Title: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
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The New Adventures, Masters of the Universe (2000), and Masters of the Universe Classics toylines, as well as some unpublished works and designs.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!
Title: The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover Artbook
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
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!
Title: Montress Volume 1- Awakening Paperback Collection
Publisher: Image Comics
Storytellers: Majorie Liu (writer) with Sana Takeda (artist)
Fist off, I’m going to say that I love this inexpensive, first trades from Image! This book has nearly 200 pages, collecting the first six issues of this series, for only $10…that’s a steal!
Anyway, the story of Monstress, takes place in a alternate world of steampunk and magic. The story follows Maika Halfwolf, a young girl looking for revenge after a war between humans and the magic folk. Maika has something inside of her that everyone wants, some to use, others to kill, and all she wants is to avenger her mother and free herself of her hunger, which is caused by the “thing” inside of her.
The book is fantastic! The art is incredible and the story is interesting, keeping you on your toes and making you want to learn more about the world and these characters. The best comics, for me, are ones with very interesting and different setting. If I find myself thinking about how I could run this as a D&D game or wishing that there was a world supplement, then you’ve got me. The story, and setting, blend all kinds of different genres, including fantasy, Asian myth, steampunk, and Lovecraftian horror all in one incredible package. Although, I can see why this title my turn a few off, as it comes out of the gate with all kinds of new vocabulary and references to events that you know nothing about yet, but I ask you to stick with it, at least through this first collection. There is a lot in here and it’s well worth the time and price!
Publisher: DC Comics
Storytellers: Dan Abnett (writer) with Pop Mhan (artist)
With the complete powers of Greyskull behind him, Hordak has become the Master of the Universe! He is taking over every planet throughout the universe at once, because he is using the Castle to open portals from the Freight Zone on every world and send his armies to take them over. While Adam contemplates surrendering to Hordak, the Horde leader takes a bride, as Evil-Lynn takes his side, but Skeletor and his forces arrive and using the stolen Vault of Souls, he returns the souls to all of Hordak’s troopers, giving them their freewill back and setting them against their former master. Evil-Lynn take this opportunity to enter into the heart of Greyskull and become the new Sorceress. Tri-clops takes the Castle’s shield’s down and this allows Skeletor and his army to defeat Hordak and claim Greyskull for himself. With Evil-Lynn back on his side and the Horde army at his command, Skeletor has the power now! In the end, he contacts Adam, hoping for He-Man and taunts his nephew into a final battle, but things aren’t as they appear, because Adam starts to show signs of either being possessed by King Hsss or turning into a snake man!
Another great issue of He-Man, where we go from bad to worse, as Skeletor defeats Hordak and claims Greyskull for himself, while Evil-Lynn gains the powers of the Sorceress. This issue was a roller coaster of fun, excitement and battle…I didn’t know where we were going to end up at the end, and I definitely didn’t see snake Adam coming! If you’re a He-Man fan, you need to start reading this series, it’s great. An amazing issue with good art, this one is…
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Storytellers: Greg Weisman (writer) with Pep Larraz (artist)
Using both is Jedi abilities and his natural charisma, Caleb is able to escape from his clone commander captors. Caleb is sucked into the vacuum of space, but with the aid of the Force and the quick rescue of his allies, he survives and is brought aboard one of their ships. Things look bleak for the rebels, but Caleb’s speech has turned one of the clone commanders to his side, and he sacrifices his life to destroy his own ship, killing everyone on board. With the Empire believing him dead, Caleb heads off on his own, with his lightsaber, the holocron and his very own ship and begins his life anew as Kanan!
A great ending to this…mini-series!? Well, what I thought was a mini-series is in fact, ongoing (or at least continuing for now), and going to give us more adventures from Kanan’s past. This issue see Caleb/Kanan off on his own, and with a clean slate for him to live/survive in the galaxy. I hope future issue tell us how he met the other Rebels and continued his Jedi training. A good ending to a good story with good art, this one is…