In last week’s installment, I began running a plot outline for a ‘Mazing Man story that was never published. In the first four pages, KP has returned home from a busted date, remarking that there is no magic in her life. Maze drags her and Denton to the subway station, where they board a train on which a magician performs his act for the passengers. While on the train, Maze spots some kids who plan to graffiti the subway cars and gives chase through the train.
And now, the conclusion of “It’s Magic!”
- The train pulls into a station and stops. The doors open. Maze and Denton are coming into a car in time to see the graffiti kids getting out. Maze is proud of himself that he’s prevented vandalism.
- Behind them, we see the kids sneaking back onto the train in the car Maze and Denton have just left.>li>The train is starting up again. In the car where the magician is doing his act, one young guy jumps up where he was sitting next to his girlfriend, saying they just missed their stop. The girl is telling him to sit down andf shut up; this is cheaper and better than the disco they were going to.
- The magician is doing a rope trick for KP, romantically charming her with his banter.
- The magician is doing a trick that everyone is engrossed in.
- Suddenly, the door at the end of the car bursts open and the kids with the markers come racing in. Each of them is holding his marker out like a sword.
- Right behind them comes ‘Mazing Man, followed by Denton.
- As the kids charge past the magician, he waves his coat out and when they go past him, the markers have disappeared from their hands.
- The magician stops Maze and asks him what’s going on. Aze says they were going to mess up the cars with their markers.
- The train is pulling into a station. The magician points out that they don’t have any markers, winking at the kidds like he’s in on a conspiracy with them.
- The kids, thinking they’ve been saved from Maze by the magician, razz Maze as they get off the train.
- The doors close and the train is pulling out again, with the kids standing on the platform laughing at Maze like they’ve put something over on him.
- Now Maze and the magician are laughing as the magician hands Maze the markers. They have obviously worked this routine before. The kids don’t realize that without their markers, they can’t do anything.
- Later. The train is pulling back into their home station. KP is happily waving goodbye to the magician, who is holding a piece of paper with her phone number on it. Maze is happily proclaiming that he’s kept another subway train graffiti-free for another night. (Don’t show Maze from behind.)
- Last panel shows Maze from behind as they get off the train. There is graffiti all over the back of his helmet.
So why was this story, originally scheduled for ‘MAZING MAN #8, never published, even though its plotting was written up and hyped in Dick Giordano’s “Meanwhile…” column?
Because, as editor Alan Gold pointed out when he read the plot outline, Maze lets the kids get away unpunished. He knows the kids will just get more markers and will graffiti some other train. Plus the kids did manage to graffiti Maze himself, though there doesn’t seem to be any time when they could have done so.
After arguing that Maze’s heroics involve “little victories” – there’s no way he can prevent all the New York City subway trains from being vandalized – I reluctantly agreed with him. We agreed to drop the idea and plot something else. (Yes, well, it was easy for Alan and Stephen – I was the one who had actually done the work!) So, instead of this story, we did one about Maze cat-sitting… which did appear in #8.
I still think we could have salvaged the plot, but I also think I was so caught up with that final sight gag that I ignored a solution.
Fifteen years later, it’s easy to look back and come up with one: After the kids have run out onto the subway platform and are laughing at Maze, he just waves at them. As the train pulls away, we see a pair of transit cops come up behind the kids. Though the kids argue that they’ve done nothing wrong, the cops nod and lead them away. Now we see the kids from the back and see that Maze has written on their jackets something like “I’m a subway graffiti vandal. Please arrest me.”
In any case, I hope you enjoyed this lost ‘Mazing Man story.
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. Give me the name of the Monster Society of Evil member who was Mr. Mind’s first minion.
2. On TV, it was Professor Pepperwinkle who came up with crazy inventions; whose works got Jimmy Olsen in trouble in the comics?
3. ERNIE COMICS, an early Archie imitator, began with an unlikely title; what was it?
4. Simon and Kirby created what other star-spangled character for Headline/Prize comics?
5. When Don Rickles guest-starred in Jimmy Olsen, he met his counterpart; what was his name?
6. In the comics, LOST IN SPACE had another name; what was it and on what novel was it based?
7. The son of Korath and Milena of Attilan and cousin of Black Bolt, who fought the Fantastic Four?
8. Harvey Comics’ UNEARTHY SPECTACULARS included a character with “Q” as his middle initial; name him.
9. Herman and Lily were the parents in what TV series-inspired comic book?
10. Andre of the Blackhawks might be expected to exclaim what (in keeping with this week’s theme)?
11. Matter Master, Tattooed Man and the Top were brought together when who got the JLA’s powers banned?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.
2. Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece than the celery has in it to begin with.
3. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit can damage it.
As you read this, I’m in the fourth week of my six-week teaching stint in Maryland. The columns appearing during this time have been prepared in advance, so I won’t be answering any new Answer Man questions in the immediate future. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send them… using the handy box in the column on the left.
Meanwhile, next week it’s back into the filing cabinet of long-forgotten proposals for a look at a revamp of one of the earliest heroes of the Silver Age of Comics. Be here!
There’s a lot of cheese to be found in this week’s answers…
2. Professor Potter
4. Fighting American
5. Goody Rickles
6. Space Family Robinson / Swiss Family Robinson
8. Jack Q Frost
9. The Munsters
10. Sacre Bleu
11. Headmaster Mind
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.