SpartanNerd Review…He-Man: The Eternity War issues 12 and 13

Way back in November, I gave you my thoughts on the He-Man: The Eternity War story in issues 10 and 11.  Today, I bring you issues 12 and 13!

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I have read so many comics that NOTHING seems to happen in.  This hasn’t been the case with He-Man!  Each issue brings barbaric fighting, sci-fi goodness, high-fantasy magic, and the struggle for good to defeat evil.  The writers are giving us a great comic, with all-stops out!

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The two manifestations of The Goddess continue to battle it out.  The Sorceress of Serpos (Teela) and the Sorceress of Horokoth (Evil-Lynn) do this because the Sorceress of Zoar (…The Sorceress) was killed off by Skeletor way back at the beginning of this comic series.

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And while this epic confrontation wages, Skeletor has the power of Grayskull, and is making his own weapon out of Hordak’s sword and the Havoc staff at the Forge of Grayskull.  As he hammers away, planets are exploding out in the universe!

(The Forge of Grayskull is a repetitively used plot device in this series.  The writers have tied the power He-Man has to the forge, because it’s fire comes from the Star Seed…us long time fans know this as “the spark of creation.”)

Planets exploding…this strikes another nerve, as I just left my second viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It is also remarked that the souls of all of the people killed as these worlds explode are feeding Skeletor’s power.  Pretty scary.

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Remember that scene where He-Man was Naked?  Evidently, the writers were showing us He-Man stripped down in his psyche.  The next scene shows what is going on in Adam’s head.

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We saw this scene before, but in that scene Keldor encouraged Adam.  We are seeing the memory corrupted by King Hssss.  And Adam doesn’t appear consistent in his mind…notice how as he fights, he suddenly was older and had the battle axe.

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He continues to change…

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And then is a psychological He-Man.  The axe is significant.  The is the He-Man inside of Adam, and he doesn’t need the power of gray skull.

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Adam encounters someone else in his mind as he goes deeper to protect his psyche from King Hsss.  His suppressed love for Teela is just at the top level of his sub-conscience.

And now for a HOLE IN THE PLOT.  Wasn’t Teela a blonde in this comic?  They even made a big deal about her dying her hair to red!

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Adam’s memory of Teela tells him to fight with all he has to protect a deeply hidden but crucial memory.  A memory shielded from even himself…It is represented by this little rock thing.  But then under attack by Hsss, Adam drops it and it shatters.  And then we had to wait for Issue 12!

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Issue 12 starts off with She-Ra fighting to get to Grayskull, and having a hard time slaying Skeletor’s Dark Riders…basically phantom skeleton warriors.

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She figures it out by suddenly knowing “Sword to Shield!”  I didn’t think they would use She-Ra’s sword-transformations in this comic.  The sword became  basically a sharp ended force-field.  COOL!

I am missing some pictures and am too lazy to re-take (after seeing Star Wars until 12:30 last night.)  Something that happened off panel was Man-At-Arms planting a bomb in Tri-Clops visor while he was “talking too much”.  And so that explodes, killing Tri-Clops and blowing a hole in Castle Grayskull/Fright Zone’s shields.

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And now back to what is going on in Adam’s head.  Adam is running towards the crashed Wind Raider…we saw this before…

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The memory is of the event that was recorded in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #19, which was sub-titled “Prelude to the Eternity War.”  This comic was a whole year ago!  And King Hsss is working hard to corrupt this memory…a memory so deep and yet so vital to who He-Man is.  In the memory, Adam as a child, taps into the power of gray skull in order to save Randor from death.  Apparently a hidden ability of the power of gray skull is the ability to control time.  And so, the word “eternity” makes sense.  The Sorceress and Zodac decided to allow Adam to briefly tap the power as a child to save Randor, so long as he “forgot” what he did, as well as how he did it.  That fundamental moment proves that Adam IS He-Man, with or without a power sword.

Man-At-Arms is apparently not dead after all, but seriously wounded in the chest.  As he comes around, he sees Adam having inner conflict, saying things that don’t make sense, etc.  And then he sees Adam grab the remnants of the power sword and cut himself open!

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I always thought King Hsss devoured his victims like he did in the 200x cartoon.  Now we see how he does it for real…and it is SOOO much creepier.  Instead of swallowing them whole, (which kind of doesn’t make sense…) he goes into the body and consumes it from the inside.  All the while also consuming their psyche and becoming that person for real.  He is the Master of Dissssguisssse.

And before he took control of Adam he was Mendor…(I thought their must be something suspicious about Mendor…his name ends with an “-OR.”  Clearly he was a bad guy!) As Mendor, he treated all of the snake men, and caused them to be “seeded with his venom.”  Which apparently meant they would self destruct when he died.

So King Hsss dies, as does the Eternian army.(Because they are the same thing.)

In a matter of issues we have seen two entire armies wiped out…the Horde Troopers and the Snake Men.  Never say “nothing happened” in a Masters of the Universe comic!

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The memory of Randor gives Adam some clarity.  But let’s remember, Adam is dying…he just cut himself open…

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We interrupt that very important drama with even more important drama.  Skeletor outlines his evil plan to the world.  He has tapped the Star Seed.  She-Ra is down.  Hordak is conquered.  As the chosen one of Horokoth, Skeletor aims to destroy ALL life.  And then rule the chaos that comes after.

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Finally we see the image of Skeletor transformed with the power of Grayskull.  It appears that as before, he is combined with the Havoc staff.  Or maybe I’m wrong about that.

There are definite movie overtones here.  Remember Skeletor becoming “god.”  (Also the actors changed from Frank Langella to Anthony DeLongis.)

And as he appears, in Adam’s final moments…

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He taps into the power of Grayskull as the chosen one of both Serpos and Zoar!  It appears now that Adam is either re-born, or maybe healed.  And now he is a supercharged version of He-Man!  (We also saw some of this pre-viewed in the art book.

The art book seems to give us a few more hints of what’s to come.  But for now, I am perfectly happy with how things have gone!  This is the greatest Masters of the Universe story ever told!

Do I even need to bother giving them a 5/5?  I think my readers already know that!

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SpartanNerd thoughts…He-Man and the Eternity War Issues #10 and #11

I said way back in my 250th blog post that I would be posting a review of Issue #10.  My apologies, readers…life has kept me away from the blog.  And that is going to continue, it seems.  I find blogging to be a relaxing thing, so, I will do it when I can relax.

I think I’ll start with this photo…

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What….These two comics inspired me to produce and take this photo.  (Never realized how hard it is to put an alternate head on King Hsss….)

The events leading up to issue #10 and #11…

Basically, the Horde conquered Eternia.  Hordak had the Fright Zone infect the land, as he acquired the power of Grayskull and seemed to be bringing about the “Age of Horokoth”.  (He used the blood of Grayskull to resurrect his body…previously his spirit was trapped inside a robot life-support casket.)  He forged his own sword of power, etc.

The masters made allies with the Snake Men, who worship the Green Goddess (Teela) as the Sorceress of Serpos.  He-Man decided to eschew the power of Grayskull and only use the power of Adam…bad move, because apparently King Hsss…devoured him off-panel.  (So the main character of He-Man and the Eternity War has been killed….????)

Basically, Skeletor double crosses She-Ra into healing him from his missing jaw, and then uses the power of the Havoc Staff and the Well of Darkness to break into Hordak’s chamber of souls on Despondos.  He steals the souls and leaves She-Ra there stranded with the souls of those she executed as Despara.  Skeletor then teleports back to Eternia, unleashes those souls, which happen to re-possess their physical bodies (which are Horde Troopers,) and they mutiny.  He uses this moment of distraction to kill Hordak with his Horokoth Sword of Power.  (The moment I shouted for joy!  I’ve never been a big fan of the Horde.)  Also along the way, Evil-Lynn became the Sorceress of Horokoth.  Meaning now there are two sorceresses.

Which brings us to Issue 10.

The front cover…

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It has been hinted for quite some time that Skeletor was going to acquire the power of Grayskull.  This is why it seemed so odd that Hordak acquired it first.  And he acquired it in a very backhanded way…

I have this theory…I believe the writers are playing with the toys.  In fact, I think they might be basing their stories on their old childhood versions of the stories, or similar.

Skeletor holding a power sword wearing He-Man’s armor.  This is a strong hint.  I went and tried to duplicate this photo.  But I didn’t get a picture.  It totally works, especially if you give him the pink Prince Adam sword. (However, I don’t have a blue body with gold bracers and a gold belt.)

It was hinted back in the art book…some of the images they released showed Skeletor transformed, and also had his transformation words, “Cry Havoc!  I am Skeletor!”

We are seeing how that story unfolds.

Onto the plot.

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Basically, Prince Adam (actually King Hssss) is inspiring the masters and the Snake Men to attack the Horde.

King Hsss/Adam is wearing the traditional battle armor of the Snake Men, a supposed way to inspire them.  But we, as readers see King Hsss really flaunting who he secretly is.

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Next we see an exchange between Skeletor and Evil-Lynn.  Doesn’t she look cool!

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And now for something random.  Who is this mysterious soldier?  “War Wraith.”  And from my picture earlier, you see why I was inspired to do what I did!  The War Wraith looks incredibly like Evil-Seed.  And I thought he was until Skeletor used his name.

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And then something else we’ve never seen.  Evil-Lynn weeping.  A very spiritual thing this time.  Evidently as a manifestation of the Goddess, she reacts to things happening in the universe.  I’m reading a parallel here to what the Green Goddess (Teela) did when guiding Despara to the point of drawing He-Man’s blood, an act that would ultimately result in the resurrection of Hordak.  This seems out of character.  But it is the way her newfound power is effecting her.  Skeletor isn’t moved, of course.  Except for in the same way the SpartanNerd is moved when the females are crying.  Angry.  I know it isn’t normal, but its true.

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Next, the action cuts to the Masters using the Dragon Walkers to attack Grayskull.  A ridiculous idea.  If Dragon Walkers were real, they would be the clumsiest, stupidest kind of tank ever invented.  They were fun toys, though!  It is interesting that the details of the story mention the gear that makes them work.  More evidence that the writers have been playing with the toys…that gear was a highly noticeable part of the toy.

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And then we see the War Wraith flying on a Roton sniping snake men.  Very cool.  Who was this guy, I asked myself while reading.  He never appeared in any lore previous to now?

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A couple of pages over, and we see the Green Goddess Teela rescue She-Ra.  Divine intervention was basically the only way that could happen.  Deus Ex Machina, right?

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The Dragon Walkers (predictable) couldn’t do the job on the Fright Zone, so Moss Man does it.  He jumps out of the Wind Raider, and face-plants in a “Wrath of God” moment, sacrificing himself.  More Divine Intervention!

(At this point, the comic has a steep death toll.  I think I’ll do a death count on main characters the writers have killed off so far.  We can add Moss Man, again.)

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In the moments after while everyone is celebrating their victory, King Hss/Adam is experiencing pain.  Lots of pain, so he sneaks off for a moment of privacy.  But Rattlor follows him and lets on that he knows the secret, so King Hsss. blasts him with energy, killing him.  (Another main character killed off.)

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After this moment of pain and killing Rattlor, King Hiss/Adam is kicked in the head from behind by the War Wraith, who arrived just barely too late to discover the truth evidently.  He then takes off his mask to reveal his identity as …. Duncan!  (Man-At-Arms)!

Before moving on to Issue 11, which just came out this week, and I just read, let me tell you Hub City Geeks.  I read this book OVER AND OVER.  You might recall that I thought Issue 8 was terrible.  That was a low point.  This issue is a high point however, and Issue 11 is even greater!  (Issue 9 had the Skeletor killing Hordak moment.)

Man-At-Arms has often been made into a bad guy.  But not for Skeletor.  Usually it is a Snake Man.  The only thing that I don’t get is why did they make him look so much like Evil Seed?  This is where I think they were playing around with the toys and maybe head swapping or something, and decided Evil Seed’s armor was pretty cool for Duncan.  In my picture at the beginning, you see I only have the classic Man-At-Arms with a mustache.  (Yes, I have the non mustache head.)  But I don’t have the 200x head without the helmet, so that is as close as I could get.

Onto Issue 11.  The best one yet!  And I can tell I will likely read this one over and over as well.

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The cover shows Man-At-Arms coming out of the shell that was Roboto.  He is holding a blaster as well as his classic mace.

The colors evoke the split personality of Man-At-Arms.  And he is in a target.  Well, that is the First Person Shooter mode of Tri-Clops!

What you need to know is that previously, like, several issues ago, Man-At-Arms was the first Eternian is space.  He retrofitted Roboto into a space suit with life-support, and went into space to destroy Horak’s version of Supreme Verdict, the “Orbital Disrupter.”  however, by the end of the issue, Man-At-Arms and Roboto were plummeting to the surface in a ball of fire.  And until Issue 10, we hadn’t heard from either of them.  Issue 11 tells us the story.

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Robots used all of his energy to protect Man-At-Arms with a type of force field.  He said he had to sacrifice himself because his persona had the personality traits given to him by Duncan.

So basically, Roboto is another character killed off.

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And here comes Tri-Clops.  We’ve seen Tri-Clops working with Hordak recently.  He takes advantage of his new opportunity.

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So Man-At-Arms just destroyed the Orbital Disrupter, fought off an army of Horde satellite drones, re-entered the atmosphere, suffered an emotional loss of Roboto, and STILL can kick the crap out of Tri-Clops.  That’s awesome!

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Here is a total toy moment.  Every kid knows that Tri-Clop’s sword was WAY COOLER than anyone else’s.  Even He-Man’s.  Now the writers have been giving Man-At-Arms Tri-Clops’ sword.!

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And here is a big “duh” moment for Duncan.  Of COURSE Tri-Clops was blind under that visor…

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And Tri-Clops “duh” moment.  Duncan talks too much.  (He always did.)

And I get another shout for joy moment!  SLIME PIT TIME!

Skeletor says “Spare me the lecture.  I know how it works.  I helped design it!”  Duncan is getting slimed .  OH YEAH.  Into a ZOMBIE for SKELETOR.  KA BAAAMMMM!!!!

The Slime Pit was always a toy that I loved to play with.  But my mom wouldn’t let us play with the slime.

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And then we see how Skeletor is going to get the blood of Grayskull.  He is going to literally drain Hordak’s blood!  The cool thing they’ve done with Hordak is make him into a celestial vampire.  He was empowered by the souls of those he slew or led to their death for him.  Now Skeletor is becoming more of a literal vampire.  AND we get to see him without his hood.

And then back to the War Wraith.  “Skeletor sends his regards.”

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Duncan seems to be a total convert to Skeletor’s ways.  He has no mercy on who he thinks is Prince Adam.

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And he’s just about to slay him, when….

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We interrupt this murder with a message from the Goddess and She-Ra, who both are flying on Swift Wind and talking.

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So Evil-Lynn can’t have all this happiness.  She busts up in front of Swifty.

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And then transforms into a bat, the symbol of Horokoth.  It appears, however that Teela the Green Goddess can transform into Serpos, the Snake God from 200x.

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An intense elemental battle between forces of the universe.  Now if only Zoar were to appear…

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Nope.  Back to the other battle.  Of Course, King Hsss. wasn’t going to be bested by a zombified Man-At-Arms.  He transforms and then kills Duncan.  And then more of that pain happens.

And another strong hint that the writers are playing with the toys and getting inspired to write the characters after them.

As King Hsss fights to suppress Prince Adam’s essence, which is fighting inside of him, he explodes in a burst of energy and becomes…

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NAKED!

(Recently there was a figure of Oo-Lar, the Jungle He-Man, who is all nude except for his furry shorts.  He’s even barefooted.)

I can’t wait to see what happens next!

You see, it has been raining like crazy.  I don’t really have anything to do except work and read comics when I get the chance, or maybe mess around with Magic cards.

I give both of these comics a 5/5.  I believe the writers are MOTU fans.  And I believe they are trying hard to give us an adult comic.  They have tastefully set aside some of the things about MOTU that people call “silly”, and created a darker, edgier, more modern story and are doing things with the characters that haven’t been done before.  Sometimes even taking inspiration from things seldom used before.  (Like the Slime Pit.)

Hope to be back soon with a review of the new Masters of the Universe Mini Comics Collection!

SpartanNerd…Follow up on “He-Man: The Eternity War”

I have been very impressed with the current run of DC masters of the Universe.  “He-Man: The Eternity War” has really been developed.  And we are seeing the characters presented in ways we have never seen before.

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Here is a pic of all six issues I have.  I have two of the covers from Issue 1.

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The version with the toys came only to subscribers, if I am correct.

What is so impressive?  Here are issue by issue thoughts.

Issue 1.  Hordak returns to flesh, using He-Man’s blood, drawn unintentionally by She-Ra in the preceding story arc.  And then he becomes a super charged version of himself by tapping into the power of Grayskull.  See what I mean…We’ve never seen Hordak presented like this.

Issue 2.  Man-At-Arms converts Roboto into a flight suit to take out the Horde’s orbital disruptor.  (This weapon wiped out most of the Masters of the Universe and the Eternian army in prior issues.  Kind of a mini-death star.)

Issue 3.  The deal with the Eyes of Grayskull returns from the digital-only books that began DC’s current run on Masters of the Universe.  She-Ra finds the Eye of Chrono and unintentionally leads Hordak to it.

Issue 4.  She-Ra takes a beating, but Skeletor rescues her using the eye of Chaos, which he had in his possession.  (Now Skeletor has both eyes!)

Issue 5. Skeletor witnesses She-Ra use her sword to heal herself, and asks her to heal him.  Then he explains that he has had a change of heart and doesn’t wish to be constantly defeated, as he has seen over and over in different versions of himself as he traveled the Multiverse.  The Green Goddess (or Sorceress, or Teela, what should we call her now?) lets He-Man know that “The Goddess” (adding to the confusion) has three faces, Serpos, Zoar, and Horokoth.  Eternia has witnessed the age of Zoar, but she fears the Age of Horokoth is inevitable.  He-Man chooses to look at the future behind a door with the Horde symbol on it, (which means Horokoth, the destroyer now.)  He sees himself as King He-Man, with the normal skinned (and naked) Teela as his queen.  A military state is evident.

Issue 6.  “The Problem with Power.”  He-Man sees a vision of the future.  DC uses King He-Man…an impressive draw to this story…the cover is magnificent.  We see more of the kingdom that King He-Man will bring about.  Notably, Skeletor’s allies are now his allies, while the “Good Guys” are now “The Great Rebellion!”  At the end, He-Man breaks the sword in half, destroying it and relinquishing the power to return to the form of Prince Adam.

I can’t wait for issue 7!

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Skeletor’s romp through the Multiverse let him see many versions of himself, each one ending in defeat.  He never acquires the power of Grayskull.  Check out my Skitch below…

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“The Problem With Power” was the title of perhaps the greatest Filmation episode, where He-Man changes into Adam…a reverse transformation rarely seen, and then throws the sword into the abyss.  He decided in that episode that being He-man wasn’t worth taking the life of someone.  In this issue, there are echoes of the same, but all of Eternia is the victim as King He-Man is a despotic leader.

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This page kind of captures the state of things.  Beast Man is wearing Battle Cat’s hide as a cape!  He-Man is riding Panthor, and the Eternal Guard are riding Nightstalkers!  Also, notice the weaponry all over castle Grayskull.  In this issue, He-Man also orders an insurgent’s head on a spike…exactly the the thing Mattel told the moviemakers to avoid in the 1980s.  (I recall seeing the the Art Book instructions for “No Heads!  No Spikes!”

Finally….

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He-Man destroying “The Sword of Eternity.”  (A new name for “The Power Sword.”  Christened thus for only a few panels.)  a moving panel…Prince Adam appears so weak in the next few panels walking away, and I wonder how this is going to work.

“He-Man: The Eternity War” is a terrific read, and keen fans will see little allusions and nods.  I see it as the comic writers have a box full of toys, and are constantly playing with them in new ways.  Shaping a story the way little kids would have, and then making modern comics meant for an adult audience.

I hope DC keeps making MOTU comics.  I don’t ever want that dry spell that seemed to happen for so long to ever return.  I want to see toy versions of these comics characters.  The work is certainly deserving….