Thursday, March 28, 2019

Neil Gaiman's Mr. Hero The Newmatic Man (Issue 1)

Mr. Hero The Newmatic Man
Issue 1


Writer:    James Vance
Art:    Ted Stampyk
Inker:    Bob McLeod
Color:    Zachary Lynch & Tony Kelly
Letters:  John Workman

Published by Tekno Comics a subsidiary of Big Entertainment.

Open With:

On a distant planet called Kalighoul, in the far past a creature called the Teknophage has developed a way to create an army of Automaton’s from the sacrifice of several people.  His hope is to create a army of soldiers that will do only his bidding. We see that one of the Automaton’s is earmarked to be sent to Earth.

Cut To:
Earth many years later, we see the construction of a wood crate, and we follow it through a progression of time as it goes from Victorian London to Present day Los Angeles.  Passing through families and multiple owners. Time dissolves and leads us to a young female mime on a street in L.A.

The woman’s name is Jenny and she is the main protagonist of our story. Jenny finishes her performance on the street and sees that she didn’t make as much in tips as she had hoped.  She is met by her good friend Hodge; who happens to be waiting for her on their way to another one of Jenny’s jobs.

Cut To:

The two of them have missed their bus so they walk to the museum where Jenny works, The New Egyptian Hall Magic Club and Museum.  The two take the rear service entrance as the place is still under renovations, and Jenny mentions that she has a key.

Inside the Club:

We get a little exposition from the two compatriots. Hodge has quit another job to help out Jenny and he appears to be a movie buff, along with being Jenny’s muscle to move the boxes that are hiding a crate that Jenny is interested in.

 Jenny on the other hand has bounced from job to job unsure what she wants to do in life. Right now she wants to be the first female magician and escape artist. Thus focusing on why the crate is so important to her.

The name on the crate is of Mr. John Nevil Maskelyne a great stage magician from the Victorian age.  This has peaked Jenny’s interested and with Hodge’s help the two manage to get the lid of the crate. Hodge is able to look in first and of course says the usual what a bunch of junk line.

Jenny is ecstatic about what is inside, it appears to be a partially constructed automaton. Hodge and Jenny assemble what they can and make note it is missing a head and a hand. Along with the robot is a series of newspaper clippings that explains the history of the Robot while in the care of Maskelyne. Jenny immediately sits down to read through them and tells Hodge she has homework to do.

Cut to:

A giant rolling tower moves across a barren looking landscape as the seat of power for the creature known as Teknophage.  High in his tower, his butler offers him his luncheon choices. Being a carnivorous lizard they are some interesting choices.  After Teknophage has made his choice and the butler leaves, a messenger approaches to deliver some bad news to the cold blooded despot.

The news is that the Mercurius units Primus and Canus have appear on a sector of earth.  Of course Teknophage is concerned if the two units have been put back together. But the messenger calms his concerns and tells him No.   Teknophage tells the messenger to take his leave and begins to dictate a letter for someone to handle it. His dictation is taken by a robotic hand , oddly enough looking like Mr. Hero’s missing hand. HMMM.

Meanwhile back on earth:

Hodge and Jenny are leaving the Magic Club/Museum, and Jenny has her head in the clouds and Hodge complains that she isn’t going to watch a movie with him.  

Cut To:

What looks like a Talent Agents waiting room, is actually the office of one Theodore Beaumont Operations.  A group of people are staring at a Television that is playing static in front of an office door, seems rather peculiar.  
Behind the office door, Beaumont is having a conversation with his girlfriend when he receives a fax.  The fax is in fact the very letter Teknophage was dictating back in Kalighoul. Beaumont is tasked with locating and preventing the conjunction of the two pieces of the Mercurius unit. A.k.a. Mr. Hero to us, boys and girls.

Beaumont then calls his assistant and asks her for the Mercurius  file and where secto 974 is as that is what our dear Teknophage has called the location of the artifacts.  Of course Beaumonts assistant informs him that it is in fact L.A.

Cut To:

Los Angeles specifically Jenny’s apartment where she is eating Chinese out of the container and reading up on Mr. Hero and his time with Maskelyne. We get a nice back story from a journalist with in some newspaper clippings.

The Next Morning:

Jenny is walking to her job at the Magic Club/Museum when she passes a resale shop where there is a bicycle in the window that has an interesting mechanical head mounted on the handlebars.  Jenny is oblivious to it and spends her day in the Club looking over the body of our Automaton. It isn’t until she is on her way home that she notices the bicycle in the window.

Cut to:

Hodges apartment, where Jenny is asking Hodge for a loan to purchase the bicycle as she explains that it has the head of Mr. Hero mounted on it. Hodge denies her request, but Jenny puts on the old guilt trip and gets what she wants.

The Next Day:

Jenny stops in the resale shop and asks to purchase the bicycle, the shop owner informs her that there is an out of town buyer that is purchasing the bicycle by cable. To counter the offer Jenny pulls out a stack of cash and pretty much says she can pay cash now, she leaves with the bicycle.

Cut to:

In the museum Jenny takes the bicycle to the back of the museum and manages to get the head off of the bicycle and then carefully attaches it to the body.  Once attached the automaton comes to life startling Jenny. She freaks out and grabs a crowbar and smacks the head off as he is in the middle of a greeting.

Cut To:  

Beaumont’s office, as we see he is on the phone with the resale shop and rather angry that the bicycle was already sold. Hanging up rather angrily then calls up one of his employee’s and tells him to send out the chameleons to Los Angeles.


Hodge meets up with Jenny at a restaurant a couple days later. The two enjoy a dinner, while Jenny explains to Hodge what happened with the head.  Behind hodge there is an extra set of eyes watching the two that seem to blend into wall. After lunch the the two set off to the museum so that Hodge can see the head. As they head to the back loading bay they are attacked by figures that seem to come out of the walls.

The two manage to get inside and close the garage door before the Chameleon like figures can attack.  However, the metal garage door doesn’t stop the ninja like warriors. They manage to get the door open and take down Hodge. Jenny does manage to get behind another door in the room that holds Mr. Hero.  
To which, Jenny barricades the door and using her quick thinking to reattach Mr. Hero’s head to his body.  Again the Automaton comes to life just as the Chameleon’s enter the room and jump Jenny. She lets out a scream and draws the attention of Mr Hero the rather cognitive automaton.

Mr. Hero punches the ninja then turns to take on the rest. We see a quick fight and Mr. Hero continually calls Jenny a lad. Much as a joke because she is dressed more as a young man than a lady.  

After making short work out of the Ninja’s, Mr. Hero turns his attention to Jenny and asks her if he can help with the fellow that is on the grow.  Jenny asks Mr. Hero to carry the man home, and he acquiesces and calls Jenny a lad one more time. Jenny reveals to him that she is a woman, he apologizes and Jenny wonders if they can catch the bus.


Back in Kalighoul, Teknophage sits in his throne as he listens to the report on the events in Los Angeles.  His subordinates asks if they should kill the woman Jenny hale to retrieve the Mercurius unit. a.k.a. Mr. Hero.  To which Teknophage says no, he wishes to attempt to corrupt her first and looks forward to the little game.

To be continued in issue 2

THOUGHTS ON THE STORY: I thought this was a good start to a story. We have an introduction to our characters both good and bad. We have an established world that they exist in, as well a a bit of a mystery as to who or what is Mr. Hero.  It certainly makes me want to read more. Not to mention it’s just silly enough to suspend disbelief that a ninja is like a chameleon.

ART:  I really like this art, the human characters look very rounded and organic.  When we cut to the other world of Kalighoul it definitely has a otherworldly style to the art.  Plus the colors throughout the book really pop, almost like there is a depth to the art. There is some subtext to the art poking fun at the world.  I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy looking at this book.

All in all I give this book a:

Score 7.5 out of 10

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