I never expected to end up watching Masters of the Universe: Revelation on Netflix, much less loving it so much that I started digging into the prequel comics. Although I found the first issue to be uninspiring, I’m still curious enough about the lore Kevin Smith is building out with his new story to come back for more revelations.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation #2
Deron Bennett (letterer), Rob David (story), Mindy Lee (artist), Rico Renzi (colorist), Tim Sheridan (writer), Kevin Smith (story)
Dark Horse Comics
August 11, 2021
In the first issue of this series, we learned about the origins of the Sword of Power through a creature called the Orlax, which attacked King Randor. Travelling through time to save the king, He-Man met King Grayskull and came to understand that the Orlax may not be a malevolent creature, but instead, one that is desperately trying to communicate with folks on Eternia. But Skeletor also connected with the psychic creature and now is determined to reconnect with it to unearth the secrets it revealed.
This issue is all about Skeletor as he divulges his backstory to Evil-Lyn. It’s a sob story to rival all sob stories, made all the more absurd by the multitude of skeleton-headed people on his homeworld of Apollyos. Told in the scratchy, geometric font chosen by Deron Bennett against a blue background, Skeletor waxes on about enslavement, a lost wife and child, heroism, magic, and betrayal. Though devoted to the man she calls “my love,” does Evil-Lyn believe him?
Like the television series, the comic blends the absurd, sometimes silly imagery of goofy characters and actions with heartfelt storytelling. It also gives more depth to otherwise fairly two-dimensional characters.
The tale itself is fairly unoriginal, but there are a few worthwhile gems, such as the origins of Skeletor’s iconic staff and costume, and his interactions with Hordak, his master and the villain from the She-Ra series. And where the backstory itself may fall flat with its lack of originality, artist Mindy Lee and the vibrant colours of Rico Renzi amplify every page. The ghastly yellowish green of magic and faces complement the purple shades of the costumes, making characters pop.
Much like the Netflix cartoon (or perhaps I’m just seeing this because of my growing infatuation with Evil-Lyn), Lee gives Evil-Lyn lots of attention when she is on the page. She is all sleek, sultry lines that spell desire and secrets.
Where the previous issue felt jaunty with its back and forth leaps through time, this story is at least more straightforward, with smooth and creative transitions between timelines. Skeletor’s tales of woe move quickly and efficiently. When his reminiscing is over, Lee once again focuses on Evil-Lyn. When she ventures off on her own, the colour palette abruptly switches to a vibrant magenta background, which, interestingly, is a colour that symbolizes compassion and kindness. A hint at her true nature based on what we’ve seen in the Netflix series, perhaps? The next issue promises to reveal Evil-Lyn’s origins so… colour me curious.