Djinn Hunter # 1
While reading Djinn Hunter # 1, I was struck by an overwhelming inclination. They say that familiarity can breed contempt. And coincidentally, there is much of both in the first issue of this magickal series from BlackBox Comics. Still eventually, both I and Zara, the main character, happen upon a realization. You enter a situation thinking you know something only to discover it is entirely different than your wildest imagination.
Writer: Jay Sandlin
Artist/Cover/Letter: Fabrizio Cosentino
At first glance, you may only notice the elements that seem to be borrowed from other series. For starters, there is Zara’s hairstyle and color. Then there is her profession which is hunting her own kind. The final “X” making the spot is when she teams up with an actual phoenix. A council using one of its more powerful and least trusted members seems like part of another “Wars” story that is a favorite of geekdom. And then there is that opening image of the beautiful woman, barely clothed chained in a tormentor’s pit. But don’t let these illusions mislead you, as there is more to this story than we are lead to believe.
Fabrizio Cosentino and Jay Sandlin waste no time in providing the reader with a clear impression of the spirit that burns within Zara.
On the opening page, Cosentino portrays Zara as a slave, yet Sandlin writes her with a soldier’s fire. Despite her situation, chained and vulnerable, Zara would rather spit in the face of her captors than accept their offer of reprieve. She is indeed full contempt. With the title of Magehound, Zara is a soldier to the Djinn Council. We discover that Zara had betrayed these elemental Elders and received a sentence of ten thousand years. Now the council finds itself betrayed again by one of their own, the Djinn Elder Abyss. They offer to return her powers and to commute her sentence. In exchange, the Magehound will track down Abyss to restore balance to the realms.
There is no shortage of amazing art and characterization in this opening issue. Cosentino imagines the realm of the Elder Council in an ethereal astounding manner. It is almost like looking into a dreamscape. The look of each Elder is imposing and powerful, signifying their role. Their appearances are complimented by Sandlin’s writing style, which provides each one with a unique and unmistakable personality.
The term djinn (or English genie) refers to a variety of spirit entities. At times it is difficult to determine what portion of the lore is actually the truth. I found myself discovering that is what made this comic magnificent. As Zara points out, this is also is true of the chaos Abyss causes. Djinn magick is about granting desires which are different from wishes. What you expect is entirely different than what you are going to receive.