Comic Reviews: Masters Of The Universe and Ozymandias!
He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe #1 (0f 6)
James Robinson and Philip Tan blast back to the 80’s with the new miniseries based on the classic Masters Of The Universe cartoon. Telling the story of an Eternia rule by Skeletor, He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe opens with a young woodsman named Adam, who has recurring dreams of a being a mighty warrior battling his king, Skeletor. Of course, we all know that this warrior that Adam dreams about is He-Man, and that he is, in fact, the same character, but what has made him forget about his adventures as Eternia’s hero? And how can he get things back to the way they were?
That’s the underlying drive behind this opening issue, and James Robinson mostly succeeds here. The opening bits of the story are very intriguing, but I do think Robinson could have explore more of this world gone wrong, especially from the viewpoint of some of the minor characters. The only one we see in this opening issue is Adam’s father, who keeps ranting about his delusions where he is the king of Eternia. There’s also a bird that may or may not be another famous ally of He-Man In fact, the bird in question is what leads Adam to embark on his quest for answers to his dreams. He may not know where his journey will take him, but he feels a calling to seek out the truth.
Those hoping to see Skeletor kick some ass will be a little disappointed, as he only makes two quick appearances at the beginning and ending of the book. We do get a young Adam doing battle with Beast Man, which is wonderfully drawn by artist Philip Tan. His art is a little uneven for this opening issue, his opening splash page of He-Man and his fellow Masters doing battle with Skeletor and his army is a little too muddy for my tastes. However, it starts to pick up by the end of the issue, and the final image of Skeletor sitting on his throne is awesome.
While DC publishing a new Masters Of the Universe mini series is an extremely out of left field choice, the premise behind this new story is very cool, and a welcome twist on the usual MOTU stories. As a fan of this series (and especially Skeletor), I have to say I was very pleased with this final product, and can’t wait for the next issue.
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1 (of 6)
Ah Ozymandias. Thank you for reminding us why these prequels exist. After my less than stellar take on last week’s Nite Owl opener, I was very pleased to see that Ozymandias’ Watchmen prequel was really, really good, and serves us great insight into the man who turns the wheels of the original story’s plot.
The issue, written by Len Wein, fills us in on Adrian Veidt’s back-story. Through a monologue, we learn of Veidt’s ostraciszation from his peers due to his supreme intellect, as well as his mastery of ju jitsu at a young age. After beating his schoolyard bullies to a bloody pulp, Viedt decides to stop pretending that he’s not as smart as everyone else and proceeds to basically dominate life every second he gets. We see him travel the world after college, tracing the steps of his namesake, Alexander The Great. Upon his return, he amasses his fortune through the stock exchange, and starts his enterprise. After suffering a big (and surprising) personal loss, Veidt takes up the name Ozymandias and begins his personal war on crime.
Wein’s script is extremely talky, but this isn’t a bad thing. Wein’s view into the mind of Ozymandias is extremely fascinating, and very, very intriguing. In fact, you almost start to understand Ozymandias’ reasons for his actions in Alan Moore’s original story. Jae Lee’s art is extraordinary, and well worth the price of the issue. After the sub-par Nite Owl last week, Ozymandias is an excellent issue, and already a worthy companion to the original story.