In Stan Lee Presents: Mosaic, Maggie Nelson (Anna Paquin) is just a regular high school student who makes good grades, loves the theater, and hangs out with her best friend, Stephan (Cam Clark). But as things often do in superhero origin stories, everything changes when she acquires the abilities of a chameleon. With a quick wit and fantastic superpowers, it’s up to Maggie to save her father (Garry Chalk) and the world – all while juggling a future acting career.
Written by Uncanny X-Men alumni Scott Lobdell and comic legend Stan Lee, Mosaic is an entertaining story about Maggie Nelson, theater geek turned superhero. Filled with classic origin story tropes, the film brings a fun Saturday morning cartoon vibe to the superhero genre. Through her newfound set of mysterious powers, Maggie gives a female perspective and Spider-Man worthy quips in every moment on screen.
Mosaic is an enjoyable film in which the genesis of a new hero had me interested from start to finish, as I love that sort of thing. The animated movie takes viewers into the lore of these chameleon powers and an entire hominoid sub-species while staying entertaining. It even makes perfect sense how Maggie utilizes her ability to shapeshift and impersonate others; she is an actress and loves improv. Of course, Maggie can easily impersonate someone; she can pick up on smaller mannerisms due to her acting background, but now she can physically transform into them as well. This fusion of legitimately cool powers with Maggie’s personality not only makes the film exciting but also grounds it in reality – or as real as you can get in a world with chameleon-powered humanoids.
“…everything changes when she acquires the powers of a chameleon.”
Watching Mosaic, I felt like I was transported back to my childhood, getting up early to watch the animated Spider-Man series or Static Shock (though he was DC). The film has a nostalgia factor and humor perfectly suited for the days when Batman: The Animated Series was literally the darkest cartoon on the planet.
Unfortunately, the movie’s biggest shortcoming is it feels like an extended pilot to a cartoon rather than a fleshed-out feature film, even ending on an almost “Next time on Mosaic” note.
Despite any flaws, Mosaic is a fun and compelling origin story. I would recommend a watch for comic book, superhero, and animation fans alike. If it had become a series, I know a younger me would have tuned in every Saturday.
"…if it had become a series, I know a younger me would have tuned in every Saturday. "