Friday, January 11, 2013


Masters of the Universe #3, “The Garden of Evil,” is by the usual creative team of Mike Carlin, Ron Wilson, and Dennis Janke. Here, Hordak’s troopers kidnap Prince Adam and imprison him in the Slime Pit.

Oh, goodness. The only way this comic makes any sense is if Hordak has brain damage. When Hordak is presented with Prince Adam, who’s drawn as being just as large and muscular as He-Man, Carlin shatters our suspension of disbelief by making him say, “This fool looks nothing like He-Man! He’s not half the size!” But then he recognizes the Power Sword as being explicitly He-Man’s, because no way could two swords ever look the same.

This brain damage seems to be contagious, as Adam tries to transform into He-Man in front of the Horde Troopers, and then does so later in the presence of Hordak (who, naturally, doesn’t notice).

There are still more problems. The Slime Pit doesn’t actually seem to do anything but get people slimy – there’s no mention of its zombie brainwashing powers. Here, not even good guys can pick up the Power Sword without injury. And Orko, who features prominently in this story, is written as uncharacteristically aggressive, with raging ego issues. There’s plenty of character development for him here, including some temptation issues reminiscent of Samwise and the ring from Lord of the Rings, but it’s so out of character for Orko as to be worthless.

The art is about as usual for this team, although the backgrounds tend to be scant and the Fright Zone seems to be a giant cave on the inside. But if innumerable close-ups of Hordak’s bulbous head are what you’re looking for, then this is the comic for you.  

I hesitate to tempt fate by saying so, but it’s hard to imagine we can do any worse than this.


Read it HERE