In Lucid, rakish mages work for the Leader of the Free World

Lucid, an urban fantasy miniseries from writer Michael McMillian (True Blood) and editor Zachary Quinto, is an enjoyable yarn about a covert agency of magicians employed by Uncle Sam. Lucid contains some savvy worldbuilding, but its generic protagonist isn't that magical.

Let's start with the good – that is, the window dressing of an underground, magical America. The arcane-powered superspies of Lucid exist in a world where magical defense is part and parcel of government bureaucracy. The organization, Majestic Intelligence, is hidden from the world (à la Hellboy's BPRD), but they aren't a rogue agency — the necromancers and white mages of Majestic answers straight to the president.

The conference scene between the Majestic agents and Fauxbama makes for some fun moments. For example, the Majestic agents bemoan the fact that "the last administration" didn't take them seriously and as a result, occult terrorism had skyrocketed. It's a cheeky jab at both the Bush White House and the fundamentalist Right's propensity to brand pop portrayals of wizarding as Satan's doing.

In Lucid, it's not the devil in the details but rather a race of ancient interdimensional invaders called the Daone Sidhe. The Sidhe have been hankering to conquer humanity since Merlin erected an eldritch wall in Ye Olde Tymes. Merlin's barrier has been crumbling since the 20th century, and the Sidhe are going through ridiculous lengths to break through (i.e. brainwashing a rich Swiss ice dancer, enslaving a kidnapped astrophysicist using a ton of psilocybin).

Author Michael McMillian (a.k.a. Reverend Newlin from True Blood!) pens a intriguing backdrop – unfortunately, the superspy lead Matthew Dee (I'm assuming his name's a nod to the century alchemist John Dee) isn't all that interesting. He's handsome, rakish, and good at his job (and is possibly haunted by the literal ghost of a failed relationship), but he's a bit of a stock bad boy. Dee lacks the off-kilter charm that generally makes comicdom's paranormal secret agents memorable -– he lacks the weariness of weirdness of Hellboy and William Gravel and the pandimensional puissance of Casanova Quinn. Hopefully we'll see Dee fleshed out in later issues. Also, Anna Wieszczyk's art gives Lucid an anime-esque flair befitting of the comic's stylish espionage trappings.

Lucid is available at Comic-Con this weekend from Archaia Entertainment and Before the Door Productions. The comic hits stores this August.