I was going to make this installment of Free Comic Inside about The Power Of…Point Dread, my favorite of the Masters Of The Universe pack-in minicomics I own. However, a bit of research led me to think that I need to tell you today’s story before I tell you that one. So you’ll have to wait until a future installment.
Besides, it’s the favorite of the ones I own. I haven’t read them all from the second series (my favorite thanks to the people who worked on them) and this may at least be the more interesting tale. While it also features the debut of Point Dread and the Talon Fighter, which really do nothing compared to their next showing, it also has Teela’s origin. While Filmation and Mike Young had Teela as the biological daughter of the Sorceress, there was no Sorceress at the time in the toyline or the minicomics that was the only promotion at the time. (For new people, Ronald Reagan’s deregulation kick allowed toys to inspire shows. Of course the toy companies saw this as marketing but the good shows also had good stories.) There was however the Goddess, which was just the Teela action figure wearing the snake armor…which would be more confusing had the Goddess stayed around for Snake Mountain and the Snake Men. Then again, you have Castle Greyskull, shaped like a skull, and the man with a skull for a head has to be kept out of it. The story for this toyline is a bit odd at times, isn’t it?
And if you think that’s weird wait until you see this tale. Yes, Teela is the offspring of the Goddess and raised as the daughter of Man-At-Arms, just as in the media you know. But boy does it go in a different direction!
Masters Of The Universe series 2 #5
Mattel (1982)“The Tale Of Teela!” WRITER: Gary Cohn PENCILER: Mark Texeira INKER: Tod Smith COLORIST: Anthony Tollin no credit for letter or editor
The scans come from goodolddays.org. You can download the full story there. Dark Horse also recently released a collection of the old minicomics that I wish I owned but what are you going to do?
Teela wakes up being summoned by a mysterious voice. Which the comic makes the mistake of showing us right away is Skeletor, but considering what’s coming your mind needs to be as prepared as possible. Following the voice’s call in the Battle Ram, she comes across a building with a bird-shaped plane perched on it. Then she is set upon by Skeletor’s minions–Trap Jaw, Mer-Man, Beast Man, and Tri-Klops at this point in the line–and she manages to kick their butts good. Yes, a strong female in a toy-promoting comics for boys. And she wasn’t even hunting jewelry. (Go check my Princess Of Power reviews in this article series for the source of that crack.) However, there are still more of them than her and Tri-Klops manages to snag her.
They bring Teela inside the structure, Point Dread. (Which seems rather bigger than it did in the next appearance. Actually, it looks bigger inside than the artwork shows outside. Was this thing built on Gallifrey?) Skeletor sits in waiting, telling Teela that Point Dread pops up once every 20 years…and will be drawn on top of Castle Greyskull for the rest of this series of minicomics. So no idea when it goes away again. Then he decides to give the warrior woman her origin and I think I need to let HIM explain this because I can’t do it justice.
That’s right, kids. Skeletor was going to raise a baby to be his wife. That is so messed up I can’t even begin to explain it, although I shouldn’t have to. That’s taking the concept of “child bride” a bit too far, I don’t care how old she was going to be when old bonehead was going to pull it off. Meanwhile, he’s been trying a ton of other ways to take over Greyskull because maybe even he woke up one day and said “wow, that’s a really messed-up plan, let me try something else first”.
We also learn that the Goddess is named Teela, so however you look at it the toy card wasn’t lying to you. Interestingly, the Sorceress’ real name was Teela-Na. Since her duties mean she can’t raise a child, Man-At-Arms, who arrived to free the Goddess and chased Skeletor off, agreed to raise the baby clone as his own daughter. Since Skeletor’s schemes haven’t worked thus far and Point Dread dropped in to say hi, he’s going back to plan A and make Teela marry him and take over Greyskull the easy way. Because he’s kind of messed up. After all, he once forced an actor to turn into a monster rather than someone who was born to fight. And that plan failed, too.
He-Man mounts Battle Cat (shut up) and with Ram Man on the Attack Trak and Stratos (the only other heroes available at the time), set off to rescue Teela, while the Goddess and Man-At-Arms meet up and decide only they can rescue their daughter. Why? Wouldn’t six of you have a better chance? Our less selfish heroes (who I remind you know nothing of Teela’s origin since Teela herself just learned it a few minutes ago and probably thinks she’s still having a nightmare due to how ridiculous it is) meet up with Skeletor’s thugs but he escapes in the Talon Fighter. Wait, did the Talon Fighter show up in a previous comic? Because Stratos knows what it is. And come to think of it, if Skeletor created it, why does it look so heroic in design? There were a set of snap-together model kits of the Attack Track and Talon Fighter, and there were two versions of the Talon Fighter, one heroic and one more evil-looking. They were meant to be used by the action figures but weren’t exactly designed for play and fell apart pretty easy when being used. And I wasn’t even the most destructive kid on my street. My point is that made more sense than Mr I Love Evil shaping a heroic-looking falcon ship. Or maybe it comes with Point Dread every 20 years so it doesn’t get lonely? At least being part of the legend would make sense but this is the first time the ship is named.
Skeletor lands the Talon Fighter on Castle Greyskull and with Teela by his side the castle just lets him. See, the castle was somewhat sentient in this version (as we’ll see when we get to The Power Of…Point Dread!) and didn’t like evil very much, and would personally mess with Skeletor’s plans to take it over. Why does having Teela matter? Maybe it gets explained. Even if the Goddess is allowed inside, and we’ll see she is, Skeletor is still evil and stuff. I guess it really is all who you know.
However, the Goddess and Man-At-Arms are waiting for them. Teela is under Skeletor’s spell…wait, if you can control minds why just control Ram Man’s BODY when you decided that he made a better battering ram than a lifeform? Or is because…oh, God. I just realized something. Skeletor created Teela as a clone of the Goddess. That makes the Goddess Teela’s mother, right? But doesn’t that also make Skeletor her real father? And his plan was to marry her….oh, Skeletor, you are one SCREWED UP SOB! Dude, ruling a planet isn’t worth this, man. Seek professional help!
Anyway, Teela is fighting her mom while her two dads fight each other. Yes, I just wrote that sentence, but we ain’t done with the weirdness, peoples! The Goddess grabs Teela and it’s not just to hug it out. She reabsorbs her clone and becomes whole again with Teela’s hairstyle. She sends Skeletor flying out of the castle like a missile. That’s what you get for being the worst father ever! When the other heroic warriors arrive the Goddess splits from Teela again because she deserves her own life. She then takes the Talon Fighter and Point Dread and merges it with Castle Greyskull, right where the toy options you to put it. So not only will it not disappear for its 20 year absence but Skeletor WILL find a way to get them back, only this time to actually do something with them. Not your best move, ma’am.
As the heroes depart, He-Man worries if someday Teela won’t merge with the Goddess again permanently. Why? The Goddess just said that Teela deserves her own life and set her free. Why would she change that? It’s not the only time Cohn ended one of these on this kind of question (I refer you to the aforementioned actor, Man-E-Faces, where the Goddess worried if Skeletor would try to unleash the monster again.) However, it seems to be a false concern as she shouldn’t have a reason to do that. She’s shown herself capable of keeping up with Skeletor just fine without that part of her that has become her own person.
However, I have to give Cohn and the art team credit here. They really know how to put together a full story just shy of the average comic page of the day, and with fewer panels to work with. Meanwhile, modern comics have more pages and STILL can’t fit a story in one issue. It’s kind of pathetic, really. And oh, boy is this story a weird one. I do find it interesting that it’s the only story where He-Man doesn’t save the day, or even really help. It’s Man-At-Arms and the Goddess who win this one. Skeletor creates a clone of his enemy to marry and take over the castle, meaning he would raise his own daughter to marry her. Of all of the various versions of Skeletor over the years, this is easily the creepiest plan of conquest ever conceived and the fact that he got away with it in a kids promo comic amazes me. That said, I found myself enjoying their tale as usual. However, I still feel dirty. Seriously, Skeletor, you need therapy, man. DEEP therapy.