By Bengal (Author and Illustrator)
Magnetic Press (Publisher)
> Review by Maia Bankhead
The first thing that appealed to me about Luminae was its vibrant cover art of a woman with seemingly armored wings holding a magically glowing bow that was aimed straight at me. Upon seeing the name of the author/illustrator, one of first things I thought was, “Who the hell is Bengal?” Bengal is a French artist who stands in the background as the silent illustrator for various DC, Marvel, and Image comics. In Luminae, Bengal weaves the legend of a woman—the heart of magic—who must remain pure in order to keep the world safe. She is protected by warrior women that will keep her out of the hands of the forces of evil until the end of time. But what if one of these warriors goes missing? What if the forces of evil decide to attack while the forces of light are vulnerable? In all honesty, this is a story that I couldn’t get into. The basic plot is great, but I don’t believe it was executed well. The comic only vaguely connects about four different endings while promising something larger. Unfortunately for the reader, this isn’t volume one; it’s the entire story. Despite my issues with the story, the artwork is beautiful in Luminae. It’s mystical and uses the perfect contrast of light and dark, which translates to LOTS of magic attacks. The style is—as Queen City Bookstore owner Emil Novak said—“manga-esque,” which I agree with. One guardian, Izée, even looks like Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist. Do I recommend this? While Luminae wasn’t my favorite comic, I know that others would love it, so I recommend seeing for yourself.