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Art by Tom Grummett.
|First appearance||Mantra #1 (July, 1993)|
|Created by||Mike Barr|
|Alter ego||Lukaz/ Eden Blake|
|First appearance||Mantra Vol 1 #14 (as Lauren)
Mantra Vol 2 #∞ (infinity) (As the new Mantra)
|Created by||Mike Barr|
|Alter ego||Lauren Sherwood|
Mantra is an American comic book series written by Mike Barr, mainly penciled by Terry Dodson and published by Malibu Comics in the mid-1990s, until it was purchased by Marvel Comics, leading to the cancellation of the title after 24 issues. Adam Hughes is credited for the character designs.
Mantra is the name of the lead character, an Ultra (superhero) within Malibu's Ultraverse line of comics. An eternal warrior named Lukasz and his compatriots had been fighting the villain Boneyard for centuries: whenever an individual soldier dies, his soul would be placed in a new body, and take up the fight once more. In the 1990s, Lukasz' leader Archmage was betrayed and captured, leading to the permanent death of most of the warriors and a final reincarnation for one, Lukasz himself: to his shock, Lukasz was put into the body of a woman, Eden Blake.
In addition to being forced to deal with life as a woman, Lukasz also faces the particular challenges of Eden's life — in particular, her two children and her ex-husband. For the first time, Lukasz confronts the fact that for 1500 years he had been destroying families by stealing men's bodies and forcing them to walk away from their lives. He fell in love with her soul, which still existed within him.
He also discovers that Eden had vast latent powers, including a mystical armor activated by a specific invocation including the word 'mantra', leading to the media dubbing her as such.
Mantra encounters Prime who develops somewhat of a crush on her female aspect.
Following the Black September event, the Marvel-led Malibu began publication of a second volume with a new Mantra, removing the magic from Eden/Lukasz and casting it onto a minor character from the first series named Lauren Sherwood, a young blonde woman Marvel hoped would be more enticing to readers. This version, a teenaged babysitter, becomes stuck in the Marvel Universe. The second volume lasted only 7 issues.
Powers and abilities
Lukasz was an extremely experienced warrior whose master (Archimage) would reincarnate him and three other warriors into new bodies each time they fell in combat throughout the centuries. In Eden Blake's body, he could use the latent potential for magic inherited by those of her bloodline; the longer he was in her form, the more he could access this power, slowly becoming a vastly powerful sorceress. She could summon a mystical armor by invoking the word "Mantra". The armor acted as a "focus" for her powers, increasing the abilities greatly. She could also accomplish great things requiring vast power by reciting over and over the mantra given to her by Archimage, "Change, Growth, Power" while the power inside her built.
Lauren Sherwood's abilities were similar, but developed more rapidly.
- "Mantra" #1 Vol. 2. (1995)