There are surprisingly few magician crimefighters in media. I’ve seen my share of guest villains in shows like Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels, or regular magicians who are usually the victim, but magician heroes are rare. I’m talking about stage magicians, although the magician heroes I know of are stage magicians who also have real magic. Zatara and Zatanna come to mind, and maybe some of you have heard of Princess Tenko (loosely based on a real-life Japanese stage magician and her signature prop, the Tenko box). The only other crimefighting stage magician I can think of is Ace Cooper, the Magician. And he also has real magical powers.
Here in the US it aired on Fox Kids, but it’s actually a French made cartoon, one of the few to hit US TV. The series follows Ace, his assistant and computer expert Cosmo, the computer Angel (which runs Ace’s home and headquarters, the Magic Express), and his show panther Zina. He operates out of Electro City at the dawn of the third millennium (so this takes place in the future) and aids police lieutenant Derek Vega in solving various crimes involving corrupt officials, his rival “Black Jack”, and various other assorted villains. When he needs full magical power Ace speaks the words “magic force, reveal the power within”, and changes to a superheroic costume instead of his usual performing costume and unleashes his full magical might!
We don’t get to see a lot of that magic force in the episode Mondo World (who if not the official YouTube channel for this and other shows does a great job faking it) chose as episode one, although online episode guides I found call it the third episode. In this one Ace must deal with a crazed former city employee out to prove the corrupt senator and mayor (I don’t know how he’s both but according to my research he serves both capacities) is embezzling from his latest project, and the results could be deadly.
If you like what you saw here and want to see what else the show has to offer, you can go to the official playlist. As of this writing 39 episodes are available in English. There are also versions of other languages if you go around Mondo World’s YouTube channel. Maybe I’ll look into some of those cartoons in the future.