What does Magic Origins mean to you?

I don’t mean the set. I mean, when you think about the origin of MtG, what comes to mind? I am sure it’s different for each of us. For some, it might be the first set in which we became aware of the story-line. For others, it might be Richard Garfield working in the basement of a card company that everyone thinks is about to fail. Magic means something different to each of us. Thus, so too does its origin. I am sure many of you felt this new set covered the basis. But, I didn’t.

To me, this wasn’t “Magic Origins” it was “Overview of Modern Magic.” Really, the cards didn’t really call further back than Mark Rosewater being head designer, circa 2003. Sure, Reclaim and Revenant were first printed in 1998. But, they both have been reprinted since and aren’t really reminiscent of older sets or stories, as has Jayemdae Tome. Goblin Piledriver is really the oldest in that regard, and it was first printed in 2002. Magic started in 1993, but -looking at Origins– it’s like the 90’s didn’t happen.

Time Spiral felt more like ‘Magic Origins’ to me than Magic: Origins.

It seems Magic has done its best to forget its history. Individuals like Urza and Gerrard Capashen or villains like Yawgmoth and Baron Sengir are –mostly– not mentioned by newer characters. You’d think the populous of the multiverse would at least remember older planeswalkers. But -alas- no. Even when old ideas are resurrected, the old characters which were part of it are forgotten. The new Phyrexian praetors seem to have no knowledge of Yawgmoth, for example.

Originally, Magic really had one story line. One plot which more or less started with Yawgmoth and The Thran, and continued until Urza gave his life to save the main plane of Dominaria (not to be confused with the multiverse, Dominia). This massive story lasted from ~1993 until ~2001, had >15 sets dedicated to it, and not one call back in Magic: Origins. It seems truly forgotten.

Now, Magic seems to be more focused on characters, not plots. Jace is endearing, even if Lorwyn isn’t. They occasionally go back to planes Mark Rosewater wants to fix, but they follow the new planeswalkers. Maybe, that’s the better way to do it. It gets confusing trying to remember what happened 2 years and 7 sets ago. Especially if you just got into the story six months ago. Comics have the same problem.

Comic -with their continuous story line- are now ‘rebooting’ their universes every few years, because it becomes harder and harder for new readers to know what the hell is going on. You might not remember what Superman did back in Superman #22, but you do remember he can fly and grew-up in Kansas. So, when the comics reboot the story they remember the character, but forget what he did. It also gives them a chance to ‘retell’ iconic stories. Did Superman really kill General Zod? Depends on ‘which’ Superman. Yet, all versions of Superman have general themes that string them together, making them all undeniably ‘Superman.’

Magic seems to be getting around this problem. Thus, I doubt we will see another reboot of its universe. Regardless, continuity-philes like me aren’t really the target audience. After all the market research they’ve done, Wizards knows to keep the fluff light. Make sure each card from a set feels similar and related, but you don’t need a 300 page novel explaining what happened. You just need to circulate some concept art and make sure the flavor text is consistent.

Tweet your story, don’t write a Magnum Opus.


But, enough rambling.
How do you like this weeks comic? We’d like to -maybe- do this for each of the major planeswalkers. Show -without words- their story. But, this comic took a lot out of Kenny. He’s not sure if he has as much time as he thought he did. Certainly, not time to draw a novel every week. So, is it worth it? Should we just keep it simple?

Let us know.

-Taylor