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.

Pandora #1, #2, and #3 comics review

When I signed up at the Tangled Web to get most of the Justice League Trinity War crossover stories, I hesitated on a couple of titles….One was Pandora,  I’m glad I went ahead and ordered it

!

Pandora was first introduced to us back in the first few issues of Justice League as their backup stories.  I spent my time scratching my head….Who was this, and why did I care?  Remember, I was new to DC, pretty much.  Then things got worse with Justice League, showcasing Cheezeball Shazam each month.

It’s a good thing I have been reading the JLA stories as well….There are a lot of tie-ins.

The puzzle of Pandora is why I hesitated….But she has turned out to be a really cool character.  She is an immortal, an idea that I did not know about, but apparently there are more immortals out there in the DC universe.

So Pandora feels she needs to open the box.  In this story, Pandora’s Box appears to be an alien skull, covered in gold and bearing a third eye in the middle of its head.

The box seems to possess people who touch it, and they turn evil, but it wears off after they drop the box.  People as “good” as Superman and Wonder Woman.  On the other hand, it makes Vandal Savage (another immortal) remorseful….to the point of crying.

Without giving away too many plot points, Pandora is on a quest to kill the seven deadly sins, who are spirits guiding humanity in evil throughout history.  For thousands of years, she’s not been able to slay them.  Not even hurt them.  And they call her mother, which has to be bad.

One cool thing she is doing is having a weapons maker inscribe runes and stuff on her guns.  I GUESS the idea is to enchant the weapons so they can kill the spirits.  It seems to be pointless though….another example of her failure.

So she released the sins, (who killed her tribe), became cursed and immortal, and flounders in trying to stop the sins, then trains to try and fight them or even kill them….Her whole life seems to be a failure.

Which is why I think I am rooting for her.

What do you think?  Comment people…I have some stuff to give away!