HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Graphic Depictions Today's Date:

Mr. Majestic

Wildstorm is a company with a lot of history in its comics, what the average fanperson calls "continuity."

Unfortunately, Wildstorm's history is very similar to German history: they'd really like to forget a decade or so of it. Before better writers got their hands on books like WildC.A.T.s, Stormwatch, and a heaping truckload of others, they were mostly "art" books with very little readable content. Pretty pictures of breasts and biceps, they had explosions thrown in to break up the anatomical incorrectness. A lot of pale imitations of Big Two heroes were created to fill the pages of these books, usually without an overabundance of characterization or background. (Ripclaw and Warblade = Wolverine)

When Jim Lee created the company as an offshoot of Image Comics, back in those early years when artists were free and people thought Leifeld could draw, he probably didn't think he'd be selling it to DC Comics. But it's a good thing he did, because it allowed for a lot of very good writers to take a shot at fixing up some very bad material.

Wildstorm has since become one of the most creative and diverse companies out there, mixing superhero comics with other genres to critical acclaim (Sleeper being one that comes to mind). And since DC has a hand in the publishing arm of the trades, a bunch of gems have gotten the cardboard spine treatment. One of those is Mr. Majestic.

Majestic is a Superman clone, with equivalent powers, a vaguely alien origin, and a driving need to help people. What's interesting is that it manages to do a better impression of a Superman book than any of the current Superman titles. This comic is what Superman should be: Big Hero Comics.

Comics where a hero pushed moons around like billiard balls and where flying into the sun was a nice way to get a tan were the norm back in the Golden and Silver Ages. Cosmic level menaces and worldwide cataclysms were all in a day's work for Superman and his ilk. Nowadays, we don't get too much of that outside a good team book like JLA or JSA. There was a shift a long time ago into more personal stories involving relationships and ensemble casts, which are the reasons Jimmy Olsen warranted his own trade collection. Superman is more about the "man" and his many relationships than about the "super" these days.

Majestic, in the span of one graphic novel, stops the unraveling of reality and time as we know it, recaptures a prison-ship's worth of alien convicts, closes a black hole, and rearranges the solar system. Writers Joe Casey and Brian Holguin know how to write extremely exciting "done in one" comic stories that involve action on a grand scale. Each chapter is one tale of something fantastic happening, and Majestic either stopping it, tricking it, or in one case, causing it.

It's fun, without being lighter-hearted, making the whole thing a farce that the reader feels possesses no real consequence. Casey and Holguin write Majestic in the minimal: he speaks curtly, and does all his moralizing out loud. Most of the dialogue is given to Majestic's sidekick Desmond, a cybernetic tech-head youth.

The characters don't receive a great amount of characterization, which would normally turn me off a book, but Casey and Holguin are using the characters to tell good stories and throw in a surprising amount of humor. In one chapter, Casey and Holguin use Majestic's stoic and straight man persona and play it off the manic-depressive madcap fun of Ladytron, making for a hilarious action sequence involving robots and a nun. They don't need to make the characters overly real to me, because the situations are what I'm interested in because they're of such a grand (and at times just plain fun) caliber.

I like artist Ed McGuinness' style. He's gotten some criticism for making his heroes too muscled or too bulky (ironically going from this series to Superman), but his style matches the story to a tee. McGuinness draws the big cosmic threats as well as he draws individual figures. Majestic is supposed to be an icon of a character, and McGuinness draws him like one. The scenes in space are beautiful and he adds more than a few visual nods and gag references to Superman.

He also has some interesting character designs in the form of Desmond, and some of the aliens Majestic encounters are damn good looking (the six "Ultravixens" in chapter six look like a cross between the Legion of Superheroes and a Victoria's Secret catalog, not a bad thing). The expert inking of Jason Martin and Richard Friend only add to the goodness.

It's oddly appropriate that I review this book as this month's Previews book shows the titular character to be appearing in upcoming Superman stories, penned and penciled by the same creative team of Joe Casey and Ed McGuinness. Picking up this collection will help any readers of Adventures of Superman become more familiar with Mr. Majestic.

For $14.95, you get six chapters of Mr. Majestic, along with an excellent back-up story written by Alan Moore and penciled by Carlos D'Anda, and an odd little section called "Mr. Majestic's Universe of Science." The Moore story alone should convince you to pick it up, if everything else hasn't. Go. Buy. Support my future social security.

As always, the opinions expressed by Mr. Sparling are not necessarily those of Fanboy Planet. However, Michael Goodson did love this series and wept openly at its cancellation. Yes, like a little girl.

Robert Sparling

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites