REVIEW: 'Destiny, NY' #1 by Pat Shand and Manuel Preitano

 Logan grew up in a boarding school for children with magical prophecies, but she fulfilled her destiny so young that she's now having a midlife crisis despite being in her 20s. When she falls for the estranged daughter of a mystical crime family, Logan's new love puts the entire school in jeopardy.  

A grounded story about the magic of young adulthood, star-crossed modern romance, delayed coming of age, and finding your place in a world too busy to notice you.  

From writer Pat Shand (Snap Flash Hustle) and artist Manuel Preitano (DC Comics' The Oracle Code) with an incredible limited-edition cover by Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), this exuberantly youthful and achingly heartfelt ongoing series feels like Strangers in Paradise set in a magical NYC, featuring characters that will stick with you long after finishing this double-sized first issue.


Writer: Pat Shand

Artist: Manuel Preitano

Letters: Jim Campbell

Publisher: Black Mask Studios

Release Date: March 31, 2021

Cover Price: $3.99


★★★★★ (5/5)

'Destiny, NY' is the kind of character-driven comic I really don't read enough of. Sure, underneath the relationship drama lies magical prophecies that are ingrained in the curriculum of Destiny University. A school that prepares young people destined to encounter a magical reckoning at some point with the help of a seer to fully deal with those prospects before and after. This is not another academy for "special" students that we see in tons of superhero comics. The powers aspect is much more subtle here and the story is primarily about the life of Logan McBride. 

She's a grad student now having already experienced her prophecy and spends her time as any young woman in college would - navigating relationships old and new. Pat Shand's ability to write engaging relatable characters is what holds the readers interest and it's quite extraordinary. Manuel Preitano's beautifully illustrates the series (the first on-going comic for Black Mask Studios) with not just clean lines and contemporary designs but soulful expressive reactions on the characters' faces that help emphasize every emotion. 

Logan bristles at her ex-girlfriend's audacity for posting an engagement photo on social media, she's speechless when she encounters a sexy stranger, and she wonders about her post-prophecy future. Anxiety, uncertainty, self-doubt, all while juggling school and a sex life is a refreshing adventure all it's own to explore in a comic. And yes, there's a subplot of a coming battle against the "greatest evil on this plane' that is guaranteed to complicate things for all our characters. 

Also, an homage of sorts to 'Strangers in Paradise' isn't lost on us in this romantic dramedy as Terry Moore himself does a limited edition cover for the series. 

'Destiny, NY' #1 is a supersized launch for Black Mask Studios' first on-going series and it couldn't have gone better than this dazzling debut. It's romantic, emotional, funny, relatable, and entertaining with a supernatural undertone to boot. We need more of this type of character-driven storytelling in comics that broadens our emotional intelligence. It also happens to be a joy to read. 



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