He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine #3 is the summer 1985 issue, with activities and stories following the usual format. This one is “The Evil Horde issue;” the focus on the Horde coincides with the theatrical release of Filmation’s The Secret of the Sword movie. Marketing, ho!
On page 5, in the letters, a five-year-old kid writes in with his own He-Man story – and heck, it isn’t any worse than some of the stories they gave us in the first two issues. It’s kind of amazing they didn’t send him ten bucks for the rights and then pad it out to three pages.
That said, “The Legend of Hordak” is the first quality story we’ve had in this magazine – it gives us background on how Hordak got his gang together, how he and Skeletor became BFFs, and how Skeletor sold him out. It’s a nice little prequel to The Secret of the Sword, in which only some of these events are referenced. The prose story here, “The Stone of Nimyar,” is perfectly readable, if not the least bit clever or original (there’s hardly a paucity of stories in which Orko suffers from low self-esteem and then learns a valuable lesson in self-worth at the end, or of stories in which gaping holes in Skeletor’s plans allow the heroes to win).
On page 9, there’s a plug for the MLB All-Star Game. Pictured is Matt Young, who not only didn’t make the All-Star Game that year (or the year before), but also led the league in losses.
Of the activities included here, I highlight “The Sketch Pad,” a not-very-helpful step-by-step guide to drawing He-Man characters (draw a triangle; now draw a circle; now draw Skeletor’s head!).
There are two more posters included: one great one of the Horde by Earl Norem and one featuring scenes from The Secret of the Sword.
Read it HERE