Written by: Rob David & Lloyd Goldfine
Art by: Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray
If you were a boy that grew up in the 1980’s, the chances are strong that you either had a toy box or other special place in your house that your stash of He-Man and/or Thundercat action figures would call home. I know I personally spent many cold Saturday afternoons in Buffalo, NY, constructing carefully aligned battlegrounds where toy blood would be shed for hours. I also feel confident stating that if you never possessed these toys, as a child that when man cards are handed out later in life you were simply told “NO! You failed to meet the established requirements”. Hopefully, you’re not one of those poor, bitter people, without a man card because for the rest of us, we get to relive that magical period once again with He-Man/Thundercats #1. So, let’s all dust off our 30 year old Power Sword (you know you have it somewhere) and get down to business.
There is no other way to start off a crossover this epic in nature than to get right down to what we're all paying hard earned cash for...some classic sword play. A little Mumm-Ra vs Lion-O action, to be exact, I think I can hear little Eric Shea’s excitement from here! This is a pretty stunning looking, creatively paneled beginning which introduces us to Third Earth, Mumm-Ra, and the Ancient Spirits of Evil. These Spirit voices alert Mumm-Ra to a Sword that possesses “great power” which can be used in his quest to defeat Lion-O and his team.. I imagine he really just wants Cheetara all to himself … but maybe I’m just mixing up what Mumm-Ra and what 8 year old me would want in that position.
Before long it's ol’ Eternia time for a little action as we witness Prince Adam, in classic fashion, running late to an event being held in his honor. While being scolded by dear old Dad for not taking his responsibilities seriously, the conversation is rudely interrupted by earthquakes caused from an incursion, as another planet (Third Earth) comes into Eternia’s airspace causing trouble.
These earthquakes lead to the first of several fan service moments we’ve all come here expecting this series to be peppered with. Lion-O pulls out the Sword of Omens to use his “sight beyond sight” and catch of glimpse of the impending danger. Meanwhile, Adam has to dive in after his father, who has fallen from a balcony into a nearby body of water for the quick glove save.
As Adam and Battle Cat gather themselves, they are quickly approached by Sorceress. “She” warns Adam of impending danger, stating someone is on the hunt for the sword which needs to be kept safe. A foolish Adam, as if there was any other type, hands over the sword only to quickly find it put through his damn chest.
In case you haven’t read it yet, or even guessed who was crossdressing as Sorceress by now, it’s revealed to be Mumm-Ra, who lifts the young Prince in the air on the tip of his own blade. Adam brutally slides down the sword faintly able to mutter those famous magic words with his last breaths as a giant KRAKKA-THOOM finally reveals who we’ve been waiting for, none other than He-Man!
Battle Cat and He-Man go a little two on one action with the Thundercat villain finally getting the advantage after a bit but not before Mumm-Ra’s able to skedaddle on out to a safe zone away from our heroes. Interwoven between this epic battle, made of boyhood imaginations gone wild, we get a little more from team Thundercats mostly revealing Lion-O sensing some bad shit going down and Panthro having a sweet as flying ship.
Our cliffhanger reveals Mumm-Ra, whose travels appear to have been rudely interrupted. The last final surprise is the only person who hasn’t made his appearance known yet. Serving a duel purpose, as our surprise narrator and big bad running shit behind the scenes, Skeletor is now in possession of He-Man’s sword and that’s never good for anybody. However, it is awesome!!!.
Listen, I’m not fooled at all and I understand exactly what this is. With that being said I loved every minute of reading and rereading this first issue. I was a huge fan of both these properties as a child, watching the shows, owning the toys, and it obviously shows through in my glowing review. However its not all just through rose colored glasses the writing was strong, each person had their own voices representative of their character, and we have an interesting story premise moving forward.
The interior art for this comic works for me much better than the cover representation of the characters does. Freddie L Williams does an excellent job of drawing these vast array of characters just how you remember them and colors are bright and vibrant, there’s nothing hiding behind darkness on any of these pages. If I had to nitpick something it would be that this He-Man series doesn’t tie into the previous DC He-Man series but that hasn’t hurt my enjoyment any.
Bits and Pieces:
This was a great comic book interpretation of two classic 80’s toy properties turned cartoon. I’m a big fan of how DC has put out various different mini-series over the last few years to hit everyone’s particular sweet spot. With He-Man/Thundercats, they have found mine and I’m sure I’m not alone. The art by Freddie L. Williams colored by Jeremy Colwell with an intriguing story put forth by Rob David and Lloyd Goldfine is definitely worth the price of admission. I'm not a cover guy either but I think I need the connecting good vs bad guys covers to frame and enjoy while dazing off at work.