From the first panel, Abnett tries to go high fantasy with the dialogue and narration. You’ll recall that Giffen did too—sometimes. Abnett, at least, is consistent, and so it works a lot better. The scripting isn’t anything fantastic, but there’s a conspicuous absence of any petty bickering. In fact, Abnett’s Teela isn’t too far off from the 200X Teela: sassy, but not obnoxious so. On the heels of the complete disaster that was Giffen’s scripting, this is a major upgrade that imbues every page of these comics with the refreshing breeze of not flagrantly sucking.
Beyond the fact that on the face of it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, the plot is also fair; I’m not sorry to move the story away from the Horde for a while. Unfortunately, the pace isn’t great. There’s too much fighting and too much expository speechifying (including a great deal of mystical mumbo jumbo concerning the Goddess). Since we’re not getting any character development for any of these people, we need to be getting a good amount of storytelling accomplished, and we just aren’t—there seems to be a ton of ground to cover (or to skip over) to resolve this storyline by the end of #12.
The decision to make Grizzlor, of all people, the Horde’s sophisticated tactician is an interesting one, but it works well enough. Man-At-Arms is conspicuous by his absence, although Randor fills his role as the group’s strategic planner, wearer of sweet knobbly armor, and one that has a gun. Abnett also seems to be going out of his way to drop these characters’ “real” names from the MOTU Classics line whenever possible. Gur’rull Gu’rroooow? Sure, buddy. Whatever you want. Also, we really could have used some better editing.
So then: while these are, overall, some pretty mediocre comics, they’re also the most unterrible He-Man comics we’ve seen in many moons. By God, these things are readable. I’ve been subjected to too much to get my hopes up, but #10–12 certainly have the potential to be the most unterrible comics yet.
TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT