Friday, November 2, 2012

THE TERROR CLAWS STRIKE! (mini-comic, 1985)

The Terror Claws Strike! is a 1985 Masters of the Universe mini-comic written by Tim Kilpin and illustrated by Bruce Timm. Here, Spikor, who apparently pays the bills as a blacksmith when he’s not wreaking terror on the countryside, manufactures a new weapon for Skeletor so that he can steal the gem that makes Eternia’s crops grow.

The story is fine, even if the plotting is lazy, what with the convenient wall that appears out of nowhere that exists only to be hammered down by the flying fists, the terror claws lack of significant power, the fact that Skeletor is still holding the gem when He-Man shows up, and the ramifications of having a gem that can control the kingdom’s agriculture and, intuitively, its economy.

Sy-Klone really gets the short end of the stick here – not only does the colorist make him a Caucasian, he gets sent to gas up the vehicle du jour, then gets left behind when He-Man goes to Snake Mountain. And what’s up with the “beastly pincher” Spikor gives Skeletor on page 6? It’s not part of the action figure, and Skeletor never uses it in the mini-comic (maybe that’s why he lost).

Timm’s art is fantastic, some of the best we’ve seen in any of the mini-comics. His characters are excellent, his action is dynamic, and his backgrounds (when provided) are wonderful. The only misstep with the art is the punches of octo-He-Man on page 10, which is the sort of thing that’s tough to pull off without looking ridiculous anyhow. To his credit, Timm spares us the terrible armor of the variants: neither He-Man’s red flying fist harness nor Skeletor’s purple sports bra are present in this issue. And Timm concludes the issue on a high note, with He-Man having his way with Skeletor, then turning around and walking away slowly, without looking back, like the total badass that he is.

The script might not be great, but Timm’s art makes the The Terror Claws Strike! completely worthwhile.


Read it HERE