Comics

Sticker Fun: The Evil-Lympics (1985)

Some time ago Joe Amato (customizer and host of the Fans Of Power Podcast) scanned the MOTU Sticker Fun book, The Evil-Lympics. My good friends Jukka Issakainen and Øyvind Meisfjord shared the scans with me, and with Joe’s kind permission, I’m sharing them with readers of this blog.

This particular book stands out because it was illustrated by the venerable Alfredo Alcala, whose artwork in various MOTU minicomics from 1982-1984 (as well as inks on some of the full-sized MOTU comics published by DC) is beloved by many fans. You can peruse these comics at at Vaults of Grayskull and He-Man.org, as well as in the Dark Horse Minicomic collection (the Dark Horse collection only includes the MOTU minicomics).

The level of detail in these illustrations is somewhat reduced compared to Alcala’s other work. That’s not surprising given that it’s just an inexpensive sticker/coloring book rather than a real comic. But still, his unmistakable style is there, and it’s a real treat to see more Alcala goodness. Some of the monster characters he creates here are reminiscent of his work on The Obelisk and Masks of Power minicomics.

Zodac is portrayed as an Evil Warrior here, which is unsurprising considering the date (for more on the shifting alignment of the character, see my article on the topic). What is surprising is that Man-E-Faces is also portrayed as an Evil Warrior. In previous stories, Man-E-Faces would sometimes fall under Skeletor’s sway in his monster form, but generally-speaking he was almost always aligned with the Heroic Warriors. Also, as Waylon Piercy in the comments notes, Stratos and Ram Man are in there too! I’m wondering if the original idea was to include both Evil and Heroic Warriors in the games, but then the story was revised after the art was finished.

In any case, enjoy!

As several eagle-eyed readers have pointed out, He-Man is holding a unique single-bladed axe in the cover illustration.

For some additional context, I’ve included some eBay auction photos of the original sticker pages as well as the back cover:

Return to Table of Contents.

Comics

“Within these Walls… Armageddon!” French edition

I recently picked up the French Superman Géant #23 issue (Jan/Feb/March 1984), mostly for the back cover, which features one of my favorite pieces of early MOTU photography. The photo includes first release/test market blue beard Stratos, orange cheeks Skeletor, striped tail Battle Cat, red dots helmet Man-At-Arms, and a third generation Teela prototype with She-Ra-like leg articulation:

But, aside from that, the issue also features the French edition of the 1983 DC Comics story, Within these Walls… Armageddon! (Apocalypse à la Forteresse). The story was the third in a three-part story that also included To Tempt The Gods and The Key To Castle Grayskull.

So what’s different compared to the US version? Aside from being translated into French, this edition is only half colored. But the pages that are colored look much cleaner than the US edition, so I thought there might be some interest in a scan of the entire story. Enjoy!

Return to Table of Contents.

Comics

Mer-Man’s Betrayal

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!

Return to Table of Contents.