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Mild Mannered Reviews - Special Comics

DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe #3

DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 4, 2013

Cover date: February 2014

"Dark Orko"

Writer: Keith Giffen (plot), Tony Bedard (script)
Penciller: Dexter Soy, Derlis Santacruz and Andres Ponce
Inker: Dexter Soy, Derlis Santacruz and Andres Ponce

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey and Keith Samra

Click to enlarge

The Justice League is in shock over the apparent death of Superman at the hands of He-Man. Wonder Woman doesn't believe John Constantine's story about the League being controlled by Skeletor. To convince the League of his intentions He-Man changes back to Prince Adam and gives him his word as a prince that what they say is true. Evil-Lynn has no time for such formalities and transports He-Man, John, Teela and crew to Metropolis leaving the League behind at Wayne Manor. John agrees that it is better to separate from the League to get the Eternians back to their home world.

Back at Wayne Manor Green Lantern informs the team that he can't locate John and the rest of his party. Superman disappears much to Wonder Woman's sorrow and after admonishing the team for not thinking clearly Batman tells them to get off his lawn. Elsewhere Black Alice and Skeletor discuss the fact that Skeletor's plan worked like a charm. On Eternia Man-At-Arms leads a team to Earth to find He-Man and Teela even though it might end up being a one way trip. They cause a bit of a fuss when they arrive but eventually they are pointed to the direction of the Justice League. At the House of Mystery John assembles a group that includes Frankenstein's Monster, Deadman and Swamp Thing to help He-Man. In Metropolis the Justice League of America begins their search for Superman's killers when Man-At-Arms and friends approach. After introductions are made the League attacks which forces Man-At-Arms and his friends to defend themselves. At the House of Secrets Skeletor contacts the being that has promised to help him reclaim Eternia from Hordak. Skeletor's master is in reality...Orko.

Michael Bailey's Review:

4Story - 4: Okay, I didn't see the Orko thing coming.

And bravo to the creative team for keeping it quiet all along because Orko's revelation made for a great cliffhanger ending. I will fully admit to the fact that I let out an audible laugh when I saw the last page because... come on, it's freaking Orko. As a kid I tolerated Orko. He was part of the show. He-Man's sidekick. The guy that screwed things up but his heart was in the right place. As an adult I would not only come to see Orko as one of the most annoying things on planet Earth but also a trope that the producers of HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE would use again and again through their shows. The hero would always have a dimwitted, well-meaning sidekick that possessed a great deal of power but nine times out of ten they would just screw things up. Part of me thinks that I should look at characters like Orko through the eyes of a child. Another part of me can't stand them. It's a never ending battle that would make Superman proud.

Having written all of that you would assume that I found the revelation at the end of the issue darn silly and surprisingly I didn't. I've been down this road enough to know that what might seem like a silly idea can turn out to be rather fun. So after my initial laugh I actually got a little excited because this story just went into a direction I never thought it would.

Other than that this was a standard but entertaining middle chapter. As you would expect with a title that promises two properties duking it out there were characters from both sides brought in to... well, they were brought in to duke it out and to be honest I am excited to see those fights play out next issue. I mean we're probably going to see Stratos fight Hawkman. From the moment I saw the action figure two pack with those characters a few years ago I wanted to see that fight play out either in animation or on the comic page and it looks like that is going to happen.

And that makes me happy.

So we're at the halfway mark and while there isn't all that much in the way of story this is an entertaining read. I am enjoying myself a lot more than I thought I would and my biggest hope is that that feeling continues until the last issue.

Oh, and RIP Superman. May you have a speedy resurrection.

4Art - 4: The art in this issue was enjoyable. I really didn't spot the change in artists but I am hoping that is because their styles are so compatible and not because I am just an unobservant reader. Everyone looked good. The action was solid. I have no complaints.

4Cover Art - 4: Teela vs. Wonder Woman. Both characters look iconic and awesome. These covers may not give any hint of the overall story but as pieces of art they have been pretty spectacular. Again, no complaints here.

Keith Samra's Review:

3Story - 3: After last month's awesome issue, I was really disappointed at the slow pacing of this issue. Nothing really happened. There wasn't a whole lot of action, and I felt the fallout of He-Man killing Superman was a bit weak. Superman's body just fades away into nothingness, and Batman says "Get off my lawn" in answer to his teammate's wanting to catch the culprits that allegedly killed Superman.

As a Batman fan, it seems that the creative team are really trying their hardest to make Batman integral to the story. However as a Superman fan, I feel ripped off. The most powerful hero of the DCU, feels like has been written out of the story. Let's face it, Superman can't and most assuredly isn't actually dead in this story, he will be back for sure. But the fact that he has been taken out so quickly, is a little upsetting.

I did however enjoy the fact that Skeletor is a lot smarter than he was in the 80's cartoon, and seemingly played the Eternian's against the justice League and the rest of the heroes of Earth. I liked that he knew that He-Man would have no choice but to kill someone as powerful as Superman, in order to stop him.

I also liked the nobility of He-Man. As he changed back to Prince Adam, and offered his sword up to the members of the Justice League, as a start to atone for his actions against Superman.

Not sure why Giffen needed help, but it was easy to tell that he had help this issue. It lacked a certain amount of flavor.

4Art - 4: Dexter Soy I still feel needs a separate inker and colorist, but his art has picked up for me. His use of viewpoints and shadows really sets the mood for the book. The shadows aren't so ink heavy anymore and his figure work is amazing.

I loved the splash page of He-Man becoming Prince Adam.

I did not really like the guest artist's work, as it was a big departure from Dexter Soy's style. No offense to Derlis Santacruz & Andres Ponce.

I liked the JLA facing off with the Eternian warriors, but again, there wasn't much action written this issue.

5Cover Art - 5: Ed Benes does an awesome job yet again, but as always with this series, the events depicted here, do not happen in the issue.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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