Thundercats: The Return #4
WildStorm (July, 2003)
WRITER: Ford Lytle Gilmore
PENCILER: Ed Benes
INKER: Rob Lea
COLORING: WildStorm FX
SELECTED COVER ART: Claudio Castellini
LETTERER: John Layman
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
EDITORS: Ben Abernanthy & Alex Sinclair
The group is back together, except for the Thunderkittens and the added trio, and Snarf has to keep Cheetara and Lion-O from arguing amongst themselves and stay focused on the real enemy, Mumm-Ra! Faking injuries (by his own hands), Wilykat convinces the others to attack Mumm-Ra now, but it turns out to be a trap. Of course Mumm-Ra betrays Wilykat as he had no plans to release Wilykat or Wilykit. He’s also had the Ancient Spirits Of Evil turn the Mutants into more powerful warriors to kill the other Thundercats, while keeping Lion-O for himself.
I’ve given up any praise for this comic beyond the art and the voices pretty much matching given the horrible situation they’re forced into. So here we have more torturing of Wilykit, Wilykat possibly killed right in front of everyone (he actually isn’t, because WildStorm isn’t done damaging these characters…wait until the next miniseries–at least this one isn’t horribly written, even if that does make this worse), the horrible treatment of Wilykat at this point, and one really stupid thing.
I made sure to pay attention in the last miniseries when Lion-O went into the Book Of Omens to what he said when he left because I knew Cheetara tries to blame Lion-O alone for his absence. In this issue she demands to know why Lion-O disappeared for five years, and he rightly explains that he didn’t realize time was moving at a slower speed. What should have been years for him inside the book and a few days outside (altered thanks to Mumm-Ra’s spell, but they still don’t know that) was changed to five years both inside and outside. He didn’t know the passage of time was altered. Then he asks why nobody came to check up on him when he was gone longer than a few days, and she slashes at him, insisting that he told them not to. Umm….no he didn’t, Cheetara.
All he said was that he should be gone for only a few days, but if a ship should show up early they should start the plans to rebuild Thundera. So, Lion-O’s right here. This is supposed to create further tension between Lion-O and Cheetara, which goes nowhere in this issue since Snarf snaps them back to reality, but if entry into the Book had been further blocked by Mumm-Ra’s spell (who had already gathered enough mystic energy to mess with the magic of the Book anyway) that would have made more sense. Here, Gilmore is making up an excuse that doesn’t exist, or maybe something he forgot to write or forgot he didn’t write. He didn’t tell them not to come after him because nobody knew this would happen. After a few days, maybe a week, someone should have said “I thought Lion-O would be back by now, let us check on him”. So Lion-O’s right. His being gone for five years is their fault. Remember, the rebuilding of Thundera took about a year to complete, and THEN Mumm-Ra attacked, since he wanted to conquer the planet at the height of its new age in order to further break their spirits. Someone should have checked on Lion-O in at least a week, which would have ruined Mumm-Ra’s plans and Gilmore’s attempt to create false tension.
Folks, you don’t want this miniseries unless this is your kind of story, and it certainly isn’t mine. There’s one more issue of this nightmare to go, and then we can get to the next one, which only has bad writing and a lame concept. This one is just frustrating.