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Mage: The Hero Discovered (Mage: The Hero Discovered #1-15)
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Mage: The Hero Discovered (Mage)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  461 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Kevin Matchstick was a lonely, disaffected everyman until events beyond his control conspired to prod him into becoming the hero he never wanted to be. Accompanied by a mysterious wizard and a crew of loyal friends, the reluctant hero must discover the courage to accept his true power and defeat the dark powers that threaten reality itself.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Image Comics (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 665)
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Millguy
Feb 19, 2016 Millguy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-comics
This series starts out very strong, promising a more modern/ adult update of the 1940s classic comic, Captain Marvel, which is explicitly referenced. An ordinary man is given powers from a mysterious, benevolent wizard, and told to use these powers to save the world. But unlike that golden age classic character, the hero is an adult. It would be interesting to see how the superhero story can play out from a more adult point of view, with a character who has matured and grown up without superpowe ...more
Eric
Jul 29, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, myth, superheros
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul
Nov 07, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Williams
Aug 18, 2014 Patrick Williams rated it it was amazing
Reread this for the first time since I read the three volume oversized Comico editions over 20 years ago. The story still holds up, and the Image edition I read presents it in a beautiful hard bound collection. If you are a Matt Wagner fan and you have never read this, what're you waiting for? If you enjoy the modern retelling of the classic King Arthur story, try it out, you won't be disappointed.
Josh
Jun 13, 2015 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I get why people love this! I found a copy in a used book store, and will definitely seek out Vols 2 & 3. It's progressive, modern, slightly meta, and you can tell it was very special when it first came out. Not required reading now, but a cool, stylized read for sure.
David Levine
Jan 22, 2013 David Levine rated it liked it
Shelves: tsundoku
Despite the hero's fairly complex relationship with the fact of his heroism (similar to Lord Foul's Bane, though not nearly so angsty) this one had a lot more smash and thud than I really like in a graphic novel. I prefer heroes who think more than they smash, and Kevin largely allows his companions to do his thinking for him. I was impressed with the book's willingness to make major changes midstream, and the key revelation was satisfying though not completely unexpected. The art was fine, thou ...more
Michael
Oct 22, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
boy, the reproduction in this edition is absolutely atrocious. lots of pixelated pages, plus they added digital blurring effects all over the place. it's awful. i've only ever owned the original comico issues, and this is one of my favorite comic books of all time. but my comics are in another state and i figured i should invest in the collection but...gah, seriously, avoid this and hunt down the original issues. what's even more appalling is that this edition was originally from 2004? they coul ...more
Jdetrick
Jan 24, 2015 Jdetrick rated it really liked it
This is a little rough, but it also contains an energy that serves it well. The artwork is handsome and tells its story well, and the characters interesting.
Jesse
This book is like someone opened up my head and looked in and said, what could I write that would connect with Jesse on every level. This is still to this date my all time favorite and probably the best manipulation and use of Arthurian archetypes. This story has it all. Humor, magic, magic baseball bats, red caps, dragons, evil albino's with spiked elbows, action, tragedy, and even a ghost. Matt Wagner can write and he can draw, he is a double threat in the comic world. I recommend that any fan ...more
Matt
Jul 13, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing
This book really is one of my favorite things. I'm a big fan of Matt Wagner's art and storytelling, of which this book stands to me as the first defining moment. It's a huge romantic (in the literary sense) epic tale of good vs. evil and the hero's journey (waiting to be finished) that wraps itself around an intimate tale of one man's struggle to know himself as his childhood illusions fall away to reveal adulthood reality and responsibility.

Going back to this and Starman in one summer has made
...more
Dondi Ligon
Oct 19, 2015 Dondi Ligon rated it really liked it
The Hero discovered.
Tony
One of Matt Wagner's greatest works (though I didn't care as much for the second series, HERO DEFINED). The tale is a modern retelling, or perhaps sequel, to the Arthurian legends. The artwork is stark, and vibrant, but not overly busy as in most superhero comics. The strength of the series is in its writing. Its sparse and tight, but conveys a lot with very little. It also works in conjunction with teh art work beautifully. A real long term favorite.
Jerantino
Jun 07, 2011 Jerantino rated it really liked it
This book really is one of my favorite things. I'm a big fan of Matt Wagner's art and storytelling, of which this book stands to me as his defining moment. It's a huge romantic (in the literary sense) epic tale of good vs. evil and the hero's journey that wraps itself around an intimate tale of one man's struggle to know himself as his childhood illusions fall away to reveal adulthood reality and responsibility.

Harry Connolly
The dialog-free action scenes, which seemed so powerful at the time, still retain their zip, but the rest of this work doesn't really hold up. The art is fine but the dialog really doesn't work. Anytime the characters are talking through the plot, it's okay. Whenever they try to talk the way people talk, it falls on its face.

Still this has a nice momentum to it and the urban fantasy elements are fun.
Shannon Appelcline
Nov 13, 2012 Shannon Appelcline rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, comics-indy
This was doubtless totally innovative when it was originally published. After a few decades of Vertigo, it doesn’t stand out quite so well (and similarly if you know the secrets of the book going it, it’s not quite as amazing). With that said, this is an enjoyable urban fantasy with a strong basis and great characters. The art is also stunningly good, especially after the first several issues.
Ryan Haupt
Aug 25, 2011 Ryan Haupt rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I used to think Matt Wagner's art was timeless, and I still think it is. His clean, strong lines never fail to disappoint. But to watch him mature from start to finish in this book is as interesting as the story itself. This volume is like a diesel engine, it takes some effort to start but once it's revving you won't put it down.
Terrence
Dec 31, 2013 Terrence rated it it was amazing
A wonderful modern fantasy, or what would be termed these days as an "urban fantasy", this is just a fun, clever, wonderful comic book.
Ron
Aug 02, 2011 Ron rated it did not like it
Wagner was a crushing bore who attempted a modern take on the epic quest, couched as some sort of pseudo-superhero, fantasy tale. The art was dull and uninspired, the inking and line work terrible, and the dialog was utterly laughable.
Shane
Jun 05, 2007 Shane rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Since the other 2 people that rated this book gave it 5 stars I feel a need to defend my low rating. It's been 4 or 5 years since I read it but here are my notes:

Not enough happens, the art sucks, it hasn't aged well.
Wealhtheow
Aug 02, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, urban-fantasy
I love Mirth. Um, and also the introduction of this world. Fun urban fantasy. The art starts out pretty poor, but it gets better--and there's always energy and a good sense of movement to even the very earliest pages.
Phil Huff
Aug 12, 2009 Phil Huff rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
First rate adventure.
Magic baseball bats, magicians, dead lawyers, villains with poison elbows, a bottomless pit, and a hero who discovers his destiny. Great imaginative fun
Ryan
Feb 02, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
One of the early epic style comics I can remember reading in my youth. Still holds up well today--hopefully we will see the third series, The Hero Denied someday.
Reed
May 25, 2011 Reed rated it liked it
Another nostalgic visit to my comic book past. Still kinda fun, but nothing like the amazing story my memory made it out to be.
Elizabeth
Dec 10, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
When you have a magic atm card and a baseball bat and you are re-imagined at King Arthur what more is there to say?
Jay Ant
Jan 02, 2016 Jay Ant rated it it was ok
I read a bunch of these but can't remember anything about them, hence okay.
Theclerk
Mar 21, 2008 Theclerk rated it really liked it
Graphic novel w/lots of Arthurian details: excalibur, red caps, merlin, etc.
Fred
May 28, 2012 Fred rated it liked it
Interesting, with some likable characters, but not a very well told story.
Christopher
Dec 26, 2008 Christopher rated it really liked it
this really got me going when I was a kid.
Tankboy
Jul 23, 2013 Tankboy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still one of the greatest series of all time.
James T
Jul 05, 2013 James T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great as always. Fun re-read.
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Matt Wagner is an American comic book writer and artist. In addition to his creator-owned series' Mage and Grendel, he has also worked on comics featuring The Demon and Batman as well as such titles as Sandman Mystery Theatre and Trinity, a DC Comics limited series featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
More about Matt Wagner...

Other Books in the Series

Mage (2 books)
  • Mage Volume 2: The Hero Defined

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