I originally saw this on Netflix and for some reason. I never actually bothered to give this series a shot until recently, the animation and story's references kinda bare similarities to that movie called The Book of Life. But damn, I gotta say this show has promise to its story and animation, not to mention they actually made such a horrifically evil antagonist with the most crimes under his belt.
But hey, to the least of those worries, I feel like this streaming animated series just made the Tales of Arcadia franchise get a run for their money, especially given their most criticized final installment of Rise of the Titans. But upon making sure if this big guy here, whose literal god at best, qualifies for the criteria around the wiki. Fun fact, the creator of the series who created The Book of Life had worked with Guillermo del Toro together in said film, to which I think Guillermo's influence on the creator inspired him to create the miniseries as a whole lmao.
What's the Work?
Maya and the Three is an 2021 Mexican animated fantasy miniseries that streamed on Netflix and was directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez (who was the genius behind The Book of Life), in which the animated series was developed by Tangent Animation.
The whole story and the events take place within Mesoamerica. Within her fifteenth birthday, a warrior princess named Maya has been set off on a journey to fulfill a prophecy due to a long lost ordeal from the gods of the Underworld and if she refuses, then everything changes with the world beginning to end first. Maya now has to protect and save humanity with the help from three different allies in order to defeat the gods, one of them being Mictlan.
Who is He? What has He Done?
Mictlan, or referred as Lord Mictlan or infamously known as the God of War, is the main antagonist of the 2021 Netflix fantasy animated miniseries, Maya and the Three. He is an evil, heartless, and bloodthirsty Mayan God of War and the ruler of the Underworld. He is Maya's arch-nemesis and stepfather due to the latter being the daughter of Mictlan's wife, Lady Micte.
Starting off with his origins, Mictlan was originally a European knight who arrived on the civilization of Mesoamerica, alongside with his brothers, who were both conquistadors in that role. However, the three of them end up becoming chthonic deities as punishment for their crimes to which each of their roles has been assigned since that day. While Xibalba was made rule of the Land of the Forgotten and El Chamucho made rule of the Cursed, Mictlan was assigned to being the worst of the worst when he became the tyrannical ruler of the Underworld. Additionally, he is served under dark gods and goddesses alike.
Around sometime in his reign, he would be married to Lady Micte when she was originally a power-hungry death goddess that caught his eye before then. At some point with Lady Micte, she would be repulsed by her husband’s aggressive and sadistic behavior, fearing that he would turn on her.
In her resolve, she had an affair with the King of the Tecas after encountering one another as they fought at the forest and would soon give birth to Maya, one of the first born demigod hybrid. When the child was stated to be the very explicit thing to defeat Mictlan, she would present her daughter to him as he seemed displeased at first but reconsidered to have her sacrificed for immense power.
However, Micte would make a deal to have him sacrifice her when she's older and he would sadistically agree to it but not only to mock the idea of the Tecas raising her, but to mock his own wife into simply knowing Maya would never know of her true mother as nothing before leaving the room. Micte would only cry from those words before looking at her daughter, proving she's grown to love her and then have her sent to the forest for the King and Queen to raise her till time passes by.
Another surprising fact to know is that Maya wasn't the only human and demigod hybrids. Sometime before her birth, Zatz, the Prince of Bats and son of Camazots, the God of Bats, was made a emissary and soldier to Mictlan and his army when Camazots had begged him to spare the boy. Though in return, he took away one of his eyes when he was an infant as an exchange of having the boy spared, which was the reason he wore an eyepatch on his left eye for the rest of his life.
On the day of Maya’s quincanera, Mictlan has sent Zatz to retrieve the girl for sacrifice and informing of her true parentage belonging to Micte. However, he was defeated and forced to retreat, heading back to the Underworld to inform Lord Mictlan and the rest of the Underworld gods about their plan. With Zatz stating of the Teca army making their way to the endless forest, he and the rest of the gods began discussing about this before Camazotz informs of showing mercy, only to be laughed and mocked for this statement by Mictlan and the others. Mictlan states to be merciless in this war declared as he is excited to see an old acquaintance of his wife.
Then to the day the Teca army marched to the Divine Gate that is the very entrance to the Underworld, Mictlan appears before them. Both Mictlan and the King who mock each other, though Mictlan didn’t take it well of being mocked a “monster” as he roared out to them, causing intimidation to some running soldiers before King led his army to fight Mictlan. Unfortunately, the battle resulted in agony as the King was spared, but the army and his sons were killed when Mictlan made them fought each other through his influence of aggression and conflict. In addition, what was left of the King’s sons, whose also Maya’s brothers, were their weapons as Zatz gave them to the latter and their pet Jaguar Chiapa traumatized from the event.
At the night of the funeral and the discover of the prophecy’s true meaning by Maya, she set out her journey to find the three warriors. Meanwhile, Mictlan orders Zatz to retrieve Maya furiously before Micte calms him down into knowing her sacrifice would be delicious, much to his grin. Apparently Acat, the Goddess of the Tattoos and Zatz’s girlfriend (later ex), arrogantly claims to retrieve her alongside Zatz, to which pleases Mictlan to allow them both on this mission. As they left, Micte would “compliment” to Mictlan sending two “children” to fetch a child, calling him incorrigible.
However, Acat wasn’t the only god to challenge against, as there have been numerous more coming after Maya under orders of Mictlan or going against his back to sacrifice her for themselves throughout the journey after recruiting the three warriors. Meanwhile Mictlan and Micte were then seen with Acat, who has failed to retrieve Maya for the sacrifice before questioned of Zatz's appearance. Acat responds that she and the latter are no longer together, only for Mictlan to question her again until she states of no longer knowing where he is afterwards.
Mictlan would then order Hura and Can to retrieve Maya next while stating to have the duo kill her companions along the way. Just when Acat begs for another chance, Mictlan says it is unnecessary as he ends up kill her right in front of everyone and just before Acat could defend herself against him. As she dies and stating Zatz's name, Mictlan eats her heart as it made him grow powerful with Camazotz fearing him and Micte disgusted with him as he laughs sadistically from the act.
After having to recruit all three warriors, it can implied that Mictlan has sent his troop of golems to attack the Teca Kingdom in search for Maya while she was away. During the aftermath of the four heroes fighting against Xtabay and her allies, Maya and the rest would make way their journey to arriving at the Divine Gate.
After they entered, Zatz guides them to Mictlan's template on the way there. For the mean time, Mictlan was seen with the other gods and goddesses, entertained by Xtabay as she performs acts of Acat's begging and one of Maya's brothers' last moments. This was something Camozotz and the brothers Hura and Can were disturbed about until Zatz brought the four in.
Mictlan would be amused seeing his wife's daughter and her companions till Zatz declared his defect and joins them. Only for Mictlan to state the very kingdoms each of the three warriors were from, warning them to back down or their very homes will pay the price respectively. Maya would then challenge Mictlan for a battle to the death, which he responds by laughing and mocking of how she only brought "the power of friendship" before snarling and began to torture Zatz through his snakes.
Maya would then aim her Eagle Claw at him before Camozotz had enough with his reign and attempts to avenge his wife before having to be killed by him and his heart eaten, increasing his power further. As Zatz grew angry and seeks vengeance against him, he remorselessly tells everyone to "relax" from this before Micte comes in as he tells her on how he thought he would tell Maya how her brothers were killed. He states that he did not harm them but only to influence conflict between them and the army before having to influence his presence on Rico, Chimi, and Picchu.
He would force the three to fight against Maya until she gets through Rico by mentioning the same words Rico's mentor used to calm him. Though Mictlan on the other hand, tries to get him to obey him until the wizard himself breaks free. Questioned from this, Mictlan would have the brainwashed Chimi and Picchu fight the remaining two before Rico breaks them free of the influential spell. He would then tell Micte that he was glad of the choice of letting her live and stating to this being more fun with his prey having a bit more fight in them before proceeding to prepare himself in their fight.
Mictlan would be overwhelmed by the four heroes at first, though he manages to dominate them in battle until they had the upper hand against him. Mictlan would then grow annoyed as he bursts with rage and thrusts Maya onto the ground as he knocks aside his three remaining opponents before having to prepare the sacrifice of the latter. Just then, Micte throws Chimi one of Mictlan's blades and impaled him to save Maya from behind as he asks Micte to pull it off while distracted. However, Maya would end up sending Mictlan to the very bottom of the lava pits from the temple.
Just then the disloyal group of the Underworld's gods and goddesses chased after the group till Picchu sacrificed himself to allowing their escape. Mictlan would then reveal to have survive the lava pit as he states to Picchu that he has done nothing as he'll continue his agenda to sacrifice Maya after building a new bridge for the gate. While Picchu differs this belief, Mictlan states that he is dead and he just doesn't know it before both him and the remaining deities end up killing him in one go.
While Maya and her people made preparations for the upcoming war as Rico, Chimi, and Zatz were negotiating the other kingdoms to become reinforcements and the Teca army building up, the Divine Gate in golem form merges from the surface as it releases Mictlan and his minions to confront them in the final battle. Upon landing, he states to devour their souls tonight as he unleashes his flaming swords while mockingly congratulating Maya of ensuring her civilization's extinction.
However, all armies from Luna Island, the Jungle Lands, and the Barbarians arrived to assist Maya into defeating Mictlan and his army. Mictlan would state that this changes nothing as the age of mortals is coming to an end before he charges at them in a quick matter of time. They all end up fighting against one another before realizing Micte has turned against him, he persuades to her after everything he's done for her as Micte wants him to prove his love by surrendering. Unfortunately, Mictan would end up refusing as he yells out his entitlement.
He then orders his minions to attack while fighting Micte, no longer caring about her. Even when joined forces with the four heroes before having to be thrown back, he asks if they had enough before Maya responds of doing this all day and night till he would swift his blades at all four of the warriors. He is then shot back by Rico to a nearby pillar before having to get up, becoming highly fed up with the situation where he is outnumbered by the gathered armies. Mictlan would then summon his own number of soldiers and newly different golems from the Underworld.
As both armies of mortality and the undead clash to one another with Rico creating living automatons through the statues of the prophecy, Mictlan takes on Maya and Zatz once more in fury to settle this. But at the saving throw, he was blocked by both the King of Teca and Lady Micte as they fought him together, alongside the arrival of Cipactil and her reformed husband, Cabrakan. During the battle when Chimi tried to aim a strike at him, she and the Widow Queen discovered Vucub having his eyes gouged out by Mictlan himself.
Just then, he would brutally rip off Cabrakan's arms while mocking him of being a "armless fool" and proceeds to rip his heart off to eat it. With Cabrakan dead, Cupactil attempts to avenge her husband, but this failed tragically as Mictlan rips her heart out as well to eat it. This would make him grow stronger as he soon commands Chivo to summon the remaining Gods, only to rip off their hearts as well to further his strength while killing them. He is then called out by Micte for the monster he is before she, Maya, and Zatz could attack, though Mictlan ends up devouring all five hearts as his strength grew drastically to where he would yell out "Worship Me". When a pool of golden liquid merges, what came next was Mictlan transformed into a two-headed serpent that breathed green fire.
He begins to fight off all the heroes as he wraps himself around the temple to attack them but ends up overwhelmed easily alongside his army. However, one of Mictlan's heads nearly attempted to kill Maya's parents and newborn twins until Rico pulled him off, but the latter ended up restraining one of the automatons he created. Mictlan would have his attention turned to Maya before attacking Micte in her owl form as both Mictlan and Maya reach for her once she's down, but Zatz swooped into his bat form to knock out the latter.
Chimi would then shoot down one of Mictlan's eyes, but Zatz was caught between Mictlan's mouth as he is crushed to death, killing him in the process. But he wasn't the only one victimized from Mictlan, as his poison began to succumbed on Micte before passing in front of Maya in battle. Though Mictlan would strike again when Vucub sacrifices himself to protect Chimi and the Widow Queen as a result.
Having enough of this, Maya swore to kill him as if it was the last thing she'll do as they fought. Upon discovering a way to defeat him, Maya makes a jump to Mictlan's mouth with the help from the souls of her brothers and Picchu. However, just before Mictlan notices Maya inside one of his mouths, he attempts to finally finish her inside of himself as he breathed out fire till Maya shields herself. This type of move proven to be his own downfall as he attempted to do one last fire breathe directly to Maya until she finally reached his heart, permanently killing him in the process and ending his reign of warmongering for good.
But in return, Maya died as a result, but never in despair. As then her soul would forever be watching over her loved ones as she and Zatz became one with the Sun and the Moon...
Within the story's standards in Maya and the Three, it is quite natural to define it as measurably balanced int doing so. One fact to note is that not much of the villains had more serious crimes except having to follow orders (though some would be willing to walk out of), to which concludes to Acat and Chivo being two examples from this. Same can go for those redeemed or not that evil to begin with, Zatz was a primary example despite threatening to kill the Teca's people.
However, there is actual some competition before we got to Mictlan as there are about two individuals that generally or successfully passed the standards. Xtabay is the one responsible for massacring Picchu's parents and the whole village simply because she was spared by him, but to go as far into mind-raping him that this was solely because of his "weakness" and even using her illusions into doing so. She was able to stand out with different yet less resources compared to Mictlan and is by far one of the most sadistic deities within the Underworld's gods and goddesses to date.
We then go over to the King of the Jungle Lands, who was a monstrous and controlling monarch who wanted to keep Chimi solely because of her skills after obtaining the golden arrow bow. As a result to her "disrespecting" him, he had his men burn the forest, which was her home, and killed most of the animals who raised her since she was an infant that very day. This was a truly evil act that pushed Chimi into furthering her hatred for humanity and the Widow Queen was now guilty of that act as she stated herself when she tried to get her guards to invite Chimi to their kingdom once again. Unfortunately, the guards were brutally harmed in the process, as it shows how highly effective this MEH put Chimi through. Regardless of the act, it still somewhat fails the standards now that Chimi begins to trust others slowly and completely devoid the impact he had on her. Even when he had low resources to compare with and his crimes being a bit unique, nothing avails as his impact lasted but it does leave questionable considerations.
We then move onward to Mictlan, the one who sets the standards in the series and it should be clear how big his actions made him avail said standards. It's not impossible to describe all the horrendous and horrible actions he committed onscreen and during the aftermath effects, in fact, he actually sets it for having the most majority of killing off two main characters and major ones alike. We start off seeing him slaughter all of the Teca army and Maya's brothers, which was the sole reason on why Maya wanted to get revenge on him, then it gets worse when he devours the hearts of many gods and goddesses onscreen. If this was not surely bad enough to describe, we then move to Mictlan ripping off Zatz's left eye when he was a baby and he did the same thing to Vucub during the time of war.
But during the war scene and before it, he kills off Picchu alongside his minions (including Picchu's archenemy, Xtabay. Which makes it worse) and then proceeds to kill off all his minions by eating their hearts, but to do the same thing on Cipatcil, Cabrakan, and Vucub after becoming a serpent. However, his most personal kills were onto Zatz when he crushed him to death with his mouth in front of Maya and ends up killing Lady Micte via poisoning, this was his own wife we're talking about. Then just when he was about to end the world, he was directly the reason for Maya's sacrifice after killing him but at the cost of her life. Killing the protagonist was something he succeeded after death.
By having the far most personal kills on many major characters and killing the protagonist in the end of his quest to ravage the whole world, an extreme measurement of personal villainy, and having far bigger resources on the majority to himself. He easily stands out most in the standards since its made clear that he ultimately sets it.
His title of being the "God of War" is no joke right there, even though he is quite sadistic and heinous enough. However, we should take note of his mitigations first to see if he's a lit green on the go.
First off, he may be the God of War, but it does not explicitly mean he is only knowing of wrong rather than right and we were able to get a detailed backstory of how he was once a human before becoming the sadistic, power-hungry deity he was under claims, aka the Word of God, by Jorge (the creator of the series). It should also be noted that most of the gods and goddesses are also fully aware of their actions and their entitled attribute to what they do cannot effect their Moral Agency (Xtabay was a prime example). However, when Mictlan became a monstrous two-headed serpent, he became animalistic and lacking of any human-like traits, but this cannot be the case. Even if he did lose his ability to speak, it does not mean he is fully sapient if he did not intend to kill Maya and her allies. This is proven true since Mictlan is still seen attacking and killing everyone on purpose, especially targeting Maya when she was inside of him and could care less about himself. Therefore as both his deity and serpent form, Mictlan's Moral Agency is still crystal clear (Side Note: Even when transformed into a serpent, Mictlan was already evil and he transformed through his own will).
Second, his love for his wife, Lady Micte, also being the Goddess of Death, does not seem entirely genuine as we thought it would be. It was ultimately revealed that whatever he saw in Micte before completely subverted due to his lust for power as stated by Micte herself. However, we do get to see that he seemed genuinely heartbroken that Micte betrays him again after having to forgive her affair. Even when Micte gave him a chance to prove his love for her by surrendering his desires for power, Mictlan ends subverting his genuine redeeming quality as he chose power over her. He also isn't one to be above killing her as the very result (But hey, as if Ego made a run for his money thanks to him).
And third, When he sees Maya and her companions going up against him, he stated that he liked his prey having a little fight in them left. But should it be considered as a honorable moment? it's no coincidence when I say no. He prepared himself to fight sadistically against the four warriors and the time he nearly sacrificed Maya while saying it was an honor, but he did not hesitate to kill her for his desires to have even more power. Did I also forget to mention him eating his last remaining minions for their hearts to gain power while claiming it was "honor"? Yeah, I fail to see that and it's clearly not genuine since he had no remorse of these acts in doing so.
Overall, Mictlan genuinely lacks redeeming qualities and subverted his only one regarding his wife.
He's got them Bellroc vibes except combined with Chakal, except taken dead seriously. He's likely to be an easy yes due to his high bodycount on the heroes and his list of crimes, I mean, damn it's huge. So huge in fact, he actually made Bellroc more tolerable than him.