David Blaine is an amazing illusionist and performer. Over the years he's also delivered some of the most beautifully classic looking playing cards with the amazing design work of Mark Stutzman. The most recent David Blaine Series is the Black Lions and like most Blaine decks, they don't disappoint.
The Black Lions seem to be more of a continuation in the long line of David Blaine Playing cards. Each offering a classic, familiar look and a solid product. The Black Lions will appeal to just about everyone in the Playing Card Aficionado funnel, from magicians looking for a nice working deck, to collectors who love the look and design elements of the deck.
The Black Lions feature design work by the brilliant Mark Stutzman who always has a beautiful way of presenting subtle ideas in an eye catching way. The soft black tuck with Black "Foil" accent elements work so well with the subtle beauty and fines of the Lion face as well as the "DB" repeating pattern on the front of the tuck....yes, the front of the tuck. Small silver foil details enhance not only the decks name on the tuck, but also some of the small "Symbols" you'll find here and there that represent a few things depending on your beliefs. Ranging from the Holy Trinity to the symbol of the All Seeing Eye, these little details help give the deck the mysterious overtone that David Blaine brings to his craft and performances....the decks are always full of little secrets.
You'll also find two intriguing Jokers featuring a Lion Faced woman handling what appears to be a crow, one of which does incorporate a reveal. There are two additional cards in the deck. One is, at first glance, an abstract and confusing design...this is one of the "puzzles" in the deck you'll need to figure out on your own. The other is an uncanny effect of metamorphosis that will turn David Blaine into a Lion and vice-versa. The rest of the pack, as in most of David Blaine's decks feature friends and family making up the faces of the court cards as well as David holding his usual position as the King of Spades and the spot cards are pretty much your usual Blaine standards.
Black Lions also features one of my favorite Ace of Spades designs that first appeared on the Split Spade Lions. An image of a woman disguising the face of a lion framed in the shape of a Spade, its still a cool design and till this day I still come across people who say "What Lion". The card backs feature the repeating "DB" symbol which is both intricate and classic in its appearance. I've always enjoyed David Blaine's decks, each has its own unique look and design, Mark Stutzman's work never disappoints and when you get passed all the intricacies of the deck your left with a solid, well handling pack of cards suitable for everything you could possible want to use them for. One thing I've grown to expect on a regular basis from DB is a quality product at an affordable price....the eye candy is just the cherry on top.