second the golden sun is turned off.
  • Token Trio:
    • The first main trio is composed of a black woman, a gay man and a gorgon.
    • The second main trio is composed of a bisexual Indian woman, a Greek nonbinary person, and a Celtic man.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As a ghost, Jace retains his planeswalker spark but can now bring other ghosts with him through the planes, as he was able to bring Niv-Mizzet with him to Eldraine.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Even after it is revealed to the main trio that the hospital of the frozen heart is a front for a cult, it's too popular with the guildless to be taken down with force. Even the Boros sides with the bad guy.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Isona Maive wants to heal her plane from the destruction Marit Lage brought upon it. To do so, she starts working with Nahiri the Lithomancer and Nicol Bolas, both extremely dangerous planeswalkers, and makes Ral Zarek work with her against his will by threatening his husband.
  • Wham Shot: The final panel of issue 12 shows that Davriel and Tibalt serve Niv-Mizzet and are able to travel to Ravnica, which implies that Niv-Mizzet is the second arc's Big Bad.