Friday, November 23, 2012

HE-MAN MEETS THE BEAST by John Grant and Robin Davies

He-Man Meets the Beast is a 1985 Masters of the Universe children’s book written by John Grant and illustrated by Robin Davies. Here, King Randor takes a vacation to the desert, where Skeletor unleashes a slumbering behemoth.

This isn’t saying a great deal, but this is one of Grant’s most intelligent He-Man stories. Adam running around without the Power Sword is a tired and lazy plot device, and the whole book turns on it – there’s no real climax, and when Adam finally becomes He-Man, that pretty much wraps things up – but at least things are happening for logical reasons otherwise, and this story could have made a solid Filmation episode given even the flimsiest excuse for Adam not to have his sword.

That said, Grant still has no regard for the powers of any of the characters or artifacts – whatever fits the story is what he throws in. In other stories, Grant gave the Power Sword a radio, made it glow when danger was near, and had it shoot energy beams whenever necessary. Here, it glows the closer it gets to Prince Adam – how convenient.

He-Man Meets the Beast features some of Davies’ best art. There are some genuinely good pages here, and the beast is nicely done. But the highlight is the excellent use of color to create atmosphere, particularly in the underground scenes.

In the end, in spite of Grant’s chronic lazy writing, He-Man Meets the Beast does enough right – including better art than we had any right to expect – to make it an enjoyable read.


Read it HERE