There’s a fun side story in the January 1983 The Key to Castle Grayskull comic that I’d like to take a closer look at this week. The story (written by Paul Kupperberg, art by George Tuska, Alfredo Alcala, and Adrienne Roy) is part two of a three-part mini series published by DC comics, wherein Skeletor kidnaps the Goddess and forces He-Man and his friends to go on a long quest to retrieve three magical talismans that would give Skeletor access to both halves of the power sword.
In an effort to retrieve the Talisman of the Sea, Man-At-Arms, Teela and Stratos take the Wind Raider to the Sea of Blackness, located in a sunless area of Eternia (probably the dark hemisphere).
Ingesting a magic potion that gives them the ability to breathe under water for one hour, they dive beneath the waves in search of the Talisman.
As they dive deeper into the water, they discover a luminous city on the ocean floor:
Mer-Man, leading a force of mer-people, seeks to block the heroes from accessing the Talisman. He reveals that he intends to thwart Skeletor’s plan and get the talismans for himself, so that he can get the power sword and rule over Eternia. Mer-Man’s depiction here is based on his appearance in the cross sell artwork that appeared on action figure cardbacks.
Incidentally, the red mer-person above was reused by Ted Mayer in his illustration for the unproduced concept “Zap’n’Go” vehicle:
The battle starts to go badly for the heroic warriors. Then Skeletor shows up, and things start to go very badly for Mer-Man.
The moral of today’s story is that it doesn’t pay to double-cross Skeletor!
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