Ars Magna #3 V.I.T.R.I.O.L – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: War, Adventure
Written by: Alcante
Illustrations: Milan Jovanovic
Coloring: Scarlett Smulkowski
Publisher: Glénat

Ars Magna #3 V.I.T.R.I.O.L – Comic Book Review

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In the previous issues of Ars Magna, historian Philippe Cattoir is searching for the phoenix, a mysterious object from the lodge ‘Ars Magna’, together with the resistance against the Nazis, as this object might just be the one thing to end World War Two. They follow the clues of professor Van Kessel, who was grand master of the lodge. In this final issue, things are coming to an end. The men are coming closer to the phoenix, which means the situation is becoming more dangerous by the minute.


The end of the war is not far off, and everybody can feel it. Hitler feels it too, which makes him even more nervous to build a bomb that can destroy whole cities at once. Time is running out for Philippe and his friends. They will have to be quick to find the phoenix, if they want to stay ahead of the Germans. Luckily he is very close to figuring it out, and he tells his friend Hector that the solution to the riddle lies in the palace of Charles of Lotharingen in Brussels. Just as they find the last clue in the palace, they get busted by the Germans. They are interrogated and finally, Philippe gives in when the Germans threaten to rape his friend Sophie. The last clue revealed the coordinates of a mine near Charleroi, but when they go down the shaft, it seems like someone already beat them to it. That’s why the Germans decide to leave Philippe and the others down there, while they blow up the entrance. But Philippe is smarter than them. He managed to conceal something he found in the palace, a necklace that now proves to be the key to a different room, where they find the phoenix, a rock that contains uranium. Now another challenge awaits: they will have to find a way to bring this valuable treasure to the Allies, but that proves to be quite tricky.

At first the story might feel a bit like a treasure hunt set at an interesting time in history. Nonetheless, this soon changes when it gets clear that this phoenix contains uranium, which might already get you thinking about why it is so important. After that, it becomes more of a war story, where you can start to guess the reality implemented in this fictive tale. As we only see Philippe’s point of view, it is good that the story moves at quite a fast pace. There is not that much text and the illustrations are rather big, both things making sure that you’ll reach the end before you know it.

As this is the last issue of the series, it is also helpful that at the beginning, a small text is provided to quickly sum up the events that happened in the previous issues. It is definitely worth taking a few minutes extra time for, as it will help you to fully understand what is going on.

The illustrations by Milan Jovanovic are not specifically detailed. The characters don’t show many facial expressions, but the backgrounds do show more detail when needed. Scarlett Smulkowski opted for muted colors which makes everything look just a tad more mysterious.


Ars Magna #3 V.I.T.R.I.O.L is the final issue of a three part series that combines fact and fiction in an entertaining way. Given that there is not too much text, the illustrations are on the bigger side, and there is quite some action, you will read through this issue in no time. Nonetheless, it keeps being pleasant to read all the way through.

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Ars Magna #3 V.I.T.R.I.O.L - Comic Book Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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