The series centers on a planeswalker named Dack Fayden, which is a terrible, terrible name. For one thing, there are about 15 different ways to turn that name into something obscene. For another, it sounds like he should be piloting an X-Wing fighter in Rogue Squadron, not hopping planes and casting spells.
Dack (can I call you Dack?) is a thief-mage. At the onset, he’s doing the thievery bit in Ravnica, but the job goes sour and he has to make a quick escape. He finds that the artifact he stole, the Ancient Fang, is a scryeing knife activated by bloodletting. It shows him a vision of his hometown and everyone in it being slaughtered.
To avoid this disaster, he heads back to his home plane, Innistrad. There he learns that the fang controls vampires, and that the woman who will supposedly murder everyone in Dack’s family has an army of said vampires.
The art is solid, with an appropriate layer of gothic gloom once we arrive at Innistrad. Dack uses an interesting variety of spells, not just fireballs. He unleashes some kind of sun orb that hurts the vamps, and he creates a simulacrum of himself from smoke to use as a decoy. A lot of fiction seems stuck on using magic as a flashy machine gun, so it’s cool to see some creativity going on there. Dack could use some more personality — so far, my strongest impression of him is, “goatee.” But there’s a good blend of horror and action, plus all the foreboding of the looming vampirefest.
To be honest, I might not have picked up this book to begin with if not for the promo cards. The first printing of each issue is packed with an alternate art Magic card. They’re not stunningly awesome cards, but they’re all pretty solid, and at least one of them (Faithless Looting) will be going into the Cube. Electrolyze is a possibility as well). Those were the cards from issues two and three, while issue one featured Treasure Hunt and issue four will have Feast of Blood.
Traditionally, media tie-in Magic promo cards end up being pretty rare (oddly enough, that’s literally true in this case, since all the promos are designated as rare on the card, even if the original card was a common), and I haven’t seen any leftover copies of the prior issues sitting on the shelf at my local comic store. With that in mind, you might want to order issues three and four ahead of time to make sure you can get the promos. Or don’t — I’ll be perfectly happy if mine soar in value in a few years. Online auction prices for the Faithless Looting promo already exceed the cost of the comic book.