There has been a side of the DC Universe that hasn’t had the proper spotlight in a while. I’m talking about the mystical side full of magicians, ghosts, and demons. Recently, DC has taken steps to bring more magic into the world again. While The Hellblazer series runs monthly with the rest of DC Rebirth, new miniseries have popped up as well. These series walk a horror theme such as Deadman, Ragman, and The Demon: Hell Is Earth. While I do enjoy these books, they tend to blend together. Enter Mystik U, a story that follows a young group of magical characters in the DC Universe.
**Some Spoilers Below**
After Zatanna Zatara accidentally sends her father to Hell, Rose Psychic offers to teach her how to control her gift. She takes the budding magician to Mystik U, the DC equivalent of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. Zatanna goes on to meet a variety of different characters while she settles into her new life. These characters range from the familiar, such as The Enchantress and Frankenstein, to the obscure, such as Sargon The Sorcerer.
This your traditional arc building story to introduce the world and its characters. While the world itself is certainly interesting, it was difficult to get behind the characters. Of the students, I found Zatanna interesting, albeit dim at times. I know this is when she first starts out with magic, but knowing her father was a powerful magic user, she should know some of the things she doesn’t. The one character I’m actually intrigued by is the son of Felix Faust. While the ‘child of the villain is good’ trope has been played before, this character’s relationship to his father promises some interesting storytelling. The rest of the cast ends up being stereotypes in school comedies such as Saved By The Bell.
There isn’t much action packed spell slinging this issue, so it might leave some readers disappointed. If you are looking to learn a bit more about the mystical side of the DC Universe, you might want to wait until the series is collected. If you want something reminiscent of Harry Potter, where its young people build friendships and learn magic, this might be the book for you.
The team really worked some magic in this issue. The art was imaginative, colorful, and perfectly captures the world. The magical side of the DC is meant to be wondrous yet horrifying. In this book we get a terrifying devil then followed a few pages later by adorable fairies. These designs don’t feel like from two separate books either.
The designs of the characters are creative as well. The art team was able to create outfits for the students that you would see on an actual college campus while maintaining the feel of their original character design. It’s designs such as these that make the story feel more realistic, despite the magical setting.
While the world is interesting, to say the least, we are left with some dull characters, but a promise of an intriguing story. The art successfully brings out the mystical feel of the story and keeps the characters realistic in design. Despite promises of an intriguing story, as a standalone issue, it falls a bit short.