Friday, August 17, 2012

THE TRAP by W. B. DuBay and Dan Spiegle

The Trap is a 1983 Masters of the Universe children’s book written by W. B. DuBay and illustrated by Dan Spiegle. Here, He-Man is ambushed by Skeletor and awakens to discover that he has both halves of the Power Sword; naturally, he and Stratos head inside Castle Grayskull.

The story is improbably implausible – on his worst day, Skeletor isn’t this incompetent. We’re expected to believe that he passed up a chance to kill or imprison He-Man in favor of pulling an elaborate prank on him instead? And even so, Skeletor almost wins – he’s stopped not by He-Man, but by a random and unexplained bolt of lightning ex machina.

Spiegle’s art is par (I suppose I should say sub-par) for the course. His characters are puffy, lumpy, almost bloated looking. His He-Man is oafish and wears his hair in a short bob. Most unforgivable, though, is He-Man’s harness: instead of wrapping around his torso, the straps run down into his belt, like suspenders. This was offensive to me when I was a little kid, and my feelings haven’t changed.

The Trap is thoroughly poor, and perhaps even insulting to the child mind. The highlight is the cover, although that stupid lightning bolt is there, too.


Read it HERE

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