Friday, August 31, 2012

TEMPLE OF DARKNESS (mini-comic, 1983)

Temple of Darkness is a 1983 Masters of the Universe mini-comic written by Tina Harris and penciled by Larry Houston. Here, Skeletor captures Zoar and the Heroic Warriors have to journey through the Sands of Time to rescue her. It bears some rather substantial similarities to the cartoon episode “Temple of the Sun.”

You know, this comic was working just fine up until the part where they fight giant clock monsters. Beyond the fact that these “time demons” look like alarm clocks, we have He-Man and pink-clad Teela (who’s pulled a ten-foot pole out of nowhere) making awful jokes*. The only redeeming thing in these panels is Man-At-Arms calmly wrecking shop with his gun. And after this, we get a monster recycled from earlier in the issue.

Even though it feels like the Heroic Warriors fight a lot of different things, the story essentially ends on page 11. That gives us an unnecessary three and a half pages of wrap-up (including a final splash page with Ram Man apparently flying). 

Houston’s art is never better than adequate (Given how this comic ties to the cartoon, could he not draw us a scorpion? Are they that hard to draw?). His drawing of Man-At-Arms climbing a pole (p. 9) is just poor. And what the heck is Ram Man doing on page 13? Is He-Man standing on his foot? Was he about to ask Teela out? Even so, Houston does do a good job recreating Skeletor’s incredulous facial expression from the cartoon. And now he’s drawing Man-At-Arms with symmetrical armor, like his cartoon counterpart.

This one might be dumb, but at least it’s entertainingly dumb.


Read it HERE

*Like the giant scarab (the first one) says when He-Man chops its face off, “Yowl! Aughh! Hiss!”

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