Magic, Muscles and Mulling?
He-man and the Masters Of The Universe.
Story & Color: Val Staples
Pencils: Emiliano Santalucia
Colours: Shaynne Corbett, Dash Martin
Ink: Marco Failla
Not going to lie to you guys. ive been a fan of the he-man franchise since i could crawl. The toys since i was old enough to drool on them.. and break them. the show was my daily church as was a great multitude of 80's saturday morning cartoons. in the end he-man was the man. when i learned in 2002 that they rebooted the series i have to say i was really skeptical. mainly of the sword. but the reboot was great. they brought more realism to the series and character backgrounds were deep. and it was other he-mans at MV Creations and image comics to step up the game what the show started.
The Story The story starts off focusing on Skeletor and he mulls about wanting the power of greyskull while he gets into draining the magical powers of his disco ball crystal. after getting a bit of a shock and learning little by little what the story is going to be about we turn our attentions to Evil Lyn where her evil power is being into voyeurs. as it is a monday she mulls too about serving under skeletor and starts to create a plan which seems the story will be centralized around. They both go into personal monologues a lot which explains why they are never invited to parties. I had a hard time in the beginning the first time i read this first part only because of the detail of the art. Going back over it, they give brief detail on the characters pasts which could be chalked up to canon.
The second part focuses on Orko, who thinks his life stinks cause his power is not as grand like it was when he was on Oa, i mean Trolla, where the planet full of floating blue midgets who could cast spells on a daily basis was the only place he could cast spells without rolling a critical fail. This scene takes place a few months after the mulling of Skeletor and Evil Lyn. but to give credit to Staples as he really helped flesh out Orko and why his powers are not working and not making him just a comic relief. keeping him serious at the same time remind me of the old show. While doing his mulling and walking... floating, he comes across a temple where he finds a crystal which looked like a piece that Evil Lyn had. the plot thickens.
Another big pencil and color art of the Eternos palace where Prince Adam does his community service and takes Man-at-arms out for a walk. In this fair traffic courtyard they both discuss the responsibilities of He-man. the story catches up when a fire breaks out in the main city down below. He-man is brought out. but this part of the story i love only cause the fire fighters remind me of one of my toy's Snout Spout as part of their uniform. Back to the rippling muscles, as he-man comes on the scene and his first reaction is to pick up that part of the city that is on fire. He is stopped due to frost bite on his nipples and the quick thinking of a spell that had gone right by Okro...what? Orko explains he created a snow blanket that covered the fire but also most of the city. man-at-arms tells orko he could not be able to do that on his own based on his current track record. Orko starts standing up for himself when he-man had to remind him of his place in life. When we find out the crystal shard that Orko found had increased his magical power. the issue ends with the trio going to Grayskull and Evil Lyn giving into her powers of voyeur as she watches them walk off.
Pretty colours Emiliano is an artist i love, he constantly loves to put in detail into anything he loves. this shows in the opening page of the issue when we are treated to a highly defined snake mountain. though not the same design from the 80's but still just as menacing. already in the details it looks more like a fortress than what details the show does not put in. and skeletor has an army. Emiliano loves the old 80's cartoons and does what he can to bring life into those cartoons. characters are fleshed out and given a whole new level of detail. if anything its cause of the art that has me sold. the dialogue and story are second compared to the actual visuals. with the help of Val staples with colouring. it was a good team. I give it to the Itallian Stallion to deliver on art.
Characters are not short then great. but i have some problems with some of the designs whether it be the Sword being my main problem, but ill go off on that. i have no idea why they hated the old sword. i don't know if it was the brass designers at Mattel or it was the creators at Mike Young Productions. but the sword is of terrible taste. Yes, lets make a mechanical sword of which the sword comes from ancient times of eternia cause they clearly would have the technology.
The next part i have to give props to colour and art is for being able to mix technology and magic together really well. for most times it will be one or the other that dominates and its hard to blend the two together. Snake Mountain is a prime example of that. where the main throne room where the only piece of technology in that room was the holographic globe. The fortress looks ancient, the weapons look like they could kill. and the people look alive. outside of the design choices of he-mans weapon and questionable costume design. it looks great.
Overall thought Overall i thought this was a great issue, but i felt it was too short as i wanted to keep reading more. The design of the world was deep and articulated which really caught my eye. Its the type of thing which would make you go back and look over again cause when you look closely you can find something new. I felt that it was a great way to help re-introduce the series to the fans as well as the new people who did not have a chance to love the series as a kid. but seeing this was only part 1 of 4, i have to go through the rest just to get the satisfaction of a completed story. Staples and Santalucia are one of my favorite teams to work on a series. a fan of both since Val worked on X-men First class, And Emiliano worked on the G.I.Joe, and Transformers comic series. this is a great starter but its only a starter so i have to grind out for the next part.
I only give it 4 stars out of 5. only cause i have Quams and issues with... well the issue. only cause of one the sword. and how reckless that Prince Adam and Man-at-arms feel the need to discuss adam being he-man. i know you need to iron out morals into the damn kid, but in a public place. also i never saw why Skeletor never thought that Evil Lyn would ever try to betray him. She is always up in his face. but i guess he always gives her the back of his hand, or good old blast of shut the F.... up! from his havok staff. so basically if your a fan of any series based on 80's cartoons this would be a great series to get into. the art is great. and the story is interesting. Ill be back later this week doing part 2 of the Shard of Darkness story arc.