Comic Publishers

September 15, 2012

DC Reviews: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2
Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: James Robinson & Keith Giffen
Artists: Philip Tan & Howard Porter
Cover: Philip Tan

The last issue introduced readers to a much different Adam than we are used to seeing. He has no knowledge of his persona as He-Man, nor does he remember anything else of that life and the people involved, whether friend or foe. However, there’s something more to it as he’s being hunted down by villains who seem to know everything about him. As well they should, since they’ve been sent to kill him at the orders of his Uncle, Skeletor. This issue has Adam wander directly into the path of some very dangerous desert people led by Kronis, better known as Trapjaw. He seems to have a personal grudge against Adam/He-Man and intends to savor his execution. One more character is also introduced here from Adam’s past, though also sharing the same memory loss as our hero.

Robinson and new series writer Keith Giffen deliver a solid follow up to the last issue. Whatever Skeletor has done it’s on a larger scale than hinted at last issue, and the writers make very good use of that here. They also have kept the plot element of Skeletor being Adam’s Uncle, which gives the overall story a bit more kick. In contrast to last issue, this one is a bit dialog heavy. Though, as much as we are reading, there’s enough action here to balance things out. Giffen and Robinson even have Skeletor pose the obvious question to Trapjaw near the end which just seemed perfect.

The bulk of the story’s visuals are handled by Philip Tan, but Howard Porter does a fine job as well. The styles don’t conflict with one another too much, which is an issue at times when more than one artist has to work on a title. Both of them bring something visually awesome to the table, as well. For whatever reason, Tan’s work in this issue is much better than in the previous. From the characters themselves to the action sequences, things seem to actually flow a lot better here. Maybe it’s still the shock of seeing Adam actually kick a guy’s throat out, which was unexpected and very cool.

This is definitely not your 80s Masters of the Universe, so any preconceived notions of hijinks and silly jokes need to be put away immediately. There is a darker tone here, but not just for the sake of being edgy. It fits perfectly with this sword and sorcery world and the characters that inhabit it. So, whether or not you’re well versed in MOTU lore, you should give this mini-series a chance to impress you.

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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