Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The Ultimate Battleground! is a 1986 Masters of the Universe mini-comic written by Phil White and illustrated by Bruce Timm. Here, Skeletor and King Hiss raise the ancient Three Towers of Eternia, which control “the secrets of ultimate power.”

Ah, the gargantuan playset you probably never owned (it retailed in the vicinity of $100 – and them’s 1986 dollars). This comic is a shameless toy ad, and while it does a very impressive job of showcasing every single aspect of the playset, it’s not a very good story, and White’s writing doesn’t help.  

Much is made of the potential of these towers, but little is actually explained (either here or in the future) as to why two of them are significant, other than that Viper Tower makes a nice condo for King Hiss after he’s been sleeping on Skeletor’s couch for so long.

On the first page, Extendar says, “Eternia has never had earthquakes before.” That’s a dubious claim, but if true, why does everybody act like they know exactly what’s going on and what to do when one happens?

Send in the clowns: Rio Blast is here doing what he does best – shooting things. An earthquake? Shoot it. And heroic firefighter Snout Spout is here as well, also doing what he does best – flying planes.

Timm’s art is superb, as usual – his figures, action, and backgrounds are all strong. The only criticism is that he puts Castle Grayskull right down the block from Snake Mountain with the towers in between – it all can be a bit misleading and should not be taken as a geographical retcon.

In short, the art in this mini-comic is fine, but the marketing is just too heavy-handed.


Read it HERE