Tag Archive: Magic the Gathering: Rise of the Gatewatch


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Review by C.J. Bunce

On the heels of last year’s landmark book Magic: The Gathering: Rise of the Gatewatch–A Visual History (reviewed here), Wizards of the Coast and Abrams ComicArts have come together to give Magic: The Gathering trading card game players their next must-have guide, Magic: The Gathering: Planes of the Multiverse–A Visual History, a chronicle of the lore-defining events of the fantasy roleplaying multiverse.  In bookstores and at Amazon (here) this week, it’s the latest of Abrams’ high-end, full-color, hardcover books highlighting the artwork of the best-known trading card series.  It documents 28 years of select artwork, mythology, and lore behind Magic: The Gathering, the first-ever trading card game, following Visual Histories focusing on Rise of Gatewatch, Legends, and The Art of Magic: The Gathering–War of the Spark.

The book includes character histories and images of the actual cards–many reproduced for the first time outside the trading card.  As with Rise of the Gatewatch, readers will find their favorite card images, accompanied by detailed descriptions of the planes of the story’s Multiverse, its fantastical creatures, characters, and Planeswalkers, with a focus on the game’s locations and the characters that inhabit them.  Lore-defining events chronicled here will take fans of the game from the Phyrexian Invasion to the War of the Spark, and Planeswalkers beyond those included in the Rise of Gatewatch volume, like Karn, Narset, Vraska, Sorin Markov, and more.  The highlight for fans will be seeing cards they’ve never had in their hands before, but it will also be seeing the full artwork before it was cropped for the card.  And the handy size will fit easily into backpacks, to take along to gaming sessions.

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Here is a look at artwork imagery from Magic: The Gathering: Planes of the Multiverse–A Visual History, courtesy of Abrams ComicArts:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Wizards of the Coast and Abrams ComicArts have come together to give Magic the Gathering trading card game players something they haven’t seen before, a high-end art book visual history of the game.  It all begins with Magic the Gathering: Rise of the Gatewatch–A Visual History, the latest of Abrams’ books highlighting the artwork of the best-known trading card series.  More than 25 years ago Magic the Gathering became the first ever trading card game, and this volume looks back to the Planeswalkers.

The first superhero-esque team of Gatewatchers is all here like you’ve never seen them before: Jace Beleren–the telepath with a mysterious past, Ajani Goldmane–the ferocious leonine, Gideon Jura–the reformed criminal who became a protector of the meek, Kaya–the rogue dualist, Chandra Nalaar–the pyromancer, Nissa Revane–the elf warrior and protector of nature, Liliana Vess–the necromancer, Nicol Bolas–the oldest Planeswalker, and Teferi–the formidable mage.   The book includes character histories and images of the actual cards, but more than that you’ll find concept art, original artwork created for the game, packaging art, and images only available in exclusive releases in the past.  If you loved specific cards and always wanted to see larger looks at the card art, this is your chance.

Each character is represented in dozens of images in roughly 30-page feature sections for the six primary Gatewatch characters, beginning with over-sized images of the character cards, plus a large section of combined Gatewatch imagery.  The highlight for fans of the game will be seeing cards they’ve never had in their hands before, but it will also be seeing the full artwork before it was cropped for the card.

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