A Look Back at Mantra #3 (1993)

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.

Welcome back, superhero geeks, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! Join me on this trip back into the Ultraverse and witness the events in one of the early issues of the Mantra monthly series.

In issue #2, the male warrior Lukasz found himself really challenged being inside the body of a pretty single mother Eden Blake (Mantra) whose soul his displaced. Not only does Lukasz have to avoid getting killed by troops of Boneyard as he strives to somehow leave the lady’s body in favor of a male body, he has to adjust to living as Eden who has a home to keep, a private sector job to fulfill and two children to take care of. With those details laid down, it’s now time to take a look back at Mantra #3, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Terry Dodson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the hallway of the cinema wherein Mantra finds herself surrounded by the Repo Men who won’t stop at trying to overwhelm her. Mantra is at a disadvantage as she has yet to learn the ways of using magic.

As the Repo Men keep Mantra down, a group of bystanders witness what happened. Meanwhile, Eden’s daughter Evie and son Gus are in the middle of the hallway not realizing that Mantra is their mother in disguise. Eventually Mantra remembers her mantra and finally starts using magic to have the Repo Men off-balance and free herself from them. As the other Repo Men approach her, she blasts them with heat which burns them instantly in front of the bystanders. Mantra decides to fly away leaving behind Evie and Gus. The two kids are searching for their mother Eden.

Quality

Being trapped in the body of Eden Blake, the male warrior Lukasz tries to gain an advantage by charming a man he knew.

The strong quality of storytelling that started in issue #1 and followed through issue #2 is present in this comic book. Mike W. Barr’s story here remains nicely balanced between plot, character development and spectacle. I can also confirm that this story explores more of Lukasz struggling with living the domestic life of Eden which unsurprisingly makes his struggle to meet his goals even tougher. When it comes to defining the characters, there is a very touching scene in which Lukasz as Eden talks privately with a crying Evie in her bedroom, and even with an attempt to somehow separate themselves the unexpected (but really touching) result happens. And then there was another scene in which Lukasz uses Eden’s beauty to charm his way with someone for answers. This comic book’s script was undoubtedly written cleverly by Mike W. Barr.

Like in the first two issues, Terry Dodson excelled with visualizing the script. By this particular issue, the looks of Mantra and other related characters have been well established and he drawn them with a pretty good amount of detail. Dodson’s art here shines even more once Mantra begins to encounter one very particular adversary (note: she’s on the cover) and how it all turns out is something for you readers to find out for yourselves.

Conclusion

Mantra in a serious discussion.

I can confirm that Mantra #3 (1993) is a compelling Ultraverse story to read as it continues to be intriguing and define Mantra’s personality in an efficient and believable way. Along the way are revelations that further establish the core concepts of this monthly series and the way they were done shows strong preparations were made by Mike W. Barr before writing the script.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Mantra #3 (1993), 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 #3 (1993) is recommended.

+++++

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