Wednesday, November 20, 2019

He-Man & the Masters of the Multiverse #1 Review

Writer: Tim Seeley
Art Team: Dan Fraga, Richard Friend, Matt Yackey
DC Comics
Release Date: November 20, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

Dark Multi-Verse He-Man

One way DC Comics always gets me to plunk down a few bucks is when they decide to go ahead and drop a new He-Man series on our laps.  He-Man & the Masters of the Multiverse is the latest title to get me off my wallet, with Tim Seeley returning to pen the characters again, as this all draws my attention immediately because I liked the premise, from the title, and the team involved upon first announcement. Let's see if all that momentum translates into an attention-grabbing first issue.

The issue big begins with a bang, as Skeletor is huffing and puffing outside Castle Grayskull, making threats as he always does in He-Mans direction, all before he's (Skeletor) quickly struck down by a dark multiverse version of He-Man, and he looks serious.  This worlds Normal He-Man, charges at Dark He-Man, and is apparently quickly struck down as well, as we witness Dark He-Man chanting a new motto " the power of HellSkull.." over a wrecked Eternia. I'm not sure if this is part of the Dark Multiverse stories DC is currently putting out, centered around past DC Events, but it weirdly feels like it after the first few pages.  The only thing that makes me hesitate to think so is this is a mini-series and most of those are extra-sized one-shots. Just one of those convenient coincidences I guess like Transformers and Transmorphers both being in Redbox at the same time.

Off on a what then appears to be a totally different multiversal world, Prince Keldor, or better know as Skeletor before his full turn, is beginning his origins in magic, hanging out with what will be the start of his crew, and genuinely laying the foundation for being a pain in the @$$ one day. Later, King Randor & Keldor encounter a dark multiverse Teela, where after some initial disagreement they sense something is afoot. Little is accomplished in the conversation between the two, other than mentioning the situation is concerning, and along with some strange transitions, I found it tough to get my footing in the early pages of this title, other than enjoying the action and knowing I was reading about He-Man characters of course. It's not until we go back at Keldor's room that things really get going here but that's almost fifteen pages into this story. I don't want to make it sound like I didn't like this issue at all, because the concept is gripping, and the mystery kept me going, but to have so little He-Man in the beginning of the title felt like an odd choice. 

Things begin concluding in Keldor's room as he's visited first by a lovely lady, then by a little big-headed, multiversal, toy version of He-Man, then finally the 80's movie He-Man, as they catch Keldor, and just as importantly us the readers, up on just what exactly is going on in detail, if you haven't been able to piecemeal it together by now. Keldor's discovers his version of He-Man appears to have become THE Dark He-Man we saw at the beginning of the book, so Keldor is now being recruited by the He-Men of the Multiverse, to stop this disaster before it can continue on any further. If all of that is confusing to simplify think Spider-Verse, with Keldor filling a bit of a Superior Spider-Man role, as he agrees to head off to begin tackling the problem at hand. Now that everything is set up in a pretty good direction, I think the next issue will really take this story in a positive direction, as things get off to a slow but entertaining enough start here.

I enjoy the art in this issue a lot, but if I had one complaint, it would be that if we're are off traveling to different Eternia's, that they somehow begin to appear different than the ones we've just previously left. I still am not 100% certain, other than concluding its the only way the story makes sense, that the two Eternia's we visited this issue we different at all. They do a better job later in the issue, after the concept is introduced, of getting that idea across, but to start I was really thrown off at the start of this issue until the movie He-Man came to save the day. A note from the letterer or change in coloring would have sufficed and neither was present.

Overall, He-Man & the Masters of the Multiverse takes some bold and interesting choices in its debut issue. It's a series that will definitely have a Spider-Verse feel and flavor to it, so if you're in the mood for that type of story, and have a background with Eternia and He-Man characters, I think this is something you'll find fun in. That is a very specific crowd, so if you pick this up and don't recognize the references, or know the characters well, you may come out of this feeling like you got a little less than a huge fan would. Enjoyable, but slightly slow start.


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