Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Classic Comics - Mage: The Hero Defined #1

   A few years back I reviewed the first issue of Mage, which writer / artist Matt Wagner created at Comico in 1984.

   The series ended up being a limited series - it ran 15 issues and then ended in 1986, promising to return soon.

   "Soon" ended up being a bit of a wait, but the series finally returned in 1997 under the Image umbrella, with the title "The Hero Defined."

   The focus again was on Kevin Matchstick, who travels the country (wielding a glowing baseball bat) with his supernatural friend, Joe Phat, tracking down monsters and other evil creatures.

   As good as the original series was, the improvement in this series was remarkable. Wagner's art was more dynamic, the characters clearly outlined, the dialogue was sharp and funny, and the story loaded with surprises and shocks.

   As the series continued, the cast grew with characters drawn from a variety of mythological sources.

   Mage managed a great balance between action, drama and tragedy. A terrific series by one of the industry's top creators - and well worth tracking down.

   But we are way overdue for that third and final series.

Grade: A


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