Saturday, August 16, 2014

Majestic Vol. 2 Meanwhile Back On Earth Trade Paperback Review

Majestic Vol. 2 Meanwhile, Back On Earth...
DC Comics - Wildstorm
128 pages
$14.99 (2006) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401209896

Contributors: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Neil Googe, Georges Jeanty, Scott Iwahashi, Carlos D'Anda, Richard Friend, Sandra Hope, Trevor Scott, Jonny Rench, Carrie Strachan, and Phil Balsman

Reprints: Majestic #8-12

Synopsis: Majestros is a Kherubim warlord who came to Earth millennia ago while fighting an interstellar war with another alien race called the Daemonites.  Immensely powerful, he is the pinnacle of Kherubim physiology, mental prowess, and technology.  In modern times Majestros has assumed the guise of a superhero and calls himself Mr. Majestic.  The war with the Daemonites has ended, but Majestic remains on Earth to protect his adopted planet.

Majestic was shunted through the Bleed (an interdimensional passageway) to an alternate Earth where he briefly took the place of Superman when he disappeared from Metropolis.  Eventually Majestic was able to return to his Earth with Superman's help, but he found the planet and humanity in great peril.  He put things to rights and finally returns to an Earth in proper order, but he's been away for so long that things have changed.

Zealot shows up, but is she friend or foe?
His old partner, Desmond, a kid genius stuck in a wheelchair (a super-wheelchair at least), has used Kherubim technology to start a world-class cellphone company.  Majestic stops an ancient Kherubim war-robot from killing Desmond, but how can there be ancient technology on Earth which predates Majestic's arrival?  Can his former partner Desmond be trusted?  A massive plot emerges which shakes the foundation of the origins of both humankind and Kherubim.  This one's got it all - Zealot, Savant, Spartan, Majestic's old pal Javen from the Shaper's Guild, and even the return of the wicked Helspont!

Pros: Good follow up stories by writers Abnett and Lanning, art is fairly decent throughout, Majestic teamed up with some old allies (Zealot and Desmond), very nice use of bad guys - especially Helspont's return, very interesting origin for the Kherubim race and the war with the Daemonites

Cons: Majestic's new costume design is simplified...and boring, several artists work on this storyline with slightly different art styles, Desmond's character is mistreated

Mike Tells It Straight: The second volume of Abnett and Lanning's Majestic series started off very slowly and I thought it was going to a disappointment after the two thrilling stories from the first volume.  Needless to say it delivered an interesting story with a major cliffhanger ending.  I liked their reintroduction of Desmond (although why he was still young was a mystery) and the revelations of the Kherubim species' origin was well done.  The writers made Majestic a true step forward for the character with this series and didn't hold anything back.
Who or what is Biomass?

DC purchased Wildstorm from Jim Lee (originally published with Image Comics in the 1990s when all the A-list artists at Marvel defected to start their own company).  Lee stayed on as creative director for the publisher and DC allowed a bold crossover between Majestic/Superman in actual DC continuity (see Majestic: Strange New Visitor).  This series spawned from the crossover which followed into a mini-series.
The art was very competent in this book, but several artists contributed and they had slightly differing styles.  Neil Googe was the exclusive artists of the first book (he continued to improve), pencils the first issue in this volume and then is spelled by Georges Jeanty until returning for the final issues.  Overall good art and no major complaints.

The final image of the book absolutely begs for the reader to continue to the next volume.  I'll definitely bite and the third volume is the last of the series which seems like a shame.  Majestic started out as a knock off of Superman and Abnett/Lanning make him a great alternative to the classic icon.  More violent/mature, exciting, and with a less cumbersome history/supporting cast.  Stay tuned for the final review to this series.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Majestic Vol. 1 While You Were Out Trade Paperback Review

Majestic Vol. 1 While You Were Out
DC Comics - Wildstorm
176 pages
$12.99 (2005) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401204839

Contributors: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Neil Googe, Juan Santacruz, Sal Regla, Trevor Scott, Tony Avina, Randy Mayor, Carrie Strachan, Phil Balsman, Dexter Vines, Josh Middleton, and covers by Ed McGuinness

Reprints: Majestic #1-7

Synopsis: Majestros is a Kherubim warlord who came to Earth millennia ago while fighting an interstellar war with another alien race called the Daemonites.  Immensely powerful he is the pinnacle of Kherubim physiology, mental prowess, and technology.  In modern times Majestros has assumed the guise of a superhero and calls himself Mr. Majestic.  The war with the Daemonites has ended, but Majestic remains on Earth.  He has saved the planet many times over, but his methods are strategic and calculating.

He has never assumed a human guise until recently when he was shunted through the Bleed to another dimension's Earth.  On this Earth he briefly took the place of another powerful hero named Superman and helped save a city called Metropolis.  Majestic gained the respect of Superman and followed his advice to try living among the humans to gain a new perspective.

  • Superman and the Eradicator escort Majestic back to his home dimension, but things on Earth have gone awry.  The entire planet appears deserted and a legion of mechanical automatons are hiding in the shadows.  The three heroes confront them, but Superman and the Eradicator must return to their dimension before being trapped on Majestic's Earth.  He bids them farewell and continues the search for the missing population.  What could kidnap an entire planet's lifeforms and then disappear without a trace?  The most powerful hero on Earth must solve the mystery.  The faint trail leads him across the stars where he encounters a truly cosmic adventure.  Will the reality be too big for even Majestic to conquer?
  • Majestic returns to a world where everything appears normal, but then a horde of Daemonites manifests from the onlooking crowd to attack him.  Something is wrong, seriously wrong.  The Daemonites have somehow taken over the world while he was gone and are using humanity as cattle (hosts).  What happened to the heroes of the Wildstorm universe and how could this atrocity occur?  Expect the worst.  Now he's alone and hunted by an entire planet.  Can even Majestic overcome these odds and how can he possibly salvage a situation at this scale?
Majestic builds a spacecraft using himself as the power source 
Pros: Genuinely good stories by writing team of Lanning and Abnett, Majestic is truly put to the test, nice follow up to the two previous Majestic stories, Superman lends a little credibility to the title, decent art by Googe who gets better with every issue, Majestic's powers/capabilities get fleshed out some more (stealth suit and power damper)

Cons: Googe's art (particularly the faces) can be rough, some far-fetched sci-fi themes, convenient ending

Mike Tells It Straight: When DC first crossed Majestic into the mainstream Superman title (Majestic: Strange New Visitor) I thought it was a bold move and great way to maximize their acquisition of Wildstorm from Jim Lee a few years before.  Having these two powerhouses meet and actually avoid the typical superhero misunderstanding brawl was a credit to the writing team of Abnett/Lanning.  The pair of writers had a fantastic take on the character and were known for their cosmic adventures from Legion of Super-Heroes.
Majestic pulls out some Kheran toys to do battle

DC used the momentum from Majestic's Superman crossover to launch a new solo title for the character.  The title featured multi-issue story arcs which differed from the original Mr. Majestic series by Joe Casey (which had one-shot stories strung together).  I much preferred the longer stories as they built suspense from issue to issue.

Coming on board for this series was relative newcomer Neil Googe who started out rough with a lot of potential and improved with every issue.  The art was detailed and competent despite having some initial trouble with facial expressions.  Overall I enjoyed this book and recommend it if you like the Wildstorm Universe.  The writers kept me guessing and I'm looking forward to the next volume.

TO BUY and Recommendations: