Monday, May 23, 2016


He-Man: The Eternity War #13–15 (DC) are written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by Pop Mhan and Tom Derenick, concluding the run of this title. Here, Skeletor makes his big play to rule the cosmos or, failing that, to end all life in the universe, including his own, because go big or go home.

So, Skeletor gets his final form, He-Man gets his final form (plus, in a callback to issue #19 of the previous but identical run, the convenient ability to stop time since he’s also the “master of eternity”). Anyway, they look pretty silly. The undercard is She-Ra versus the ghost of Hordak for the simple reason that she wouldn’t have anything to do otherwise.

Skeletor’s defeat is abrupt and underwhelming: he talks a lot of smack, and then Dragonball He-Man just kinda walks up and shanks him in the chest while he and She-Ra shout “We have the power” a bunch of times. It’s all just mostly dumb.

It’s also all out of the way by the end of issue #14. Issue #15 is kind of an epilogue; it feels like setup for a storyline that will probably never happen, but one that seems infinitely more appealing than the grim and gritty slog we’ve just been through (I really could have done without mangled, cadaverous Prince Adam in #13) but probably wouldn’t live up to even my severely tempered expectations.

So what have we seen in all these comics? A lot of spectacle, but nowhere near enough setup to make it compelling; a decent Skeletor, but a He-Man who doesn’t do much and a cast of underdeveloped characters; King Hsss shoehorned awkwardly into the comics from the start out of obligation, and a lot of convenient plotting and abrupt resolution.

Issues #13–#15, then, are the underwhelming conclusion to an unimpressive run of comics. If DC’s got any more He-Man comics along these lines in the works, I could just as soon do without them.


Monday, May 16, 2016


He-Man: The Eternity War #10–12 (DC) are written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by Pop Mhan. Here, Adam wages his inevitable internal war against King Hsss, Sorceress-Teela battles Sorceress-Evil-Lyn, and we finally find out what’s been going on with Man-At-Arms since way the heck back in issue #2.

The Sorceress can rescue She-Ra like it’s nothing? Oh, that’s convenient. Moss Man can erase the entire Fright Zone? Oh, that’s convenient. On it goes. All of this is rushed, thrown together with insufficient buildup. We’ve also got a bunch of awful speechy dialogue that Abnett had previously done an adequate job of avoiding.

So this showdown between Sorceress-Teela and Sorceress-Evil-Lyn: I’ve complained a little in the past about the ill-conceived religion of this Eternia. Here, we’re told that it’s “two sides of the same goddess” that are battling. That doesn’t even make any sense. Whatever. It’s dumb.

There’s a new character here, War Wraith, and of course it’s Man-At-Arms, because who else was it going to be? At least one classic character and possibly more gets killed off—it doesn’t matter who, because the characterizations have been either so poor or so nonexistent that it’s impossible to care.  

Shoutouts are due to the artist here, first for doing a squadron of Dragon Walkers without making them look completely ridiculous, and second for finally giving me the classic He-Man and Battle Cat design.

Things are obviously building to the inevitable climactic showdown between He-Man and Skeletor, but honestly, I’m not sure I even know who to root for at this point. But that’s all right, because I don’t actually care, either. Let’s just get this over with.


Monday, May 9, 2016



He-Man: The Eternity War #7–9 (DC) are written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by Pop Mhan, Edgar Salazar, and others. Here, Skeletor reminisces about how he once hooked up with Shadow Weaver, raised Adora, and got involved in a pretty sloppy time paradox, and then he sells out She-Ra. Meanwhile, Adam, having broken the Power Sword because Teela told him to, sits around feeling sorry for himself while Hordak launches his invasion of the entire universe. No, really, the entire universe.

So here we’ve got the introduction of a brand new plot device that allows Skeletor to turn the tide suddenly and catastrophically. Well, that’s convenient. Much of these issues, in fact, feel rather convenient, as Skeletor’s apparently a Batman-level advance planner.

So this is three issues not only without He-Man, but also without Adam doing anything of consequence. No, this is the Skeletor Show through and through. I have mixed feelings about this, because on the one hand, they’re obviously doing it wrong, but on the other, Skeletor’s the only remotely interesting character we’ve got around here.

The art is generally fine, although the action sequence at the end of #9 is not. It’s confusing and underwhelming, and that’s too bad, because it’s a pretty important scene.

I’m not ready to say these issues were any good, but at least they were decently interesting. That’s something. But given that issue #9 ends with Hordak dead and the revelation that Adam is possessed by King Hiss (Hssss? Hssssssssssss?), there are no doubt plenty of shenanigans ahead. And I don’t mean that in a good way.