This is a page from the mini-comic “Danger at Castle Grayskull,” which came with the original Talon Fighter toy. It was the second of a two-story comic, and it came with a record so you could follow along and listen to the story. I’m pretty damned sure I had this as a kid–I know I had the Talon Fighter, and the whole thing with Trap-Jaw locking them up and getting rusted rings a bell.
It also shows just how stupid Eternian residents can be. It seems their incompetence isn’t limited to being fooled by blue guys.
First panel: we have Skeletor acting like a harried schoolmarm, berating his minions as if they were hyperactive five-year-olds.
And they apparently are five-year-olds, judging from the next panel.
Note Skeletor’s world-renowned empathy in his reaction. For all he knows, that pit could be filled with metal spikes or golden poison frogs or an audio loop of Michael Bay DVD commentaries.
However, the part that gets me is in the third panel. Trap-Jaw has been regaling his prisoners with war stories after being splashed with a bucket of water by He-Man, which is the obvious response to such an affront (once, after a friend doused me with a Super Soaker, I proceeded to describe at length how I got an A on a history paper despite writing it the night before).
Alas for Trap-Jaw, the water has made his metal bits rust. First He-Man points out this obvious fact. Then Teela follows it up with a four-sentence explanation that basically rephrases what He-Man said.
Here’s the best part. After Teela’s exhaustive explanation, Man-At-Arms, his eyes squinting in thought, adds his own comment:
Try to keep up, Gramps.
It has always been the mythology of things that I have loved. Back story, history, the characters and creatures that inhabit such a unique place that is Eternia. If Filmation got only one thing right, world building would be it! Even Filmation had some gems that still stand out as great story telling even today with episodes like Problem with Power, Golden Disks of Knowledge, She-Ra episodes like My friend My Enemy and The Price Of Freedom. Any episode written by Larry Ditillo is top notch work IMO.
The old comics where still simple, but #12 and #13 of Marvel's run of MOTU was probably THE BEST He-Man tale ever told. Adam goes on a "Days of Future Past" type adventure in the future. Skeletor has conquered Castle Grayskull and Eternia because Adam tired of the burden of being He-Man gave up the Power. In the future he watches The Sorceress sacrifice her life to save him, and sees his parents imprisoned and admits that this future world is his fault because he is He-Man and gave up…Powerful stuff, especially for a kids comic. MV Creations also did some good stuff with the 200x comic series. The Icons of Evil origin stories are about as mature as you are going to get as far as MOTU is concerned. As for great MOTU stories, they exist, but are more the exception rather then the rule unfortunately. It's sad, because the potential exist, and some great writers played in the MOTU playground of ideas but had so many restrictions that stifled creativity.
@Poe: Around last summer I remember you recommended me the Shards Of Darkness series, I picked it up and thought it was very good….great story and beautiful art work.