Masters Of The Universe #3
Star Comics (Marvel; September, 1986)“The Garden Of Evil” WRITER: Mike Carlin PENCILER: Ron Wilson INKER: Dennis Janke COLORIST: Bob Sharen LETTERER: John Morelli EDITOR: Ralph Macchio
Adam and Orko are goofing around when Hordak sends his robotic Troopers to kidnap He-Man…and they get Adam instead. Believing Adam to be He-Man’s slave (because that’s how Hordak thinks) since he has the Power Sword, Hordak prepares a trap for He-Man and puts Adam under his Slime Pit. Orko and Cringer arrive to rescue Adam and He-Man defeats the Troopers, “Hurricane” Hordak, and Hordak’s steed, Mantisaur. (Have to get those toys in) and Orko gets his friends to safety on Eternia.
What they got right: Carlin gets four toys in and does it naturally. It’s a story that gives Orko a chance to be the hero, which I like. I hope we get more stories focusing on someone besides He-Man. The Sword also gets a mystical element that only Adam/He-Man can touch it. While I think Carlin was mistaking the Sword Of Power for the Sword Of Omens (Star also had the Thundercats license) it gives the Sword more power than “turn Adam into He-Man” and “cut through anything”.
What they got wrong: It’s odd seeing Orko jealous of Adam’s Sword, or Adam rubbing it in. I know it’s Carlin’s continuity and he can thus mess with the characters if he wants to but it still feels wrong. Probably a personal thing more than a critical analysis, though. A more critical complaint is the wasted title. There is no garden in this story and now “The Garden Of Evil” can’t be used for a story about an evil garden.
Recommendation: A decent story but so far I’d only recommend the series as a curiosity of if your tastes go away from what DC was doing and closer to Filmation’s without being the Filmation version.