Masters Of The Universe: Forge Of Destiny #1 Review
Masters Of The Universe: Forge Of Destiny #1 Review
Script: Tim Seeley
Art: Eddie Nunez
Color Art: Brad Simpson
Lettering & Design: Andworld Design
Covers: Eddie Nunez, Freddie Williams II, & Javier Rodriguez
Editor & Asst. Editor: Brett Israel & Sanjay Dharawat
Designer: Kathleen Barnett
Digital Art Technician: Adam Pruett
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
“You are never more powerful than when you’re willing to give up power.” ~ Prince Adam
I’m not sure why when people say “panther,” it’s automatically associated with jaguar, but you forget the lack of logic in play when you realize the disgust on Cringer’s face after Prince Adam agrees to Captain Teela’s assessment of his late-night adventures. What a priceless moment that I hope gives you the best reason to pick up Masters of the Universe: Forge Of Destiny #1 at your local comics shop.
If you’re not sure where your nearest shop is, then fear not. Just click this link here and type in your zip code…boom! I hope you guys are ready to geek out, MOTU style because this is the review.
I’m going to give you all several reasons to subscribe to this series, and not one of them is because it’s one of the best science fiction fantasies in comic or animated history. However, if you’re new to Masters of the Universe, then allow me to acquaint you with a minute crash course of some minor factoids on the subject, first. (This won’t take long, but if you would like to skip the history lesson, feel free to scroll past to the next header.)
The Short But Helpful History of He-Man and The Power Sword
Much like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Masters of the Universe climbed to fame through the same assimilation of merchant marketing. What has come to be referred to as MOTU, in short, started as a series of engaging action figure toys by Mattel, equipped with the largest and most authentic accessories of its generation, including weapons, playsets, and really awesome vehicles.
In 1981, Mattel toy designer Roger Sweet pitched the original character art by Mark Taylor for a new action figure toy line that featured the first Masters of the Universe figures: He-Man, Skeletor, Mer-Man, Beastman, Stratos, Teela, Man-at-Arms, and Zodac. The animated series debuted in 1983 by Filmation and ran until its cancellation in 1985 for a total of 130 episodes.
Even though the property faded to the background, the series captured the imaginations of fans worldwide, and it wasn’t until its interest was resurrected thanks to some silent bob somewhere whose notoriety within certain nerdom circles would greenlight the newest canon of the animated MOTU on Netflix with Powerhouse Animation titled Masters of the Universe: Revelations.
Its revitalized interest has swept the fandom by storm, generating some of the greatest Masters of the Universe action figures since their initial release over 40 years ago. It even inspired the very comic release we’re discussing right now! There… Now you’re officially a MOTU know-it-all.
Anwat Gar and The Great War’s
“It was said they could create any mechanical weapon or device imaginable in their Forge Of
Destiny machine.” ~ King Randor
That’s right! Exposition, long since overlooked, has come to the forefront of He-Man lore, and it sounds more phenomenal than watching bird people’s costumes function as well as they did in the original Flash Gordon movie from the 80s, which surprisingly isn’t a cringe to sit through.
While we don’t get the names of the Jaguar-folk visited by the king’s caravan on his Oregon Trail of peace campaign, we do learn about some of his allies in neighboring regions, such as Beastmen, Aquaticans, Avion’s, and the Bee People, including the Anwat Gar.
Through the king’s tale comes the warning of an ancient machine that can create arcane-like instruments of power using an item called the canister of the philologist. King Randor’s concern lies at the heart of the power that still exists within the Anwat Gar, and losing allies to Skeletor’s cause might propel Eternos into another Great War from which the fragile lands might not recover.
So here we are traveling along the Fertile Plains and the Evergreen Forest to finally meet with Queen Hera at the Port of Madaka. Will it be as peaceful as King Randor hoped?
The Relationship between Captain Teela and Prince Adam (He-Man)
The depth of Teela’s past and her desire to become more really makes you feel empathy for all her efforts, despite the good Adam was doing in secret as He-Man, protector of Eternia. This series seems to be pressing back into the past before He-Man was known to all as the wayward Prince Adam. I suppose in the mythos of each revitalization of He-Man, like in most properties, origins must be redefined with a new perspective. Seeley is threading this small and more concise origin into a tale untold by most other He-Man properties out there today.
The duality of He-Man and Prince Adam has always resonated in Teela’s character arc because of the internal duality she feels about herself in her journey through strife and duty. It’s going to be interesting to see how the emotional turmoil plays out between these two in future issues, just to see where this iteration lands.
The Human Tornado?
Well, I don’t know what constitutes a human on Eternos, but blue humans in our reality are either someone who is severely D-E-A-D or part of the Blue Man Group reunion tour. Seriously, though, this issue really brings about an interesting question. He-Man has always been about magic and sorcery, but the series has never been as kin to paying any kind of homage to having mutants of any kind. It seems out of the norm but these new characters are slightly reminiscent of the X-Men and it’s hard not to assume as such.
Two compounding brands you’d never think to hear in the same sentence, but now that you have, could the protector of Eternia take on the X-Men? I’d say he’d have his hands full, but with characters like The Human Tornado, Sprig, Samar, and Handles, He-Man might pull it off. While you don’t get to see them in action or really value their different skills, they make you ponder on what else Eternos has to offer outside of He-Man himself.
Those are just several reasons to read this series, but I can’t express enough the excitement around the amount of world-building happening within the pages of this issue, which is just a prelude to the places we’ve yet to see and will see more of in future issues.
If you’re inspired by this review, then call out to the power of Eternia and Cringer your way to the comic shop to grab your copy of Masters of the Universe: Forge of Destiny #2 when it drops on October 4th. I hope you enjoyed this review. Don’t forget to support your local comic shops. Stay geeky, share the network, and remember to catch the latest on Fueled By Weird.
Michael J. Florio
A true storyteller who sharpened his wit proudly at Full Sail University, holding a bachelor’s and master’s in creative writing for entertainment. After Michael became a Comics Experience alumni, he created his first independent creator-owned titles, Wild Oni and Iron Jaguar.
He’s a member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Writers Guild, where he lives and works tirelessly on his future published works. Michael is a father of four, three boys and one girl, whom he loves very much.