Monday, December 11, 2017

He Man / Thundercats #1

Christmas Toy Tie-ins and Strange Team-ups:
Kid’s Stuff
He-Man / Thundercats #1

And millions of adult children squee-ed in delight

"Swords and Omens”
Writers – Rob David & Lloyd Goldfine
Artist – Freddie E. Williams II
Letters – Deron Bennett
Colorist – Jeremy Colwel
Associate Editor – Jessica Chenl
Editor – Kristy Quinn
Group Editor – Jim Chadwick
October 2017

We’ve covered all this before, both Thundercats in chin-tasic mode and He-Man at his Masters of the Star Universe best, but now that 30 years of nostalgia welled up and dropped this issue into the half-off bin, I had to make the dive in to retrieve it.

So yes, action figures with vehicles and playsets turned into cartoons and then into comics. You got all that info last time.

Here we have Mattel’s head writer on the Master’s of the Universe franchise Rob David and his producer Lloyd Goldfine being given the keys to the kitty-kingdom too. Mashing up toys has never seemed like so much fun…

…but is it? If so, how did this issue make its way into the back-issue bin? Let’s find out!

We start with on Third Earth, home of the Thundercats, just as Lion-O kills Mumm-Ra (again).

But since stabbing an evil mummy through the heart with a sword has never really worked in the past, it doesn’t this time either. The would merely slows him down until he chimes in with this Mumm-Ra Lives! pronouncement and back in business he goes.

However, this time his business backers, the disembodied Ancient Spirits of Evil have become disenchanted with Mumm being in charge. The decide to take a more direct, micro-management approach to his job of getting stabbed in the chest by human-cat people. Seems the elder gods have found a sword that will rival Lion-O’s Sword of Omens.

All Mumm-sie has to do is go retrieve it.

So he transforms into his Ever-Living form and heads for…

…well, I think it’s safe to say we all know where he’s heading for.

Eternia, where Prince Adam, the secret identity of He-Man is currently late for his own, something. We aren’t sure, but it certainly isn’t his funeral. No way this book is killing off He-Man.

And while it might not do that, it has no qualms about making Prince Adam look like a loser in front of so many of his cast of characters that I’m at a loss for proper names. I’m sure the MotU fanboys out there can help us with that though.

After such a colossal flub, his dad King Randor gives Adam the royal treatment for such a boneheaded play. To which Adam answers that he dad doesn’t really understand him…something I feel will be a major arc of this series.

But no time for more emotional plot drops, we have a Third Earth popping into the skies above Eternia.

Which I’m not going to go all Neil deGrasse Tyson and explain that’s not how any of this works. We will just leave it at “child’s fantasy universe” and move on.

Speaking of “moving on,” that’s exactly what the Thundercats in the Cat’s Lair are doing. Heck, that’s what all of Third Earth is doing! So right about then, it’s time for he spirit of Jaga to fill in one set of heroes on what is going on.

Jaga warns that whatever Eternia suffers, will affect Third Earth, which causes Lion-O to use the Eye of Thundera housed within the Sword of Omens to see what trouble is a’brewin.

Meanwhile, what little actual physics can happen in these cartoon universes is causing Eternia to have some major quakes. The Masters spring into action with even Orko helping out.

King Randor takes a tumble off the balcony when a huge wave engulfs the castle and only prince Adam can save him. Isn’t that the way? The only time you do something noble and heroic and your father isn’t there to see it.

Knowing the full power of He-Man is needed to save the people of Eternia, Adam goes to transform when Sorceress appears warning him that he shouldn’t. She states that an evil force is seeking the sword and offers to hide the sword in Castle Grayskull until the mess has blown over. Adam accepts.

…and then she f**king plunges the sword into his heart. W.T.F!

While Adam is being impaled by his own sword, Lion-O is having an angsty moment with Panthro before taking off to help Eternia in a Panthro patented vehicle.

Back to the more immediate threat to this title becoming He-Man’s Dead Body / Thundercats, we see that Soceress is actually Mumm-Ra in disguise. He brushes aside Cringer and focuses on watching Adam die.

While Mumm-man gets his expository rocks off, Adam has a little something to say…

…yeah. Oh, yeah.

And now we begin one of those “take out your action figures and smoosh them together” fight scenes that are really why we bought tickets to this show. The battle is everything we could hope for… 

…including Cringer getting a bite in near the end. But instead of a nice wrapped-up in a Christmas bow conclusion, Mumm-Ra is teleported away. And he takes the Sword of Power with him.

But don’t think he will have long to wield it. As soon as he arrives, he is disintegrated…

…and the actual plan of the Ancient Evils is revealed. They’ve teamed with a new champion of bad deeds to get the Sword of Omens. His name is SKELETOR.

This six issue mini series kicked off to a grand start. Lots of back dealing and double-crossing along with a healthy dose of good-guys getting their licks in. There’s enough jeopardy here to make the stakes feel real and the art is good to great, although some of the prince Adam scenes look a little rough. Enjoyable and if I found more I’d pick them up.

As to why it was in the half off bin, that will remain a mystery. But it is one I will happily endure as long as the Crapbox keeps supplying me with the goods.

We will be back on Toy stuff on Sunday, but starting tomorrow have your lightsabers handy as we dive into the Star Wars universe for a bit in anticipation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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