Review: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection

9781616558772Title: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Cost: $29.99

Storytellers: Too many to list, with some going uncredited. However, the one’s listed on the back cover include Robert Kirkman and Bruce Timm.

This, novel-sized, think monstrosity, contain over 1230 pages of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe related minicomics, which were packaged with the original toys produced by Mattel. This hardcover collection includes comics from the Masters of the Universe (1982), Princess of Power (including the fashion guide), He-Man: The New Adventures, Masters of the Universe (2000), and Masters of the Universe Classics toylines, as well as some unpublished works and designs.

This collection is not for the faint of heart. It is a massive collection of some of the oddest and weirdest stories every told in the comics. The stories presented in the original minicomics are nothing like the animated adventures of He-Man or She-Ra. In fact, the first few issues of the ‘Masters minicomics aren’t even comics, they are more like a Golden Book, where there is one picture/scene per pages with some text underneath. This collection also includes some commentary, which is present at the bottom of the page, giving you more insight into these classic tales.

I find myself enjoying these versions of the characters better than their animated counterparts, as the comics come off more serious and less childish, if that can be believed. One thing that I found interesting, is how, in the early issues, He-Man talks about changing outfits or armors depending on the situation. They were definitely toying around (pun intended) with the ideal of He-Man having different accessory packs, where he could change armors depending on how you wanted to play with him, which is odd, because changing outfits is a feature of dolls!

Anyway, if you’re a ‘Masters’ fan or someone who wants to read, or re-read, these unique promotional items, which were used to flesh out a world for the toys to inhabit, then this is the collection for you. I loved everything about this one and it currently sits front and center on my book shelf!


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Review: The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover Artbook

the-art-of-he-man-and-the-motuTitle: The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover Artbook

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Cost: $39.99

Writers: Alan Oppenheimer (foreword), Tim and Steve Seeley (captions) with James Eatock (captions chapter 4)

The first book of (so far) five announced He-Man collector’s books published by Dark Horse Comics, the Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is curated by a host of ‘Masters’ experts and is a wonderful addition to the collection any MOTU or toy/animation enthusiast.

The book is broken down into 10 chapters, each focusing on one aspect of the ‘Masters’ Universe, from the classic toys, to the comics, the 80’s motion picture and the current collector’s toy line. With hundreds of pictures and captions, this book contains a wealth of information on everything ‘Masters’, no matter your interest in the property. I really enjoy the first chapter, which goes over the creation of He-Man and the development of the toy line.

Whether you love art books, coffee table books, actions figures or the ‘Masters’ property, you can’t go wrong with this book!



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Review: Archer & Armstrong Oh, Mummy! Kindle Words Novella

Archer and Armstrong Oh MummyTitle: Archer & Armstrong Oh, Mummy! Kindle Words Novella

Published: Amazon (Kindle Words digital novella)

Cost: $0.99

Writer: Leigh Knight

While at a museum checking out the Egyptian exhibit, Archer & Armstrong run afoul of more Sect members who succeed in resurrecting a villain from Armstrong’s past, the vile Egyptian Necromancer, Ptahhotep. Armstrong was responsible for stopping Ptahhotep’s plans last time and works to stop him from resurrecting his magical armies this time. The Dysfunctional Duo try to locate the Tablet of Thoth, the only known object that can stop Ptahhotep’s evil plans, and along the way get some divine assistance… and maybe time travel a bit!

This is a straight-forward action buddy-comedy story at it’s best! Oh, Mummy! is so good it SHOULD be part of continuity and made into a three issue arc. Even though its a fast read, Oh, Mummy!, is well worth it’s $0.99 price tag. Leigh Knight captures the essence of Archer & Armstrong, throws in a heaping of Egyptian mythology for good measure and continues the Sect Arc found in the comics. This story had a tight hold of me, so much so, that I don’t think I’ve every read anything so fast before…I just couldn’t put it down. If you have a tablet or smartphone, buy this one, it’s well worth it!


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Review: X-O Manowar Noughts and Crosses Kindle Words Novella

X-O Manowar Noughts and Crosses Kindle Words NovellaTitle: X-O Manowar Noughts and Crosses Kindle Words Novella

Publisher: Amazon (Kindle Words digital novella)

Cost: $1.99

Writer: Stuart Moore

First off, Kindle Words is a way for fans to publish and sell fan fiction, from (currently) a small group of licenses, through Amazon’s Kindle. Valiant is the only comic company that has licensed it’s characters to be used with the Kindle Words brand. Since I collect X-O Manowar I decided to download the only X-O Kindle Words novella available, Noughts and Crosses.

On another planet or in another time, aliens wearing armor very similar to Aric’s have human slaves and use them to pick fruit for them. The Noughts, the nameless human slaves rise up against the Crosses and are able to kill on of them. The leader of the Noughts bonds with the Cross’s armor and updates herself on the suits functions and abilities. In Dubai, Aric is finally taking a break from the troubles he’s had: the death of his people, his displacement is time and his war on the Vine. However, before he can have a free moment, he’s attacked by a military group known as Alloy Seven, all soldiers who wear powerful armor. When Aric is severely injured in battle with the Alloy’s commander, Raft, Aric is brought to an island where he his nursed back to health by a mysterious woman named Larkspur. The woman intrigues Aric, but she seems to be hiding something. Eventually, Aric heals but is attacked again by Commander Raft. When the Nought leader arrives in her Cross Armor, together the two of them quickly dispatch Raft. The Nought leader is actually from the future and her armor is out of fuel to get her back to her own time, however Raft’s armor contains a small amount of Plutonium and with more, she could return home. After confronting the the other Alloy Seven soldiers, the group has the Plutonium needed to return the Nought home. Aric has fallen in love with the mysterious, time traveling soldier and wants to go with her to the future. However, the Nought has a real reason behind her appearance in our present day and they involve Aric and Larkspur!

This novella is a great, however out of continuity, tale of Aric and the X-O Manowar armor. Noughts and Crosses starts off slow, spending a lot of time with the Noughts in the future or Aric’s time with Larkspur, but it quickly ramps up and becomes a fantastic story about the future and possible outcomes. If the other Kindle Words Novellas are as good as this one, I can’t wait to download the rest. With an interesting story by fans, low cost and the fact that I can read these stories anyway because of the Kindle app on my smartphone, Noughts and Crosses is definitely…


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Review: Superman- The Unauthorized Biography Hardcover Book

Superman Unauthorized BiographyTitle: Superman- The Unauthorized Biography Hardcover Book

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Cost: $25.95 (I received my copy as a birthday present!)

Author: Glen Weldon

Contained within this hardcover’s 332 pages is the complete history of the Man of Steel, from his birth,  by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster , through the tough times of the 1950’s, his Hollywood fame of the 1970’s and 80’s, his death and resurrection in the 1990’s and finally ending with his recent reboot in the early 21st Century. This book painstakingly chronicles Superman’s rise, and few stumbles, and how the two ‘ordinary’ men created not only the most recognizable icon of the modern age, but started a new medium and genre, by creating the world’s first superhero.

To some this book up in two paragraphs does not do it justice. I’ve always been a Superman fan, collecting all four (five if you count Superman: Man of Tomorrow) series through the 1990’s, but this book enlightened me in ways I could not have thought of. What Glen Weldon gives us is the ultimate Superman Bible, so to speak. While not a visual reference, this book goes over everything about Superman’s creation and his journey through our world and his, allowing us access to the behind-the-scenes ‘drama’ that shaped the Man of Steel’s world and story. I feel more connected to Superman, than any other character in fictional history, thanks to this book. If you love comics, superheroes and/or Superman, then what are you waiting for, get this book!

RecommendedRecommendedYes, that’s two recommendations…it’s that good!

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