Charmed Comic Review, Issue #7: The Heir Up There

I figure I should get around to recapping/reviewing Issue #7 of "Charmed" before Issue #8 comes out tomorrow. This issue actually came out a couple weeks ago, and I picked it up then, but I didn't get a chance to go through it until I got back from Miami. Thus the delay.

RECAP


The issue begins with Piper calling out for Paige from inside her restaurant. Leo insists that it's unnecessary, but Piper, holding Melinda, wants answers. Paige orbs in, and we see that Melinda is using tele-orbing, the same power that Paige has. Paige and Piper agree that Melinda shouldn't be able to use any type of orbing power, since Leo was human when she was conceived. Leo thinks something in his Whitelighter DNA may have been passed to Melinda, but Piper wants Paige to take Leo to the Elders to make sure.

"Up There", Paige and Leo are greeted by Kyle, Paige's deceased ex-boyfriend from Season 7, who's been made into an Elder. Kyle gives Leo the same explanation Leo gave to Piper, but Leo realizes Kyle is lying, and thinks the Elders had a role in Melinda's powers.

Back at the restaurant, Piper and Phoebe discuss dealing with their children coming into their powers while re-organizing the restaurant -- something Melinda undoes in an instant with her powers.

Back up there, Kyle explains to Leo and Paige that the Elders gifted Melinda with her powers, in the hopes of altering the prophecy of the twice-blessed, essentially creating a new generation of Charmed Ones -- Wyatt, Chris and Melinda. Leo is pissed, but Kyle tries to explain that the new Elders' primary purpose is to guide, not interfere. Paige remains skeptical. Leo is more worried about his children being demonic targets, but Kyle assures him they're safe, and offers Leo his powers back. Leo says no, but then Kyle informs him that Rennek, a powerful darklighter, is back.

We see some of what Rennek has been up to, hunting down other creatures of the underworld, including the Queen of the Vampires, with Neena.

Back at the restaurant, Melinda is still causing trouble with her tele-orbing, which has apparently been going on for months. Piper then realizes that the timing coincided with her taking away Melinda's pacifier. Once returned, Melinda falls asleep.

Up there, Leo is still turning down the offer to be a Whitelighter again. He wants to stay mortal, and doesn't want the strings attached with working for the Elders again. Kyle explains that when he dies (again), he won't be re-made a whitelighter, to which Leo responds, "wouldn't have it any other way."

Back at the manor, Piper and Leo discuss his decision. Leo insists he's fine with it, because at least this time it was truly his decision, and he trusts that Piper, Phoebe and Paige can protect the children, saying ominously, "there's nothing you can't handle."

Cut to the underworld, where Neena is on her throne discussing the hunt with Rennek, who wonders what the underworld would think if they knew who Neena really was. He calls her Victoria and Isabel, revealing he knows her true nature.

REVIEW


Let's start with the end first. If you've only been reading issue by issue, and haven't picked up the Charmed TPB, then the whole "Isabel" reveal might be lost on you. There's a short, previously unpublished mini-story in the trade that takes place in the 1600s, involving Charlotte Warren (Melinda Warren's mother) and Neena, then going by "Isabel". Having read the trade, the final page of this issue served as nice confirmation that Neena and Isabel are the same, but other readers might have to wait another issue before that last page really makes sense.

I really liked this story, because while it served as the start of a longer story arc -- like Issues 1-5 had been -- it also works as a self-contained book. It was probably the issue that was more like an episode of "Charmed", sans direct interaction with demons, than any other issue we'd had previously in this series. It also served to help re-establish how the various levels of the "Charmed" universe work, after having not seen "up there" or The Elders in the early issues.

While I never really liked him on the series, I liked the re-introduction of Kyle Brody in this issue, because it serves to potentially add another point of friction between Paige and Henry, after their incident in "Mortal Enemies". Of the three major relationships in the series, that's the one that interests me the most, because it's the only one with a true mortal (given his Whitelighter and Elder past, Leo can't really be classified as such) and we know so little of Henry's past.

Beyond the story, we're back to Marcio Abreu's art after a one issue break, and I'm still not sold on his art style. His likenesses for Piper and Paige were good enough in this issue, but his Phoebe (for the little time she was in it) was lacking. Most distressingly, I didn't get Brian Krause from his Leo at all, which was a problem considering how prominently Leo was featured in this issue. Even beyond the likeness concern, Leo seemed to be different ages depending on which panel you were looking at, sometimes looking like he was in his early 20s, and other times looking like a 45-year-old. Also, the character model for Neena seems to have changed drastically from the early Dave Hoover artwork, which makes for some weird continuity when jumping from the trade to this issue.

OK, new issue tomorrow, and I promise I won't take two weeks before reviewing it.


Previous Issue
#6, Morality Bites Back
Charmed #7
The Heir Up There
Next Issue
#8, Oh, Henry

Comments