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He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #14 is about family and redemption. He-Man’s sister Adora lives in self-imposed exile, haunted by her dreams and contemplating a journey to the forbidden island of Anwat-Gar. Adora is shamed by her corruption and service to the conqueror Hordak; in her identity as Despara, she served her evil master well. Free of Hordak’s influence, Adora begins a quest to Anwat-Gar, which may hold answers about her recurring nightmares. He-Man arrives to let Adora know about some major changes to the status quo in the battle against Hordak, and recruit her to his cause. But Adora is determined to go to Anwat-Gar; He-Man is just as determined to accompany her, and the siblings are soon embroiled in battle against the forces of Hordak.
Writer Dan Abnett’s script provides some poignant character moments between He-Man and Adora; Adora is not only ashamed of her service to Hordak, but also feels cut off from her family and robbed of her heritage, with He-Man reassuring her of their familial connection. Despite her past, He-Man believes in Adora and wants her to be a part of his life and mission. It’s a moving story amid the required action and combat of a He-Man comic book. Artist Pop Mhan, with assistance from colorist Mark Roberts, deftly depicts these poignant character moments and intense battle scenes, and artist Ken Lashley provides a gorgeous cover.
He-Man’s conversation with Adora let’s her – and readers – catch up on recent events in this comics series; however, new readers may still struggle with understanding the story narrative, particularly Adora’s history with Hordak and He-Man. However, veteran readers should enjoy He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #14.
The title protagonist is nowhere to be found in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #13; instead, readers are treated to the final battle between the legendary King Grayskull of Eternia and the evil Hordak, a battle fought one thousand years before He-Man’s adventures began. Grayskull uses the Sword of Power – a blade “forged in the fires of Eternity” – to defeat Hordak and banish the villain and his armies to the dark dimension of Despondos.
And that’s just the first three pages.
Abnett goes on to craft a story of prophecy, portent, and betrayal. With Hordak banished, Grayskull hopes that the might of the Sword of Power will ensure a lasting peace for Eternia. But the king’s faith in his weapon and his friends is misplaced, and Grayskull learns of a prophecy that has dire consequences for Eternia just moments before his enemies attack in a very personal and treacherous manner.
Artist Pop Mhan and colorist Mark Roberts depict this heart-breaking, mythic story with eye-catching art that captures both the grandeur and quiet human moments that Abnett’s script requires. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #13 is an accessible, engaging story that will entertain both new and veteran readers.
Readers who like heroic fantasy should check out DC Comics’ He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series. Under the guidance of writer Dan Abnett, the comic is an engaging fantasy series that transcends the expectations some might have for a licensed toy tie-in comic. Abnett and his creative partners have made He-Man and the Masters of the Universe into an exciting monthly comic, putting the comic’s heroes into new territory, both literally and figuratively.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #12 sees He-Man and his comrades Teela, Stratos, and Moss Man confront the monstrous serpent Hssss in the land of Subternia for the power of the Star Seed, an energy that has the potential to change the balance of power on Eternia. The heroes would use the power to stop the forces of the evil Hordak, which have overrun Eternia. But Hssss has more sinister plans for the Star Seed, and the confrontation forces He-man and Teela to assume roles of responsibility that they seem reluctant to assume.
Dan Abnett’s script is nicely illustrated by artist Tom Derenick and colorist Tony Aviña; the art in this comic is gorgeous, and Derenick captures the story’s emotional moments as expertly as he conveys the battle scenes. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #12 sets the stage for huge changes in Eternia, and is an enjoyable comic for both avid fans and new readers.