New Champions of Eternia is a 1985 Masters of the Universe children’s book written by Jack C. Harris and illustrated by Jeffrey Oh. Here, after losing a battle, Skeletor and his minions appear to be destroyed, and four “new champions” are freed.
This book draws on Michael Halperin’s series bible in a surprising way, incorporating a backstory that the Filmation cartoon ignored: Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, and Tri-Klops as the crew on Queen Marlena’s spaceship (Biff Beastman!).
While it’s neat to see that idea dusted off, the execution here is horrendous. Even without the terrible anagrams, Skeletor’s plot is obvious, both to the child reader and the characters themselves (these latter do nothing about it). The villains inexplicably give away their scheme the instant they’ve earned the queen’s trust, and for no good reason. There’s no real climax, and the resolution is tacked-on and arbitrary – there’s just no purpose to any of it.
Oh’s art is mediocre. Only half the pages have backgrounds (and some pages look more finished than others), the figures are stiff, and Oh frequently has trouble with faces. The shaded coloring goes a long way toward bailing it out, though.
New Champions of Eternia gets points for implementing an obscure part of the mythos, but it just isn’t well done.
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