Magical schools are a popular plot device in fantasy stories, allowing creators to combine the drama of a scholastic environment with the extraordinary elements of the mystical plane. DC’s Mystik U miniseries reimagines the publisher’s magical heroes and villains as the students and faculty of a secret university, and writer Alisa Kwitney, artist Mike Norton, and colorist Jordie Bellaire are using this new concept to offer a more personal look at the supernatural corner of the DC Universe. The creative team set a very strong foundation in the first 48-page issue, and the extended length lets readers spend a lot of time with the characters and their surroundings. In classic magical school fashion, there’s a mysterious threat approaching in the distance, but the students are so wrapped up in their own drama that they’re not thinking about what’s coming.
This exclusive preview of next week’s Mystik U #2 begins with the university dean, Rose Psychic, getting hit by nightmares setting up multiple awful futures for herself and her students. The scene with Zatanna shows how Kwitney weaves the student’s emotional storylines into magical training, and Mr. E offers Zatanna a quick clue regarding her missing father to motivate her to get out of her head and tap into the power inside her. Norton’s work on Revival honed his horror skills, and this excerpt gives him the opportunity to show different gradations of terror, starting with a zombie attack Washington Square Park before the bloody splash page of Mr. E sitting above the students he’s just murdered. Bellaire is no stranger to horror and magic herself—she’s current delivering both in the current Doctor Strange run—and she understands the value of establishing a muted dominant palette to make the burst of magic all the more fantastic. Mystik U has a more grounded tone than most superhero books, and it’s nice to see DC taking a chance on more miniseries with a distinct point of view for these established characters.