Monday, March 25, 2013


Masters of the Universe: The Origin of Skeletor is a 2012 DC one-shot written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Frazer Irving.

So we’re using the MOTU Classics origin of Keldor as Randor’s bastard half-brother. Fine; it’s not so terribly different from what the 200X series gave us. Except…the reason Keldor can’t be king after Miro is because he’s mixed race, not because he’s illegitimate. Is it just me, or does spineless Randor’s perpetuation of the culturally-ingrained racist establishment not jibe with any of the He-Man worlds we know?

In line with this, Randor is presented as a rather weak character, which is, I suppose, consistent with the horrific moral failure he commits in the digital comic. Man, when I was a kid, Randor had a pair; even more so his 200X incarnation; times have certainly changed.

Keldor is also entirely unimpressive, but for storytelling reasons: even though the book is half flashbacks, we get none of his character arc here. Keldor tells us repeatedly how great he is, but we never see him do anything – all we see is a pathetic egotistical loser with his face melted off.

I’d wager that most people who read this comic already have a pretty good idea about the origin of Skeletor – and given that, this issue needs to impress – which it doesn’t. But if you’re brand new to the He-Man party, this issue will raise as many questions as it answers, both in terms of the specifics (e.g., Keldor’s betrayal, his acid face, why people hate the Gar, etc.) and the general (e.g., what’s going on in a meaningful sense with any of the relationships between these characters).

The murky art – heavy inks, smudgy colors, surrealist tendencies, minimal backgrounds – fits well enough with the murky storytelling. That is to say, I didn’t care for it; your mileage may vary. Hordak looks like something H.R. Giger would have come up with.

Whether you’re an old reader or a new one, The Origin of Skeletor probably isn’t going to do much for you – except, perhaps, irritate you.


Its archive page is HERE