I've never played Magic: The Gathering, and it's probably too late to start now. I've had a grudge against it ever since the nerd pendulum swung from Dungeons and Dragons to collectible card games, because can I play a half-elf thief in Magic? Possibly, but I never bothered to find out; I was too busy sulking. Anyway, I expected to hate this comic, too, especially after being greeted by this gaudy Hildebrant cover, but it turned out that the story wasn't too bad for a promotional volume based on an expansion to a game for 12 year olds. The art was pretty decent as well:
(Above: Why not just put this on the FRONT cover?)
Fortunately, I had a perfectly shitty Magic: The Gathering comic to read in its place. This one starts out with a half-naked king toting around his infant son in a fantastic land where shit just explodes everywhere for no obvious reason. Suddenly, King Poor Choices is attacked by a viking on a flying ship! The viking shoots an aging beam at the king's retainer, turning him into the Cryptkeeper, and KPC in retaliation blows himself up, taking the ship with him. Aged Retainer then brings the infant back to the castle, where he is of course not recognized, and he and the child are cast out to live in the street.
(Above: Uhh... I don't think the writer knows what "crone" actually means)
The infant grows up to be the world's ugliest boy, keeping soul and body together by begging and stealing. Oh, what a cruel twist of fate, to go from prince to pauper! But when he and the "crone" who has raised him are attacked, the boy realizes his true powers in what may be one of the most hilarious panels in any comic, ever:
(Above: For those of you unfamiliar with Magic, saying "you've tapped!" is similar to saying "you've gone directly to Go" in a Monopoly-themed comic book)
The story is to continue in upcoming issues, but if you think I'm going to read those, you are insane. Go read them yourself if you're so excited to know what happens.
Incidentally, the cover promises that there is a free Magic card inside, and this is what I found laid in:
I haven't the faintest idea how to play this. Magic: The Gathering is hard!