Publisher: DC Comics
Writer(s): Rob David, Lloyd Goldfine
Artwork: Freddie E Williams II
Colours: Jeremy Colwell
Release Date: 15th February, 2017
While the first four issues of DC’s He-Man and Thundercats crossover have seen our heroes and villains doing battle with one another in a variety of intriguing combinations, this penultimate chapter, which sees the good guys trying to fend off the seemingly unstoppable assault of the Ancient Spirits of Evil, is very much a “team-up issue”. And it’s absolutely awesome.
Once again, the level of fan service is dialled all the way up to eleven as we are treated to every mouth-watering collaboration that we could possibly hope for. Man-At-Arms, Panthro and Tigra building some giant artillery? Check. Cheetarah and Teela taking to the skies and engaging in some razor-sharp banter? Check. The Sorceress and Jaga swapping wisdom in Grayskull? You betcha. Orko and Snarf being… well… Orko and Snarf? Yes – sigh – that’s here too. As fun as the earlier issues have frequently been, I think it’s safe to say that this is what we’ve all been waiting for, and Rob David and Lloyd Goldfine do a tremendous job of integrating these iconic characters in such a logical, natural fashion.
Yes, there’s still an almost intentional lack of subtlety or nuance to the storytelling, with this entire issue (and perhaps series) feeling like the comicbook equivalent of emptying all your toys out onto your bedroom floor and smashing whatever ones you happen to pick up first into each other, but dammit if it still isn’t a hell of a lot of fun!
One thing that’s becoming more and more apparent however is that this is most definitely Freddie E Williams II’s show, and the clear affection he seems to have for the subject matter shines through in almost every page as his dynamic, detailed artwork practically explodes out of the panels. Everything is big, bold and in-your face, and the attention grabbing double-page spread right at the start (which you can feast your eyes on below) sets the table beautifully for the unabashed carnage to come. Oh, and the final page of the issue deserves extra credit for making me roll my eyes back into my head and punch the air in excitement simultaneously, such is its level of unapologetically hokey genius.
Easily the best issue of the series so far then, and Messrs David, Goldfine and Williams are building up some serious momentum here as we head into the concluding chapter. After a bit of a shaky start, the series is finally delivering on its massive potential, and while the artwork has been uniformly fantastic from the very first page of the very first issue, the writing is finally starting to catch up, providing us with the kind of air-punching awesomeness that a series like this demands.
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