With an utterly bonkers premise and some wildly colourful artwork, DC’s He-Man & The Masters of the Multiverse opens with one hell of a bang. In a familiar move, He-Men and Skeletor are about to throw down yet again, with the latter about to unleash one of his typically nefarious schemes, when both men are unceremoniously murdered by a strange, negative-looking version of He-Man who is seemingly traveling the Multiverse collecting Power Swords.
In a pleasing twist, the would-be hero here is a young Keldor, the man who would become Skeletor in every other dimension, fulfilling the role of the slightly clueless, magically inept brother of King Randor. And when he is contacted by two iconic (ish?) versions of He-Man and a certain Thenurian locksmith to ask for his help, he finds himself dragged into a multiverse-spanning caper to try and save the very fabric of reality!
What’s perhaps most impressive about this collection of wild ideas, crazy moments and unabashed fan service is the fact that it all actually hangs together rather well. Seeley’s well documented affection for the He-Man universe shines through on every page, and whether it’s an essential plot point or a the throwaway line of dialogue, everything here is custom built to entertain.
The artwork is impressive in isolation, but the creative layouts bring it together into something truly striking. Dan Fraga has clearly done a lot of research in bringing these familiar and varied versions of He-Man to life faithfully, and throws in some impressive creative flourishes along the way, keeping everything suitably bold and dynamic throughout.
The measured inks of Richard Friend and the striking, familiar colour palettes of Matt Yackey help ensure this is a lively visual spectacle, and while the final page sees the story lurching into possibly my least favourite version of He-Man ever, I’m genuinely excited to see this artistic team bring that particular world to life on the page.
In the main, these types of Multiverse stories can often be a little hit-or-miss, but in the hands of this particular creative team, and by virtue of this impressively strong start, I have absolutely no doubts that this is going to be a thoroughly entertaining ride. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see a heroic version of Skeletor teaming up with a variety of different versions of He-Man to take down a seemingly unstoppable threat?
I’d imagine this might be a bit of a tougher sell for readers who aren’t already massive fans of the character, but hey, those people don’t deserve good comics anyway. Simply put, this is Into The Spider-Verse for He-Man fans, and if that’s not enough of a recommendation, I really don’t know what to tell you.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]