In recent storylines there has been a subplot in which Gwildor is attempting to use science to better understand magic. It hasn’t really gone anywhere but it’s floated in the background. In the storyline we’re looking at this time however it finally becomes important to the story. Throw in an ancient prophecy, Hordak, and the return of a baddie from a previous story and you have yourself a tale in which He-Man is all but useless, forcing his friends to show that, while they still need the aid of the most powerful man in the universe they aren’t without resources of their own.
Since I need to pad out the intro a bit, I learned something interesting about Gwildor. When the live-action Masters Of The Universe movie came out Orko was not going to be easy to translate on their budget. He’s short but he also often levitates above the ground and I’m guessing a puppet or animatronic wasn’t going to cut it. Nowadays they can make him in CG, but that’s when famed actor Billy Barks was given the role of Gwildor to substitute for Orko. I’m guess they would have had his magic screw up and send everybody to Earth instead of some guy inventing a space-warping device. So there’s some extra trivia for you as we get into the next tale from the newspaper comics…
The Time Of Disasters
Writer: Chris Weber; Artist/Original Letterer: Gerald Forton; Colorist: Connie Schurr; Editor: Karen Willson
After He-Man stops a stick-up at Orko’s favorite magic shop Gwildor gets the idea of attempting to test the Power Of Grayskull. However, not only does the experiment go wrong and lead to the fulfilling of a dangerous prophecy, but it leave He-Man too weak to help while Hordak uses the weakness in the magic barrier keeping the Horde out to seize the loosened power. Aided by Robert, the traitor who messed with the councilor a few stories ago (I didn’t mention him because he’s tied to a spoiler from that story), will Hordak succeed in using the Power for himself?
Why is it “stuck as Prince Adam” stories are always interesting and takes the opportunity to show what Adam can (and occasionally can’t) do without the Power Of Grayskull behind him but “stuck as He-Man” stories never take the opportunity to explore what He-Man’s life will be like if he can’t turn back into Adam? Not even a discussion about it, explaining why Adam even bothers turning back? Every superhero has a reason to maintain–or in some cases like Wally West’s Flash, or Space Ghost, not bother with–a secret identity. Here’s your chance to explore Adam’s reason for not staying He-Man. Sadly that doesn’t happen here. Again.
Of course the point of the story is to not have He-Man available to deal with Hordak’s attempted invasion and the other disasters in the story. Instead it’s Man-At-Arms, Orko, Teela, Gwildor, and Miranda who have to work to stop the curse and save the day. Even [spoiler] has to help the Sorceress maintain the barrier keeping the Horde out. Plus we have the return of Robert, learning what happened to him after “Attack On Snake Mountain”. It’s strange that he blames He-Man for kicking him out, as if they would keep a palace guardsman they know is working for Skeletor. He doesn’t do a whole lot, only needed because Hordak isn’t fully physically here, but it leave an opening that he could be a recurring problem for our heroes.
Once again the story seems cut off by a week or at least a few days, without an epilogue, but the ending isn’t as abrupt. All we’re missing is a better explanation of how He-Man regains the lost power of Grayskull. Maybe we’ll get a hint of that next storyline but I doubt it. Still, it is a good story. Next time Prince Adam goes on a date and there’s a thief in the palace. Are they related? I don’t know, I only leafed through it. I’ll read it in our next installment.
Next time: When You Need An Extra Something