The Sunbird Legacy is a 1983 Masters of the Universe comic written by Roger McKenzie and illustrated by Adrian Gonzales and Fred Carrillo. Here, Skeletor his minions attempt to collect the pieces of an ancient doomsday weapon.
This is an action bonanza: we’ve got ice monsters, lava monsters, undead monsters, swamp monsters, and snake monsters. This feels like the Filmation Eternia – a place filled with countless species of monsters and communities of creatures. The artists do an all-around good job – the characters, monsters, settings, and action are all solid; whoever colored it had a few lapses, though. The highlight of the art is the fantastic cover by Earl Norem, the quintessential He-Man artist (even if He-Man is about to get a Havoc Staff to the kidney).
The Sunbird Legacy has a noticeably darker, more mature tone than the other MOTU media from Golden Books. In addition to Skeletor threatening to drop a nuke on the Royal Palace, there’s also a fair amount of blood when He-Man decapitates a snake monster, for example.
All things considered, the writing is fairly good. While we know there’s going to be some type of bungling that lets He-Man cheaply off the hook every time, it’s always good to see Skeletor doing well for himself. He gets a couple of very nice villainous lines here, too.
A couple of other notes: Prince Adam and Randor look like their Filmation versions, but Man-At-Arms and Teela don’t. In a villainous parallel to the Sorceress that was never seen again in any other media, Evil-Lyn turns into Screeech. And He-Man offers a less optimistic Eternian take on Matthew 19:26 when he says, “With Skeletor all things are possible.”
In all, The Sunbird Legacy is an entertaining, surprisingly mature (relatively speaking) He-Man story.
Read it HERE