First about the Dark Horse collection I’m using. There’s only one Sunday strip in color, and there’s one Sunday strip missing. There is however a synopsis of what was in that strip so I still know what happened, and it wasn’t an action scene so I didn’t miss a whole lot besides Clamp Champ being tripped up by an Eternian opossum and finding footprints. However, as the book goes on there are more strips lost to time. A quick flip-through shows only one more colored Sunday strip in the book. Still, it’s nice to have this collection.
And this one features yet another returning character, this time one I wasn’t expecting because she was barely in the previous story she was in. Trooper Dian, now a lieutenant, is a solder from “When You Need An Extra Something” who thought she was doing the right thing by taking up a collection for He-Man. A few stories later and she’s back, and whatever respect she had for He-Man does not extend to his alter-ego. Too bad that’s not Adam’s biggest problem right now. Last time I made note that we actually had a story where Adam had to use his normal non-Grayskull talents AND a story without Skeletor or even an actual villain, two things I didn’t expect separately never mind together. Well, Skeletor is back with a new scheme and his new hobby of collecting statues. It turns out it’s not such a safe hobby.
At The Edge Of Darkest Night
WRITER: Chris Weber | ARTIST/LETTERER: Gerald Forton | COLORIST: Connie Schurr | EDITOR: Karen Wilson
Dian is now in charge of the outpost at Far Westland, and Teela, Adam, and Clamp Champ are headed there so Adam can do an inspection. However, Skeletor and Whiplash are interested in something buried out there, a group of stone statues he can turn into an army. But can even Skeletor control these warriors? And can Adam put up with Dian and the reporters while trying to stop the villains as He-Man?
Yeah, while I respected Dian for wanting to help out He-Man in her last appearance here she has a bit of a chip on her shoulder. It’s not without total reason though. As her first command she really wants things to be perfect but with her funding cut that’s been rather difficult. Still, she seemed respectful of Adam when she wanted to take up a collection for He-Man so why be so snippy here? At least Adam gets to show some of his own talents but keeping his secret identity and still being of use was quite the challenge for him. And Teela stands up for him, if only for his royal standing.
Honestly, there’s only one more point I need to make and it’s a bit of a spoiler, so bypass this paragraph now if you want to avoid it but I’ll do what little damage I can. During the story a character named Kartan shows up and seems to know Adam is He-Man. He says that the “royal family of Eternia wielded the power of Grayskull” for a long time. Does that mean at one point Randor has called on the power, or has only a few members actually been He-Man or He-Ro or King Grayskull or whatever? Remember, all the way back in “Ninjor Stalks By Night” Randor notes that Adam’s sword is a family heirloom. I don’t know what kind of story bible Weber, Jim Shull (who wrote the first storyline), or anyone else involved with creating the comic strip had at their disposal. I know they used to work on the cartoon for Filmation and that there are things we never learned about in the book from the original ideas (now that’s a story bible I want to find and review). So I wonder who came up with what and what lore they came up with for the history of Power Sword and the power of Grayskull? It’s something that probably wasn’t noticed as a once a day strip, but even only reading it once a month I picked up on it and I like the thought put into the history.
There’s also a warning about the “only way to break the Sword”, and I wonder if that’s going to come up in a later story?
Otherwise, “At The Edge Of Darkest Night” is a rather average but enjoyable story whose title doesn’t make a lot of sense beyond alliteration. I kind of liked it. The next story, however, promises to be a little odd just from the title alone. I’m a little concerned going into it but we’ll explore “He-Man In Wonderland” on our next visit to Eternia.