Publisher: DC Comics
Story: Rob David
Script: Dan Abnett
Artwork: Pop Mhan, Mark Roberts
Release Date: 25th November, 2015
As Adam struggles to free himself from the control of King Hssss, the battle for Eternia wages on as Evil Lyn (in her “giant bat” sorceress of Horokoth guise) goes toe-to-toe with Teela (in her “giant snake” sorceress of Serperos guies) in a giant beastie smackdown for the ages. To say that David, Abnett and Mhan are “going big” here would be a major understatement, and with the fate of the planet – and, it turns out, reality itself – hanging in the balance, it’s no exaggeration to say that the stakes have never been higher.
Firstly, to the artwork; we all know by now just what Pop Mhan is capable of, with his dynamic, suitably chunky characters and his bold, in-your-face panel layouts, and he gets the opportunity to flex that particular muscle even more during the early portion of this issue in the aforementioned “battle of the sorceresses”. He also seems to be having a blast with the trippy subconscious prison of King Hssss, with impossibly contorted snake heads and claustrophobic coils aplenty as Adam tries desperately to secure his freedom. Yes, there are moments where the detail suffers, as well as the occasionally uneven facial expression, but as an overall visual package, Mhan’s work hits you like a glorious sledgehammer of awesomeness right between the eyes.
The dialogue is once again provided with confidence by Dan Abnett, with the verbal back-and-forth between the most powerful man in the universe and his serpentine tormentor providing the true highlight of this issue. Well, that and the return to a familiar costume for a certain iconic character. Cough. Abnett and David also throw some light on just how Adam has been resisting Hssss for so long (spoiler: it isn’t anything to do with his bulging biceps), adding some emotional heft to the proceedings.
I know I say pretty much the same thing in every review I write for this series, but it bears repeating one more time — this is a book which manages to perfectly blend the colourful, nostalgic world of the beloved toy line and cartoon series with the drama and worthiness of the finest fantasy fiction, resulting in both an affectionate recreation and a bold reimagining of this iconic franchise.
Honestly folks, forget your pre-conceptions about the perma-tanned blonde haired bodybuilder from the toys and cartoons. He-Man: The Eternity War is a fantasy series that deserves your attention for its artwork, its dramatic twists and turns, and for the sheer excitement that it elicits. Get on board, people. You won’t regret it.
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