He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine #5 is the Winter 1986 issue.
There’s only one story here rather than the usual two: the six-page comic “Into the Maze.” It’s the kind of shoddy work that will inspire a dozen plot questions from even the youngest reader: Why wouldn’t Hordak just build a cage? Didn’t He-Man reveal his identity? Why did he have to turn into lame Thunder Punch He-Man? Doesn’t Orko already know He-Man’s identity? Can’t Hordak turn into a rocket to escape? And so forth. About the best thing that can be said for it is that Paul Kirchner does a fantastic job of duplicating the Filmation art style.
The overall quality level of the activities here is higher than usual, although this issue includes what is easily one of the lamest connect-the-dots puzzles of all time.
There are a number of interesting vintage promos and ads here, including spots for the Keep the Torch Lit campaign, Muppet Magazine, the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, and a “Glow-in-the-Dark Solar Ball” that brings a certain vintage SNL skit immediately to mind.
The “He-Man of the Issue” isn’t “just anybody” this time; it’s Trevor Ferrell, who was nationally recognized for his activism on behalf of the homeless (he was name-checked in Reagan’s 1986 State of the Union speech and had a TV movie made about him).
This issue’s posters include Norem’s cover, an illustration of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade He-Man/She-Ra float, and an advertisement for Mattel’s short-lived Wheeled Warriors toyline. Also included is a four-page Wheeled Warrior comic/advertisement, the climax of which involves one vehicle kicking another in the butt.
Read it HERE
BONUS: Here, courtesy of Pat Sajak and Modest Mussorgsky, is that impressive float in action.