Thundercats: The Return #5
PRAISE JAGA THIS IS THE FINAL ISSUE
WildStorm (August, 2003)
WRITER: Ford Lytle Gilmore
PENCILER: Ed Benes
INKER: Rob Lea
COLORING: WildStorm FX
SELECTED COVER ART: Ari Garza & Richard Friend
LETTERER: John Layman
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
EDITORS: Ben Abernanthy & Alex Sinclair
It’s the final battle (except that it’s not) as the super-charged mutants battle the Thundercats. With a new fire in her, Mumm-Ra decides Wilykit will be useless as a slave and lets her join the battle. The mutants are defeated, while Lion-O fights Mumm-Ra hand-to-hand. Guess who cheats by breaking out his sword? Luckily Panthro manages to hold Mumm-Ra while Lion-O hits him hard in his symbol and he goes away. The Thundercats vow to stand united (after Lion-O continues to blame himself and Cheetara complains that he’s not a team player and Snarf plays referee again) and leave. But Lion-O is right, Mumm-Ra is not gone, and he’s hoping to still turn Wilykit into his apprentice.
He won’t though, and I’m not sure why that changed, but I’ll get to that next week when we get to a new miniseries, and I’m so happy this one is done. But credit where it’s due: the fight is really cool, and even Snarf gets a lick in. It was good to see them fighting together and the art team deserves credit for amazing visuals, although Benes cheesecake is not the kind I prefer. I also don’t know why Tygra is wearing that cloak, although he does look cool in one panel where you only see his eyes.
Look, I like the concept, and it IS well-written, but that’s the big problem. I don’t want to see the Thundercats tortured to the degree they were, especially Wilykit and Cheetara. It’s horrible treatment of female characters. Plus they killed off the three newcomer Thundercats (one of whom is also female) rather than keep them on, like they didn’t care about them because they weren’t the original team. I grew up with this show and I liked them. Snarfer I didn’t care for and his absence in this and the previous miniseries were welcome…and that’s from the guy who defends Snarf. I don’t want a darker, more mature Thundercats. It’s not what made me a fan of the series. That’s why I hate this thing, and wanting to like it because it’s good writing and art otherwise hurts even more. Issue #3 gave the most rage because of what happens to Cheetara, and Wilykit, and the eluding to Bengali suffering painfully when he died. I hate this thing for how it treated my childhood favorite while acknowledging it was a well-made desecration of my childhood favorite.
If you don’t have the ties I do or insist it “grow up” (you and I have different definitions of “mature”), you might enjoy it. I just can’t bring myself to and will happily remove it from my library. But at least we can all agree the next miniseries sucks all the eggs. Prepare yourself for the bad writing and worse art that will accompany the next miniseries, The Dogs Of War. It’s less fanrage and more facepalming.