Friday, December 21, 2012

A HERO IN NEED by Elizabeth A. Ryan and Fred Carrillo

A Hero in Need is a 1986 Masters of the Universe children’s book written by Elizabeth A. Ryan and illustrated by Fred Carrillo. Here, Skeletor abducts Orko to use him as bait to trap He-Man.

The friend-rescue is the laziest plot in children’s hero-driven media franchise storytelling, and it’s not even all that well done here. These are some seriously small-time antics by Skeletor, but least we get to see somebody, anybody other than Teela get it this time. I was also half-surprised there wasn’t a moral about wearing a seatbelt or driving defensively at the end. And since when can Battle Cat go faster than a Sky Sled?

If there’s anything of note going on here, it’s that Teela finally has even the slightest suspicion that He-Man and Prince Adam are the same person. It’s resolved completely by formula, though, and only serves to highlight, in an immersion-breaking way, just how clueless Teela and Skeletor are not to figure it out, not to mention how there’s really no good reason why Teela can’t be told.

Carrillo’s art is fine, although with all the running around in the forest, one page looks much like another. He-Man’s transformation is nicely done, though. And while it isn’t one of his best, any Norem cover is better than no Norem cover.

In short, in spite of some decent art, A Hero in Need’s story is just too weak and too small-time for the book to generate much interest.


Read it HERE