I’ve already reviewed #13, if you want to check that one out. It’s the one where Snarf rescues the day and flicks his tail at all his haters online.
Star Comics (August, 1987)“Safari Jo” TELEPLAY WRITER/COMIC ADAPTATION: Steve Perry PENCILER: Ernie Colon INKER: Al Williamson COLORIST: Marie Severin LETTERER: Ed King EDITOR: Don Daley EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Tom DeFalco
Yes, it appears the writer of the episode did his own comic adaptation.
Big game hunter Safari Jo and his robot lackey Mule arrive on Third Earth to hunt the Thundercats, because Jo wants a good challenge. One by one (well, he takes the Thunderkittens at the same time, as well as Tygra and Cheetara, so he just hunts Panthro on his own) he hunts the Thundercats, using their weaknesses against them and locking them in Thundranium cages. (Remember, Thundranium is Thundercat Kryptonite.) Jaga warns Lion-O about Safari Jo and the Lord of the Thundercats lures him into Cat’s Lair, his turf. Except in the end it’s Snarf who takes him out as the big bully was unaware of Snarf and Lion-O is able to get the jump on him. With Mule reprogrammed to keep him in line, Safari Jo is sent away from Third Earth.
What they got right: I haven’t seen the episode in a long time and Warner Brothers no longer has it up for free (and has had other English language uploads taken down–I found one where the audio was sped up but I’d be laughing at the audio too much to properly compare), but getting the writer to work on the adaptation is a good idea. It fits what I remember about the show. And doing a variation of “The World’s Deadliest Game” (I think that’s the right title), a tale where a man hunts another human for sport, is a plot that is oddly not yet overused and only occasionally done poorly. Thankfully this isn’t one of those times as it gives Lion-O another moment to shine.
What they got wrong: Although it does make the others look bad. Especially Kit and Kat (and now I want candy), who just have their boards destroyed and fall into a couple of sacks. Seeing the others overcome their fears to help Lion-O might have been a better ending as now Jo would be panicked by all his prey now capturing HIM. I also wonder where Mule got so much information on the Thundercats’s skills and weaknesses. As far as the comic, this panel:
The art in this series so far hasn’t been spot-on (Snarf most notably, as well as Mumm-Ra’s cauldron and room) but it’s still be pretty good, including this issue. That’s why this panel sticks out. Lion-O,s face is wrong when the rest of the comic got it right. The expression combined with the shadow and lack of talking mouth is just scary-looking. It doesn’t really match the rest of the comic and sticks out like a sore thumb. Also, it looks like he has long hair rather than his usual mane look. It’s an ugly panel in otherwise good artwork.
Recommendation: I still recommend the series over the adaptation, but they chose a good episode to go with. The comic is worth a look but get the series on DVD or streaming, since I prefer to support the official releases when they exist. And I have income. This is the last of the Star Comics I currently own. That means next time it time for…sigh…the Wildstorm run. Prepare for hit and miss as a general rule.