Thundercats Origins: Heroes And Villains
WildStorm (February, 2004)
WRITER:Ford Lytle Gilmore (except for the second story)
LETTERER: Nick Napolitano
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
EDITOR: Alex Sinclair
ARTISTS: Long Vo, Charles Park, & Saka
WRITER: Ken Siu-Chong
PENCILER: Carlo Barberi
INKER: Rob Rios
COLORIST: Carrie Srachan
ARTIST: Jaoquim Dos Santos
COLORIST: Tony Avina
The Birth of Thundera
ARTISTS: Ramon Perez & Roberto Campus
Heroes And Villains, and it’s partner book, Villains And Heroes, are stories taking place well before the TV series and the WildStorm stories. Anything that delays the inevitable I guess.
Our first story is how Mumm-Ra came to be. Wahankh serves as adviser to the Pharaoh Horus but seeks even more power. He communes with ancient spirits of evil and offers eternal servitude in exchange for the power to beat Horus and his son. However he loses (and personally I can’t help but think this was the Ancient Spirits’ plan all along although they claim he was just not good enough) and is tossed into an Onyx pyramid, now a living mummy the Spirits named…Mumm-Ra! It will take years for him to build four statues of the Spirits by hand and maybe he’ll gain more power after that…in about 600 years. Mumm-Ra never really got an origin in the show and this works just as well.
Cheetara is the focus of our second tale, and the only one not written by Gilmore, who again will be writing the first two miniseries. Siu-Chong does do a good job showing how Cheetara became a Thundercat! The winner of a great race usually just gets to be part of the royal court and don’t ask me how that works. Cheetara has never been able to run fast, although her trainer, Rexara, thinks she’s holding herself back. It looks like her rival, Pantara, may win the race, but during the finals Cheetara has a vision of Lion-O in trouble and without realizing breaks the ribbon and still runs fifty miles to rescue him. So this is also the tale of how she fully realized her speed and sixth sense powers, and the artists remembered that even Thundercats didn’t wear much clothing before coming to Third Earth. (And they have the anatomy of Barbie and Ken, which raises a lot more questions.) A good story.
Claudius, Lion-O’s father, is the subject of the third story. It’s his final trial, the Trial Of Evil, where he must defeat a great evil. That evil happens to be his father, who murdered the previous Lord, Claudius’s grandfather, and now prepares to turn the Thundarians into a conquering army. Claudius must kill his own father to stop the war, but as Claudius admits to his soldier friend Jaga, war with the Mutants of Plundarr, the first target, may yet come to pass. We know nothing about Claudius in the original continuity outside of the one episode Lion-O traveled back in time just as the Mutants launched that attack, so it was interesting to see this one, and it’s the last of the Trials Lion-O had to face to become Lord of the Thundercats.
The final story isn’t much to talk about. No dialog save for a narrator who sounds like he’s teaching a history class on New Thundera. It’s the history of Thundarian society, the Thundercats, and a very brief history of the Eye Of Thundera and the Sword Of Omens. It’s okay but not really much to cheer about.
One mediocre story doesn’t ruin three good ones, though. Canon or not, it’s worth picking up.