Monday, November 18, 2013

THE SWORD OF SHE-RA by Roger McKenzie and Fred Fredericks

So here’s one that slipped through the cracks on me during the Mammoth Read-Along Masters of the Universe Marathon:  

The Sword of She-Ra is a 1985 Princess of Power children’s book written by Roger McKenzie and illustrated by Fred Fredericks. Here, Prince Adam takes the Sword of Protection into another dimension to find its rightful owner.

This book is, essentially, a severely abridged adaptation of the first half of Filmation’s The Secret of the Sword film. Substantial changes have been made (e.g., they’re rescuing Queen Angella from Beast Island rather than He-Man, and they get there on flying goats) and the story has been rearranged (e.g., they go to Beast Island before Adam ever finds Adora).

Aside from a single page with Hordak and Shadow Weaver, the named Horde villains are nowhere to be found – it’s troopers all the way through. One wonders whether this was done out of consideration for the PoP toyline or the delicate sensibilities of the young female audience.

Fredericks’ art is generally fine. He isn’t much for backgrounds and his male characters look stubby sometimes, but the female characters look good and the pages where he really applies himself are solid. The Horde Trooper are oddly colored, though. But an Earl Norem cover is always worth getting excited about.

The Sword of She-Ra is a passable version of She-Ra’s origin story, and it’s different enough from The Secret of the Sword that it’s worth checking out for that reason alone. Plus, where else are you going to see Cringer on a flying goat (sort of)?