Masters of the Universe #9, “The Hate Stones,” is by new writer George Caragonne and illustrators Dick Ayers and Danny Bulanadi. Here, the Horde launch a direct assault on the Royal Palace, inflicting casualties and leading Orko to seek vengeance.
Ah, Caragonne, where have you been all this time? His writing is a breath of fresh air, as he brings a higher degree of competence to all the characters, good and evil. Here we’ve got tactics, reasonably well-handled character development, and a moral issue that, while overt, isn’t administered like a brick to the head.
But it’s not all sunshine and bunnies. Caragonne introduces a new character, which is fine, and she helps save the day, which is also fine. But as she does so, He-Man brings up a good plot question which isn’t addressed. This isn’t some long-running character thread; Andra’s only seen in cameos after this (and just because you acknowledge a plot hole doesn’t mean it ceases to be a plot hole). One also wonders why Hordak didn’t open the energy well in the first place.
Ayers’ art is pretty good, although he makes some unusual changes to some of the characters. Montork looks like a sombrero-wearing villain. Dree Elle doesn’t look like her cartoon counterpart, either (in fact, she’s unsettlingly busty), nor is her name spelled right. Hordak has weird little green minions in addition to his troopers.
This one may not be any kind of classic, but it’s immeasurably better than any of the previous eight issues.
Read it HERE