He-Man's taking some ribbing over the years. If you go back and watch the original episodes, there are times you'll have no idea what's supposed to be happening. I imagine there is still a strong following as action figures and collectibles are still being produced. He-Man was always a big muscular warrior, in very little clothing who fought a guy with a skull face and seemed a little wacky. We've seen attempts at He-Man comics in the past but it was the inclusion of James Robinson and Philip Tan that immediately grabbed my attention.
While not a die hard fan of the show, I don't recall the bad guys ever really winning. It turns out, that's the case here. Prince Adam is no longer who he once was. He is simply Adam, a woodsman, taking care of his ailing father. He has vague dreams of being a warrior fighting evil along a team of trusted allies. But to him, those are only dreams. Something has happened in Eternia and somehow Prince Adam has forgotten he was ever He-Man. That's the crux of the story.
Even though this is only the first issue, there is the feeling that this could be a He-Man story unlike any we've seen. How could Skeletor have triumphed over He-Man? What has caused Adam to forget his past? Where are the other Masters of the Universe. We all love a good mystery and that is what we get here.
Philip Tan's art adds a different layer to the characters than what we might expect. They don't have the cartoony look they did in the original series. He even manages to make Beastman look savage and deadly. There's a lot to look forward to when other familiar faces turn up in this series.
There's always a matter of different interpretations. Prince Adam was always a little soft and weak when he wasn't He-Man. Despite this, he pretty much had the same build as He-Man. That isn't the case here. Adam is pretty scrawny compared to what we're used to.
I'm deeply intrigued by the story but He-Man pretty much isn't here. We do need some build up and this is just the first issue. But if this is just a six-issue series, He-Man fans might be left wondering how this series will compare to past incarnations. Whether or not readers will be hooked lies on how much of a fan they are of the characters. For those unfamiliar with He-Man, the fact that Adam can't recall his past might not be enough of a reason to continue reading. All we have is a bit of a promise that Robinson and Tan will deliver something spectacular.
Something has happened and He-Man is no longer the champion of Eternia. With Prince Adam having no memory of his previous life and no signs of the other Masters of the Universe, it appears that Skeletor may have finally won the battle. He-Man may not put in an appearance but there is some action and familiar faces here. You get the feeling that this could turn out to be really cool. Casual readers or those unfamiliar with the characters might not be completely willing to accept it. It's basically James Robinson's idea and Philip Tan's art that is enough of a hook to make you want to read this.