Wearing Your Underwear on the Outside and Your Heart on Your Sleeve
In the Fall of '85, a friend gifted me with the first issue of 'Mazing Man. Like a lot of comic book fans, I wanted to write one. It was going to be EPIC! It was going to combine all of the influences I had up to that point. It had been percolating since '79. It's still percolating. Maybe one day it will see the light of day. A lot of what I had envisioned for my story has been done better elsewhere, though. What my friend saw, was what we both appreciated about 'Mazing Man. The lovable wackiness of wanting to be a hero.
Denton Fixx introduces us to his friend, 'Mazing Man. They met in the psychiatric ward of Bellevue. Denton just happens to look like a dog; and in a complete reversal, the dog takes the boy home! They live in an apartment in Queens, with Denton's divorced sister, K.P.
The first issue is broken up into two stories. The first story is all introductions and foundation. The Big Question is: Why? Why does 'Maze dress up with his underwear on the outside, and do what he does? 'Maze is not compelled to strike fear in evildoers everywhere. He is compelled to fight for truth, justice and the American Way in Queens. He proves this by stopping a toddler from eating a cigarette butt, and later, saving the same kid from being run over by a truck.
The second story introduces more of the supporting characters. K.P., Guido, Brenda and Eddie Valentine, Mrs. Costinas. Brenda is shocked and upset that Eddie invited his old friend Denton and new friend 'Maze over for dinner. She's worked a long, hard day, and Eddie expects her to cook dinner since it is her turn. As they argue, Eddie recalls how he first met 'Maze. Denton suggested that 'Maze open an account at the bank Eddie assistant-assistant manages.
'Mazing Man is a unique book. It stands out from the traditional super-hero comics. I think it was ahead of it's time. It reads a lot more like Seinfeld or Friends, where one of the characters wants to be a super-hero. 'Mazing Man is a lot like Kramer or Phoebe. He just wears his underwear on the outside.
It's funny, witty and it has heart. Those three qualities earn this first issue five stars.