Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writers: Kevin Smith, Rob David, Tim Sheridan
Artist: Mindy Lee
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Release Date: 8th September 2021
Whether you loved or hated the first part of Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation Netflix series, I’m sure we can all agree that Lena Headey’s Evil-Lyn was one of the unquestioned highlights of the show. As such, the prospect of the latest issue of Dark Horse’s official prequel comic book series focusing solely on “Lynnie’s” formative years is likely to fill MOTU fans on both sides of the great divide with a great deal of excitement. But does this deep dive into Evil-Lyn’s origins deliver, or miss the mark entirely? Let’s find out…
First off, it’s great to see that this origin story is far less ambiguous than Skeletor’s own Joker-esque unreliable narrator recollections from the previous issue. And right from the get-go, young Lyn’s plight at the hands of the menacing, monstrous couple of who bought her from her real parents only helps to build on the development that helped provide a fresh direction for the character in the Netflix TV show.
However, far from a purely sympathetic story, this issue actually helps to establish both versions of Lyn’s personality – in particular the better-known “Evil” version – and the second page declaration that “only wickedness turns one wicked” really helps to underscore the entire formative arc of the character. Excitingly, we also get to see the first meeting between the young Lyn and Skeletor himself, which provides a direct continuation from Skeletor’s own narrative which saw him working from Hordak back in issue two. A pretty cool moment from a purely fanboy perspective, I have to say.
On the visual side of things, I’m still a big fan of Mindy Lee and Deron Bennett’s artistic package, and while the bulk of the issue is fittingly picked out in muddy greys and blues, Lee manages to add a lot of expression and some almost Disney-esque vibes at times – in a Cinderella being tormented by her unwanted family kind of way. The present day scenes are a little more vibrant, bathed in the greens of Snake Mountain’s interior, and give Lee the opportunity to flex her artistic muscle with a few other key members of the MOTU supporting cast – including a couple of Easter eggs that fans of the 1987 movie will definitely get a kick out of.
Ultimately then, while the whole Orlax storyline appears to have been pushed to the side in favour of what actually feels a little more like an “origins” themed anthology series, I’m actually kinda digging the approach that Smith, David et al have adopted here. Fleshing out of the backstory of characters like Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, while cementing the new canon for the likes of King Grayskull has made for fascinating reading, and while I’m sure the vocal minority of the “fandom” will disagree, it’s actually making me more excited for the second part of the Netflix series. I can’t wait to see how they wrap things up in the fourth and final issue next month.