It’s time to return to Eternia as featured in your daily newspaper. Well, maybe not yours. Mine didn’t carry this and I don’t know if any other newspaper in Connecticut did either. Anyway, Man-At-Arms’ out of nowhere love interest gets some backstory in this one, and Teela has more to do that gush over He-Man. So already this story is a good step forward.
Our heroes must journey to the kingdom of Rondale, where a revolution plot is in play, and two princes take center ring in a circus that is part of a plot to overthrown the kingdom and the planet. Can He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Teela, and Miranda save the day and stop the…
Revolution In Rondale
WRITER: Chris Weber | ARTIST/LETTERER: Gerald Forton | COLORIST: Connie Schurr| EDITOR: Karen Wilson
The ruling queen of Rondale has asked for the help of her new ambassador to Eternia’s titular kingdom, Miranda, for help because her old friend Prince Nicholai is leading a revolt due to various politics, and at the urging of his adviser, Count Roteleks. The young future ruler, Prince Corwin, is not yet ready to rule (and has the makings of a tyrant if he keeps thinking might makes right but still seems to be a good kid) and someone is planning to use that to seize control of Rondale and perhaps Eternia. If you have a mirror handy you’ll figure out who that is pretty quick.
The continuity this story is Gwildor continuing his magic research and Randor’s concern that Tiberon might not be completely free of Skeletor’s bewitchment from the last story. If these do come up again I like the sense of continuity. However, in the days when there were no collections of these comics if they aren’t showing up again new readers see something that won’t pay off. It’s something to consider if archiving isn’t current available. Collecting comic strips otherwise isn’t always easy.
Let’s get the other problems dealt with before getting into the good parts, and I should say now that I rather liked the story. There’s talk about a neighboring kingdom, Califia, and the worries that they may have too much influence on Rondale and the future king since his mother wants to let him train there. Nicholai is worried that Corwin won’t be trained to respect Rondale’s reign. That’s all well and good but the plot thread gets dropped when the mastermind is revealed, forcing Nicholai and Corwin to work together. What is the problem with the forming of Califia and Corwin being trained there? It isn’t fully addressed. And this is another story that feels like it was cut off a week or two short, but as quickened endings go this is one of the lesser offenders. I’d also like to know how Count Roteleks, an outsider, has the free reign to enter the royal palace considering the whole outsider concerns at the heart of the potential revolution. Said revolution is really just an angry mob so it’s more like a protest than a revolution, just one that potentially turns violent at one point until He-Man shows up with a peaceful truce set up.
Now on to the good. We learn more about Miranda’s history, specifically her history with the royal family, more Nicholai than anything else. He agrees to drop the whole revolution if she agrees to marry him. How this benefits Roteleks’ plans isn’t really explained but we finally learn something about this character that came completely out of nowhere. I have a little more interest in her besides Duncan’s girlfriend and lab partner. Hopefully she’ll do more as the strips go on.
There are also some interesting animals on this planet. Usually we get horrible monsters but while the animals here (in the above scan) are threatening, they aren’t any more dangerous than an oversized warthog or alligator. I’ll take that. Corwin and Nicholai’s subplot needed that extra week I mentioned but I can’t say it is unsatisfactory. Things bode well for these two in the future. Gwildor also invents a new anti-gravity version of an already popular game on Eternia, ricochet, which may be Eternia’s take on racquetball. It shows up again in normal gravity form when Corwin challenges him to a game. I’m always up for a little worldbuilding, as my current creative project demonstrates.
Overall this was one of the better stories thus far. I am worried that I’ll have to keep complaining about stories ending a week short but otherwise this is fascinating to read. You can pick up the collection from Dark Horse and I’ll be back next month with the next adventure.
Next time: The Time Of Disasters
The story involves Orko’s magic. I think we can guess the disaster.
This particular comic strip story line sounds like it has lots of political intrigue and maneuvering. I also do like hearing that Gwildor is playing a role here. I will likely follow your suggestion and get this collection of comic strips from Darkhorse some time in 2018. It’s something that I can probably put on a birthday list or Christmas list for my parents because I usually put a book or two on such lists. It’s usually history books I put on those lists, but as far as I’m concerned this He-Man, The Newspaper Comics book is a history book because it’s presenting these 80s/early 90s comic strips that I never got to see in my local newspaper of that time period. It’s historical in that sense, but also this is presenting MOTU tales that expand the events and characters of the MOTU realm. These newspaper comic strips create an even deeper history of events, places, and characters for Masters of the Universe.