One million years before the birth of Adam, Hordak's origin begins. Hordak and Zodac fight it out in this story written and drawn by Keith Giffen, with Brian Keene as co-writer.
I was pretty excited to read this issue, and writers Keith Giffen and Brian Keene do a great job at giving Hordak this very distinct voice and personality. He's mad, power-hungry, and considers himself to be god. He's a very cool character, and Giffen and Keene do a fine job at defining who he is and what he stands for, throughout the issue.
Giffen (pencils), Scott Koblish (inks), and Hi-Fi (colors) do a great job with the art here. I love the distinct style, and the second page, an establishing shot of the aftermath of an apocalypse, is wonderful. I love the sense of depth here and how the eye wanders around the page, but it always ends up on the person impaled to the right of the panel. The character design is really cool here, as well. There's lots of familiar aspects from the original series, but this artistic crew gave it a bit of a nice update.There's a nice splash page, toward the end of the issue, where we see a shot of Hordak, and the color work is fantastic.
My memories of Hordak, from the She-Ra cartoon, are very faded, but if he was anything like every single character created in the He-Man universe, then he was created to just look cool and sell toys. The problem with that, and really with this universe as a whole, is that it becomes this slopped together blob of science-fiction meets fantasy meets adventure, which is incredibly hard for any writer, no matter how good he or she is, to tackle. The writer is left with this cup of condiments, bread crumbs, pickle juice, and whatever else is left in the cafeteria and they have to make a three course meal.
The biggest problem with the storytelling here is the fact this story needs more time and space to unfold. There's a bit too much being thrown at the reader for one issue. I would have loved to see this take place over two issues rather than one.
Not really digging on this origin story. It falls pretty flat and it really needed another issue to develop. The art team does a great job on the issue, and as far as writing goes, Giffen and Keene do a great job with Hordak and developing him as a character over the course of the 20 pages. However, it just didn't grab me. The MOTU Universe is a very convoluted universe that DC is slowly trying to reintroduce into the world. It's a tough job, since it was originally just a show used to sell toys. It just doesn't work here with this origin story. If you're still looking for something from Giffen to pick up, I highly recommend THRESHOLD, which also comes out this week, and it is one of my favorite DC series.
Overall, I do not recommend this issue.