I figure Malibu is getting ready to introduce Topaz as part of Ultraforce with this Giant Size issue that interrupts the regular Mantra series. This is coming off the crossover with the Strangers just an issue before. It is also the day and age when gimmick covers and special editions were running amok all over the landscape. Still, this is one of the better issues of Mantra in any form up to this point in the Malibu Ultraverse.
Lukasz is beginning to dream of a woman that any reader has already realized is Eden Blake. In true form the dullard is instantly stricken by technically his own form. It really adds a new element to the story and plot. We also are getting more of Lukasz the mother. He is a crap mother. Little Evie cries her eyes out after what he does in this book. I really get upset at him sometimes still over his callous emotions towards the children of the woman who's body he stole. Still, it will set up an interesting development in later issues.
We find out that the armor and the Sword of Fangs were stolen from the land of Gwendor, an all female society. They are kinda like technologically advanced Amazons. The big difference is that the Valley that divides the area is also a divider between Gwendor and the City of Neros, a society of men. Once a yearly cycle they all get in the valley and have this great madness where apparently children are conceived. Otherwise they are very suspicious of each other and have a tortured peace.
Typical comicbook fare as Mantra fights first the Nerosians, then is sent to Gwendor, challenged by Topaz for the Sword of Fangs, and then helps protect the Gwendorians as a rogue group of Nerosians attack. So all this leads to Lukasz losing the costume I prefer to a techno armor the Gwendorians make for him (next issue of Mantra). Then the quest for Boneyard begins. Many cool action scenes and less whining by Lukasz makes this a fun and good read. This is a really well done book with nice artwork by Mark Heike. I really like the way he draws the characters throughout.
So this is the Archimage Quest part Four and the next issue of Mantra resolves somethings that have been dangling since the very first issue. Be here for the next Mantra Mondays for all the twists and turns.