Masters of the Universe: Revelation # 1
Dark Horse Comics
Story by: Kevin Smith and Rob David
Script by: Tim Sheridan
Art by: Mindy Lee
Color Art by: Rico Renzi
Letters by: Deron Bennett
I had to pause while writing this review and remind myself of one important omission from the title of Dark Horse Comics‘ Masters of the Universe Revelations # 1. While the character is prominently featured on the cover and throughout the story, the name He-Man is not listed. Interestingly enough, despite my childhood love of the champion, this story does well to highlight that “He” is only a portion of the legend.
Setting the stage for the upcoming Netflix Series this comic is both a refresher and refining of the mythos of Eternia. The creators doubled down on the distress to Eternia by having the attack come against King Randor. This of course means the threat hits close to home for He-Man himself. An ancient evil from another dimension, The Orlax of Primeria, renders Randor helpless. This sends He-Man to the halls of Castle Grayskull to seek answers and solutions. Aided by his trusted ally The Sorceress, where have I heard that before, He-Man ventures into the past to confront the Orlax at it’s origin. At this point it becomes evident this is a tale of the Masters of the Universe. It is also where the “Revelation(s)” begin.
Arriving in the past, He-Man witnesses King D’Vann Grayskull training his son Ro. His other son D’are awaits his father’s okay to begin sparring with his brother. While the sword the King uses is not the fabled Sword of Power, the instructions he gives his son hint at D’Vann’s wisdom.
“He understands and provides his son with the knowledge that the might comes from the wielders ability to master the metal in their hand. “
Unfortunately an attack by King Hiss’ armies and their unwilling beast the Orlax brings an end to the training. Similar to what Randor is experiencing in his present, He-Man witnesses as D’are lies helpless from the creatures poison. Consulting with his wife Neera and the Elders of Eternia, D’Vann goes off and strikes a deal believing that the price of his child’s life is worth more than anything. Making some yet unknown bargain, Grayskull returns with a Pre-Eternian ore that is used to assist in forging the weapon He-Man has now come to wield.
Masters of the Universe: Revelations # 1 proves the old adage true. You can never cannot step into the same river twice. Artists Mindy Lee and Rico Renzi do a fantastic job of rendering the familiar colors and designs of my favorite after-school cartoon. However, if you come looking for the same stories featuring characters like Skeletor, Teela and Orko you may find yourself disappointed. While these individuals do show up they are not the focus of the issue. It is King Grayskull, his foes in the Snake Men, his secret wager that Kevin Smith, Rob David and Tim Sheridan deliver with this promising first issue. Still, it is as much a He-Man story as it is his ancestor(s). I can’t overlook how the comics creators used this time warp to muddy the waters by having He-Man create what would be portions of his own story/destiny.