Mantra, Vol. 1|
For 1500 years each time he dies, an archmage puts his soul in another body. When the mage is captured and he's killed, he ends up in a woman's body. And without the mage, he stuck as a woman.
From: Caitlin B
, 656 months, post #1 |
This series started very strong. Not only did Lukasz had to put up
with ending up a Woman, he/she had to learn to social interactions
and how to be a parent. The only major problem with the series is
that it was cut off by Marvel at what I would guess is only about
the halfway point of Lukasz's coming to terms with 'her' new|
, 656 months, post #2 |
Definitely adolescent stuff.|
, 656 months, post #3 |
MANTRA to date has not only been the comic making the best use of
the sex-change theme, it was also one of the best super hero comics
created in the last decade -- period.|
For those who don't know, MANTRA concerns a male knight, Lukasz,
who lived 1500 years by possessing the shell of one warrior after
another, before becoming trapped in the body of a beautiful woman
of immense magic talent, Eden Blake. Lukasz hates the situation and
works determinedly to escape his fate -- actually succeeding for a
short while -- but falls in love with Eden Blake when she comes
back from the spirit world to reclaim her body. Finally Lukasz must
re-possess the dying Eden in order to save his own life and that of
her children, whom he has also come to love. This is the crisis of
the serious and thereafter Lukasz seeks to reconcile himself to
Eden's shape, in a sense pledging himself to complete the life
which Eden was cheated of. Doing so, Lukasz becomes a model
grownup, which is a rare species among comic characters), taking
responsibility for the family which the real Eden had left behind,
and which his strange misadventure has inadvertently injured and
bereaved. Pretty poweful plotting for a comic book.
Image's one-shot BABEWATCH was a dumb joke by comparison with
MANTRA, which ran for 24 great issues and it's popularity caused
Lukasz to be featured in many special issues and crossovers
throughout the Malibu line. In Mantra, creator Mike Barr managed to
top his earlier TG creation, Sir Tristan, who appeared in CAMELOT
3000, circa 1984.
For whatever reason, Malibu was put up for sale and Marvel bought
it. The company could have been a big success for Marvel, but
Malibu was immediately subjected to a blizzard of half-baked ideas,
the worst of which was the ejection of Lukasz from his own comic,
along with the TG idea. But while it lasted, MANTRA combined
traditional comic book villain-busting with wry humor, pathos, and
some of the best psychological development
seen in the comic genre.
A second TG character appearing in MANTRA also gained immediate
popularity in 1995. Lukasz's arch enemy Thanasi possessed the body
of a knockout witch and named herself/herself "Necromantra."
Necromantra went on to star in a 4-part miniseries of her own while
Lukasz's life was developing along new lines. Lukasz/Eden gave up
her office job to became a bombshell spy-girl ngaging in
international intrigue, "The Girl From Aladdin."
The original MANTRA series really seemed to be thriving when the
Marvel meat axe fell. Mantra had her revenge less than a year
later, though, when Marvel declared financial bankruptcy (which
goes along nicely with its creative bankruptcy).
Fortunately, dead comic universes tend to revive after a period of
dormancy and Malibu's was absolutely top-flight, in large part due
to Mantra. We can only hope that we have not seen the last of
either the Ultraverse nor the best heroine in it or in any other
From: Suzanne de Nimes
, 288 months, post #4 |
Often good, but editors shied away from head-on treatment of
From Gerard Jones' (another Ultraverse writer) THE COMIC BOOK
HEROES (1997 with Will Jacobs): "...but the editors decided it was
'making people nervous' and pushed for naked female flesh with no
psychological kinks. The editors started writing their own comics,
just like Marvel editors...."
From: Norberto P. Niebres Jr.
, 249 months, post #5 |
It would be ironic if Mantra (The Eden Black/Lukanz Version) and a
few other Malibu Ultraverse titles come back as|
part of Image Comics central. Malibu was originally part of Image
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