Comic Review > “The Lost Knight” (Masters of the Universe, DC Comics, 2012)

“The Lost Knight”

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Howard Porter
Inker: John Livesay
Colorist: Carrie Strachan
Letter: Sal Cipriano
Assistant Editor: Sarah Litt
Editor: Kwanza Johnson

“The Lost Knight” is the first of a digital-first online miniseries, titled Masters of the Universe, that ties in to DC’s main MOTU miniseries He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  It will feature a series of character one-shots.

The digital series will debut new chapters twice a month on Saturdays. The second chapter (7/14) is written by Mike Costa with artwork by Jheremy Raapack and it tells the story of He-Man’s most trusted companion, Battle Cat.  The third digital chapter (7/28), written by Kyle Higgins with artwork by Pop Mhan, is an adventure with the captain of the Eternia guard, Man-At-Arms. —DCcomics.com

The first issue focuses not on any classic MOTU characters like He-Man, She-Ra or Skeletor, but on a brand-new character, Sir Laser Lot, who was created by Geoff Johns in his childhood and will be one of the 30th Anniversary figures in Masters of the Universe Classics this year.

There be spoilers after ye olde jump!

Plot synopsis: we see two young lads running through a swamp, being chased by a tribe of beast men. There’s mention of “scareglows” haunting the river, suggesting that, like beast men, scareglows aren’t a single person but a group (and presumably our Scareglow is simply one of many, a la Beast Man).

The boys are rescued by a mysterious warrior. We learn things have gone downhill in Eternia (Preternia?) since King Grayskull’s death, so we know we’re in the distant past. The warrior then takes the lads back to his cave, where they discover he is in fact Sir Laser Lot, one of King Grayskull’s greatest knights. Laser Lot appears to be wracked by survivor’s guilt and worried about having “lost” King Grayskull’s sword, vowing to find it and then hunt down Grayskull’s murderers.

Suddenly the room fills with purple haze and a voice crying out to get “the skull,” referring to a mysterious “Skull of Power”, which heretofore has been sitting around unexplained in the cave (and looks an awful lot like Hordak). Sir Laser Lot ends up getting pulled through time as well (and there’s a worried reference by the voice to “Agent Spector” sensing the time disruption) and the final payoff is a shot of Skeletor and his Evil Warriors, showing off DC’s redesigns:

Fan reactions to the above art and character redesigns have been mixed-to-pissed-off (I’ve seen very few positive responses). While personally I would have enjoyed seeing more classic designs, the redesigns may improve the comics’ appeal to more casual fans. That said, they’re not great, in my opinion, but it’s difficult to know how much of it is the designs and how much of it is the art. Howard Porter is no Emiliano Santalucia. Though to be fair, I suspect this may have been a rush job. The art is better earlier in the issue and gets worse as you go along.

There has already been some dismay among fans that the series is focusing on these new characters rather than established ones. I’ll play the devil’s advocate and say I think there have already been plenty of stories starring the classic characters (vintage minicomics, Filmation cartoon, Star Comics, U.K. comics, Millennium cartoon, Millennium comics), and that introducing some new blood might help reinvigorate the franchise a bit.

As for the story itself, I found it an interesting set-up. It seems to be pulling at least somewhat from the bios, so I’m curious to see how the story unfolds.

A side note: I previously wrote I thought it was weird that Sir Laser Lot’s bio said he replaced Duncan as Man-At-Arms, while Snake Man-At-Arms’s bio said Clamp Champ replaced him. Could Sir Laser Lot and Clamp Champ be one and the same?

11100

Where to Buy:

I get my online comics via Comixology, whose link to this comic is here. There might be other vendors, I’m not sure.

Comments now closed (19)

  • The art does seem to fall apart as it goes along with the last panel being the worst bit of it. It looks really rushed and almost as if another artist pitched in. I've seen recent work from this artist on Magog and it's a lot better than this, so I'm guessing he was pressed for time.

    I liked it other than the last panel, though. I am considering making an alternate head for when my subscription Laser-Lot arrives.

    As for 'Scareglows' plural I wonder if that is just common eternian parlance for a ghost and therefore our Scareglow is just being called a ghost.

  • The designs don’t bug me so much as the art (at least in that panel) is pretty bad.

  • Thanks for the review. It's great to get a better understanding of what all the "fuss" has been about.

    The re-designs seem to be pretty terrible, but as long as they don't make their way into the MOTUC action figure line, then I don't really mind what they do with the characters. The focus on SLL (and, to an extent, The Mighty Spector) is disappointing, but not that surprising.

  • They should pluralize more characters than just Beast-Man and Scare-Glow.

    "Look out! It's a pack of wild Teelas!"

  • yeah, the redesigns really feel extraneous… as in, what do the redesigns do for you? like, for example, when the MYP skeletor came down, he had the arched spikes on his shoulders, which not only serve to make the armor look more fierce, but draw the eye back to his head… what exactly do the fish skin sections do for skellie?

    i don't mind a skinny trapjaw, but the panel didn't showcase the weapon arm, so it should showcase his head, the other most interesting design element… instead, the reader can't help but notice the odd and completely inappropriate and unnecessary resemblance between trapjaw and beast man. they have the same head!! why?????

    and for the love of god, what happened to evil lyn's braincase? her head is half the size of her left boob! really, everyone's head is too damned small, but w/ the proximity of lynn to her other large orbs, it's really showcased that this guy lacks a fundamental understanding of anatomy.

    last point, on sir laser tard taking over the MAA post… it was my assumption that clamp champ was usurped, since he takes over for duncan while the masters are still taking eternia, but SLT's bio says he worked under "king he-man." it sure doesn't seem that clamp champ was in place for very long, as really, once the masters kick the horde into space, and skeletor into space, what stops adam for taking over the throne immediately? (oh, well, nevermind, i'm forgetting that TP's comic brought back the house of miro, so ok, adam's now back down to number three in line for the throne… so maybe C squared got to hold rank longer than i thought)

  • I didn’t even give a second thought to the character designs because I’m jaded by comic artists just doing what they want anymore. I wouldn’t expect Skelly’s crew to even look the same from issue to issue in this difgital series.

    As for the art, I’m a Porter fan and this wasn’t as good as I usually expect from him, so I imagine some rushing was involved.

    It’s also possible I didn’t much notice the art because of the writing. It amazes me that Johns has been doing this so long and he still hasn’t gotten better at dialogue or introducing exposition. Ugh!

  • I wonder what happened to the Howard Porter that pencilled “JLA” back in the mid-90s. Cause this really wasn’t him.

    The story was okay, nothing to get too excited about, although I do like Laser Lot’s design and weapons. That name is goofy, but works as a toy…I don’t think it works here in this dark and dramatic universe the comics are setting up, though.

  • I was ok with the comic for the most part. His figure comes out next month or whatever and its pretty damn good timing on that, so whatever. The evil lyn in that panel bugged the shit out of me tho and the tiny head explains it, i couldnt figure out what it was til dayraven pointed it out. The new designs are eh, but we’ll see how much actually carries over to the next comic, as said, artists always do their own thing anyway. Few things i noticed

    Scareglow is PROBABLY the eternian word for ghost,

    Sir laser lot sucks at his job. He let kg die AND lost the power sword? Everyones worried about him and spector bein too powerful, meanwhile, even orkos proven his worth and abilities to hold on to that sword when push came to shove so he could deliver it to adam when it was needed.

    That skull may belong to horde prime, tho more likely just hordaks

    Skeletor knows of spector, they might be future versions of skeletor lyn beasman merman etc, thus the differences in looks.

    Side note, i have this feeling that after clamp champ had to kill snake man at arms, he got really f***ed in the head, and vacated the position of man at arms for the reason that “he couldnt save his friend/mentor”. And wandered off to meditate, thus sll becones maa (why is everyone typing slt?).

    What i dont like is with all this time travel and bringing people from the past to the present and altering tine itself, why cant spector go back and prevent maa from turning into smaa?

  • I liked the issue but I was more interested in it as a character spotlight than as a lead-in to something else. I'm curious what happened to that Beast man's face; did it burn away? Howard Porter's art gradually lessened as the issue went on but I overall thought it was better than the arcs of Fantastic Four he drew a few years ago. It looked excellent for the first half but drifted away towards those last pages. I don't really like the redesigns either but I don't know if Porter did them or not; Jim Lee and Cully Hamner have been doing most of the work in that arena but can't say for sure if they'd lend them out to this project either.

    Still, for a guy who majorly maimed his hand a few years ago, Porter's art is pretty nice. I'm going to blame this on the rushed production cycle as the issue really did drop out of nowhere. I guess we'll find out more about the context for those redesigns next week, when the 1st issue of the MOTU limited series is released.

  • Skeletor looks overweight. I guess he lets himself go in the near future. Tri-Klops looks bored to be there. Sad that the art has little effort behind it.

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