Ultimate Edition Ram Man…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

The announcement that Mattel was passing MOTU off to another, smaller company, Super7, was scary, scary news.

I (and everyone else who cares) was aware of their work, and none of it was of collectors style figures along the lines of Masters of the Universe Classics.

Their stuff was cool…just not highly articulated figures.  They carry on the legacy of M.U.S.C.L.E.  And 3.25 inch scale figures.  Plus some pop vinyl things, shirts, all infused with pop-culture goodness.  (For instance, Aliens M.U.S.C.L.E., and Street Fighter M.U.S.C.L.E.). Puzzlingly…they have their own characters and things as well.  And I wonder how they sell that stuff?  It’s not that it isn’t cool.  But when you are selling something that feels generic next to a beloved liscenced character, I wonder how that works out?

But Super7 is going all out with Masters of the Universe.  They are making a TON of figures.  Just dropping them into their other lines…as well as reviving the vintage style figures (YES!) and also carrying on with MOTUC.

Way back in December, Super7 offered their first pre-order…the Ultimates.  You could order He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Faker, or Ram Man.  They were costed out at about the same price as Mattel was offering figures, but with the promise of a different shipping handler (no more digital river), and the figures came with basically everything that was ever offered to outfit each figure.  For instance, with Skeletor, you got Keldor’s head, cape, and all of Skeletor’s basic weapons.  Teela got her armor set, blonde head, and blaster.

But Ram Man promised to be the same thing Mattel offered.  Just with card-back coloration.  Why Ram Man anyway?  Mattel sold him out in under 30 minutes back in 2013.  And really never offered him again.  This made the after-market price of Ram Man around or even over $200.  So Super7 was doing us all a favor by increasing the amounts of Ram Man out there.  Sure, that red vintage toy paint job will still be pricey to get, but I think the figure will go down.

Ram Man was the only ultimate that I bought, and I have a little bit of sadness that I didn’t order Faker now.  I started to, but it was too late, and the pre-order window closed.

So here is my unboxing and review of the first ever Masters of the Universe Classics style figure made by someone else!

Ram Man came in this shipping box.  It is similar, but of lower quality than Mattel’s box I think.  I don’t care either way.  Just saying.  On the bottom is the conspicuous Super7 instead of Mattel.

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I don’t know why, but Super7 opted to go with different packaging.  I’m glad they did!  This box is very reminiscent of the vintage toyline box.  You can see what you get clearly.  Ram Man in vintage cardback colors (orange instead of red.)  His ax, and his alternate head.  This is the exact same product that was offered before…I went back and checked old reviews, etc.  Besides the coloration and package, you get the same Ram Man.

or do you?

Before flipping the box over…what’s that?  A MINICOMIC?  (I already knew it was faux)

But the presence of that item back there is very, very welcome.  Mattel could have done this while all that time people were asking for minicomics.  Super7 really shows some genius in that they are quite aware of what fans are into.  If you are a MOC collector (I’m not) then it is splash like this that makes a big difference.

 

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The back of the box.  Take in the awesomeness.

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It’s like they perfectly captured the feel of the old boxes!  You get to see lots of upcoming Super7 MOTUC goodness.  There is a comic art scene at the top.  There is even instructions for swapping Ram Man’s head, with arrows and everything.

Again I must scream.  HOW HARD WAS THIS TO DO, MATTEL?

Don’t get me wrong.  I have been a fan of MOTUC.  I was sad to see Neitlich go.  But this on card packaging is perfect! Super7 is showing a lot of promise.

Now let’s open him up.  I just throw away the boxes anyway.  (If I want to look at them, I will just go back and read my blog!)

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Remember that “minicomic”?  It is really a small poster.  This I will keep!  And for those people upset that there was no “bio” for Ram Man on the back, if you flip this poster thing over, you get this!

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This is over TWICE AS MUCH INFORMATION as the Mattel bios gave you.  And then they signed it “Scrollos.”  Can we stop crying with joy yet?

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Here is Ram Man right out of the box.  Unfortunately, he has that “pee plastic” smell.  It has worn off (I’ve had him in hand for three days.), but that doesn’t ever give a good impression.  The smell of urinal cake in your incredibly expensive collector figure.

Ram Man looks great, though.  I like how there is a gold paint-hit all around the studs on top of the boots, and even on the cleats on the bottom.  That same paint-hit goes around his skirt.  Ram Man has “Michelin Man” pants on.  This is what the vintage and 200x version had.  So it is a part of who Ram Man is.  The cloth pieces of the armor are sculpted with little laces…very nice.  The “metal” parts of the armor are just flat silver.  Which is boring.  At least is shiny, if it is done in matte.  The skull on his belt needs more paint or something.

Ram Man’s face is very impressive.  There doesn’t seem to be that much age-range in MOTU.  If a character has gray or white hair, they are old.  Otherwise they seem to be mid twenties.  Filmation differentiated them by making their voices sound different.  (Man-At-Arms, Randor.)  But in toy form, you lose that.  The wrinkled, grizzled face of an old veteran knight suits Ram Man perfectly.  And it takes a character who is usually billed as a “moron” somewhere new.  Somewhere respectable.

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The back of Ram Man is what you would expect.  The back of the knees are unsightly, but I’m not sure that could be helped.  You can see the little hook on his back as well to hold weapons.  Maybe more flare could have gone into this?  I understand that some of this torso had to be re-tooled.  The Ultimate Editions are obvious re-use of the tools Mattel had.  But we were told early that something was wrong with Ram Man’s shoulders.  If they re-tooled this, maybe they should have made more of a big deal out of this little clip.  Of course, I might be completely off base.  Maybe this part of the tool was fine, and they saved some money.  It’s just a small gripe.

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I would never display Rammy like this.  But I wanted you to see the articulation points.  Ram Man has everything you would expect.  But his armor style restricts the movement somewhat.  Ram Man won’t be sitting down or manning vehicles.  He has boot cut swivel, as well as knee swivel and rocker ankles.  His arms have ball joints at the shoulders, swivels on the elbows, and rotating wrists.

He can twist his torso above the belt.  And it seems that he has a rocker joint for his upper torso.  But I can’t make that joint move, and I am afraid of breaking him if I force it.  I don’t see a reason to move that joint, I’m just saying.  Ram Man isn’t a yoga master.

His head is on a ball joint, and you can get a surprising amount of movement out of it considering that it has such a large helmet sculpted on.

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WE INTERUPT THIS RAM MAN UNBOXING WITH A RANDOM PICTURE.  Help!  Squeeze has BattleGround Teela in a figure eight hold!

Back to business…

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Tell me this isn’t a classic image!  (Proving AGAIN that the rock that came with Marvel Select Thor is the best part of that action figure…)

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Ram Man has two accessories.  The un-helmeted head, and the axe.  The alternate head has the same face-sculpt, but you can see the ears, and you can see the metal piece that is the top of his skull, explaining his super power.

What I don’t like is the neckline…it seems that his head is floating on top of a silvery-gray nothing.  I don’t know what the solution could have been, but for such an outstanding figure, this feels like the shoddiest part.

The axe is well done…but fits loosely in the hole provided in the fist.  It has a dark coloration on the handle, which is nice, and for the record it fits snuggly on that clip on the back of the figure.

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And here is the classic team from Filmation.  It seems like Ram Man, Orko, Teela, and He-Man found themselves in a disproportionate amount of episodes, with Man-At-Arms featured somewhere as well.

And just to humor that new Bio story…

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Anytime we can use Draego Man is a fun time!

So how do I rate this figure?

I feel like the basic figure plus the packaging deserves all 5/5.  The alternate head (no-neck) issue is a problem, but it isn’t how most people will display Rammy.

Opening this package hit that special note…rarely hit anymore.  The feeling of opening a vintage figure fresh from the store.  I just want to say thanks to Super7 for doing such a fine job in that department.  The nostalgia is thick here, and if you like MOTUC, you should get Ram Man or look into getting more of their classics offerings.

I hope they put out more ultimate editions.  If they put out an ultimate Fisto, I’m the first guy that is going to sign up to buy!

The SpartanNerd rates Ultimate Edition Ram Man from Super7 at 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Man-At-Arms (Battle Ram Version)…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

Mattel has given us several versions of Man-At-Arms over the eight years of the line.  The Battle Ram came with one more different version.  How does this version stand up?  Keep reading!

You can see how I unboxed Man-At-Arms if you follow this link.    You can also see the review of the Battle Ram vehicle, and follow the links on that page to all sorts of cool NerdTainment.  To me, this Man-At-Arms is essentially a freeby!

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So here is Man-At-Arms, right out of the package.  Notice that this version has a silver mace, prominently featured.  He has Filmation-inspired shin guards.  He is the same green color, and has practically the same armor as the original Man-At-Arms release.  This time he has double arm-guards, and a helmetless head that features a prominent ponytail.

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The backside features an incredibly well sculpted backpack, which has storage clips for weapons.  In the previous version, Man-At-Arms could have He-Man’s techno-sword attached here.  This time we get to install a gun and the classic mace.From this rear-facing angle, we can see how well sculpted the armor pieces are.

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If you read my review of Rio Blast, then you heard my story of who I always thought he was Man-at-Arms in disguise.  See the resemblance?  Now for a head-swap.

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I knew I was onto something!

Man-At_arms comes with the aforementioned silver mace, the classic mace, and this silver pistol.  Note that the silver mace will not fit on the the clips of Man-At-Arms back.

Why was that even included?  It seems we’ve seen that mace several times in different colors.  So it gets the silver treatment.  Big WHOOP.

It would have been nice to have more paint hits on the classic mace.  Or maybe including that 200x gun in a different color.  (How about silver.  That would have been cool!)

But oh-well.  I don’t dislike the silver mace.  I just think its weird considering the main vintage weapon associated with Duncan is the orange mace.  And so that means he came with two maces.

He looks cool with two guns…not two maces.

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The point of this Man-At-Arms is that now you get maximum options for displaying the figure.  You can take this head and the 200x gun and armor and make the ultimate 200x Man-At-Arms.  (I don’t own the Snake Man At Arms…I don’t own the 200x the gun.  OK.  I actually don’t own either…the SpartanTeen owns the gun and the original Man-At-Arms release!)

You can take the Mustached head and put on the Battle Ram version and make a filmation Duncan.  (Sorry.  I can’t find the mustached head.  The SpartanTeen lost it!)

Here is a crack at the 200x version, using the Battle Ram body.

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Man-At-Arms inclusion with the Battle Ram was a great choice.  I personally needed my own Man-Arms to help me complete the classic team of He-Man, Teela, Man-At-Arms, Orko, and Ram Man (coming from Super7 eventually!)

The only thing stupid about this figure is the silver mace.  It adds something to the figure.  It just isn’t that significant.  But I can’t take any points off for that.  MOC collectors might be annoyed that he is displayed holding that in the box, though.

So I rate the Battle Ram Man-At-Arms 5/5.  This is Mattel’s final Man-At-Arms for the Masters of the Universe Classics line.  They used this opportunity to reward long-time collectors, and help appease those annoyed by Snake Man-At-Arms.  This version allows the widest range of display options, and pulls it together nicely.

For me, it gives me my own personal Man-At-Arms to help me complete my collection of essential good guys.

Do you agree with the SpartanNerd’s rating of 5/5?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Battle Ram…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

Snow in the south.  What does that mean to the SpartanNerd?  While others slide their way to work…skid their way to the factory…get stuck in piled up traffic on their way to punch the clock at the warehouse, or to worry sick about the progress at the house building site, the SpartanNerd stays home.  Teaching has its perks!  And while even other teachers might get bored, sitting in their wool socks binge-watching the Netflix, the SpartanNerd stays busy…bringing nerdtainment reviews to the masses.  (Whoever you are, beloved readers, thank you!)  Someone out there reads what I publish, and this run of reviews is just for you!

I ordered the Battle Ram right before the year ended.  This is something I haven’t ordered before simply because of price.  I was seriously psyched when they first announced this item a couple of years ago.  $110 was just too much.  Then they were going to stick ridiculous shipping costs.  But not during the MattyCollector closeout event!  The Battle Ram was HALF OFF.  And I got free shipping too.  (I only paid $55 for the Battle Ram, which also comes with a new Man-At-Arms.  That’s incredible, people!)

I have been excited about this for quite some time.  Ever since The Four Horsemen revealed their original sculpt at the San Diego Comic Con…(I only saw pictures, like most of you readers.  I have never been to San Diego.)  I mentioned as well that the Wind Raider never has been my favorite vehicle.  To me, it always seems kind of generic for some reason.  And as a kid, the wings broke off and it was forever funkified by bathtub water.  (Because you see, we naturally made it into a boat as it didn’t have wings anymore.)

But on to the Battle Ram.  My original Battle Ram is still with me!  Keep reading for a comparison time!  (Shout out to Pixel Dan.  Who unquestionably probably doesn’t read this blog.)

The Masters of the Universe Classics Battle Ram came in this shipper box.

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This box is huge.  And when I see this giant mailer, I realize how big a MOTUC vehicle has to be to accommodate that nearly seven inch scale.  I have some other large MOTUC items.  But this is set to be the largest yet!

I am re-using this box this time, to cart my vintage figures back over to the school to put on display for the rest of the school year. (Now I have to make room in the Nerd Closet for this beast of a vehicle!)   It is nice and sturdy, and suits all kinds of re-use purposes.  I know, there are some collectors out there who have each of these in storage.  Come on guys.  Really?  Just.  Why?

(I am known to throw the packaging away, usually.  It’s just cardboard!  The item inside is what’s important to me.  And like Rob Base says.  “Their your toys.  Play with them!”

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You can see all of this goodness is really crammed into the box.  Man-At_arms is prominently  in front of the vehicle.  Maybe an odd choice?  They could have seated him on it and maybe saved some space?  But I suppose having the figure displayed in the window box is more important to MOC collectors.

The back of the box shows a diagram of the Battle Ram with some details.  It even goes as far as to point out that the Griffin Head is the custom piece done by Duncan.  This diagram is going through a little bit of pain to point out that the Jet Sled in front isn’t the same as what’s in the package, I think.  The other details are cool.  Isn’t Gwildor of the Tadorian race?  Or is that what creature’s head is depicted on the missile?

This is a nifty box.  I will have to check the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book and look at the other schematic drawings of vehicles preserved there.  This drawing might be in there also…

Time to knife open the package!  There are lots of rubber bands tying the Man-At-Arms in.  And worry-ingly, check out this problem.  On the Roast Gooble Dinner podcast, I heard lots of people talking about Jitsu’s ponytail getting broken off in the package.  Looks like potential for something like that happening here…

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Thankfully, I managed to free the scary piece of hair without damaging it.

And here is the product, as vanilla as I can show you, right out of the package.

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Now readers…I am going to post the review of Man-At-Arms in a different post.  This figure deserves a fair review like all of the others, but I am afraid the Battle Ram is so awesome it overpowers old Duncan!

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So how big is it?

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Here are some other large MOTUC items I have just for reference.  (I hate this picture).

The Griffin’s impressive wingspan is a little bit longer than the Battle Ram.  Megator seems just the right height to get splattered in the face by the missile!  (That is a real working action feature!  The missile is a bit rubbery, but not too much!)

The point is, this is one hulk of plastic.  I can’t imagine owning Castle Grayskull.  That thing makes this vehicle look small…

As in the vintage model, the Jet Sled detaches from the Battle Ram portion.  The MOTUC version doesn’t do so as easily, however.  You have to wiggle it with a little bit of force, and there is a definite “SNAP” sound that happens, as the tabs that lock it into place seem to be stressing a little bit.  And that is my only complaint about the entire vehicle!

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You can see that this time we have the snake head version of the Sky Sled. (War Sled, props to James Eatock).  I won’t be displaying the Battle Ram with the snake head.  I’m not sure if the snake head version is ever depicted in media attached to the Battle Ram?  I will always have the Griffin head version on the front.

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Teela makes everything look better!  Sky High villainously belongs on the snake version.

The new Jet Sled War Sled is exactly like the other.  You should go and read that review right now if you haven’t.  Because they are the same item.  Just one has a griffin head, and one has a snake head.  (Really, it is a fantastic vehicle, that I rated 5/5.  I have had tons of fun flying it around and scaring my cats.  Sorry that some of the pics of Sky High are inexplicably missing, but the Jet Sled pics are all there.)

The Battle Ram is a display piece…as such, you can do the traditional thing…

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Or you can go 1980’s playtime, full on!

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Check out the backside of the Battle Ram.

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I don’t remember this detail.  This large mask thing…was it ever a sticker on the vintage Battler Ram?  This detail is sculpted on, like every other detail of the Battle Ram.  But this mask thing is very conspicuous.  The bright colors don’t really match the rest of the tank.  It doesn’t take away from it, I just found it kind of shocking because I didn’t remember it, and this isn’t on my vintage Battle Ram.  Maybe my parents didn’t apply it when they assembled it?  Or maybe I peeled it off?  There doesn’t seem to be any residue, however…

Every single knob, control panel, exhaust pipe, vent, indicator light, engine piece, all of it.  Fantastic sculpting.  I can’t gloat about that enough.  It is incredible!  It is this work that makes Masters of the Universe Classics the ultimate toyline.  Not only just for adult collectors, but this item in the hands of a kid…wow, it can capture their imagination.

Now for that “Comparison Time” I hooked you with earlier.

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My childhood Battle Ram is dwarfed by the MOTUC version.  The plastic is just about split in seam right up the middle of both the Sky Sled and the engine piece.

One thing about them both, and maybe only I notice this because I am the only music teacher interested in MOTUC in the whole entire world I am certain…both Battle Rams make the same sound when they roll!  This was the very first thing I noticed.  As soon as I freed it from the box, I set it on the floor and gave it a good push.  There is a certain “hollow” sound to the thing as it rolls.  I’m not sure what makes it so.  But it is.  It is the exact same experience.  When I rolled the new vehicle across the floor, a ton of memories flooded back into my head.  I mention how this is the ultimate action figure line…how kids can totally have their imagination captured.  Us adults can re-live it because of the incredible detail put into something as awesome as this.

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As a kid, my favorite vehicle was the Attak Trak.  But as a battery powered vehicle, it had limitations.  (dead batteries.)  What would I play with instead…the Battle Ram was my go-to guy.  And now that there isn’t even an Attak Trak for MOTUC, and there may never be, the Battle Ram takes over by force of destiny!  (That sounded cool.)

The SpartanNerd rates the Battle Ram at 5/5.  It is perfect!  The only thing close to a complaint that I can make is that it is slightly hard to separate the Jet Sled from the Battle Ram.  I believe that over time that may work itself out.  So no big deal.

The SpartanNerd rates the Battle Ram 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Comic Review…He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #5….The Origin of Despara (She-Ra)

I might be one of the few commentators out there who enjoy the new Masters of the Universe comic.  I hope it’s truly doing well…And I hope the Justice League crossover gives it a big boost as well.

Of all the things about the comic that could be said, the most striking thing has been the appearance of She-Ra as Despara.  She has a butch haircut, and goes around in Hordak’s body armor ruthlessly….and I mean ruthlessly killing rebels and masters.  She is more than Force Captain Adora could have ever been, (in regard to the Filmation story.)  No she’s a cold blooded zealot, wanting to shine victory on Hordak.

The origin story here did not disappoint!

Here’s the cover.

I am glad to see the classic feminine look of She-Ra here.  We really haven’t gotten to see this much in the DC New 52 version of the comics….aside from a variant cover that I have not been able to get.  But if anything, Comics have proven that the cover doesn’t usually tell us much.

But this cover does….In this issue, the lies of the Horde become apparent to Despara….And she learns that she was Adora from the Shadow Weaver, who in this story has been a “mother” to her.

I like everything about this re-telling.  In fact, in the old established story, some things didn’t make any sense.  Here it all makes perfect sense.  It is well explained, and furthermore, we see the Horde’s twist on things, having the origin told from the Shadow Weaver’s point of view.

Skeletor stole Adora from the crib…Why didn’t he take Adam?  This story explains it.  The Sorceress intervened.

Why hasn’t Randor, or anyone else mentioned it yet…His mind has been wiped!  Everyone’s has been to help them with their grief by the Sorceress.

And Marlena…she’s dead too, evidently.

A couple of other things I liked.  Shadow Weaver shows her jealousy of Hordak here.  She speaks ill of  him and his arrogance.  She continues to see herself as Despara’s mother, a character quality I was unaware of.  (I haven’t watched much She-Ra….I AM a boy, you know.)  She also speaks of Skeletor in glowing terms…It’s like she’s in love with him.  This is also apparently new.  FInally, she says that she believes the Sorceress allowed Adora to be taken.  Not sure if this is her trying to put more slant on it or what, but it makes sense the way she says it.  She says that it is the kind of sacrifice Grayskull would require.  And that only one of the twins was required to fulfill the prophecy.

So my logic is, in the taking of Adora, 20 or so years were bought to train Adam to become He-Man.  At least this is how Shadow Weaver, a dark mage, tells it.

In this issue we see the Shadow Weaver killed by Hordak and his godlike power.  Why can’t he so easily kill Adora?  A good question.

What I didn’t like.

Teela had to stab her at the end, didn’t she?  Why couldn’t she have taken the heroic high road?  The writers are typecasting Teela into someone more hardcore than she should be.  I don’t much care for the snarky conversations between her and Adam, or the way she snaps virtually everyone else up.  She always gets the last word in these stories, and is such a prominent character that you could almost call this book “Teela and the Masters of the Universe.”  Here it is no different.  Despara heals Teela, and Teela thanks her by stabbing her back.

Also, we’ve seen who killed in this series…

Leech, Sorceress, Flutterina, and now Marlena and Shadow Weaver.  And at 11:30 at night my memory might be evading me.

Keep in mind that we’ve only had a six issue web series, a six issue mini-series, and five issues of the ongoing series.  If I’m right, that adds up to a character killed off in 1 out of 3 books.  What other comic can survive like this….My thinking is that the writers are thinking short term.  “No way this series is going to last much longer.”  I hope I’m not right.

At least Man-At-Arms hasn’t been turned into a snake man.

And at least Orko is still a good guy….oh…he’s not…..

What I hope to see

Next issue is the last issue of this story arc.  I hope to see Despara shed that name and claim Adora.  I hope to see her raise the sword and become She-Ra…The classic version we know…not the soldier from Wreck-It Ralph.  Somehow the sword gets to her, and it’s power breaks the fog of lies that surround her.

And I hope she tips the scales away from Hordak.

But for the future…I want to see a She-Ra book of her own.  Now we will have a hero with a truly dark history.  Someone who has to find redemption from the evil she has committed.  The book would show us how she gains the trust of the rebels and breaks the back of the Horde.  It would be awesome!

Is it too much of a fantasy?  Let me know!  Commentors could win a prize!