Wednesday, February 15, 2017

He-Man/Thunder Cats #5 Review

ORKO!! Go back to the Castle!!

Writer: Rob David & Lloyd Goldfine
Art Team: Freddie E. Williams II & Jeremy Colwell
Letters: Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 15, 2017

I bring to you the penultimate review of the penultimate issue of the He-Man/Thunder Cats six issue crossover series. I’ve personally enjoyed this as a story much more than I anticipated going in. Anyway, currently the Ancient Spirits of Evil, who are the size of four Voltrons and commanded by Skeletor and Mumm-Ra might I add, are in route to the Castle of Grayskull for even more power. It appears are heroes, all of them, are all but up Eternia Creek without a Sword of Omens to paddle.  Can we count on zombie He-Man and Lion-O to arrive just in time to save the day or should Skeletor have called Mumm-Ra thirty years ago to help get the job done right the first time?  If you have the power, read on to find those answers, my thoughts, and more inside.

The battle is immediately in full effect as soon as we jump into our issue this month.  We waste no time seeing the 4 giant Ancient Spirits of Evil (AsoE, from now on) gain ground on all the man power team He-Man and team Thunder Cats can muster.  Seriously take a moment and glance around the beautiful opening splash page, every man-child my age had at least 5 of these toys in their collection as a kid, I’ll bet my broken down car on it.

A large majority of our issue revolves around the various cast of characters from both properties, paired of in pretty interesting team-ups, taking the fight to the various giants they must battle to protect Castle Grayskull.  We have Man-at-Arms, Panthro, and Tygra working to put the final touches on a giant canon. Meanwhile Cheetara & Teela combine to take out the eye of one of the giant AsoE which has now become a full blown obsession in this comic book. I’ve never seen so many eyes lost in my life.  I’m also fine with this; take all the eyes, for all I care. <zing> 

We take a brief battle break to see Jaga and Lady Sorceress meeting each other for the first time in these comic book pages. The pair set off on their own side quest in the middle of the issue and will reappear later at a very convenient time to aid the heroes fighting. To boil this plot point down for you they ultimately find a magic they were looking for and it provides the people in battle with targets to aim for on the giants they’re fighting.  

Back to the battle field (I told you they fight a lot) we get our first glimpse of Orko trying to help, and in classic Orko fashion, he’s messing things up for everyone. Man-at-Arms “ain’t got time for that” and quickly shuns the failed spell caster of the battle field to play with Snarf, which goes just as poorly.  Now I’m not sure if this end up being a coincidence or not but soon after the Orko shunning happens the tide begins to turn in favor of the good guys. The teams combine their efforts and begin to take out the giant’s one at a time, with an assists from Jaga and Lady Sorceress, and all appears to be looking up. 

Don’t forget as the issue closes however we’re dealing with Skeletor and Mumm-Ra here, who always have one final Trump card to deal. The two seeing their plan go up in smoke decide to combine their powers, with whatever power is left from the AsoE, and the series treats us to another clever surprise as the cliffhanger leaves us looking at the one and only MUMM-ATOR!    

Overall this issue does an admirable job of getting us the readers to the grand finale with all the pieces in place for an epic last hurrah.  I loved seeing all the fighting, Easter eggs, and battle sequences we got throughout this issue but a lot of the explanations and setup we received along the way felt unnecessary and in a way and bogged down the pacing of the issue for me. I understand the purpose was to establish the two different sides of heroes setting aside differences to fight a common foe but it felt shoe horned in with words instead of shown to us through art.  Speaking of the art it continues to be great here and really has the ability to steal the show, but some of the paneling choices clutter up beautiful pages and could use a little more spacing out.  None of my ‘nitpicks’ take away from my enjoyment of the story or issue but it feels like the first three books in the series where void of these type of occurrences.

Bits and Pieces:

He-Man/Thunder Cats continue to bring what the fans want to the table despite a few minor hiccups. If you’re a fan of these properties and you’ve come this far along in the series issue five is truly a book to look over twice. Make sure you don’t miss anything fun, important, or even several throwbacks to your childhood straight from creators who care. 



  1. Cool review for this great series!

    1. Thanks!!! Im a huge He-Man fan and minor ThuderCat one. Just glad to have a He-Man book back for at least a month!

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  3. Funny I googled He-Man figures to refresh which ones I had. I can still remember their action functions like it was yesterday... Mossman was covered in green fuzz, Kobra Khan sprayed water, Manifaces had uh many faces, etc...

    1. Ha ha, for the most part the big action feature was swivel their waist and watch them punch. Staring at Tri-Klops, Fisto, Clawful, Evil-lyn, Rattlor, Buzz-Off, Two-Bad and Man-E-Faces right now.

    2. Moss Man also had a very distinct smell from what I remember, I hate the Snake King with the retractable tounge, both castles ... its almost really what He-Men didnt I have in my house when I was a kid to be honest. That list is much smaller.

    3. You fool! King Hiss's body fell away, revealing snakes inside and Tung Lashor had the retractable tongue...... and I happened to love that figure.

    4. I forgot about Mossman's distinct smell, now it's coming back! Thanks Brandon I think. And yes the swivel feature was their go to move especially if you had Battke Armor He-Man and Skeletor. He-Man always won on his very last hit.