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This installment was secured as soon as She-Ra turned a dragon into a butterfly by snapping her fingers. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Revisiting the Princess Of Power in the recent Saturday Night Showcase got me to thinking we haven’t visited mini-comic Etheria in awhile. In our last two visits we saw the altered origin of She-Ra and then we saw Catra become that mean girl in every teen girl romance comedy ever and try to win Bow from Adora. Or She-Ra, it’s very confusing when the writers and artists don’t act like there’s a difference between the two, but still claim Adora transforms into She-Ra while looking exactly the same as before and characters calling her by both names in either “form”. And yes, we’re getting that again.

In today’s installment we’re covering the comic between those two adventures, introducing the mini-comic version of Queen Angela. Instead of Bright Moon (or Brightmoon, I’m not clear on the right spelling) she rules the kingdom of Mizar, and She-Ra is going to journey there. Which means we can only call this story….

Yes, those are winged cats. Etheria is weird.

Yes, those are winged cats. Etheria is weird.

Princess Of Power: Journey To Mizar

PACKAGED WITH: Catra and Angela

no credits given.

The story begins when Adora and Spirit (her horse) are on their way back to the Palace Of Power (which I assume is another, possibly earlier name for the Crystal Castle–that or she’s on her way to visit Princess Lana from Captain N: The Game Master) when they see a winged woman fall from the sky. It’s Queen Angela, just escaping Catra’s forces as they take over the kingdom of Mizar. Oddly, “Mizar” is perfectly okay with my spell check despite a reinstall of Windows wiping out any spellings I added to Google Chrome’s spellcheck and never having added the word in the first place. And yet WordPress’s link service, Zemanta, is not bringing anything up. Strange.

Adora turns into She-Ra (allegedly) and Spirit becomes Swift Wind in the same way most of us boys turned our Battlecat toys to Cringer…by adding or removing accessories. They catch Angela and offer to help free her kingdom. She-Ra thinks they can sneak in. But Catra is prepared for them.

Catra doing her Skeletor impersonation. And...catbirds. The winged cats are called catbirds. Do they hunt themselves?

Catra doing her Skeletor impersonation. And…catbirds. The winged cats are called catbirds. Do they hunt themselves?

Catra sends her catbirds…which is just as strange as it sounds, to attack our heroes. Fighting them all off and carrying two people is a bit much for Swift Wind and Angela is still too weak to fly…which kind of makes her a liability, doesn’t it? You couldn’t have her draw a map or wait until she’s strong enough to fly? She-Ra decides to jump off…don’t worry, her sword can glide her to the ground now, because even in the mini-comics the Sword Of Protection can do more than the Sword Of Power can do. I wonder if the Power Sword gets jealous?

That’s when a seer from the future…I’m calling her Lady Plot Device…shows up to aid She-Ra. Lady Plot Device tells here there is a map guarded by a dragoness (because of course the dragon is female; Bow, Kowl, and Spirit/Swift Wind seem to be the only males on this version of Etheria) and she must get it. She’s also given a magic net to use on her enemies and then the seer buggers off to wherever she came from. Or maybe she went out for cheesecake. So She-Ra walks to the cave of the lady dragon.

Geez, She-Ra, I know you like to insult your enemies, but she hasn't done anything yet!

Geez, She-Ra, I know you like to insult your enemies, but she hasn’t done anything yet!

And that’s where the scene I mentioned happens. She-Ra offers to trade the map (which looks more like a book) in exchange for She-Ra making her beautiful. In the cartoon, She-Ra is trying to free her world from an evil army from another dimension so she can return home to her family and the people can be free of slavery and torment while possibly finding redemption for Adora’s time as the Force Captain of that same evil army. Here she’s giving dragons beauty makeovers. How very girly. I remind you that this series happened because girls really liked Teela, the Sorceress, and other strong women joining the men in a battle against evil. Here she snaps her fingers and turns a dragon into a butterfly because said dragon doesn’t feel pretty. You really got the short end, didn’t you 80s girls?

Catra’s catbirds, who can talk now because why the heck not, attack and try to get the “Map Of Lights” from her. Using her magic because she totally has that she manages to keep the map and uses her sword to paddle a raft that becomes a small boat because the artist apparently doesn’t know what a raft looks like. So Catra sends sea monsters after her and I’m starting to think the Skeletor caption gag earlier was more on the nose than I thought.

I wonder what monster soup tastes like.

I wonder what monster soup tastes like.

She-Ra uses the magic she totally has again and has the sea…drown the sea monsters…somehow. Are the creators of these comics even trying? She-Ra makes it to the shore where Catra takes on her cat form and steals the map, bragging about the final siege on Mizar. So She-Ra whistles for Swift Wind and if I can find any dignity in this story I’m going to assume She-Ra realized she was close to Mizar either because Catra was there or she figured out where she was on the map before it was stolen. With the writing thus far I’m going to assume I though more about this than they did. No wonder they aren’t credited; I wouldn’t want to admit to writing this story either.

Our heroes arrive at not-Bright Moon where She-Ra uses the net to capture Catra’s catmen army (or probably cat women without breasts…a rarity for anthropomorphic cats in fiction) and uses her magic to turn them into a stone wall to protect Mizar. In other words She-Ra just upped and killed a bunch of cat people to turn them into a wall. Mini-Comic He-Man once slew a monster with his axe and stabbed another monster with his sword on two separate occasions and continuities. She-Ra just killed like four sentient being just from what I can see and turned them into stone pillars. Between this and insulting a dragon to her face this girl isn’t to be messed with.

Queen Angela invites She-Ra to stay and be their guests offering her the key to the city…and their hearts. The dialog in these comics are just bad. She-Ra forces in some moral about helping your friends…no really, the moral is in red text and She-Ra actually says “Angela, remember this moral” like she’s running a Sunday School class. (Although in my town we had it on Saturdays although that may have changed since I was a kid. My dad worked and my mom didn’t drive, and I wasn’t old enough to walk across town when the venue changed in fifth grade so I stopped going.) Since there are more people to help elsewhere She-Ra and Swift Wind fly home to prepare for the next adventure.

Good Grayskull this comic was bad. The dialog sounds like the first draft, the artist still can’t drawn Adora and She-Ra different from each other outside of a mask that she isn’t always wearing, and Lady Plot Device just shows up, gives the Deus Ex Machina, and disappears with no explanation as to why she bothered. I really feel sorry for the girls who came from the cartoon only to read these things. They must have been really let down. Toon She-Ra was awesome and empowering for little girls. Mini-Comic She-Ra is a letdown by comparison.

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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. Sean says:

    I’ll have to read this tomorrow. Ate at Hometown Buffet for dinner and that’s made me tired (too much mashed potatoes…starch!). While at my town’s mall getting a new winter hat, I stopped in at Barnes and Noble and saw an interesting book titled “Art of Atari” published by Dynamite. Lots of cool Atari art from the 70s and 80s. I’m sure it’s also at the Barnes and Noble near where you live, Tronix. Browse through it, it’s pretty cool. Next time I’m at Barnes and Noble, I’ll definitely look at it again…..great nostalgia! Again, I will read the She-Ra mini-comic article tomorrow and give proper comments then.

    Like

  2. Warren B says:

    I’m beginning to think Adora’s brother wasn’t Prince Adam, but Stardust the Super-Wizard.

    Like

  3. Sean says:

    Despite being an “80s child”, this is my first exposure to She-Ra. I guess that’s because as a boy in the 80s, I didn’t want to watch a cartoon about a female hero. Gender lines in the 80s were very rigid when it came to toys, cartoons, etc. Even so, it is good that girls of the 80s did have female heroes to look up to in 80s cartoons. Based on what you’ve wrote, Tronix, it sounds like the She-Ra cartoon was more empowering for the 80s girls than the mini-comic.

    The concept of cat birds is interesting. I’m trying to picture my old cat Rascal (1986-2007, Rest in Peace), who was already a master hunter, using wings to aid in finding even more bird and mouse victims! He would have been invincible (Rascal was also famous for chasing stray dogs out of our yard). The combining of animal qualities is always a compelling concept.

    And yes, I do remember going to the “Sunday school” on Saturdays….CCD I believe it was called.

    Like

    • I wasn’t bothered by gender lines and both He-Man and Orko dropped in on She-Ra in the series. I also watched Rainbow Brite, but I did have my limits. Strawberry Shortcake and Lady Lovelylocks weren’t my kind of shows. 🙂

      Like

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