DC Comics (May, 2017)
“Across The Universe”
WRITERS: Rob David & Lloyd Goldfine
ARTIST: Freddie E. Williams II
COLORIST: Jeremy Colwell
LETTERER: Deron Bennett
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Jessica Chen
EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
GROUP EDITOR: Jim Chadwick
He-Man, Battlecat, and Lion-O return to see their friends and allies brutally beaten and Mumm-Ator having made their way into the inner chambers of Castle Grayskull. It’s here that they (and we) finally learn the Castle’s greatest secret (at least in this continuity), an orb created from the power that created multiverse! (Should this be called Masters Of The Multiverse from now on? Sorry.) (No, I’m actually not.) He-Man and Lion-O fight Mumm-ator throughout alternate realities (I’ll save those for you to read on your own) and even back on Thundera before it exploded. They fight over the orb and the Sword Of Power, the key to unlocking it. and while Mumm-Ator eventually gains the upper hand, and the remaining heroes and villains do battle, He-Man and Lion-O put the power of their swords together to eliminate their amalgamated foe. However, with Mumm-Ra doing the narration captions, Jaga is right about evil never truly being beaten. The Thundercats take the Mutants back to their reality before the portal closes while Eternia rebuilds.
What they got right: We get a better look at Mumm-Ator and it’s a cool design, right down to merging the Havoc Staff with the Sword Of Plundarr. The final battle is epic and cool, and while the ending could be considered fanfic-ish, what about this wasn’t? It’s a crossover of two franchises never meant to cross over. What do you expect really? As long as it’s a GOOD fanfic, I’m okay with this, just like the Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover from a few years ago and a few of my other old crossover reviews when I got to that point in my longbox. And Snarf and Battlecat, the two characters most changed by their 2000s remake, get to be friends, while everyone else gets along. Yes, even Teela, which is different for modern DC.
What they got wrong: The first alternate reality was just kind of silly, and the second goofy, and neither really factored into the story. The whole “I can save my father” idea came up too quick and left the same way. The writers seemed to be negative on secret identities (odd considering Prince Adam was created FOR the DC stories of the 80s and later used by everyone else), and I know the new DC series dropped it too. I’m a superhero fan from way back. I like secret identities for some characters while it doesn’t work for others, but this appears to be a moratorium on the whole idea, or at least that’s how I read it. And Mumm-Ra adds to the pretentious captions about heroes and villains that pull you out of the story and add nothing. It’s been my biggest complaint with this miniseries, and if this DOES get a sequel, I hope they drop that.
Recommendation: While some flaws popped up in this miniseries, that’s par for the course. Ultimately crossovers like this exist for fans of multiple franchises and it was an enjoyable read overall. If you were waiting for the trades, this is worth giving a look.