Masters of the Universe: Rise of the Snake Men is a three-issue miniseries originally published by CrossGen in 2003 and 2004. It was written by Val Staples and illustrated by Andie Tong and Jonboy Meyers. Here, King Hsss is freed from his ancient prison and unleashes his army on Eternia.
It must be noted that, as you might recall, this isn’t an original story; it’s a retelling of the two-part second-season cartoon episode of the same name. And it’s entertaining enough, although it has some problems; some are carried over from the cartoon and some are new.
This is a heavily action-driven story, and aside from the usual machinations by Evil-Lyn, there’s little going as far as a plot beyond “fight the Snake Men” (there’s also Zodac’s plan for revenge, which honestly doesn’t seem all that well thought-out; there are clearly more intelligent and less risky ways he could have gone about it). But in something of a contrast to his 80s counterpart, King Hsss is pretty one-dimensional here.
Staples’ writing is generally fine, although there’s his usual stilted lack of contractions and the occasional truly bad sentence (e.g., “I estimate approximately a couple thousand warriors”). There are also a lot of very corny one-liners.
The art is, on the whole, good as well. Backgrounds are left out or bare-bones whenever possible, but the action, of which there is a plethora, is well-handled, although the panel layouts sometimes make one wonder. And it’s not the artists’ fault, but man, those dinosaur vehicles are stupid.
In all, Masters of the Universe: Rise of the Snake Men is a solid enough retelling of an adequate story.
Read it HERE