[Comic Book Review] Image Comics’ MAGE: THE HERO DENIED #12

Mage the Hero Denied

PopCultHQ received a review copy of MAGE: THE HERO DENIED #12 from Image Comics. Available September 12th, 2018, the creative team for this series features writing and art from Matt Wagner, colors by Brennan Wagner, and lettering from Dave Lanphear of A Larger World Studios.

RELATED: [Comic Book Review] Image Comics’ MAGE: THE HERO DENIED #10

RELATED: [Comic Book Review] Image Comics’ MAGE: THE HERO DENIED #11

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…



Writer: Matt Wagner
Artist: Matt Wagner
Colorist: Brennan Wagner
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Matt Wagner

In Shops: September 12, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Two halves of the separated Matchstick clan face sinister odds in a desperate quest to reunite their family. While Kevin pursues his last hope of locating his wife and son, Magda and Hugo must fend off mystical challenges as they seek to escape their enemy’s stronghold.

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Mage: The Hero Denied #12

What happens as Pendragon and family and foes keep on reaching towards the end? Well, this reviewer can sum it up in one word…exciting. Everything about this new issue is exciting, dear readers. And as this review will attest, you shall read these musings as why it is another example of Matt Wagner being at his finest and best.

Mage the Hero Denied #12 preview page 1
Mage the Hero Denied #12 preview page 1


Truly, Matt has made the many years long wait for this Mage series worthwhile. Issue 12 picks up where things left off for Kevin, Magda, and the kids in their various situations. Magic power flows freely throughout the issue, whether it’s Kevin’s own power, or the tricks and gimmicks of Magda’s skills. And the kids’ reactions to their parents magical gifts is just plain adorable. Like seeing kids go with a parent to work for the first time. That gives this reviewer pause and wonders what will happen when the battle is joined and they are in the thick of things? What comes then?


It’s a one-stop shop for art that will make you gaze in awe and admiration. Glorious, richly-detailed and all-encompassing. Matt’s artwork is all this and more so. A detail noted by this reviewer is that in the pages with Kevin and Miranda being in the wild, there’s a special attention paid to drawing the most minute details of the creatures and the trees and nature.


Brennan has been a great part of the Mage team for this series. No matter the issue, or the part in the story, his colors blend well with Matt’s artwork. Tied to the matter of the woods having lots of detail is Brennan’s colors. The browns and blacks mixed in to create the sense of late evening are interesting. As a fan of his work, the next issue will be a treat.


Dave is a dandy guy with letters. It’s another war involving words. Words lettered to convey anger, excitement, and the chaos of battle. Plus some crazy cool lettering for monsters, imps, and other magical beasts. And on two specific pages, Dave’s lettering goes all kinds of awesome with a stylization that fans will appreciate.  It’s something that can’t be missed, in fact it stands out like a great big lettering thumb.

Mage the Hero Denied #12 preview page 2
Mage the Hero Denied #12 preview page 2

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

There’s a sense of sadness that may come over fans as this issue is enjoyed. It means that there are two issues left before the finale of this, the last chapter of Kevin Matchstick. But there is also a sense of excitement too. Because to wrap up a narrative that has been going on since the 1980s, means that there can only be an ending of the sort that will echo throughout comic book history. So don’t miss out, get a copy of Mage: The Hero Denied #12 today.

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

Mage the Hero Denied #12 preview page 3
Mage the Hero Denied #12 preview page 3

5 out of 5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating - 5 Stars
PopCultHQ Rating – 5 Stars

MAGE: THE HERO DENIED #12 can be purchased on ComiXology and available
at your local comic shop and online retailers Wednesday, September 12th!

Be sure to follow the creative team!

Writer- Matt Wagner






Colorist – Brennan Wagner






Letterer – Dave Lanphear






Letterer – A Larger World Studios






Publisher – Image Comics