Legend of the Mantamaji: Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Legend of the Mantamaji: Book 2 Book Poster Image
Diverse superhero saga ups ante with mystical villains.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers learn about the ancient tradition of mystical warriors, but it's all fantasy. And the emphasis here is on action.

Positive Messages

This graphic novel emphasizes the importance of cultural heritage and loyalty to family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Elijah begins to see how he's connected to an ancient tradition of mystical warriors and lets go of some of the superficial goals he had as an ambitious attorney. Hot-headed and impetuous, he still needs to learn how to harness his newfound powers effectively.

Violence

Swordplay, gunfights, hand-to-hand combat, and blasts of mystical fire/electricity all are part of the action when Elijah faces off against evil Sirach and his minions. The mayhem is very cartoonish, with little actual bloodshed.

Sex

The supervillains relax at a pool party that features many bikini-clad young women.

Language

"Hell" and "piss" are used one or two times.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A brief party scene shows some of the villains drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Legend of the Mantamaji: Book 2 by Eric Dean Seaton and illustrated by Brandon Palas is a superhero graphic novel that features an ethnically diverse cast of characters. There are many violent scenes involving handguns, swords, and magical beams of energy. Sexual content is limited to flirting and one party scene featuring bikini-clad guests. Villains drink alcohol at the party. "Hell" and "piss" are used one or two times.

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What's the story?

After his mother is killed, New York City Assistant District Attorney Elijah Alexander vows revenge on charismatic cult leader Brother Hope and his gang of criminals, the New World Knights. Elijah accepts that he's the last of the Mantamaji, an order of mystical knights that wield both magic and technology. With the assistance of Noah, another of the few surviving Mantamaji, Elijah directly confronts the evil, mystical warriors who have pledged their allegiance to Brother Hope, now revealed to be Sirach, who betrayed his race more than three millennia ago. But Sirach has assistance from four formidable allies, and it looks as if Noah, Elijah, and his girlfriend Sydney may have met their match.

Is it any good?

THE LEGEND OF THE MANTAMAJI: BOOK 2 suffers from its excesses: too much dialogue, too many similar fight scenes, and a too-complicated backstory that keeps growing in complexity. The story is best when it keeps things simple, such as when it introduces a new rogue's gallery of villains to face off against Elijah and Noah. Those scenes capture the aggressive appeal of classic superhero comics. This installment ends in a cliffhanger that promises new twists in the concluding volume.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why superhero sagas are popular with so many readers. What is it about the genre that appeals to readers?

  • Do you think that comic book superheroes are sufficiently diverse? How are people of color portrayed in popular graphic novels?

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