Coming in October, Masters of the Universe will have a crossover comic with Thundercats from DC. I can’t wait! Until then, I am revisiting the DC comics I already have. (I have them all! From the digital-only comics, through He-man and the Eternity War.)
I thought I would re-visit and comment on the three origins books.
First, the Origin of He-Man.
Of the three, this is the weakest. I remember reading this, and worrying about it. The art is jarring, and the story is disjointed. Thinking back a few years when this came out, this was also the book that dropped the bomb on us that Prince Adam wouldn’t be a secret identity. (When this was released, the ongoing story still had Adam and Teela trying to find their real identities.)
But the hardest thing about this book is the confusion about what happened in the panels below…
Adam “tricked” Skeletor into thinking the sword on the wall was the power sword. He swung it at the villain, who caught it in his bare hand, and crushed it. See the picture above. Doesn’t it look like the sword was crushed? Skeletor knocks a wall over on Adam, crushing him, and then we see him grab the power sword…What? How did it get there beside him? Was the sword Skeletor crushed the power sword? Did it heal itself? The moment Adam grabs it, Skeletor is looking at the tapestry that details King Grayskull defeating Hordak. Skeletor seems to think the tapestry hides the sword at that moment, and we clearly see its outline on the tapestry.
So in short. This is a confusing story. It could have been told in a clearer way. If you’ll recall, the early run on the DC MOTU comics was panned by almost everyone. This book wasn’t helping.
Let’s visit Skeletor’s origin now…
This is the first comic book I ever ordered online. The reason? I apparently missed it at the Tangled Web. Either they got only one or two copies, that were snatched up before I got there, or they didn’t get it at all. I purchased the digital copy. But only this summer, when I discovered MYCOMICSHOP.COM, did I actually come to own a physical copy.
This book starts off with Keldor, who has a face full of acid. The Mike Young productions cartoon had Keldor wounded in battle…with Randor’s shield splashing his acid back into his own face. They elaborated later that Skeletor was healed by summoning Hordak. This origin story takes that same vibe, but removes the combat accident. Instead, Hordak himself caused the burn using the communication link set up by Keldor between the two worlds. As Keldor melts away on his journey to find Randor, he reminisces about his first encounter with the Horde, how he saved Randor from the invading trooper, and then his accomplishment was quashed by their father, Miro, on account of Keldor being a blue gar.
Keldor eventually finds Randor, and stabs him, needing his blood to complete the transport to Etheria and be changed into Skeletor.
I like this book, but the art is a little jarring. It is similar to the origin of He-Man. The flashbacks have a different look about them than the main part of the story.
Now for my favorite. The ORIGIN OF HORDAK!
Why is this my favorite? So many reasons.
The art is classic. And looks like the rest of the series. Hordak becomes a god…he engineered an entire war between the Cosmic Enforcers and his Evil Horde, and then killed everyone on both sides. The Cosmic Enforcers seem to be “green lanterns”… In the end, only he and Zodac are left. And this is because Zodac is his brother. He wanted to relish in his death specifically.
Hordak is a cosmic vampire…he needed the millions of souls on both sides of the war to fuel his godhood. The book ends with him pronouncing “Let there be light!” Dang. A blasphemy fitting of such an evil character. (In the DC continuity, what actually happened was he began the “Age of Horokoth.” The bat symbol represents Horokoth, Serpos and Zoar being the other two cosmic totems.) This story sets the stage for the tremendous power that the Masters of the Universe are up against. King Grayskull was able to defeat THAT. And his heir, Skeletor would also kill him eventually.
There is one more very notable origin story. It is one of the digital only books. THE ORIGIN OF DESPARA.
Despara is the DC Comics version of Adora, the Horde Force Captain. DC made her a refined killing machine. In her origin story, she is having flashback memories of when she was kidnapped. Shadow Weaver keeps her mind wiped. It is cool that what we see is actually a female version of Hordak. She became his “Darth Vader,” as he is a disembodied spirit trapped inside some kind of life support machine. Eventually, she would find herself, as the good mother that Shadow Weaver apparently is allowed her to play in Eternia’s gardens with Teela. But this story, the last of the digital ones, raised the hair on the backs of peoples necks the same way “Vikor” the figure did. We never knew we wanted a really evil She-Ra working for Hordak until this story made that happen! When you read this, and then you go back and watch the Filmation “The Secret of the Sword,” you realize how silly Adora really was as force captain for Hordak.