THE CLASH OF ARMS
The classic era of MOTU minicomic stories was over by the time the third series was published, but the set still had its strengths with reasonably imaginative stories and decent artwork. Some favourite characters came from Series Three such as Garn, Lodar, Princess Rana, Geldor and Delora. We were firmly in the reinvented mythos with these tales, which followed the Prince Adam theme instead of the barbarian He‑Man one. That said, Adam doesn't feature much in the tales, and in the one I've scanned here he doesn't show up at all.
Not only is The Clash of Arms not a Prince Adam story, it's not really a He‑Man story either. The main character is fan favourite Fisto, and it's only in the last few pages that He‑Man shows up to help his friend in need. While scouting the Fields of Evermore and the Great Wall, Fisto is kidnapped by Skeletor's underlings and made to fight several opponents in an arena called the Circle of Doom. (The theme is repeated in Slave City!, where He‑Man is compelled to fight Garn.)
The Clash of Arms is my favourite of the later minicomics, hence its addition to this site. It's a good story of bravery in the face of Skeletor and Evil‑Lyn's vindictiveness, and I'm certain it went a long way to elevating Fisto's status among MOTU fans. The illustrations are nicely drawn with some violent action sequences, although the choice to colour the Circle of Doom lilac was an unforgiveable misjudgement.
Ultimately He‑Man and Stridor turn the arena into ruins, which I've always thought was a bit of a shame, but I can see why. You'll notice the artistic licence that was used on the final page showing Castle Grayskull about two hundred yards away from the Circle of Doom, which makes me wonder why He‑Man hadn't objected to its purpose earlier and knocked it down sooner. But that's a detail that can be overlooked because it doesn't spoil the story. Fisto ends up rather bruised and battered, but the rescue is timely and all ends well for the heroic warriors.