6,000 years ago, a planeswalker took their first steps into the multiverse to begin a journey that would shape much more than just her and her home plane. Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 shows readers elements of the titular character’s journey that have never been seen before. While often connected to her anger towards Sorin, BOOM! Studios, with writer Seanan McGuire, Artists Kath Lobo and Alejandro Mejias, colorist Raúl Angolo, and letterer Ed Dukeshire deliver a different side of the ancient planeswalker’s life.
Despite Nahiri being a secondary character in the pantheon of Magic the Gathering‘s long list of characters, she has always been of particular interest to me. Her part in the history of her home plane of Zendikar and its ancient battle with the Eldrazi, combined with her interest in slapping the vampire planeswalker Sorin around, made her immensely appealing to me. But I was left with little background details about this character’s life outside of these focused aspects. Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 expands upon the character’s story, revealing a far greater depth and kindness to her.
As a Lithomancer, Nahiri has the ability to manipulate and communicate with rocks. From small pebbles to whole mountains, Nahiri can use the rocks around her to mold and shape as she wills. But rather than simply manipulating the stone beneath her feet, Nahiri always asks the stones first. While on the surface this may seem silly, as one who can hear the voices of stones, Nahiri recognizes a deeper personality to them and always shows respect. This respect finds her making a friend on the distant plane of Dominaria, a mountain that may live as long as she will.
Perhaps the strongest theme in Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 is its look at Nahiri’s immortality. As most of this story takes place before the multiverse was altered by The Mending, Nahiri is far more powerful than most fans are familiar with planeswalkers being. Because of this, Nahiri struggles with finding stable ground to attach herself to. Everyone around her is constantly changing while she remains still. McGuire finds the perfect companion for Nahiri in the mountain. Mountains last forever and are virtually unchanging. Throughout this book’s story, we see Nahiri leave and return many times on various journeys. Some are to help her mountain others are to help her home of Zendikar. But no matter what, Nahiri always finds her way back to her first friend.
Both the writing and the art in Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 do a tremendous job of capturing the evolution of Nahiri, despite the great leaps through time the story takes her through. The character manages to evolve in a way that feels natural. Lobo’s art reinforces the sense of change extremely smoothly as well. While I barely noticed Nahiri’s outward changes as I read the book, the difference was striking when I went back to the beginning.
The art doesn’t just deliver on its protagonist, either. The worlds Nahiri passes through and the creatures she faces are as diverse and vibrant as one could ask for. The line work is given extra energy thanks to the wonderful colorwork done by Angolo. The final touch to this book’s presentation is the lettering. Beyond simply giving readers a clear path to follow the story with, Dukeshire does a great job of visually distinguishing when Nahiri is speaking as we do and when she is speaking as the stones do. This visual differentiation makes the two languages feel genuinely different from each.
When all is said and done, Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 takes a deep dive into Nahiri, her journey, and how important it is to have somewhere you can always go back to.
Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Nahiri The Lithomancer #1
Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 takes a deep dive into Nahiri, her journey, and how important it is to have somewhere you can always go back to.