DC Universe VS. Masters of the Universe

As promised, I purchased both covers.  Here’s a pic of mine in “combined” mode.

If you have been a long time Hub-City Geek, reading this blog every time the mysterious SpartanNerd finds time to post an entry, then you probably remember my excitement when this was announced.  Around May 10.

Here is a link to that post, in case you need a refresher.

I picked up my copies yesterday evening.  And read it today….

First of all, let me say I hesitated in reading this.   Both the Justice League and the Masters titles have left us at a cliffhanger….Masters of the Universe #5 ended with a promise of VICTORY in issue #6.  We just saw the Trinity War take down the Justice League(s), and in the rest of the DC Universe the villains are taking center-stage.

I hesitated because I didn’t want this issue to provide me with any spoilers.

Well,…no danger there people.  I really have more questions about when this story takes place.  If it does indeed take place after He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #6, then we know that the Horde have officially taken over.  I guess that was a spoiler.  But we aren’t sure in the way this was written, so…The events here actually COULD take place like in issue #2 or#3 or something.  It definitely isn’t at the end of issue #3, #4, or #5, though.  In those issues, Teela is a prisoner bleeding to death…

So here’s the verdict…As far as I can tell right now, the events in the rest of the DCU are not effecting this story.  It is either a side story, alternate universe, or maybe there is just some wacky stuff going on in the lab at DC.

On the other hand, we have been told repeatedly that this story is taking place in the mainline continuity!

(Continuity for me is a big deal, when the Big Two make it important.  It’s not such a big deal when it doesn’t seem as important, for instance, as when I read Conan the Barbarian.  But this is a subject for another post!  ((I know, Conan is Dark Horse, not a big two)))

First person we see when we open the book….EGADS…They made her blonde too?

Queen Marlena

Here, I scratched my head…Who is Marlena?  How could I ask such a question.  Am I not the biggest fan on the planet?

Oh yeah.  I know why.  She looks NOTHING LIKE MARLENA.  She looks like Invisible Girl, or StarGirl, or SuperGirl.  When She mentioned her name was Marlena, I was like, WHO?  Then it came to me.  This is the Queen.  In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #5, Randor briefly discusses Marlena’s “death.”  Looks like he was mistaken.  She looks like a member of the Justice League Dark.  And when I saw her seeking out John Constantine, that is exactly what I thought she must be.  But it hit me like a ton of bricks about halfway through the read.  She must have been sent here somehow before Skeletor’s great confusion was cast on Eternia.  (This is what happened in the much maligned Masters Mini-Series.  I personally like the mini-series.  But I understand why people don’t.)  Click the link to see some of my opinion.  I am the DB here.

So you get to reading…After Marlena beats Constantine’s enchantments, we see He-Man, Stratos, Man-At-Arms, and Teela kicking some Horde butt.  They uncover Evil-Lynn, who is imprisoned in a box that the Horde guards were guarding.  And guess what.  You didn’t see it coming.  I know.  (Of course I am being facetious)  Evil Lynn offers to join the Masters, to help them with their mutual interests.

Let me guess.  She’s going to stab them in the back.   $10 says it is before the end of the next issue!  How can they be so dense?

Anyway, we see Marlena talking with Constantine.  She says “Skeletor walks the Earth.” (See the picture above).  Constantine has heard of Skeletor.

Then we see Skeletor.  He has a new lady friend.  Someone I don’t know.  Black Alice.  wikipedia link.  She’s leading him around, trying to help him tap into the Earth’s magic source.  I can venture no further without addressing something big.  Lots of fans will hate me for this.  But…I see what they are doing.

Skeletor is without his bottom Jaw, and now sports goat horns.  He appears to be the symbol for a heavy metal band….Maybe MotorHead?

No, seriously.  This has been in the works.  See the pictures below from my copy of MOTU Mini-Series #6.

He-Man busted off Skeletor’s jaw.  Why doesn’t he replace it with a metal one?  I guess the nanites are not in his favor, like they were with Kronis (Trap-Jaw)
Here is Skeletor groveling in the pit.  All busted up.  “I’ll be back!”  Ala 1987 movie!

So now he looks like this, in his “not quite healed” form.
Skeletor can still talk.  Which lets us know it is that demon inside that makes this monstrosity work.
He talks with Black Alice about the heroes of the Earth.  They haven’t shown up, but he knows they will.  She mentions all three Justice Leagues, but Skeletor has heard of John Constantine.  So he takes special interest in the Justice League Dark.  It is during this conversation that we get our only glimpse of the Justice League, in a broken TV screen.  Besides the cover.  (WAA Waa waa…. Obvious propaganda going on here!)  We have a MOTU vs. JL title with very little JL.  Some Justice League fans are going to be mad.
At the end, Evil Lynn mentions that she has a “beacon” where Skeletor is.  Do you remember that back in the Mini-Series, Prince Adam was the “beacon” of Skeletor’s enchantment?  Looks like something similar is happening here.  She is talking about Marlena, and so Evil Lynn zaps the Masters to where Marlena is…Which is apparently in a different dimension than Eternia.
So this brings up some old-time fan talk.  If Eternia is a parallel dimension, is it the planet parallel to Earth?   Hmmmmm……  That would make sense here!
And that’s how the issue ends.
What did I like and what did I dislike?
LIKES
  • It’s good to see Marlena.  Even if she is blonde now.
  • The new Masters designs aren’t so bad.  Many people hate them.  I like them.
  • It’s good to see Evil Lynn jealous of Skeletor, and she mentions a bond between them.
DISLIKES
  • As always, I dislike Teela’s personality here.  She’s too snarky.
  • I wanted to at least see the JUSTICE LEAGUE do SOMETHING.  Evil Lynn vs. Wonder Woman.  Trap Jaw vs. Cyborg.  Superman vs. Skeletor….Or at least He-Man as depicted on the cover.  But nope.  It was all a big hype machine.
  • I’m on the fence about Skeletor’s new look.  I want him back to normal.  It’s good to be different.  But not for too long.  Sort of like I’m worried about the Joker…
  • At the end of the day, I hope this doesn’t turn into a Justice League Dark story.  I know the least about the JLD,  and I think they have the least appeal to the mass audience of the world.  But it looks like this story is going to go in that direction…
RATING
I’m giving this issue the benefit of the doubt.  I grade it 3/5.  This is a SET UP issue.  More big things are promised ahead.  I hope they iron out the continuity issues.  What’s up with the blond haired chicks?  Hopefully the happenings of this crossover have effects felt in-universe.  Hopefully the Masters will be considered a DC title at least on par with Vibe, Demon Knights, or Constantine.  
A title that matters.  This is what the Masters need.
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