Release date: Febuary 2015
Writer: Eric Dean Seaton
Artist: Brandon Palas
Publisher: And... Action Entertainment
Synopsis: Beaten, betrayed, and left for dead, Elijah Alexander, the last Mantamaji, knows the end of the world is at hand Soon Sirach will carry out his plan to open the Gates of Time and after Earth's history to suit his purposes. How can Elijah stop Sirach, when he's already failed before? To succeed, he will have to put aside vengeance, ignore his pain, and listen to a wisdom he's forgotten. But he, and the world, are running out of time.
I visited the Legend of the Mantamaji website in order to add publisher data to one of the online comic book wiki's and stumbled across a request for reviewers. I looked at the artwork, read the synopsis and decided to send a request to do a review which was accepted. I received the package containing the trilogy delivered to my doorstep just five days later, which is incredibly fast for an overseas parcel. The trilogy was packaged in a plastic bubble mail envelope giving it some well-deserved impact protection while shielding it from rain. Very fast international service from And... Action Entertainment. If you haven't read the first two books but would like to get to know more about them then please read my reviews of Book One and Book Two.
The FeelAll aspects of this third book are consistent with the quality of the first two book. The perfect binding, straight cut pages, beautiful saturated colors that don't spill and UV spot coating of the logo on the cover are all spot on. Book Three contains the same number of pages as Book Two.
Using the correct paper stock for making comic book pages is not an easy job. If the paper is too thin it will tear easily after it's been printed and if it sucks in the ink too much it'll make your art look flat and distant. The Korean printer has done a great job with regards to the paper stock and inks used. Very consistent quality for all three books produced and they look great together on your shelf!
The StoryThe third and final story in the Legend of the Mantamaji trilogy. My expectations for this last book were very high. Seaton's writing throughout the first two books was first-class and I wondered if he'd be able to keep up the high standard and bring the trilogy to an intense ending.
Once again we follow Elijah as he fights to keep Sirach from gaining ultimate power over humanity. The obstacles he has to overcome in order to even get face to face with Sirach are numerous and he takes them all in his stride and comes out on top each and every time. Noah and the sanctuants still have an important role to play. I thought especially Noah's arc in this third issue brought my feelings about him full circle.
Time travel is a difficult subject because if you're not paying attention you're going to leave big plot holes left, right and center. It's a real gift when Seaton sends us flying back and forth in time without making the story too difficult to follow.
I didn't see the end coming, I expected Elijah was going to win (that's what good guys do), but I couldn't see how until the very end. Can't really say much more without giving anything of the plot away. All I can say is that I'm very happy with how it turned out and I loved the last couple of pages where we see the Mantamaji doing what they do best which is protecting the earth. I've got this feeling there's plenty more to come and I'm stoked about it!
The LookFiery swords, hand to hand combat, blazing guns and shooting fireballs. Palas seems to have no trouble with the anatomy of it all. The smooth way with which he depicts all the action packed panels is a testament to his artistic skills. The final book in this trilogy is where it all comes together and ends up in a confrontation the world won't soon forget. Palas is in his element with the numerous full pages and even panels of two pages in Book Three.
I've mentioned Dalhous' great way of creating fire before and he goes all out again in this third book. With all the fights and fiery colors it's all the more amazing when you can actually make it look realistic.
In my humble opinion lettering should be read and not seen and again, as with the first two books, it's done to a very high professional standard.
The ConclusionOn the back of all three graphic novels it says: 'Legend of the Mantamaji is a three-book graphic novel series whose sweeping tale of magic and mystery, heroes and villains, has a fresh look, a modern setting--and an ancient beat.' After reading the trilogy I can only say that I agree with this statement one hundred percent. There aren't all that many significant coloured superheroes out there and I think Elijah is a good role model for children and young people alike. I can just see little kids walking around with an Ankh on their shirt and dressing up like the Mantamaji. There's a Live Action Short in the making and I'm sure Eric Dean Seaton has even more amazing plans up his sleeve for The Legend of the Mantamaji and I can't wait!
How to get a copy
Some small press graphic novels can be difficult to get your hands on, but not the Mantamaji. You can get a digital or hard copy straight from the source at the Legend of the Mantamaji website store or from any of the big sellers like Comixology (digital only), Amazon USA and UK (digital and hard copy) and Barnes & Noble (hard copy), among many others. Check your local comic book store because they can order it through Preview from Diamond Distributors.
If you're going to order please don't forget to check the Mantamaji website store first because they often have package deals and/or creator autograph deals.
If your local comic book sells this series let me know and I'll post a link here.