Magic: The Gathering is getting a brand new comic book series in a partnership with IDW Publishing. Wizards of the Coast announced that it would be partnering with the comic book publisher once more to tell the tale of Chandra Nalaar, one of Magic's most popular planeswalker characters.
Magic: The Gathering and IDW Publishing have partnered together before, telling the story of a then-fresh Dack Fayden. The comics followed the man who called himself the greatest thief in the multiverse as he explored some of Magic's most popular planes, operating in a roguish manner that most of the main storyline planeswalkers don't share. The partnership also resulted in some promotional cards being inserted into issues of the series, offering a bit of extra incentive for fans of the trading card game to jump into the offering.
The new comic book series, called Magic: The Gathering: Chandra, will be written by Vita Ayala (Supergirl, The Wilds) with interior art by Harvey Tolibao (X-Men, Green Arrow). The story is set to follow Chandra, a talented pyromancer and powerful planeswalker, through some new adventures that haven't been showcased in the game's main storyline. Four years removed from the last Magic comic book project, franchise director Jeremy Jarvis believes this new series will mark a different approach to storytelling as the franchise celebrates its 25th anniversary:
"Think of a character that you love. From any story, from any proprety. There is an excellent chance that you were introduced to that character by some kind of page, or some sort of screen...we are thrilled to have Vita and Harvey introduce you to Chandra, to her story, her quirks, and her incredible powers. Set in the near future of the Multiverse...knowledge of cards is optional, love of characters required."
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the announcement is that the comics will be set in the "near future" rather than functioning as a kind of prologue for the adventures Chandra has had in between the events taking place in the Gatewatch storyline. With rising talent like Ayala at the helm, there are a lot of opportunities not just to tell fascinating stories, but to leave clues about what's going to happen prior to the comics' narrative to tantalize fans of the main story as well.
Whether or not that's part of the plan remains to be seen, though, as details of the comics are fairly scarce. All we currently know is that the series will follow Chandra, it has an impressive team behind it, and it will be published beginning this November. Beyond that, whatever Wizards of the Coast means behind stating that Chandra is suffering after a devastating loss and striking out on her own will have to be uncovered once the comics release. Could this be another hint at the destruction of the Gatewatch, or is something else going to happen to Chandra, who has already lost a father and several friends in the struggle against Nicol Bolas?