|First appearance||'Mazing Man #1 (January 1986)|
Bob Rozakis (script)|
Stephen DeStefano (art)
|Alter ego||Sigfried Horatio Hunch III|
'Mazing Man is the title character of a comic book series created by Bob Rozakis and Stephen DeStefano and published by DC Comics. The series ran for twelve issues in 1986, with additional special issues in 1987, 1988, and 1990. In addition, 'Mazing Man had an origin story in Secret Origins #16, and an original one-page story that appeared in an ad in Comics Buyer's Guide.
The 'Mazing Man series depicts the misadventures of Sigfried Horatio Hunch III, a benignly deranged little man in Queens, New York City, New York who dresses in a homemade costume and performs deeds like unclogging drains and watching out for local children. Viewed as a harmless kook by his neighbors, he saves a child from being hit by a truck in the first issue, earning him some respect and notoriety, not to mention a steady stream of appreciation (and food) from the mother in subsequent issues.
"'Maze" tends to sing Simon and Garfunkel songs when struck on the head. His best friend is Denton Fixx, a writer for BC Comics who looks like a beagle. Hunch is a millionaire, having won first place in a magazine subscription company's sweepstakes. After winning the prize, he felt obligated to subscribe to all of the company's magazines. As a result, he receives a staggering load of publications daily, including the pornographic magazines that he genuinely reads only for the articles. He does not keep his wealth a secret per se; he simply does not mention it and does not live an opulent lifestyle. His friends are unaware of his financial success.
The original series, although highly acclaimed, was short-lived. However, comics artist Frank Miller admired the series. Eager to help the property survive, Miller contributed a cover with the lead characters of the extremely popular mini-series, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns for the last issue. The resulting exposure created enough interest for three subsequent one-shot issues.
A back-up feature, "Zoot Sputnik", drawn by Fred Hembeck and (ostensibly) written by Denton Fixx, appeared for several issues; it was supposed to be the book Fixx wrote for BC Comics. "Zoot Sputnik" was a parody of the Golden Age narrative style where stories had no between-issue continuity — Zoot and his team were space adventurers in one issue and cowboys in the next. The team's dog received a shock of energy and gained the ability to remember their disparate adventures. This was Denton's attempt to introduce continuity to the book, but it was met with disapproval by his editor.
'Mazing Man is one of a handful of DC titles to publish an issue not featuring the Comics Code Authority stamp of approval while it was active. In the issue "Writer's Block", Denton is stuck for a story, and all his friends give their ideas. One of them dealt with an army of zombies. Although there was no gore or violence, any mention of the living dead, specifically the use of the word "zombie", was forbidden by the Comics Code. The issue was released without the seal, with no publicity, positive or negative.
- Denton Fixx
- 'Maze's best friend. Writer for BC Comics. Looks like a beagle.
- Brenda Valentine
- A rising star at a local advertising agency. She is married to Eddie Valentine.
- Eddie Valentine
- Assistant to the Assistant Manager at the South Richmond Bank. (Promoted to Assistant Manager in issue #9, September 1986, "The Bank Job, or 'By Hook Or By Crook'") Married to Brenda. Baseball player and Gold Glove winner at John Quincy High School.
- K.P. Watson
- Denton's human-looking half sister.
- Guido Garibaldi
- The jock simpleton who lives in the same building as Denton, 'Maze, Eddie and Brenda. He works in three shoe stores and spends most of his time wondering which one he's called in sick at, drinking beer and hopelessly pursuing women.
- Sgt. Muldavey
- A local police officer who is plagued by 'Maze's "heroics".
- Mrs. Costinas
- Landlady of Maze, Denton and K.P. Most often seen sweeping the front steps of their building. Never smiles and usually grunts at all passersby.
- Helenita Trialdo
- A baby whose appearances revolve around her lack of hair.
- Senora Tiraldo
- Helenita's mother.
- Walter Vanderplatz
- Eddie's supervisor at the South Richmond Bank. More than a bit of a stuffed shirt.
In other media
- 'Mazing Man appears in the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Four Star Spectacular!" voiced by Tom Kenny. In the "Kitty Catastrophe" segment, he is the accident-prone catsitter for a couple named Owen and Fiona. It is apparent that Batman is his favorite superhero and the inspiration for his costume.