Hello Dear Readers,
Our journey so far has given a few examples of reworks that are great and one other that can only be described as pure cancer. Well this week I think it’s appropriate to bring another heaping dumpster fire of a rework from what started as an already great character, Mr. Majestic. Created by H.K. Proger and Jim Lee he was a character created to purposely be a heavy derivative of Superman with one very significant difference, Majestic did not hold back if it meant getting the job done. The forward philosophy with him was; if you have the power why not use it? He went on to be rather consistent throughout the series until big business showed up acquired the entire continuity in which he was and changed everyone. I will eventually touch on more of the Wildstorm characters, but for right now we’re going to take a look at the Superman clone DC vanquished with a pen.
We first meet Mr. Majestic as a deus ex machina when the WildC.A.T.S. are in conflict with the villain Tapestry in WildC.A.T.S #11 who has most of the team captured and is slated to end them when Zealot makes a distress call. Savant then calls her brother Soldier saying “We need Majestic.” Soon after in the very next issue we catch our first glimpse of Majestic showing up just as Zealot was going to become the villain herself, anticlimactically Zealot really didn’t need his help so he just left. During his time with the WildC.A.T.S. hes not very heavily utilized outside of what you’d expect from the powerhouse guest member of Justice League type of team. Saving the whole squad when a double agent gets the best of them, building structures in record time, etc. Its not until he’s given a solo series that we are given origin to the character, and boy oh boy is it not very original. I implore you to read his series, it is rather good, but long story short he’s the sole survivor of an advanced alien species that ended up on Earth after his planet was destroyed. There are some significant differences but fundamentally he’s a Superman clone all the way down to their powersets.
The two arcs of this relatively unknown character we will breifly talk about will be his two separate solo series: one published by Wildstorm and the other published by DC. In Mr. Majestic, a nine issue mini series showcasing his origins and a few of his exploits, our subject ends up at odds with a group of beings called the Universals. For reason said in the story, they want to recruit Mr. Majestic to be apart of a omniversal Justice League committing numerous atrocities before him and explaining that it’s all for the preservation of life above all else. They explain their understanding as God’s work in way that people with mortal attachments cannot understand, i.e. God works in mysterious ways and we are not allowed to ask questions. Mr. Majestic accepts this power, however he doesn’t make a clean break from his “humanity.” Immediately after receiving power that put him on a universal level, he went back to Earth to beat the existence out his rival. Not very noble at all for a shining protagonist.
The next solo series for him was in Majestic – a four part mini series published by DC after the company had absorbed the original publisher Wildstorm. DC had made the executive decision to bring Mr. Majestic down a few notches while trying to keep him where he was in power, first by being a stand in for Clark and doing it flawlessly, with Clark complimenting him on a job well done. The very same speech of appreciation turns a bit sour when Clark brings up the 100+ metahumans that he has locked up without a trial! Which is what he does if we are being honest, but this little series did a lot to stray away from the original concept, which was rather good. Jim Lee wanted to make a being that was on Kal El’s level but uses his powers to handle his business and not dilly dally with the emotions of citizens. If you have the power, use it. This arc though would have our hero walk the line of a civilian, which as far as teaching him the importance of being human it didn’t really stick. It did teach him to care about the implications of his actions and to care about the people he’s protecting so they don’t fear him. Which is, in my opinion, a hard stray from what the character is, it’s nice to see him care about the people he saves yes but for his enemies not at all.
Here in his character rework lies the issue – he was created with the purpose of being nigh omnipotent while always getting the job done in his way, he’s a warlord, not a baby immigrant. DC made successful efforts to turn the character from a loose Superman clone to essentially an else-world Kal El. It almost felt personal for those that liked what he was previously imagined by his creators not very long ago. The Man essentially came down and said this inhibits their ability to sell their cash crop so they clipped its wings and tried to pass it off as fine. Only for the character to fall into character purgatory soon after the New 52 reboot, to my knowledge he hasn’t been brought out of it since.
Arcs to see