“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?
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.