A while ago I had visited my old job at the comic shop Forbidden Planet. Whilst looking for a good graphic novel to read I happened upon a copy of Eric Dean Seaton’s Mantamaji, which looked like it might prove to be a decent funny book so I gave it a whirl and boy was I in for a hell of a ride.
We open with our main character Elijah Alexander dressed in ritual armor about to take on a gang of masked assailants in a warehouse. While he starts off cleaning house a well placed missile knocks him unconscious. Flashback three days prior and we see our hero, exiting a court room. However he’s not in handcuffs but is the prosecution in an organized crime proceeding. In fact he’s the Assistant District Attorney and this recent case has made him even more famous. As he speaks to the press we learn that this is his sixth such case and in all of them the defense has claimed that a mysterious street gang in pulling the strings and setting all the others up. While he doesn’t believe any of that, his girlfriend detective Sydney Spencer does and she plans on getting to the bottom of what is going on.
Later at Grand Central Station we meet Elijah’s mom Mariah, who we learn used to write stories for him as a child about a legendary group of warriors who protected the world from great evil. After Sydney comes over and she and Mariah chat for the first time, there is a break in at the Museum of natural history and Sydney comes face to face with the a mysterious group of masked thieves who possess strange abilities and a knack for vanishing. Back at Elijah’s house, he is startled awake by the appearance of his mother’s old friend Noah in his house arriving with a secret about his past Mariah never told him, on that will weigh heavy on his present and future.
I’m going to start with the art this time around which was done by Brandon Palas, the reason being is his accurate portrayal of NYC. I know Marvel stations everything in the Big Apple, but rarely have I ever felt that any adventures took place there. Something about the way Palas draws Grand Central Station makes you feel like you’re there.
Seaton’s writing is fairly good and his action scenes were well paced. Some of the scenes between action dragged on and at times I felt like I was just waiting for the action to start. That’s not to say that the flashbacks and backstory weren’t entertaining. It’s just that some segments felt longer than others. This is on the first book in the set and the ending was a bit of a stinger so hopefully as the story moves along the pace picks up.