In our last story we met Princess Benura of the Northern Isles. The comic strips were pretty good as introducing someone in one strip and having them be important in the next one, or introducing a situation that would be part of a future storyline. This story finds our heroes traveling to the Northern Isles to help with a crisis situation, but will lead to another adventure…and a question being popped.
For those of us looking down the barrel of Summer’s rifle we might be wanting a bit of colder weather, but this is going to be way too much.
“It’ll Be A Cold Day”
WRITER: Chris Weber | ARTIST/LETTERER: Gerald Forton | SUNDAY COLORIST: Connie Schurr | EDITOR: Karen Willson
The Northern Isles are suffering a drought, not realizing it’s the work of Skeletor. However he should take some lessons from Ganon in how to do a drought spell right because He-Man and Man-At-Arms are able to make science to whatever they want to obtain an iceberg that will help end the drought. But inside that iceberg is a woman frozen for thousands of years, and only Skeletor realizes she is Iandir, the infamous Ice Empress, one of the many bad rules Eternia used to have apparently before Randor became High King. Now she plans to reclaim her throne over Eternia and guess who’s willing to help.
It’s not really explained how Iandir ended up in the iceberg last time, but otherwise she makes for an interesting threat to Eternia thanks to her ice and storm powers. Skeletor really wasn’t needed here. Just make this an ordinary drought, have Iandir use HER magic to block any mystical contact (the Isles apparently are anti-technology, so they wouldn’t have communicators–of course I wonder how the historian doesn’t know who she is), and Skeletor really serves no purpose whatsoever. So far the comic strips are reluctant to not have Skeletor involved, even when Hordak is. The cartoons and even the mini-comics that came with the toys had villains that weren’t made into toys until the recent Masters Of The Universe Classics line so I think the strips could have left him out for one story. Iandir is a strong enough threat on her own. Plus he kind of ruins the story by telling us early on that she’s a long lost evil ruler. Eternia used to have a lot of those you know. You couldn’t swing a sword without hitting one.
This is also the first story where Adam makes no appearance. It’s all He-Man all the time, but we do see him wearing actual clothes which confused me in the black and white strips. Duncan is forced out of the story for a good while so He-Man has to work on his own, which I guess makes up for He-Man basically out of “The Time Of Disasters“. The first rescue we see in the story is the kind of “science is my b@#%” stuff we’d see now and then on the original cartoon but not as believable for some reason, or it could just be me. Benura returns but she doesn’t do much until the final act. Also, you know how I keep complaining about how quickly the story cuts off, but that they’ve gotten better in the last two stories? Here they finally got a full story in the allotted space. The ending feels like it came at the right time, minus an epilogue, but it even acknowledges that in a way. Also, the story features a “snow shark”, which is pretty much what I’m betting you’re thinking it is. That’s just odd. And more Earth terms used by non-Earth people.
Now I do have to spoil one part of the ending because it’s important to future stories, or at least in should be. The events take place during a special celebration in the Northern Isles, and supposedly it’s traditional for the woman to ask for the man’s hand in marriage, like a Sadie Hawkins Dance or something. So Miranda takes the opportunity to ask Duncan to marry her. I still wish this romance had been developed from the start. Miranda just shows up like she’s always been there and she and Duncan are already a couple…apparently long enough to consider marriage, but it could just be a short courtship. My parents had one and their marriage went quite well until my mother passed on. Remember the writer and editor are newlyweds, which has popped up before but this works better than other romantic parings. Although I can just see Teela going all Silver Age Lois and trying to come up with wacky ways to get He-Man to propose to her. The image saddens me, but I wish Duncan and Miranda well. I’m assuming the next story or two will involve wedding preparations.
Overall though this was a really good He-Man adventure. It seems they’re finally finding their footing when it comes to getting a full story in the space they have. We’ll see if that continues next time when our heroes face a new threat. I bet Skeletor’s involved again.
Next time: A World In The Balance
The Northern Isles sound like a compelling geographical area on Eternia that would be worth a visit via this book of newspaper comic strips. The idea of an evil ice princess is also rather thought provoking. Glad to hear that Duncan is getting married in this newspaper comic strip series. I’m sure the fact that the writer and editor were happily married newlyweds played a role in their deciding to feature a marriage in their newspaper strip. Art does imitate life.
I have a question based on the color illustration you include in this review. Has He-Man become a ginger in this strip? I’m so used to He-Man being blonde haired.
I think it’s supposed to be “dirty blonde”, like the toy and mini-comics.
In that frame, He-Man’s hair looks as red as that of a red headed Irishman or Scotsman. It’s far from being dirty blonde there. More like fire engine red!
Cool review, Thanks for sharing! Not to Spoiler TOO MUCH here, but if You are hoping for an adventure without Skeletor showing up even once, You will indeed get Your wish before You are finished with this book. That’s all I will say…
But as for Iandir: we already HAVE an Ice Empress! [^D
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