I’ve been giving Mark Millar’s upcoming, magic-themed comic book, The Magic Order, a lot of coverage as of late, mostly because comics are my main passion* and it’s rare that I get a chance to talk about them here at GeniiOnline. Having contributed to the pre-launch hype for the comic, I feel like I’m duty-bound to report on the apparently shifty things going on behind the scenes.

Last week, Millar announced that the comic was a hit before it launched, with pre-order numbers that are, frankly, astounding for a new intellectual property. He and publisher Image Comics have managed to flog north of 140,000 copies of the #1 before its June 13th release date. 

If that all sounds a bit too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. According to anonymous tip received by nerd news outlet, Bleeding Cool, the insane pre-order numbers for the comic are an illusion. According to their source, sales have been inflated by what the industry calls, “bulk buying.” Essentially, 100,000 copies were sold to convention organisers, ReedPOP, at a reduced rate of 40 cents per copy (vs the cover price of the comic is $3.99) to be sold or given away at various events. In exchange for the bulk purchase, Millar has apparently agreed to appear at shows organized by the company later in the year. 

Using bulk buying to manipulate sales chart numbers isn’t illegal, but it isn’t entirely ethical either, and bragging about record-setting sales using inflated numbers is in very bad taste. Stripped of the 100,000 bulk sales, The Magic Order #1 has still racked up an impressive 40,000 pre-orders, but that number gets smashed to pieces by the 100,000+ pre-orders for Oblivion Song, the new comic from Walking Dead scribe, Robert Kirkman. 

Neither ReedPOP or publisher, Image Comics, has responded to Bleeding Cool for comment.   

*Shameless plug: lets just say if you were to google my name and, “comics,” the results would be interesting.

So many videos, so little time. Here’s a selection of magic-related vids we missed this week, or that didn’t warrant their own article:

I admit, there’s a tiny part of me that wants to see magic pranks go wrong, especially when they involve fake animal abuse. In this video, veteran magician, Murray SawChuck, runs into a noble security guard who won’t let his abuse of a spring-loaded skunk slide. 

Sleight of hand genius, Shin Lim, gave a 15-minute-long interview to a Toronto-based magazine with the worst audio setup in the world. I strongly suggest you soldier on through the echo-laden video, as the FISM Close-Up magic champion is full of good advice.

Here’s a cool motion trailer for The Magic Order, the new comic from Kick-Ass scribe, Mark Millar. In the comic, a dysfunctional family of magicians must come together to defend the earth from a supernatural threat. The first issue hits shelves July 13th. 

Darcy Oakes absolutely killed it on Showtime at the Apollo. The Winnipeg-born magician has been going from strength to strength since he made the finals in series 8 of Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. 

You’ve probably heard of comic scribe Mark Millar’s work, even if you haven’t heard his name before. Wanted, Kingsmen and the two Kick-Ass films are all (loose) adaptations of his original comics, and his work for Marvel and DC has laid the groundwork for two or three major movies. His latest comic, The Magic Order, was announced back in 2017. Now that we’re within walking distance of the comic’s June 13th launch date, Millar has shared some of project artist, Olivier Coipel’s, gorgeous panel work.

Described as “magic meets the mob,” The Magic Order follows five magical families sworn to protect the world from supernatural threats, at least when they’re not being picked off one by one by unknown forces of darkness. Judging by the sneak peak we’ve had of first issue, and there’s certainly some traditional performance magic going on amongst all the supernatural stuff. 

Like most other outlets covering The Magic Order, we erroneously reported that streaming giant Netflix would be publishing the comic. To clarify, Netflix has purchased Millar’s production company Millarworld, but Image Comics will be publishing The Magic Order.

It just so happens that GeniiOnline has someone who used to review comics for a living on staff (spoiler: it’s me), so expect a review of TMO shortly after the first issue hits shelves.   

Netflix may have begun its life as mail-order DVD rental service, but over time it’s become a media powerhouse in its own right. In addition to creating its own film and television content, Netflix announced via press release that it will be expanding into the world of comic books with a brand new story called The Magic Order written by Kick-Ass and Kingsman creator Mark Millar.

The Magic Order is Millar’s first project announced for Netflix after his company, Millarworld, was acquired by the streaming/production company in August 2017. The six-part comic series will center on a team of crime-fighting and monster-busting magicians who work in secret to keep our society peaceful. Netflix describes it thus:

We live in a world where we’ve never seen a monster and these people are the reason we sleep safely in our beds. Magic meets the mob in The Magic Order, as five families of magicians sworn to protect our world for generations must battle an enemy who’s picking them off one by one. By day they live among us as our neighbors, friends and co-workers, but by night they are the sorcerers, magicians and wizards that protect us from the forces of darkness…unless the darkness gets them first.

The first issue in the six-part series will be released in Spring 2018, and will feature writing by Millar and art by Olivier Coipel (Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man). The comic will be available in physical and digital formats, wherever comic books are sold, and the cover of the first issue can be seen below:

Now, the question remains: will Netflix turn The Magic Order into a film or television series for its streaming network? All focus from the press release seems to be on the comic book itself, so there’s no word yet on whether this is the beginning of some larger transmedia venture, but that has to be where this is all headed, right? What do you think?