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…
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…
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.
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.
Next we see an exchange between Skeletor and Evil-Lynn. Doesn’t she look cool!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.
And here comes Tri-Clops. We’ve seen Tri-Clops working with Hordak recently. He takes advantage of his new opportunity.
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!
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.!
And here is a big “duh” moment for Duncan. Of COURSE Tri-Clops was blind under that visor…
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.
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.”
Duncan seems to be a total convert to Skeletor’s ways. He has no mercy on who he thinks is Prince Adam.
And he’s just about to slay him, when….
We interrupt this murder with a message from the Goddess and She-Ra, who both are flying on Swift Wind and talking.
So Evil-Lynn can’t have all this happiness. She busts up in front of Swifty.
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.
An intense elemental battle between forces of the universe. Now if only Zoar were to appear…
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…
(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!