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SDCC ’20: “Mandrake the Magician: Mandrake’s Legacy” Reinvents Lee Falk’s Creation

By | July 25th, 2020
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Mandrake the Magician is returning to comics with a new look, a new cast, and, in fact, a brand new Mandrake. Updating the 85-year old comic strip for a new generation, “Mandrake the Magician: Mandrake’s Legacy” will focus on a young, Latinx magician named Mandy Paz, whose power currently outclasses her training. Announced during King Features Syndicate, Red 5 Comics, and StoneBot Studios’ Comic-Con@Home panel, the creative team is made up of writer Erica Schultz (“Forgotten Home,” “Daredevil”), artists Diego Giribaldi, Juan Pablo Massa and Moncho Bunge, and editor Matias Timarchi. The first issue hits comic book stores on October 28, 2020.

Cover by Amelia Vidal

In a follow-up interview with ComicBook.com, Schultz describes Mandrake’s appeal. “Mandrake fought for the greater good all over the world and beyond… righting wrongs and going on globe-trotting adventures [which] resonates with all kinds of fans.” As for the difference between Mandy and Mandrake:

The original Mandrake was already a trained magician with years of experience. Even when he was wrong, he was right. Mandy… not so much. She has a very strong connection to magic and her abilities, but she’s still untrained. The OG Mandrake and others trained to learn, augment, and control their talents while Mandy is kinda just winging it. She knows what she can do, and what she can’t is just trial by fire. So whereas fans of the original strip are used to seeing a cocksure character, Mandy is a work in progress. I think that makes her a more interesting read, as the audience learns and grows with her.

While Schultz “wasn’t the one who approached King Features about doing a new Mandrake series,” crediting editor Matias Timarchi of StoneBot for putting the pieces together before became a part of the project, she is clearly excited to be bringing Mandrake back into comics after the character’s last appearance five years ago (as part of a Dynamite comics crossover event). Joining Mandy is LJ, son of the Mandrake’s original partner Lothar. “Mandy and LJ compliment each other in the best ways,” Schultz says, continuing “yes, this is Mandy’s story, but she wouldn’t have as interesting or rich a story without LJ.”


Press release:

New York, NY, July 24, 2020 – Hearst-owned King Features Syndicate, Red 5 Comics and StoneBot Studios will cast a spell on readers this October as they present a new take on the classic comic strip Mandrake the Magician in an all-new comic book series. More than 85 years after the original comic strip’s debut, this expansion of the Mandrake universe stars a new generation of heroes as they face off with familiar foes.

Hitting store shelves on October 28, the modern-day Mandrake, aka “Mandy,” will make her debut in the YA comic series Mandrake the Magician: Mandrake’s Legacy. The series will be complemented by a free, must-read webcomic. The project is helmed by one of today’s most innovative writers, Erica Schultz, a comic book writer, editor, letterer and instructor best known for her work on Marvel’s Daredevil and the award-winning crime series M3. She currently writes Forgotten Home for ComiXology Originals and teaches with The Kubert School and with ComicsExperience.com. The cover art will be provided by the talented Amelia Vidal (Marvel Studios & Boom Studios) and the series will also offer vibrant variant covers from artist Evelin Unfer. The beautiful and detailed interior art is credited to artists Diego Giribaldi, Juan Pablo Massa and Moncho Bunge.

Mandrake the Magician: Mandrake’s Legacy follows 17-year-old Mandy Paz, a magician-in-training who aspires to someday be just like the legendary Mandrake. She suspects her inborn magical powers must have something to do with her mysterious parentage, but so far, her mom’s lips are zipped, and she has to work out the whole magician thing with the help of her BFF, LJ. While she is learning to command her superpowers, she’s also navigating college applications, mean girls, the high school talent show, a magic mirror, a kidnapping and … monsters? Mandy’s world is about to get a whole lot weirder and way more enchanted.

“Mandrake the Magician was one of the most influential comic strips of its time, so what better way to pay that legacy homage than to breathe new life into the property with a fresh twist that targets a new generation of young readers,” said Christina Nix Lynch, licensing director, King Features. “Both Red 5 and StoneBot have track records of incredible success and their imaginative approach to the next chapter in Mandrake’s magical saga is sure to win the hearts of new fans.”

Continued below

“Undoubtedly, Mandrake, the first superhero of comics, had to return. Our team has worked diligently to retain the brand’s essence and philosophy while reinventing the narrative to attract a new generation of readers … new times but same conflicts,” said Diego Barassi, managing director, StoneBot Comics.

Fans got a first look at the new series during a panel on Friday July 24 at 6pm ET for Comic-Con@Home, when writer Erica Schultz and Tea Fougner, King Features’ editorial director for comics, discussed the history of Mandrake the Magician and how Erica drew inspiration from the original 1930s comic strip to develop brand new characters and a modern version of Mandrake’s world. You can find a recording of the panel now on the Comic-Con International YouTube channel.

ABOUT MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN

A true classic, Mandrake the Magician has been mystifying readers since 1934. Often referred to as the first comic superhero, Mandrake the Magician was created by Lee Falk during the Great Depression in an effort to build morale through an adventurous comic strip. Mandrake uses his legendary powers of hypnotism and illusion to combat crime and has worked his debonair magic to charm his way in the hearts of comic strip fans everywhere. The dapper, mustached magician remains one of the most famous characters in the comic strips, his adventures appearing in newspapers worldwide.

ABOUT KING FEATURES

King Features is a premier producer and distributor of the world’s most iconic intellectual properties and a leader in classic character licensing and franchise development. With one of the longest-running consumer products programs in the industry, King Features’ portfolio includes world-renowned pop culture brands such as Popeye®, Betty Boop™, Cuphead, Flash Gordon™, The Phantom™, Hägar the Horrible, Moomin, Prince Valiant® and Mandrake the Magician. King Features will produce The Cuphead Show! with Netflix Animation, set to debut in 2020. As content syndication specialists, the company distributes beloved comics such as Blondie, Beetle Bailey®, Mutts™ and dozens of others as well as columns, editorial cartoons and puzzles across multiple platforms and content providers around the globe. King Features is part of Hearst Newspapers, which publishes 24 dailies and 52 weeklies, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Times Union (Albany, New York), and operates local digital marketing services and directories.

ABOUT RED 5 COMICS:

Red 5 is an independent comic book publisher known for producing a combination of creator-owned and internally developed titles producing cinematic-style comic book entertainment. They had been on the US Graphic Novel and Comic book market for the past +12 years, and their catalog includes Chasing Hitler, Keyser Soze, After Eden, Kulipari, Haunted, ZMD, Neozoic and more. Red 5 earned the 2007 Gem Award for Best New Publisher and its titles have been nominated for three Eisner Awards and two Harvey Awards.

ABOUT STONEBOT STUDIOS:

StoneBot Studios has +20 years of experience, working in licensing and publishing Graphic novels and Manga all over the world. They also create their own Original Content as well as doing Work-for-hire for major publishers, specializing in developing full length series, graphic novels, concept art and character design.


//TAGS | SDCC '20

Elias Rosner

Elias is a lover of stories who, when he isn't writing reviews for Mulitversity, is hiding in the stacks of his library. Co-host of Make Mine Multiversity, a Marvel podcast, after wining the no-prize from the former hosts, co-editor of The Webcomics Weekly, and writer of the Worthy column, he can be found on Twitter (for mostly comics stuff) here and really needs to update his profile photo again.

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