The popular card game Magic: The Gathering is expanding to comics once again. We can exclusively reveal that Wizards of the Coast and IDW Publishing are collaborating on a new series called Magic: The Gathering – Chandra, one timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the franchise.
The new series will focus on Chandra Nalaar, a Planeswalker who plays a key role in Magic: The Gathering lore. The series will be written by Vita Ayala (Supergirl) and drawn by Harvey Tolibao (X-Men).
One of IDW’s goals with the new series is to offer a clean gateway into the Magic universe for readers who aren’t necessarily familiar with the 25 years of existing lore. This series is billed as a “fresh start” for the franchise with “an all-new approach to storytelling,” according to IDW’s press release. The new series isn’t connected to IDW’s previous Magic comic from 2014.
Ayala explained that new reader-friendly approach in an email interview. “With this story, the team and I wanted very much to introduce people who may not be familiar with the game to the rich characters, worlds, and lore that have come from it, in an accessible way! There have been comics before, of course, but as many have said, every comic is someone’s first comic, and to be able to entice people to check out something as amazing as the Magic: The Gathering universe while getting to tell a compelling story about a character as complex and interesting as Chandra is such a thrill!”
Ayala also revealed that the series will focus a great deal on the fundamental link between Planeswalkers and the magic they wield. “One of the aspects that I wanted to highlight in the story is the connection between the characters and their magic – how their mental, emotional, and physical states can effect how they manifest their magic. Literally WHO someone IS affects what they can do, magic-wise, in this universe.”
Ayala continued, “The challenge is to do this in a way that doesn’t get too into the minutia of mana and the mechanics of that stuff more closely linked to the card game. I think the team and I have managed to do it, in a subtle, organic way that enhances all the cool stuff that Chandra (and other characters) can do! The antagonist of the series is as good an example of this as Chandra is, and I am excited to see how people react to the push and pull of their dynamic!”
Finally, Ayala made it clear that their love for the card game is fueling their excitement for this project. “I have been playing the game on and off for probably about sixteen years now. There were cycles in my life where I didn’t collect as much (college was a lean time, wallet-wise), but Magic has been a constant in my life in terms of the mythos and community building since I was a teenager. I ride or die for a couple of the characters – Garruk, Chandra, Kiora, Xenagos, and Samut especially. Like, I used to carry a Garruk, Primal Hunter in my wallet. He is in a deck right now, though, so I have a Solitary Hunter, Hallar the Fire Fletcher, and Frazzled Editor in there instead!”
Look for Magic: The Gathering – Chandra #1 to hit stores in November 2018.