ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Potions Inc.,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Potions Inc. #1 - But Why Tho

Potions Inc. #1 is a fantasy comic published by Mad Cave Studios, written by Erik Burnham, with art by Stelladia, cover art by Natasha Alterici, flats by Ian Tags, letters by Micah Myers, and design by David Reyes. In one world, a child is told a bedtime story about a far away land, and she thinks it’s make-believe. In another world, three children must atone for one’s mistake and learn their world is not the only.

Potions Inc. #1 is a grand setup for a series rife with potential. I will admit, it leaves a bit to be desired in the way of characters to begin. The main character, Ran, is a bit aloof, and his siblings are honestly indistinguishable from one another. The main antagonist Poncelina isn’t a ton to behold either yet, but an obvious piece of foreshadowing in the first pages sets her up as more of a character doing the wrong thing for the right reasons than an outright villain.

The lack of exciting characterization didn’t deter me, though, because the conceit of the comic itself was intriguing enough to compensate. In the world of Potions Inc., magic is everywhere. It’s just a matter of your skill and method of tapping into it. The potions and wands and Ran’s particularly unique ability all have me totally intrigued about the world to come in future issues. The dual worlds, the seemingly intriguing rules of magic, and the forms that it’s able to take seem to behold depth that may compensate for the characters even if they never develop completely; however, I certainly hope they will.

Artistically, I quite enjoy the style. It has a watercolor feeling but with bold lines and a texture to the coloring. The characters and backgrounds are, in a way, almost too similar in their style so as to not always feel entirely distinguished from the world around them. But, as a whole, it’s a lush world being created here, and its style just screams “magical” even when depicting the mundane. The magic is shown with an ethereal quality that just builds on my interest in it. And I adore the various styles the art uses when showing a story being told within the story or using little cartoonish asides. It’s a testament to the artist’s skills how these styles work together so complementary.

The colors are just as perfect a fit for this story. The soft blues and purples of the backgrounds and clothing continue to match the overall magical feeling of the world as a whole, while stark color changes in key panels help draw distinct emotions. A scene washed in light and filled with red rooftops gives a grandiose feel to the Grand Market, while blood reds and menacing blues give a dastardly quality to a darker sequence. The lettering throughout the issue compounds the magical quality by feeling ye-olde but remaining largely easy to read. Several bold SFX and a few other-worldly speech bubbles break up the text throughout to create distinct voices and scenes across the comic.

Potions Inc. #1 didn’t wow me on the character front, but its beautiful art and strong world-building certainly have me captivated and intrigued about future issues, where the story will go, and what more magic will unfold.

Potions Inc. #1 is available June 8th wherever comics are sold.


Potions Inc. #1
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TL;DR

Potions Inc. #1 didn’t wow me on the character front, but its beautiful art and strong world-building certainly have me captivated and intrigued about future issues, where the story will go, and what more magic will unfold.

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