Geek Reads

Geek Reads

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rediscovering My Giselle Villard...MYSTIC

I first came across this title when I browsed Book Sale stores in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. Having nothing better to read, I figured to try out a magical looking and gorgeous to boot, female character which costs just P50. And having 3 consecutive issues on hand, it wasn’t a bad deal at all.

The title being new was released by a new Comic book company then called, CrossGen Comics. It was relatively a spec in the arena dominated by Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse. So were they in their right minds to go after the big guys and take a slice of the pie? Well, they have their hearts in the right place and by issue 3, I was won over.

Here was a new character that magically could rival my favorite Dr. Strange and upseat Dr. Fate in his place in Salem. With no other info available to me about the style, and theme of the comic then, only the story as well as the sharp and colourful rendering of the character and her magical surroundings were the only things to draw me in. It was only during the recent 2011 Comic Con that I was able to get this trade paperback collecting the first 7 issues did I know the inspiration behind the title; from Steve Ditko's earlier work on Dr. Strange for Master Mondru, to J.C, Leyendecker for Giselle's duplicitous suitor, Darrow to Art Noveau prominent in the 1800 to 1900 by Czech-French Artist, Alphonse Mucha. 

The setting is in the magical planet of Ciress where magic is commonplace and the only way of life for the populace. The citizenry are governed by 7 ruling Guilds of magic each with its own master and own set of discipline, not to mention disciples. At the heart of the story is the Noveau Guild currently being groomed to receive its new master by way of Genevieve Villard. 

The other Guild Masters were there to bear witness to this ceremony and consisted of Magus, the Master of the Dark Magi Guild; 

Vashua, Master of the Tantric Guild; 

Atyaah, Master of the Djinn Guild; 

Mondru, Master of the Astral Guild;   

Zai, Master of the Shaman Guild 

and Yinma, Master of the Enchantress Guild. 

On hand to bear witness and to muck everything up is Genevieve’s younger and happy go lucky sister, Giselle Villard who knew nothing of responsibility let alone living the life that her sister had for her. Who would have known that in a flash, Giselle’s life would be turned upside down and inside out when during the ritual, the residing spirit of the previous Masters currently in the bodies of each incumbent Guild head along with the one that Genevieve is to receive in order to mark the transfer of power, all are siphon and mysteriously finds its way into Giselle, zapping her right there and then outside the Noveau Guild courtyard which by the drawing alone, has made me a fan.

Giselle during the course of this first compilation denies the power that she somehow obtained and only wishes to go back to her old partying life with her elder sister, taking the mantle and full responsibility of the Guild. In her own defense, Giselle who has no knowledge or interest in magic, explains that right before the ceremony a friendly old man shakes her hand and a sigil or mark appears in her palm. She suggests, albeit weakly, that it is because of the presence of this mark, also unfamiliar to the Guild Masters, that caused her to take in all other Spiritual masters of each of the Guild Houses.

The compilation shows Giselle’s gradual transformation from bratty socialite to a loving and protective sister who would now have to grow up, find a way how to remove the magic that she didn’t need and how to deal diplomatically if not magically with 6 resentful Masters determined to getting back what was theirs regardless of the cost.