The Aspen editor-in-chief has dabbled in writing comics like Fathom and Dellec, but this will be his first creator-owned title that he's writing on his own. For the six-issue mini-series, he'll be working with artist Khary Randolph and colorist Emilio Lopez.
"This is the magic story I've been wanting to tell for years," Hernandez said. "There's not an archetype for this type of magic story. You have wizards and witches and fairies, but there aren't very many comic book stories that encompass everything. And this does that on an epic scale."The story centers around a Las Vegas magician named Hank Medley. "He runs a big Las Vegas magic show," Hernandez said. "He ends up discovering that a lot of the magic he thought was just fiction and part of his show is actually coming to life in the real world."
The story also co-stars a female lead character, but Hernandez is keeping mum about her identity.
"There's a bit of a question of which side she's really on," the writer said of his mysterious character. "The female lead will be introduced in Issue #0 and she's just as important as Hank. At the beginning of the story, she and Hank are not in the same place, so they kind of have to meet in the middle."When the story starts out, a "big magical event" occurs that Hernandez said "flips the whole world kind of on its side."
"For Hank, everything turns into something like Alice in Wonderland, as he starts trying to figure out what's going on with all the magic," he said. "He's going to find out there's a villain behind everything, and he's going to be forced to overcome him in order to set the world right."
But the villain isn't driven so much by the normal motivations that guide comic book villains. "It's a survival thing for him," Hernandez said. "If he doesn't do this, he's going to die."
While the writer said the story has a lot of huge events that happen, it's very character-focused. "They go through a life-altering journey while they're trying to set the world back to a non-magic place," he explained. "Hank in particular discovers things about himself.Hernandez said he's enjoying Hank's character, because where he begins is so different from where he ends up journeying.
"When the story starts out, he's at the top of his game, running the big show in Vegas. Everything is going great, but then everything changes and that's when the fun starts," the writer said. "And we find out, along the way, that Hank's got a few secrets behind the scenes. He's going through difficulties with his girlfriend. And through Issues #1 and #2, you find out more about his past, and it wasn't all it's cracked up to be. Then in Issue #3, there's a big reveal about Hank's character that people won't see coming."
The opportunity to write Charismagic came along at the right time for Hernandez because he's always wanted to work with Randolph, and it just so happened that the artist had time to draw the six-issue story.
"I've been trying to work with him for years!" Hernandez said. "I would approach him at cons, but he was always in the middle of some other project. So when we found out he could do some work for Aspen, we immediately scooped him up. This story has some really big, graphic stuff that happens, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with it."