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 Unboxing and Review…Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed

When Evilseed went on sale, I decided I would get him, only to be held off by circumstances.  I thought I would have to catch him on Cyber Monday, maybe.  But he remained on sale…perhaps he didn’t sell out?  Regardless, I ordered mine, and over a week later he arrived in this mailer.

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I quickly opened it, to reveal the sealed packaging.

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The front of the box has a nice window that has Evilseed on display.  You can clearly see his accessories…he has the tag line of “Evil Master of Plants.”  And that’s about it.  Just from seeing here…he is quite incredible looking, if you are a MIC collector.  But that’s not me.

I flipped the box over, and check it out!  For the first time, I own all of the characters on the back of the box!

Evilseed gets a new “real name” and bio, photographed here for you, oh Hub City Geeks.  But I’m just throwing away the package.  Notably, the bio says that Moss Man created Evilseed.  A good story.  But I prefer the Mike Young version that this figure is based on.

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Removing Evilseed from the package isn’t difficult.  He did have some rubber bands, and the vine-whip accessory had to be wrangled out of the blister.  But other than that, it was all good.  Notably, there was no “smell” associated with this figure.  (If you will recall, Moss Man” had a very strong pine scent.)

Here he is in the first pose I made for him.

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Evilseed has a terrific sculpt.  When I first saw this revealed, I knew I had to get one to go with my Moss Man.  The Four Horsemen hit a homerun every time!  Check out all of the little scaly looking parts.  Check out the thorns and vines.  I went back and watched “Orko’s Garden,” “Council of Evil” part 1 & 2, and “The Last Stand” today to check my facts.  I have ready other reviews, and there is some criticism of this version being too bulked up.  In the MYP cartoon, his IS skinner at the torso and waist, but the entire upper body looks almost perfect.  The thicker torso here is welcome, if you ask me.  While they could have used some amalgamation of Lizard Man’s parts, I think this was the way to go.  It doesn’t look wrong at all.  Maybe he’s been working out?

Evilseed has that terrific sculpt, and also the standard articulation that all of the other MOTUC figures have.  Rocker joint ankles, hinged knees, ball jointed shoulders, waist twist, ab crunch, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, hinged elbows, a swivel wrist, and a ball jointed head that can rotate freely and be swapped out.

The cool new addition to the articulation is the way the vines look on the legs.  They are made of a more rubbery material, and are a continuation of the waist piece.  These come down and loop around the knees, which means Evilseed has both loose vines on his knees and articulation there!

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How about this face!  If he had a mother….

For real, this is one of the most evil faces ever sculpted for MOTUC.  Evilseed’s overall green color is a stark and EVIL contrast to this sinister eyes and mouth, which are bright red in color.  This is the only red on the figure…everyghing else is green, black, or brown.  This highlights the evil human nature of the figure, and even makes him appear alien.  Where his hair should be, we have this bunch of creepy looking vines/grass/seaweed.

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The torso is evidently just the same sort of Torso that He-Man or most of the others have.  But this time there is non-removable armor sculpted with he specific viney details demanded of Evilseed.  There is a very striking collar that comes up beside his head on both sides, giving him a plant/vampire look.  You can see the vine details on his back, and also two mysterious green thorns in the middle of his back.

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One of Evilseed’s two accessories is “The Scepter of Power.”  My research tells me that this Filmation artifact was in the episode, “The Magic Falls.”  I don’t personally own this episode on DVD.  I started to watch it on YouTube, when I discovered that all of those videos appear to be playing at too fast a clip, giving a chipmunk effect to most of the music and voices.  It was unbearable to me.  And As a music teacher, the difference in key created by the effect was just too jarring. Anyways, Evilseed looks really good with the Scepter of Power.  It is supposed to be for King Randor, but since I am not a fan of “Throne Room Randor” and, nor the Burger King version of the regular Randor, I decided to settle on letting Prince Adam hold it.  (He would inherit it anyway, right?)

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Not bad at all.

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The other accessory is this vine-whip creature.  You can position it almost anywhere on his body.  I think I might try and order more of these!  I think he should have come with more of them.  Watching the MYP version made me realize how ridiculous and over-exaggerated the vines that Evilseed controlled were.  But it worked really well in that cartoon.  Evilseed even made T-Rex sorts of plants, and hydra plants also.  He also would use them to transport around on…Mattel could have given us an interchanging waist so we could display him as seen transporting around on a “trunk” of vines!

In getting this figure, one of my aims was display him in battle with Moss Man.  Here is my first attempt!

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Even with the “plant god” head on, Moss Man appears to be from a different line entirely.  Both are green, but the flocking on Moss Man blurs his details.

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Evilseed looks pretty good with Moss Man’s weapon, but the seed-bag armor with knife doesn’t fit properly across Evilseed because of the collar piece of the armor.  It fits loosely around his waist, which is something I do with Moss Man sometimes.

It might be better to use it to imprison him…

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Heheh…looks like Orko is going to set him free…

Evilseed was a part of Skeletor’s Council of Evil…We can compare Evilseed to Count Marzo and Skeletor by reenacting a scene from the cartoon.

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SpartanNerd Rating of Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed.

Evilseed has terrific sculpting.  He is highly articulated, even specifically for his figure.  (With the vines around his knees.)  His paint looks good, and there was no “pee plastic” smell like I detected from King Hsss and Snake Armor He-Man.  He comes with two accessories…the only complaint I can level is I wish we had MORE vines.  But this can be easily done.

So I give MOTUC Evilseed a 5/5!  I am not the least bit disappointed in this figure.  Every detail matches my specifications!  There are some people who complain that this isn’t Filmation’s “turnip head” version.  But I don’t even like that version…it was even a reason I might not subscribe to that little add-on sub.  This 200x version looks evil, not goofy.  He is ready for battle…ready to kick some plants!

The SpartanNerd gives Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed a 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Review…He-Man: The Eternity War #8

DC’s remix of Mattel’s classic property has recently received a lot of love from fans and critics, including the SpartanNerd.  However, this time, I don’t feel as good.

Some background.

In issue #5, The Goddess/Sorceress/Teela reveals that destiny has three faces…Serpos, Zoar, and Horokoth.  Serpos was the ancient god of the snake-men.  Zoar has been Serpos’ replacement for ages for the Eternians, and Horokoth a god for the Horde.  The Goddess thinks the Age of Horokoth is inevitable, and wonders if He-Man could, or even should prevent it.

Issue #6 shows us a dystopian future where Adam becomes King He-Man, and rules with an iron fist.  He has enlisted his former enemies, Skeletor’s minions, to be a big part of his army, and is fighting against She-Ra, who leads the former Masters of the Universe as rebels against him.  We see him married to Teela, who reverts to green Goddess mode and we realize it was a vision given to Adam of what the future is to become if He-Man beats back the Horde himself.  So He-Man breaks the sword!

Issue #7 is more back-story for Skeletor and the Havoc Staff.  Evidently, strangely, Skeletor became the Evil Overlord of Destruction by breaking the time-space continuum and preventing his own murder at Hordak’s hands…an event that had to happen because the skull on the Havoc Staff is his own skull, only twisted by demonic magic.  Skeletor also tells us that he helped raise Despara/Adora/She-Ra, but because it is Skeletor who is talking, who knows if he’s telling the truth?

After all of these exciting stories, we get issue #8.

A break in the jaw-dropping revelations.

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We get some fighting and some narrative in the first few pages.

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We see Adam leading the charge with a gun-arm reminiscent of what Man-At-Arms uses.

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We see King Hsss/Randor….(But why?)

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And then the war is over.  We see the next day, Adam sitting on the throne petting Battle Cat.  (Not Cringer…hmmm…)

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Basically, just one day after the war, and the snake-men seem less loyal to Adam.  They were showing astonishing loyalty to He-Man.  Now, not so much.  Fisto has to call down this snake man who is about to execute Imp.  Evidently, the snake men are supposed to know that prisoners are to stand trial.

Adam is catching cold.  The Goddess thanks him for relinquishing his power.

I didn’t photograph the next parts, but here is a summary.  Skeletor turns on She-Ra like we all knew he would.  They transport into Hordak;s “Vault of Souls,” where he steals most of the souls, and then entices She-Ra to fall into the vault by throwing a locket with Marlena’s picture into it.

Act III…, Hordak finally makes his intentions known.  The Eternians have one day of peace granted by him, (I guess because he’s such a nice guy.)  Next he shows the future of those who are going to escape him to the planet Primus.

He uses the Eyes of Grayskull…

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And destroys their future lives and their offsprings lives on Primus.

Wait another month, fools, for the next installment.

My quandary with this book comes in several ways.

First of all, why was King Hsss there?  Is he making the snake men less loyal?  Did Adam meet him in battle?  All we get is a strange picture of him saying “sssso weak,” referring to Adam.

My next problem is…we didn’t see HOW Adam led them to defeat the Horde at Eternos Palace.  All we get is “The day after liberation.”  A whole book could have been devoted to just that.  And SHOULD HAVE.  We would have seen Adam as the strong leader he evidently is, apart from the Power of Grayskull.  But the writers took the lame way out.  “The next day…”  “The day after Liberation,” “After the battle.”  But we see none of the action.  And action is one of the reasons why I like comic books.  BOOOOO!!!!  And just think how much more the rest of the story elements in this book would have meant?

My third gripe…this isn’t a stand-alone book in any way.  Lets just say, for instance, a person goes into a comic book store and says, “Wow!  A He-Man comic! I remember He-Man!” and picks this up.  They will be put on their tail.  Without knowledge of the series pretty much as a whole, you couldn’t understand what was happening in this book.  The stupid looking Fright Zone/Castle Grayskull abomination isn’t self explanatory enough.  The Green Goddess isn’t the Filimation Sorceress, or even Teela.  The Snake Men are fighting WITH the good guys?  A major nostalgia parade is rained on with an issue like this.  Sometimes Nostalgia is the only thing that sells books about 1980’s properties.  But this didn’t have to be the case.  The book could be much more accessible if there was a brief page at the front that explains what has been happening.  This has been done in MANY comics before.  Basically all of the Conan comics.  The modern Star Wars comics.  Marvel’s current Secret War also give you a little background and some premise.  But here, it is “jump in and read for the first time, and leave confused.”

My fourth gripe…New Adventures never does seem to be able to get ahead, does it.  I never watched the show, but read the few mini comics that were printed.  My brother had Slush Head and New Adventures He-Man.  I myself am not completely unattached, and hope the best for New Adventures because there are hundreds of fans.  But those fans just got dumped on. Hordak destroyed Primus.  And we just got to see it in one panel!  We could see it, and the future Masters of the Universe, who were also evidently destroyed.

Oh Hub City Geeks, I believe this comic was necessary for the advacement of the story.  But there are many things wrong here.  I hope things don’t turn south from here on out.  The only redeeming quality here is the art, which is consistent with the better art printed in DC’s run of Masters of the Universe.

The SpartanNerd rates He-Man: The Eternity War #8 a 1/5.  This is one of the lowest scores I have given a modern comic.  It is a necessary read to have the story.  But pitiful delivery.

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Neo Zeon Mobile Suit MSN-06S Sinanju “Ver-Ka” (Titanium Finish)

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Of all of the Gundams we have reviewed, the Sinanju is the most impressive.  In several ways.  This Gundam has a “titanium finish,” basically vac-metal plastic.  It makes it shine!  Combine this effect with the size of the figure at Master Grade 1/100 scale and the many accessories and even an additional stand, and you have an incredible item.  Above is the box.  And longtime readers know that the SpartanNerd really likes his foil!

This item cost $140, and we purchased the stand for an additional $20.  (The stand is usable with most if not all Gundams, but is detailed specifically for Sinanju Ver-Ka.)  This is a special edition, with the vac-metal.  The normal Ver-Ka would cost around $80.

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The box is almost entirely in Japanese.  As well as the instructions.  This is commonplace for basically every Gundam we have built.

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Above is the instructions for the decals and stickers.  The SpartanTeen used the regular sticker decals, rather than the water-slide decals.

I am going to show the Gundam in pieces, sort of.  There is so much here I had to “cull down” the amount of photos.

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The head really shows the small details.  The two “holes” on the side of the mask are meant to be vulcan cannons!  You can see the vac-metal and the plain gray plastic.  The crimson color goes well with the flat gray.  There is an eye detail that can’t really be seen because of the size and impressiveness of the rest of the head.

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Here is the backpack, showing all of its details in 3X faster mode.  (The legs also have details for “3x faster mode.”)  The backpack was the only truly “stupid problem.”  The backpack WOULD NOT attach to the figure as it was supposed to.  It works by a little slot mechanism that seemed to be obstructed by excessive plastic.  We solved the problem with some super-glue.  We checked other reviews of the figure, and found that ours seems to be an exception rather than the rule.

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Here the Sinanju stands, unarmed, and without his backpack.  It is very articulated.  The fingers all move like human fingers.  The arms move like a humans, the legs move like a humans.  It is a “super-articulated” design.  The shoulder armor and knee armor move to accommodate the most articulation.

The stickers are very much a foil item, and the Gundam doesn’t look right without those details.  All of the gold pictured here is a reflection of the flash of my camera!  That is how shiny it is!

The feet are on a rocker joint, and divided into toe and heel sections.

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The cockpit opens, revealing Char Aznable inside.  The cockpit is surrounded by yellow “psycho-frame” components.  The Gundam came with two different pilots.  One to stand beside on display, and one to stay in the cockpit.  The SpartanTeen (nor the SpartanNerd) can paint the tiny details required….We would if we could.  But that is a little out of our skill level at this point.

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Here are most of the accessories.  I say most, because, the Grenade Launcher/Shotgun wasn’t ready at the time of the review.  Notice the “beam-effect” parts.  These are interchangeable with the axe, and with the shield.

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You can see, this opens up an incredible array of display options!  The shield is very large and impressive.  The SpartanTeen doesn’t prefer the axe.  (This is more of a SpartanNerd thing.  See He-Man!)

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The beam saber isn’t a lightsaber at all.  The beam effect is detailed and rippled, rather than being a straight lazer sword.  It did come with two beam effects, we just wanted the readers to see the hilt disarmed as well as armed.

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The gun has expandable options as well.  The scope can move, and you can add parts from the shotgun/grenade launcher.  (Not pictured.)  Notable, the shield has a place to store the shotgun/grenade launcher.

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Here is the Sinanju standing on his own.  The backpack adds a lot of weight, causing some balance issue, but not much.  Notable, it was easy not to have the legs snapped all the way in.  They kept coming off until the SpartanTeen figured out how to fully snap them in.  (Sorry, the lighting system took accidental damage, and so this picture and all the rest are using flash only

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Here is the Sinanju holding the shield an on his custom stand.  The stand is a separate item, and will be reviewed later.  But the stand is the perfect way to display this incredible investment.

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As we have done in the past, we are now going to give this Gundam a grade!

Here is our criteria, each item getting a score.  We would like to say ahead of time, this Gundam is almost perfect!

Each item gets a score…
1 Too wrong
2 not right enough
3 could be better
4 pretty good, but…
5 perfect
Construction
Was it difficult considering the level it is supposed to be?  4
Stupid problems?   3  (cables around the legs, and backpack had to be glued.)
Instructions easy to read?  5
Diagrams clear?   5
Stickers? Paint    5
Articulation
stands easily?    5
moves without falling apart    5
posable/interchangeable hands    5
lots of articulation points     5
Dynamic poses    5
Accessories
Weapons     5
holds weapons/appropriate weapons      4  (some problem holding the gun and shields.)
Stand   5  (available as a separate item.)
expansions    5  (see above)
Weapon storage   5
playability
durable     4
photogenic    5
holds weapons?    5
Reasonable Facimile to media representation    5
Aesthetics    5   (that shiny plastic is incredible!)
Figure-specific features
morph/ transform/ change form    5
action feature    3
LED lights   1
Diarama     5
Pilot included?  Does he fit in the cockpit or is he in scale or not.    5
To tabulate the score, we add up all of the values, and then come up with an average.
The SpartanTeen and SpartanNerd Gundam Evaluation Checklist says that the Sinanju receives a 4.92.  So far the only Gundam coming in higher is Char’s Zaku II-S (2.0), which had a score of 5.2.
What do you think?  Leave us some feedback in the comments!

SpartanNerd Project…Earl Norem Poses

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I had this crazy idea.  Really more of a dream.  I could get each person who is interviewed in the Masters of the Universe Art Book  to sign their article.  Or maybe a piece of art.  I know it never would happen…I am not a well traveled person.  But it was a fine thought.

But not soon after the book was published, one of the greatest artists of Masters of the Universe passed away.  Earl Norem.  I wrote my thoughts right here on the SpartanNerd Blog.  (Link)

To help illustrate my love for Norem’s work, I thought I would attempt to emulate it with the incredible Masters of the Universe Classics figures.  So here is my attempt at “The Sunbird Legacy.”

A few Caveats have to apply.

  • The figures have one expression.  Some have alternate heads.  But you still have a limitation.
  • The hair can be wrong.
  • Norem didn’t always paint the weapons the same way.
  • I don’t have the diorama piece.  As this stuff becomes more available to me, I will see about photographing some of it.

I chose this picture because I thought it was one of the most do-able.  My favorite is the one with He-Man on a lion and Skeletor leading an elephant army, with the space battle among the meteors a close second.  But you’ll see.

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I tried the Snake Armor He-Man head.  But it doesn’t look as good as the original.  In the picture, Skeletor’s sword is more of a scimitar.  The closest I had available is Draego Man’s sword.  The Havoc Staff is bigger than the one in the painting.  This proves to be the biggest problem.  I felt like the pose above was too…boring.  Not capturing the motion of Norem’s work.

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This photo is closer to Earl Norem.  Still not perfect.  It is really hard to get Skeletor to balance like this.  If you look at the Norem at length…(as I have,) you can see that He-Man and Skeletor have very parallel hips.  He-Man’s figure can’t quite stress his head back or hold his shield at quite the same angle, and still keep balance.  (He-Man has weak ankles.)

The colors are pretty good.  The white background is about as good as I could do.  I applied a filter to mute it a little.

So, Hub City Geeks.  What do you think about my new venture?  Can you do better?  Send me your pics, and let me know in the comments!

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….