Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Minicomic: KIng of Castle Grayskull

Taking a break from Storm, let's consider the second Masters of the Universe minicomic packaged with the first wave of toys in 1982. The comic, like the rest, was written by Donald Glut and drawn by Alfredo Alcala.

We open on He-Man and Battle-Cat happening by Castle Grayskull. He-Man tells his mount that the castle was "built by unknown hands before the Great Wars" and "whoever controls the castle controls the universe!" He-Man doesn't know it but he's being spied on from a parapet by Skeletor, who apparently scaled the outside of the castle to get there because he's got no way inside.

Skeletor uses his mystic blade to spy on the doings inside the castle as well. He see's Teela (the warrior-goddess) summoned by the Spirit of Castle Grayskull to be its guardian. The Spirit tells her that one day a king will come claim the castle's throne, but only after he finds and unites the two halves of the Power Sword. Not knowing it's being eavesdropped on, the Spirit reveals the location of the halves.

Skeletor, feels like kingship would suit him. He comes to the highest peak of Eternia, the home of Stratos, and melts one half free from rock. Next, Skeletor takes Mer-Man with him to surprise He-Man at his homestead, and before the hero can grab his super-strength outfit, they blast him. They get the other half of the sword from the rock his house is built on. Given how easy these halves were to find and the fact that two heroic warriors lived close by them, one wonders why they weren't found before?

Anyway, Skeletor rubs some gray clay on his face to disguise it and opens the jawbridge with the united power sword. Teela might have been a poor choice as guardian because a little gray facepaint has her totally fooled. She welcomes Skeletor as the King. No sooner has he sat in the throne, than he triggers the trapdoor and drops Teela into the dungeon. Skeletor marvels at all the weapons and computers and what not and boasts the secrets of the universe are his to command.

Meanwhile, this all apparently happened so quick that Mer-Man is still fighting He-Man (apparently He-Man's house is next door to Castle Grayskull), who has now managed to get his force field suit on. He-Man suits up again to increase his strength and heads out to get Skeletor.

Skeletor sees him coming on a viewscreen. When He-Man arrives, Skeletor punks him by causing the jawbridge to flip him inside. He-Man confronts Skeletor in his throne room, but in the face of his threats Skeletor calls "oafish" and zaps him with energy.

He-Man wakes up some time later in the dungeon with Teela. He tells her "Skeletor has gone insane!' Given that this is the sort of shenanigans we've seen the Lord of Destruction get up to in the first mini-comic, one wonders what He-Man is passing that opinion on. Maybe it's that Skeletor didn't strip him of his super-powered duds, which clearly was a dumb move as He-Man rips the door off the cell.

Skeletor notes their escape and sends animated suits of armor to stop them. Our heroes keep smashing them, but more keep coming. Skeletor moves in to watch the victory he is sure is coming up close--and Teela knocks the Power Sword from his hand.

Skeletor figures its time to beat a hasty retreat. He runs to the roof with the heroes on his heels. He tries to blast them with the laser cannon, but then:

Both hero and villain survive the fall. Skeletor gets chased off by Battle-Cat before he can blast He-Man with his energy blade.

The Spirit of Castle Grayskull again takes possession of the Power Sword and, maybe realizing its previous hiding places left something to be desired, now sends one half into another dimension. He tells the heroes that it maybe centuries before the true King of Castle Grayskull comes to claim it. He calls them Masters of the Universe and bids them go fight evil. In a spoiler heedless moment, we are told the Spirit smiles as they ride away because he knows He-Man will one day become the King of Castle Grayskull.

1 comment:

JB said...

These mini-comics were the best part of the entire He-Man franchise. I remember them fondly.