When I saw this on an update list a month or so back I was actually quite thrilled. As a kid I watched Masters of the Universe, which I just called He-Man, and Skeletor and the transformed Battle Cat were my favorite characters. After adding this to my ever increasing subscription list I asked a friend of mine if he would be up for me getting him a copy as well. As expected, he said yes. We both share a fond nostalgia for horribly cheesy cartoon shows from our childhood, you see.
The issue opens with a disturbing yet oh so clever use of panels, and you all know how much I like page/panel layouts. You can see it below. Clearly, Keldor (Skeletor) is well on his way to become the cackling villain we loved or hated in that 80's cartoon show as we can see that his face has taken some version of the Harvey Dent treatment. The narration works really well here for introducing the Keldor’s personality, upbringing, and background. In fact, it, along with the well-used flashback panels do a very good job of capturing him as being an incurably flawed yet sympathetic character. Truth be told, I couldn’t help but read issue as a retelling of the relationship between Loki and Thor. This especially rings true given Keldor’s status as a “half-breed”.
The differences in Frazer Irving's coloring's alone, with respect to present and past events, does an effortless job of clearly showing the reader the differences in time. Plus, the simultaneous juxtaposition we’re shown of past and present carries the story along at a nice pace. It doesn’t feel like it drags because the past events seem to have a direct, propelling influence on the present’s direction. Moreover, the colors and hues of the book had a subdued feel and set the tone nicely for the tale, even though it’s one that's a mixture of origin and revenge. The only part that I wasn’t too keen about was the end as it seemed to be a bit too Star Wars like for my taste. You’ll have to read it or find scans to see what I mean.
This was a solid and enjoyable issue, especially if you were like me and had no clue as to what Skeletor’s origins were. Final score 3.75/5