Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mantra # 2

Writer: Mike W. Barr
Artist: Terry Dodson
Colorist: Moose Baumann
Publisher: Malibu Comics
Published: August 1993

Mantra is a man trapped in a woman's body. The Archimage reincarnates his warriors into other peoples bodies when they die. This time he reincarnated his warrior Lukasz into the body of Eden, a single mother of two kids. Issue 2 has Eden/Lukasz forced to understand her/his new situation, all the while having to battle the baddies and raise two kids. Compounded with this problem is Lukasz growing attraction to his new host body.

When I picked this issue up, I was about 13 years old. The only reason I bought it was because it had a busty woman on the cover (hey, I was 13), so it was with much confusion that I would later read this hot babe was a man. It reminds me of Sally from 3rd Rock From the Sun. Sally is the 'woman' of the group but her true form is a man. This leads her to being the most ambigious of the group, and thus the hardest to define. Outwardly she is clearly a woman, but since her inner self is a man, what defines her mannerisms (pun intended)? Is it her adopted form and the assumed values that go with being a woman? Or is it the man in her that really makes her, er, the woman she is?

I don't know.

I guess the real question is not so much what defines her, since in her/his case, she/he is who she/he is, but how someone else interacts with this person, and how this ambiguousness affects their own sense of self. I think it's this confusion that ultimately bothers people when it comes to interacting with transgendered individuals.

So, anyway, over a decade later, I'm still confused as what to think on this subject, but looking at the cover of Mantra # 2, I can see why my 13 year old self was compelled to buy this issue. Dodson sure knows how to draw a busty man/lady.

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