Evil Geek Book Report – Mandala
Hey there, Evil Geeks. Remember a few years back when everyone was all on edge because according to some ancient Mayan prophecy, the world was allegedly supposed to end in 2012? Seeing as how we’re all still here, I’m guessing that whole thing never really panned out like it was supposed to. What if that failure of prophecy wasn’t the fault of some sub-par, half-assed Mayan soothsayer, but because humanity has been secretly enslaved by a group of time-hopping, interdimensional demonic entities? That’s the supposition taken by the subject of today’s Evil Geek Book Report, Mandala, from Dark Horse Comics, written by Stuart Moore (X-Men Origins, Spider-Man) featuring art by Bruce Zick (Thor).
Mandala is the story of how human evolution has been stopped dead in it’s tracks by an invading entity know as Natasmia and the mysterious world enveloping energy field known as the GRID. The Mayans predicted that humanity would take a great leap forward in terms of development and evolution in 2012, but thanks to Natasmia, that leap forward never came to be. Natasmia has her sights set on ruling all of humanity for the rest of existence and as anyone who’s ever dabbled in mind control knows; it’s easier to control a simpleton than it is to control a highly evolved being. Had we been able to evolve, human-kind would be able to access different forms of being, making us much more powerful than we could ever imagine. Natasmia’s GRID has stymied our development, allowing her and her forces to have free reign over the planet. That’s where Michael Patrick Murphy comes in. Michael and some comrades has set up a resistance to Natasmia’s rule and have been sticking it to the man (or the demonic woman in this case) with mostly small scale attacks and stunts like spiking an entire city’s water supply with LSD. Little doesn Michael know however, that he has the potential to be so much more than just a guerrilla fighter, battling for minor victories in the grand scale of things. Michael’s more evolved form, known as the Morningstar, is a superpowered demon king, destined to lead a group of other superpowered individuals known as the Thirteen into battle against Natasmia. With the help of his love Mary Lozen and her shamanic grandfather, the Morningstar is awakened within Michael and slowly he learns to use his powers in an attempt to save different timelines from the invading evil. Natasmia is certainly no fan of the Morningstar, as unbeknownst to Michael, the two have battled previously in different timelines with one fracas resulting in the Morningstar ripping of Natasmia’s wings. I get pissed enough as it is if someone nicks a chicken wing off my plate at a pub; I don’t know about you but I’d be super frosted if someone actually ripped actual wings off of my body.
The world established by Moore is packed with a blend of iconography and religious symbols from various cultures across the globe. Taking aspects of Native American beliefs, zodiac symbols, and even a dash of good old fashioned God vs. the Devil, the universe is fleshed out with gods and monsters from all of humanity. Michael and his co-horts, each representing different archetypes do battle with terrifying incarnations of the star signs from the Libra to the Gemini Twins and a menagerie of other chilling beasts which are brought to life through Zick’s artwork.
The story of Mandala doesn’t just stop once the book ends either. The creators have set up an interactive game on facebook where you can join one of the various clans from the book and invite others to join in the story. The more people you invite the more points you earn which unlock more issues of the comic for you to read and if enough people sign up for the game, the creators promise to unveil their secret “endgame” for all to see. The story itself incorporates many of the aspects of our modern real world that are viewed as controversial or as secret plots to control us. From genetic modifications to the military’s secrect HAARP installation and biochips, Mandala presents a story that breaks the fourth wall and blurs the line between fiction and reality. You can check out the game and read some issues for free at the Mandala page on Facebook or for more information you can check out Mandalacomic.com. Mandala is out this month from Dark Horse, so make sure to check it out!
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