Wednesday, 26 September 2018


Between 1996 and 1999 readers of 2000AD were treated to this unusual tale from the mind of Alan Grant and the pen Arthur Ranson, previously respected collaborators on Judge Anderson stories. Ranson's realistic depictions had garnered him plenty of well deserved praise, and this creator owned series was the next step in a successful collaboration.

At the time, I remember not being too excited over Mazeworld, as although the art was superb the story seemed quite leaden, perhaps not suited to being read weekly. This is the first chance I've had to read all three series at my own pace, and I'm happy to say it has improved with age for me. The story concerns Adam Cadman, the last man to be hanged in Britain in 1964 (not a real person, though). Cadman's hanging goes wrong, and whilst his physical body goes into a coma his spiritual self is transported to a medieval type land called Mazeworld. The hood he was wearing is now firmly attached to him and he is greeted as the fabled "Hooded Man", sent to free the peasants from tyranny. Over the three series Cadman finally comes to accept that Mazeworld may be more than a coma dream, and has to fight for his life and our own reality.

Mazeworld is a very good story that keeps readers guessing as to what the whole point of it all is before rounding off the final series quite satisfactorily as all finally becomes clear. There's plenty of magic involved and Mazeworld itself is a well realized fantasy world with supporting characters that have well drawn out personalities. It's a given that Arthur Ranson makes it all come alive, and as I'm a fan of his art style I delighted in the beautiful full colour pages.

If you've never read this one then you're certainly in for a treat with this volume. Lovers of quality fantasy will have a ball, as will fans of original, smart comic books. It's not a stone cold classic, but Mazeworld is one of those books that will make you appreciate how much a bit of hard work can elevate a comic story. Full marks to Grant and Ransom, this one has stood the test of time extremely well.

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