The Mandrake Project Issue 1

The Mandrake Project is not just an album, but a dark, adult story of power, abuse and a struggle for identity, set against the backdrop of scientific and occult genius. Created by Bruce Dickinson, the comic series is scripted by Tony Lee and stunningly illustrated by Staz Johnson for Z2 Comics, released as 12 quarterly issues that will be collected into three annual graphic novels.

Issue #3 is out now

The Mandrake Project files…

NecropolisGenius. Sociopath. Orphan. Necropolis has been tortured by the voice of his dead sibling, which has fueled his mission to return him to the world of the living. Filled with urges he cannot comprehend, and an inability to feel anything, the conflict raging inside of Necropolis manifests itself as a raging ego. Despite these flaws, he has crucial skills and abilities required for the Mandrake Project and without him, it cannot succeed… and Necropolis knows this.

A nurse working on THE MANDRAKE PROJECT, Leah’s dominating manner and goth disposition sets up a mutual attraction between her and Necropolis. As boundaries get pushed, sex transforms into arcane rituals which she only partially understands. While she believes she in fully in control within this relationship, the truth is that she is deep in the thrall of Necropolis, who believes that her assistance in bringing back his brother will bind them together.

After taking over the Mandrake Project from his father, Lazarus seized upon Necropolis and his skillset to complete his work. Lazarus is obsessed with bringing back his father from the grip of Alzheimer’s disease, and in his mind, the end justifies any means. The legacy of his brilliant mercurial father casts a powerful and heavy shadow, and he’ll sacrifice anything to prove he’s worthy of the Lazarus name.

The younger Lazarus’ daughter. She repeats the family pattern, craving her distant father’s attention and approval, and… since his focus is solely on THE MANDRAKE PROJECT… she works there as an intern in an effort to prove she is worthy of his praise. When that proves insufficient, her efforts will become more dramatic and dangerous, threatening her very life.

The Senator for California is a scion of the entertainment giant, the Kelley foundation. The Mandrake Project was started in the 1941 by his father, who was a believer in cryofreezing as a method of bringing people back from the dead. Gaining control of the Mandrake Project after his father’s death, the younger Kelley meets the senior Dr. Lazarus in the hippie counterculture of the 1960s. Impressed by the brilliant psychobiologist’s work, he offers the Project to Lazarus, with the knowledge that, if Lazarus succeeds, he is sitting on a gold mine.

Recruited into the Mandrake Project by Senator Kelley under the condition that he sever all ties to his past in the decadent world of the Hippie communes, Lazarus pays lips service to the condemnation of the 1960’s counterculture, while hypocritically indulging in private violations and horrors that sate his ego and narcissism. During his experimentations with LSD, he had a revelation about the “Akashic record” – a cosmic database of souls suggested by Carl Jung. He believes that this is not only the pathway to eternal life, but also the key to unlocking the secrets explored in The Mandrake Project. But, as age and dementia begin to eat away at his once-brilliant mind, the heavy weight of finding the solution to the Mandrake Project’s puzzle rests on the shoulders of his son.