Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CAVERNS OF FEAR by Mary Carey and Al McWilliams

Caverns of Fear is a 1983 Masters of the Universe children’s book written by Mary Carey and illustrated by Al McWilliams. Here, He-Man discovers Skeletor attempting to enter Grayskull via an underground passage.

It’s the usual early-MOTU story – He-Man, Teela, Man-At-Arms, and Stratos versus Skeletor and Beast Man (plus Trap Jaw here), but Carey does a nice job with it, setting the mood in the first few pages and giving some of the non-He-Man characters things to do. There’s also a little interesting interplay between He-Man and Battle Cat, which is all the more impressive considering that Battle Cat can’t talk.  

McWilliams’s art is something of a mixed bag. His characters feature somewhat more realistic musculatures than they’re typically depicted with, and not in a way that makes them look scrawny or ridiculous (not just anybody can pull off the He-Man outfit). However, it looks like everyone’s beloved furry briefs have been replaced with cloth diapers, and Battle Cat’s head looks odd – more like a horse’s. McWilliams’s backgrounds and settings are quite good, but He-Man’s face frequently looks wrong. And note that Castle Grayskull  is the playset exactly - with the handle and everything. On the whole, though, the good outweighs the bad.

Of the original four He-Man stories from Golden Books, this one’s probably the best.


Read it HERE

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