A Look Back at Mantra #7 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Hey Ultraverse fans and superhero comic book enthusiasts! If you want to see more of Mantra and Prime cross over with each other and find out if they would impact the entire Ultraverse somehow, then you’re in for something here.

Here is a look back at Mantra #7, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Mike W. Barr and illustrated by Terry Dodson. This one follows the events that took place in Prime #8 (1994).

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Mantra already captured by the Baby Doctor (a super being feared by Colonel Samuels) and his hideous companions. Prime, who was slowed temporarily by Samuels and his soldiers, flies chasing the vehicle carrying Mantra, even distracting the mother, daughter and son of Eden Blake/Mantra.

A short time later, Mantra wakes up and gets much needed assistance by Prime who breaks into the vehicle and fight those who took her captive. After much action, the moving vehicles crashes and Prime helps Mantra…

Quality

Prime to the rescue!

I’ll start with the storytelling and characterization. While Prime #8 marked the actual start of Prime and Mantra getting to know each other more, this story takes their alliance a few notches higher with an emphasis on the big guy (who is actually teenager Kevin Green inside the body) starting to care more for the beautiful eternal warrior (with the soul of the man Lukasz). I also find it refreshing to see Mantra more helpless and Lukasz (the occupant in the body of Mantra/Eden Blake) actually struggles in a really weakened physical state (this points to what happened near the end of Prime #8).

The stakes have been raised in the sense that more information about Prime’s origin was revealed and, more notably, the Doc (Baby Doctor) is a more intriguing character in the Ultraverse and this comic book makes clear why Col. Samuels is afraid of him. I liked the way Mike W. Barr used science fiction concept of genetics and even gender to add a strong element of intrigue in the plot. Speaking of gender, there are a few moments that hint of homosexuality which will make you question how much Lukasz is changing the longer her stays in a woman’s body.

Conclusion

Prime getting involved with Mantra.

Mantra #7 is a well-written comic book that succeeded in raising the stakes, deepening the Mantra-Prime friendship while delivering a satisfying, action-packed misadventure. The Doc meanwhile proved to be a worthy addition into the Ultraverse.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Mantra #7 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $26.

Overall, Mantra #7 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

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