Writer: Keith Giffen
Art: Pop Mhan
Colors: Kathryn Layno
Letters: Deron Bennett
Publisher: DC Comics
For the Honor of Greyskull!!
Yes I said for the honor, not the power. That’s because the current issue of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe finally gives us the back story on Despara, who we have known for a few issues is actually Adora, Princess of Eternia.
Those of us who grew up in the 80’s remember the 1986 movie The Secret of the Sword, which first introduced us to Adora and her soon to be alter ego She-Ra. This was a turning point in the He-Man stories as now we had a female protagonist that young girls (and let’s face it guys you watched it too) could look up to and have fun with. To this day She-Ra is still a character that when they reboot the He-Man franchise, most of us wait bouncing up and down to be revealed. So when she was shown in the new MOTU series from DC we were taken aback.
This was not the She-Ra we knew, in fact she wasn’t even She-Ra at all. She was Despara, head of Hordak’s army that has invaded Eternia. Crew cut, black armor and no signs of mercy, she and her horde have been laying siege to Eternia over the last four issues. Well now in Issue 5 we finally get what we have been asking for, how did this new telling of her story come to be?
I was kind of happy that this tale took place inside the current story line. Most of the “Origin” tales such as He-Man, Skeletor and Hordak have been stand alone one shots, so to have her tale tie into the ongoing events was a good move on the writer’s part. While I will not give too much away because I want you to read it, there are some moments that are similar to the events that happened in Secret of the Sword, while others are completely new and compelling. This story, I feel, actually gives us more than the movie did while having the same overtones. It delves a lot deeper into the heart of the matter and really shows us why Adora was taken, it also asks the question “What if it had been Adam?”.
You really see the internal struggle with Adora as she is trying to come to grips with everything. The psychological effects from what she had been through start to unfold as she questions everything she has ever known. What is also pretty interesting is seeing more feeling from Shadow Weaver. In the show she was always a loyal minion of Hordak and was always quick to try and recapture Adora for the Horde. Here we see a little bit more, is it love, genuine care for the girl or something else, we are not sure. However, like the new series as a whole, they are really giving us more of Shadow Weaver and we could get many more revelations on her in future issues.
The cover of issue 5 is spectacular as it is She-Ra in the grips of Shadow Weaver, I think this really hits home for those of us who are fans of the series. No matter what happens there will always be a relationship between the two characters and no matter the outcome there will be grief on both sides. At least that is what we are led to believe from the text inside the story.
Keith Giffen has really written a He-Man tale that I think many of us have been clamoring for. A war story told from both sides, a tale with secrets, magic, betrayal and despair. This is what many of us have been hoping for as far as a reboot to this universe. Even on the title page as you see the Horde battling Eternia’s troops you are scanning the pages to see who is there. What character is present that you once had an action figure of? This is a far cry from the Filmation series we all know and love and is most definitely not the Dolph Lundgren movie. This is the MOTU as we have always wanted and this series is one I hope will be around for a while.
What will happen now that Adora has started to question her very well being? Only time will tell.
5 out of 5 nerds