I have been greatly enjoying The Ancient Magus Bride series in several of its current forms; most recently, the two side-series. One of them is the manga Jack Flash and the Faerie Case Files; here I present volume two.
This part of the story wraps up the first arc, which is basically a re-telling of the short story in which Jack (Jaqueline, but she hates being called that) and her twin Larry are introduced. Jack and Larry are Changelings, a human and Fae baby switched shortly after birth, who have found each other and live as supernatural detectives in NYC. The basic initial story arc is that Lindel (from the main series) needs them to track down a stolen dragon egg, which also leads Jack into a possible kidnapping case. The two cases are related and basically simultaneously solved. The last chapter sees what could be a new storyline starting in which Jack and Larry take on a missing cat case which has some mysterious elements to it, but they find the cat, and what we see that they don’t is there was a lot more being set up than Jack and Larry probably realize. It’s sinister-ish but interesting, and I hope the next volume follows through.
One thing I like about this series, besides Jack being an interesting character herself, is that this series really does stand on its own; without Lindel and a few other small references, the connection to The Ancient Magus Bride is not at all obvious; but then, knowing that does help make some sense and fill in some imagination. The art is a similar thing; it’s a lot darker and more stylized than that of the main series. The artist and main author are different, although the original series’ creator is listed as a supervisor for this series. My only issue with the look is that sometimes in a busier scene with all the angles and shadows and heavy lines, it can be hard to see what’s going on in terms of some of the details.
I’m looking forward to see how the series develops now that in terms of storyline it’s starting to turn towards its own thing, and not just a retelling of a previously told story in a different medium. And it’s not just the story, it’s also the characters and the world. NYC is obviously an incredibly different thing than somewhere in England that’s within a few hours travel of London. The difference in aesthetic perception alone is clear, and I’m hoping this carries through to the rest of the world and story that we get in the future. I’m looking forward to that.