I was never the absolute biggest He-Man fan. I watched the show and found certain things strange. It wa a fun show with some interesting characters. With the recent revival in comics, the Masters of the Universe are making a come back into our lives. Still, I haven't been completely blown away. The current HE-MAN series started out on an interesting note and the digital only comics have been good. When I heard there was going to be a Skeletor origin, I still had mixed feelings. Skeletor was a bit of a dork. He had a whiney voice and ended up losing all the time. When I found out Joshua Hale Fialkov and Frazer Irving were on the book, I immediately needed to check it out.
I was surprised that I never really considered what Skeletor's origin or motivation was. I figured he was just another strange looking being on Eternia that simply wanted the power of Castle Grayskull for himself. When I saw mention of him being Prince Adam's uncle in the current HE-MAN series, I thought it was either trickery on Skeletor's part or just some new angle the writers were doing. It turns out there has been speculation over this for some time.
Fialkov shows us who Skeletor was before. He didn't always have the skull-face. There's a bit of tragedy involved because, after all, don't all great villains suffer from some sort of trauma or hardship? What really surprised me was the fact that Fialkov made me actually care about what Skeletor's story was. It's almost spooky in the way it's told.
And then there's Frazer Irving's art. He's one of those artists that really shines on the right story. This is one of those. He makes even the pre-skeletal Skeletor look bad-ass. The way we see the events unfold makes you happy you're as far away from being there as possible.
There is a bit of coldness to the flashbacks. That may have been the intention but the bareness of some scenes almost looked a little plain.
This was a great one-shot but it could've worked better as a mini-series. I would have loved to see this story expanded more and see what the next step in his journey was.
I actually care about Skeletor's character now. I always felt he was a dorky character but Fialkov and Iriving have made him interesting. This isn't the cackling buffoon seen in the old animated series. This is one with a more vicious nature. It's a spooky and compelling origin. It's unfortunate the story couldn't be longer. It felt as if it had to be rushed a tad in order to be contained in one issue. I now wan to see what's next for Skeletor. I may even go back and re-read the current printed and digital MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE issues since I now look at Skeletor in a different light. If you've ever had the slightest interest in Skeletor or He-Man, you need to check this out.