How awesome would Lord of the Rings had been with He-Man?

He-Man & The Masters of the Universe #2

DC Comics (October, 2012)

“Desert Storm”
WRITERS: James Robinson & Keith Giffen
PENCILERS: Philip Tan & Howard Porter
INKERS: Ruy José & Livesay
COLORIST: Allen Passalaqua & The Hories
LETTERER: Carlos M. Manguat
COVER ART: Tan, José, and the Hories
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
EDITOR: Ben Abernathy


Wandering the desert, Adam is taken prisoner by Trap-Jaw’s forces. At the camp he also meets a slave named Teela (guess who?) and in the morning must battle for his life before learning more about his lost life.

What they got right: While the art style is a bit more detailed than I care about, I can’t call it bad. It could be a matter of taste. Apparently Adam hasn’t lost any of his fighting prowess and nobody wants to see him get his backside kicked with or without his powers. Adam meeting up with Teela could be a coincidence or it could be Zoar at work. It doesn’t bother me too much.

What they got wrong: What bothers me are some of the backstories we get. I don’t recall He-Man or Prince Adam being responsible for Trap-Jaw’s metal jaw in any continuity. Skeletor being Adam’s uncle (and thus Randor’s brother) was an idea Mattel had during the incomplete “Powers of Greyskull” storyline but it never came about and was never used since. (You may also recall that his earliest origin is that of a traveler from another dimension, which I believe was also intended in an early draft of the Filmation series.) Why use it here? Speaking of Greyskull, who redesigned the castle? It looks like they reshaped the mountain that used to house the Phantom’s Skull-Cave. I’m not too thrilled with the character designs either, really. Why not use the current MOTU Classics series as a guide? I wish Orko was still available.

Oh, and as a bit of snark, Skeletor asks Trap-Jaw why he didn’t just slit Adam’s throat. Hey Skeletor, why didn’t YOU slit Adam’s throat or any of the other Heroic Warriors after you zapped their memories?

Recommendation: I’m hoping that with Giffen on board and Robinson out this comic will get better. It’s not really bad, but from a fan and personal preference perspective I wasn’t happy with these first two issues.

“Umm…he said I was free to go and you should give me a pony…huh..oh, a tiger to ride. Wait, why should I ride a tiger?”

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

4 responses »

  1. Landry says:

    The old mini-comic suggested that Randor’s lost brother Keldor might have become Skeletor. The 200X series explicitly stated Keldor became Skeletor, but never confirmed the brother part. However, Mattel has an official continuity they have been using with the new toy line that confirms the relation.

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    • Ah, I haven’t been lucky to see any of the Classics mini-comics (oddly done by Dark Horse I think instead of DC–go figure) so I don’t know their story or how they connect to this continuity. I remember it was a plan during the intended three-part Powers of Greyskull but never got past issue 1, the Preternia story. I can’t say I agreed with the concept. It feels unnecessary.

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      • Landry Walker says:

        I haven’t actually read the new comics, or the new mini-comics. But there’s a very interesting history unfolding via the character bios on the backs of the figure packages.

        Long story short, the story of the two sons of King Miro (Randor, and his older half-brother Keldor) is very strong. It adds a very interesting and sad depth to the relationship of Randor and Skeletor. In fact, I would argue it’s a considerably stronger story than that of He-Man himself (young and powerful heir to the throne is given great powers making him even more powerful).

        A smaller publisher actually approached me about writing a He-Man series a year or two ago, largely based on this material. I’ve been a fan of the concept since the first toy, so I was quite sad the opportunity didn’t fully manifest.

        Mattel has taken an interesting approach with continuity that I fully appreciate. They (if I recall correctly) have stated that there is no fixed continuity, and that every fan should be free to take and discard elements based on their own interests. Kinda like playing with toys…

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  2. Sean says:

    Issue #2 was also enjoyable with nice artwork and an interesting story. I started to realize that this is not a new origin story of Adam just being a simple woodsman. We are slowly getting closer to solving the mystery. It’s also rather intriguing that Skeletor could be Adam’s uncle. As I read the comments above, I see how this is quite possible as some continuities indicated that Keldor (Skeletor) was the half-brother of Randor.

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