Review: He-Man/ Thundercats #1

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Rob David & Lloyd Goldfine
Artists: Freddie E. Williams II & Jeremy Colwell

Summary
The Ancient Spirits of Evil form a plan to steal He-Man’s sword so that they can destroy the Thundercats with it.

Positives
Adam is kind of an idiot but it kind of works. He’s a little endearing. There’s a flair of personality in all of the craziness of the issue and it’s appreciated.

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The ending is pretty fun. There is a narrator throughout, which I thought was irritating at first. I generally do not like narrators especially when they talk directly at the audience. However, the identity reveal of the narrator is pretty great.

The art is certainly over the top in a good way. The issue is drawn by Freddie E. Williams II with colors by Jeremy Colwell. It doesn’t shy away from the insanity of these shows which is good. These shows are ridiculous and I feel like adaptations should embrace that somewhat.

Negative
I do not like the cover by Williams II. The characters all look fine but the background really bothers me. I’m not even sure what the background is supposed to be. It’s white; I can tell you that. It just looks messy and weird. Backgrounds should be support for the image and this distracts. It’s the first thing my eyes are drawn to because it’s so weird. On the villain side, there is at least some color to give it personality but it still doesn’t totally work for me.

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There is some tonal inconsistency. In certain scenes, the issue feels silly and somewhat for kids. Adam’s introduction is an example of that. And I enjoyed that. However, there are also scenes of brutal violence that come right out of nowhere. You actually see quite a bit of blood in a He-Man story. If the rest of the story had a more mature tone, I could go with it. But it doesn’t. It feels like a cartoon that suddenly decided to be PG-13 in order to be taken more seriously.

I’m not sure why the Thundercats are in the story right now. They serve as motivation for the villains but that’s pretty much it. They are blandly written and pretty forgettable.

Verdict
I’m not sure who this issue is for. It tries to make the material a little darker in order to appeal to older fans of the show. But it also tries to appeal to children in other scenes. There’s a tonal dissonance that bothered me throughout. There’s also not enough characterization for my taste right now. Adam gets some nice moments but the Thundercats are fairly generic. Ultimately, I just did not enjoy this issue. It’s not terrible but I don’t recommend it.

 

2outof5

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.