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Western Animation / The Magician

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Ace Cooper: In magic there is always a trick.
Cosmo: Man, I love this job!

The Magician was a French animated television series produced by Xilam and distributed by Gaumont. The series aired in 1999 on Fox Kids Saturday mornings.

The series takes place near the beginning of the third millennium in the fictional city of Electro City. Technology has advanced, and a new wave of criminals are willing to take advantage of it, including Black Jack, one of the city's most dangerous criminals.

The only man who can face these criminals is Ace Cooper, aka The Magician. He works as a stage magician, which allows him to hide that he also possesses real magic. In his crime-fighting, Ace is helped by Cosmo, his teenage magician's assistant, and Lieutenant Vega, an old friend from the police. Ace is also sometimes helped by Mona Malone, his romantic interest in the series, but their relationship is often strained because she is also the daughter of Black Jack.

The series is not well known and has a small fanbase. There were two seasons made; but, for unknown reasons, while the second season aired in other countries (probably including France), it never aired on Fox Kids.

Not to be confused with the 1973-1974 live action series starring Bill Bixby.

This series provides examples of:

  • Arch-Enemy: Ace is often dealing with the criminal activities of Blackjack, one of the few recurring villains in the show. The final episode of season one has him assemble an alliance of criminals Ace put away, along with his rival Sunny, just to get rid of him.
  • Bantering Baddie Buddies: Spade and Diamond were Blackjack's henchmen, and their back-and-forth was pretty versatile: sometimes it was Played for Laughs, and other times they would convey a part of the plan to the viewer by discussing it between themselves, e.g. Diamond reminding Spade that gas masks were hidden inside clown noses.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Ace Cooper always said, "Magic force! Reveal the power within!" to change into his alter ego, The Magician.
  • The Consigliere: Blackjack has an attorney called Professor Clockwise. He generally knows all about Blackjack's plans and does a terrific job keeping Blackjack out of prison: just about everyone in Electro City believes Blackjack to be a legitimate casino owner instead of the crime boss he is, largely thanks to Clockwise. Clockwise also talked Blackjack out of having his henchmen find and kill Ace in the pilot, as the police might trace that back to them.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Was made clear with Ace since he was raised in an orphanage and we have no clue of what happened to his parents. It's hinted that Cosmo used to live with at least his father before living with Ace, but it's never clear if his parents are actually alive or dead.
  • Dating Catwoman: Ace's love interest, Mona Malone, is also the daughter of his archnemesis, "Black" Jack Malone. Played with, in that she doesn't participate in her father's criminal activities.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Mona and Ace are in love, but the relationship is constantly in danger since her father is Ace's Arch-Enemy.
  • Death Dealer: Although nonlethal, Ace does throw playing cards at his opponents.
  • Evil Cripple: Black Jack needs to fly around in a hovering wheelchair and can't walk on his own. We aren't really shown how he got that way, but an early episode does show that he used to be a strong, vigorous man once.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: At the least, Blackjack never involves his daughter in any of his schemes.
  • Evil Twin: In the episode "Twin Brothers," a man who looks identical to Ace (well, his nose was different, but he got a nose job to fix it) tries to kill Ace so he can take over his life. This can also be tied with Identical Stranger.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Captain Fredricks has a recurring habit of taking things at face value when it comes to people, especially when it comes to his recurring dislike of Ace Cooper. He will immediately think Ace is at fault for the flimsiest of reasons, such as a series of fires make a pattern that form an M and his reasoning for Ace being at fault is "M is for Magician!" As for Black Jack, due this connections with the senator and his running of a casino, he is completely sure that he's a legitimate businessman who has nothing nefarious going on
  • Inside a Computer System: It happens during the episode "Virtual Fatality."
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Ace's transformation seems to amount to him just letting the audience know he's getting serious, since there doesn't seem to be much of a difference in his abilities in or out of costume.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: The "hiding in plain sight" variety. He keeps to stage magic, until his Transformation Sequence Once an Episode.
  • Magician Detective: This is Ace's main job in the show.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: With the hero's power being magic, they never bothered to define it.
  • Pariah Prisoner: After one pirate-themed Villain of the Week was defeated and arrested for taking artifacts from a museum and trying to drown the protagonists, he was told by another inmate, "In this jail, we don't like people who steal from museums!" causing him to scream in fright!
  • Police Are Useless: The police, especially Captain Fredricks, tend to be this a lot. Many times, they've arrested Ace Cooper or blamed him, for the crime of the episode.
  • Studio Audience: In-universe, for a show whose presenter is a recurring character. Prompts for applauding or laughing are visible, in the form of screens with icons.
  • Teen Genius: Cosmo.
  • Theme Naming: Ace Cooper, Blackjack and his dragons, Spade and Diamond.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Downplayed with Spade and Diamond. They're armed, dangerous, and generally competent, but their back-and-forth with each other is occasionally Played for Laughs, whereas Black Jack is never funny.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: This will always happen, several times with the major villain Black Jack, and also with the two other big villains, Faceless and Sonny Boy.