Masters of the Universe: Dream Halloween 2003 reprints the Dream Halloween 2002 story “Hope” by Val Staples and Enza Fontana and includes a new story, “The Power of Fear,” by Staples, Emiliano Santalucia, and Fontana. Here, Skeletor recruits Scare Glow and He-Man gives a monologue about the power of hope.
Proceeds from the sale of this comic benefitted the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, and so the themes of fear and hope are completely understandable. But they’re also pretty heavy-handed.
“The Power of Fear” is a competent enough story, but it’s also somewhat shallow, and the overcome-your-fear plot presented here is an old and well-worn one. It does a nice job introducing Scare Glow, but he’s a one-trick character who was never featured in the 200X mythos again. It’s also kind of hard to be too enthusiastic about any story in which 200X Orko saves the day. The Santalucia-Fontana art is great as usual, although they take it easy on the backgrounds and the in-He-Man’s-head Queen Marlena is abnormally voluptuous and provocative, which is a problem on a couple of levels.
“Hope” is little more than a series of motivational splash pages. The message is cheesy, and you’ve heard it before, but it might well get to you a little bit. Fontana’s solo art is impressive, and the colors benefit these big illustrations greatly. The only nitpick is that from page to page, He-Man’s battle harness alternates between having a scabbard, a carrying strap for the sword, and neither.
One doesn’t typically find great stories in themed awareness fundraiser/giveaway comics, and that’s the case here. But it’s all readable enough, and the art is a plus.
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