Did you give Mysterius the Unfathomable a try during its DC Comics WildStorm six issue run? After reading the last issue of the series, out last week, I’m as big a fan as when I started and I can only hope that this is not the last we see of the magician/mystic/detective and his lovely assistant, Delfi.
Created by the team of writer Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas) and artist Tom Fowler (Mad Magazine), this series says goobye for now. A lot has been said about the quality of this series to which I add that this is one you’ll want to read more of once you let yourself inside this fully realized world of quirky supernatural goodness.
It’s in the last couple of issues that things come to head between Mysterius and Delfi. With their lives in mortal danger, Delfi lashes out at her boss for being so selfish as to allow them both to get into such a mess. Just when he needs her the most, she abandons him. Of course, Mysterius does not realize how badly he’s behaved or how badly he needs Delfi. In the end, they both may need each other far more than they could ever admit.
And that is at the heart of this story. Nevermind, for a moment, the witches, the zombies, and the pits of hell that also make up the plot. Basically, this is a buddy story. Mysterius may seem to be a dapper yet bumbling middle-aged man with a pot belly. But, when he’s teamed up with the right assistant (this time it would be Ella Tamblyn aka Delfi) he has a better than even chance at summoning his formidable magical powers. It also helps if he can somehow make a human connection with his Delfi and, despite himself, he just might be able to inspire her to help him. Some pretty successful comics titles are based on much less. The foundation is in place for this series to come back with a bang and I would prefer it to be sooner than later. Check out the Word Balloon interview with Jeff Parker where he says he’d love to pursue more Mysterius comics and would definitely see a possible TV show. His first choice for an actor to play Mysterius would be Geoffrey Rush. I still see Bill Murray as a contender but I can see why Rush would fit right in.
Thanks to the artistry of Tom Fowler and colorist Dave McCaig, all hell can break loose spectacularly in this final issue. Human (and nonhuman) excess runs amok in this satire of Burning Man which is worthy of the best Mad Magazine parody. Much has been said about the European look of this comic. I would go ahead and say it is a European style, both in the writing and art, which is made up of elegant detail, delicate exaggeration, and overall irreverence. Most of these characters are mercilessly drawn with more than a little junk in the trunk. Things are played up for laughs and it works quite well here even when depicting minions from hell battling zombies. Americans can sometimes take things too seriously, including minions from hell and zombies.
Understandably, Mysterius the Unfathomable is a special taste, sort of like Seaguy, but easily accessible. Once you get the collected trade to this year’s best kept secret in comics, you’ll see what the fuss is about and you’ll enjoy lingering over it. Here’s a sample of a nice added touch of spookiness. Delfi and Mysterius are en route to see a client when Delfi thinks she sees something strange:
Delfi: Wait–No…How did he turn the other way so quick? Look here, bird!
Mysterius: You…can’t see his face?
Mysterius: Did that bird not have a face?
Delfi: Well, I’m sure it did, I just couldn’t see it. No big deal, sorry to stop everything. I just do that.
Mysterius: No, it is a big deal if it was a portent. Faceless bird…
Delfi: Can’t a portent be for something good?
Mysterius: Almost never.
Towards the end of this story, just when everyone should be resting easy in a comfy epilogue, off in a corner, there it is again, that bird without a face. What a cool and eerie way to say that Mysterius remains at your service.