Saturday, July 28, 2007

Blogathon 03: Mr. Majestic #2

Continuing my issue-by-issue commentary on the short-lived Mr. Majestic series from 1999 . . .

The second and fourth issues both add some tragic elements to otherwise light-hearted superhero stories. This issue begins with Dr. Martin Kingsley killing himself because he can't go through something. We know his wife died sometime in the past and he has a daughter, Kata. It must be pretty damn bad if he's killing himself.

Cut to: 8th century Vikings raiding modern day England. Something is happening to the space-time continuum and things from the past are popping up: the Black Plague in France, Mongol hords in China, Liberace in Vegas! And if it doesn't end soon, the whole thing is going to collapse in on itself (or something like that) and everyone is doomed.

Desmond figures it all out and it turns out that the cause of the anomoly is Kata, the late Dr. Kinglsey's daughter. Mr. Majestic has to somehow neutralise her, which he finds problematic as she's just a little girl.

Ultimately, he uses a device of some sort to take her outside our universe where she is able to relive a perfect day over and over again. The ending is bittersweet that way as the issue ends on her with her father, happy, but you still get the idea that this solution kind of sucks, because she'll never grow up or live a life beyond a singular moment.

But, is that a bad thing necessarily? Usually, art will tell us, yes, it is, because that is a stagnant life, one that is superficially appealing, but offers no room for growth or transcendence. It's a hollow life. However, I'm not sure that this is what we're told by Casey and Holguin. While a hard life full of growth is nice and all, wouldn't we all rather live out a perfect day? Isn't that what we're all working for? Don't we all want to earn lots of money and have a job we love and have a family in the hopes that it will, ultimately, make us happy and fulfill us? If so, how is what Kata has at the end of the issue any different except she didn't have to spend a lifetime working at it? Is that why it is a bad thing, because it was just given to her? Are we simply jealous?

(Actually, my main question is why it's only Kata and her father at the end. Wouldn't you think if it were her perfect day her mom would be there, too? That's always bothered me.)

The issue, on the whole, is really good. The concept of things from the past invading our time is interesting as Majestic tries to stay one step ahead of the anomolies. Plenty of room for a joke or two (like Vikings calling Majestic a girl because he is clean-shaven) and even a cool page where Kata traps Majestic in a time-loop without meaning to.

This issue also introduces Delroy, the government liason for Majestic and Desmond. He is a fun character in that he doesn't seem to like either of our heroes and has that typical smarmy attitude.

Oh, forgot to mention last issue another cool thing about this Mr. Majestic: his fortress is in Mount Rushmore. How sweet is that?