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Mild Mannered Reviews - Special Comics

DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe #5

DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 26, 2014

Cover date: April 2014

"Worlds Collide"

Writer: Keith Giffen (plot), Tony Bedard (script)
Penciller: Pop Mhan
Inker: Pop Mhan

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Teela, Evil-Lyn, Queen Marlena and Prince Adam approach the House of Secrets with caution. Teela wants Adam to transform into He-Man but Evil-Lyn counters that it would give their position away too early. Inside Black Alice and Skeletor discuss Orko's probable doube-cross when Orko warns them of the impending incursion. Skeletor tries to handle the situation himself but Orko takes matters into his own hands and sends out a spell designed to enslave all meta-humans to his cause. In Gotham City John Constantine senses the spell's approach and protects the Eternians and the Justice League members in his presence but it doesn't protect the rest of the planet's metahumans and they are all headed towards the House of Secrets.

Meanwhile Adam and Evil-Lyn enter the house and Lyn tries to double cross Adam but Skeletor stops her. They have a bigger enemy. Adam demands to know who is behind all this and Skeletor begins his tale. Eons ago an ancient evil terrorized the cosmos; Horde Prime. His evil lives on today in Hordak and Skeletor even used Horde Prime's accursed skull to take over Eternia. Adam and Teela know this story well but Skeletor tells them they weren't the first to try and stop him. Orko was the first to stop Skeletor's evil plan but while his heart was pure his spells usually backfired and he ended up with a face full of evil for his troubles. Orko absorbed the very worst of Horde Prime and unlocked mental barriers that always help him back. He gained power, but lost his compassion and humanity.

In Trolla Orko tortures Superman, who does his best to break free of Orko's realm. Back at the House of Secrets the Justice League and the Eternians arrive. Skeletor brings them up to speed and tells them how Orko found Skeltor after He-Man had defeated him. Now He-Man has gone into Orko's realm to free Superman. Meanwhile just about every metahuman imaginable has arrived outside the House of Secrets, all of them under the control of Orko.

4Story - 4: This series has yet to disappoint me. This chapter deftly sets up the conclusion, tells us what we need to know about Orko and even gives us a little Superman action. While I wasn't expecting too much from this series I have to say that I am impressed at the way Bedard and Giffen have taken this concept and made it an exciting, page turning read.

My biggest surprise this time out is how relieved I am that Orko's turn to the dark side is easily explained and fixable. Too often writers will darken up formerly light characters just for the sake of doing so. To be fair I always found Orko annoying, which made it all the more amazing that I cared about the reasons behind his fall from grace. Bedard and Giffen gave Orko his due and I liked that his friends were just as upset and even chastised themselves for not caring enough. I also liked the fact that the back story fit into the action so neatly. It didn't feel like exposition. It felt like dialogue that was needed at the time.

Superman's appearance was great as well. Sure he got smacked around by Orko, which should have annoyed me but again the way it fit into the overall story made the scene work. Here you had an unbeatable, god like enemy and a Superman that was not going to give up. Frankly I'd like to see this sort of decisive Superman in the regular books but that is neither here nor there.

When you add all of that up this issue fired on all cylinders. Evil-Lyn showed her true colors, Skeletor was highly entertaining, I liked Man-At-Arms' assessment of Batman's costume and the final page made me excited for next issue's conclusion. More than anything this series make me want to check out the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE books that DC has been putting out because that story seems pretty dang cool looking.

4Art - 4: Like the writing the artwork continues to be top notch in this series. Everyone looks good. No one is given short shrift. Mhan's Superman was particularly well done but my favorite character on a visual level is Skeletor. It's an epic redesign that doesn't diminish the original. The action was solid and I like the fight between Superman and Orko mainly because it looked good and flowed nicely but also because I get to write about a fight between Superman and Orko.

How cool is that?

4Cover Art - 4: I like this cover. Superman in the front under attack by demons while Skeletor watches in the back. It's exciting and leads to a lot of questions.

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.

January 2014

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