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Signs and Wonders (Spellbinders, Vol. 1) by…
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Signs and Wonders (Spellbinders, Vol. 1)

by Mike Carey, Mike Perkins (Illustrator)

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Mike Carey is an excellent writer--easily one of the most talented names in the comics industry. He's most lauded for his dense, philosophical work in the Lucifer series (a spin-off of Gaiman's Sandman that's woefully underappreciated next to its source material) and the more recent the Unwritten, both of which deal heavily with the nature / meaning / impact of storytelling (and arguably put his peers-in-reputation to shame).

Unfortunately, he's also not afraid to knowingly write dreck for a paycheck. His Petrefax miniseries--another Sandman spin-off--, Faker, his early superhero work: There's little room in-between. He's either at the top of his form, or writing lifeless cliches, where every word just follows a checklist of bad writing tropes. (Or writing a couple ~adorable~ YA stories for, presumably, his daughter.)

Spellbinders bottoms out his repertoire of paycheck stories. It was part of Marvel's short-lived "Marvel Next" line of stories targeting teen audiences in 2005, and bears no relevance to any greater Marvel storyline, with no character or plot crossover that may interest particular fans. It takes most of its structure, dialogue and action scenes from bad teen slasher films like I Know What You Did Last Summer or weak, early episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer--only 8 years late to the party. There's nothing more to it: Angry, sassy teenagers insult one another, overdose on meaningless fantasy word vomit, or will explosions at one another by pushing air around with their hands.

It's embarrassing.

The artwork is also quite bad. Like the storytelling, it feels years late to the party, and is most comparable to the overly sexualized superhero artwork that defined much of the '90s. ( )
2 vote alaskayo | Jul 8, 2015 |
Manga-size full color graphic novel about teen witches whose shit gets real just before a new girl arrives in Salem town, possibly to save the world or possibly just to die. I liked the backstory that witches are from “somewhere else,” but I couldn’t get over that eighteen-inch stretch between the bottom of the breasts and the middle of the hips that all heroines apparently have to bare these days as they twist in improbable directions. And yes, it’s not like I can avoid that with a different Marvel book (though Rachel Rising is certainly following Echo in not doing that), but the story didn’t grip me enough to keep me reading. ( )
  rivkat | Apr 2, 2012 |
I really enjoy other books by Mike Carey, but this left me cold. ( )
  ryvre | Jan 16, 2011 |
It was fine. Lent by a friend who was into Buffy and Angel and I suspect this was very similar. I mean, it's high school magicians. The art was hit or miss in that the characters were well (realistically!) drawn but the action sequences were difficult to follow. No unexpected plot twists but nothing ridiculous either. I've really liked some of Carey's other stuff. Magic teenagers just isn't really my thing. ( )
  kristenn | Jan 10, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mike Careyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Perkins, MikeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0785117563, Paperback)

Getting through high school is hard enough without having to watch your back the whole time, but magic can give you a real edge over the competition. When 15-year-old Kim Vesco moves from Chicago to Salem, MA, she finds that the local student body is divided into rival factions of witches and non-witches, with both sides bidding for her allegiance. And if that weren't enough, an unknown force seems to want her... dead! Between the tribal loyalties of the schoolyard and the brutal, fight-or-die logic of the mage-war, Kim has to steer a course that will keep her alive until she can take the fight back to her enemy and reveal the true identity of someone she thought she already knew: herself. Collects Spellbinders #1-6.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When fifteen-year-old Kim Vesco moves from Chicago to Salem, MA, she finds that the local student body is divided into rival factions of witches and non-witches, with both sides bidding for her allegiance. And if that weren't enough, an unknown force seems to want her...dead! Between the tribal loyalties of the schoolyard and the brutal, fight-or-die logic of the mage-war, Kim has to steer a course that will keep her alive until she can take the fight back to her enemy and reveal the true identity of someone she thought she already knew: herself.… (more)

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