TO TEMPT THE GODS!
With this story (actually the first episode of a three-part set) DC Comics gave fans a He‑Man tale that was almost a fully Eternian Masters of the Universe adventure. But it still contained an Earth crossover element, this time in the form of a brief flashback describing Randor's meeting with Marlena after her spaceship 'bridged the dimensions' and crashed on Eternia. To Tempt the Gods! begins at a commemoration event in honour of Marlena's arrival. Prince Adam is late, having become distracted by a beautiful woman, but assures his father that he does indeed have a present for his mother. When he goes to retrieve it from his room he encounters a violent magic disturbance in which otherworldly demons attack him.
In an amusing childlike fashion, Adam tries to hide under the bed from the demons, and encounters Cringer who's had the same idea and tried to find some peace and quiet. Adam is convinced that Skeletor is responsible for the attack and is concerned that he hasn't received a summons from the Goddess (Sorceress). He rushes to the Cavern of Power, assuming rightly that she is in trouble. He turns into He‑Man as he crosses the threshold into the cave. Right away he encounters Skeletor who reveals he captured the Goddess after a furious battle. With the Goddess's life in peril, He‑Man reluctantly agrees to do as Skeletor commands. Elsewhere Zodac muses on the prospect of intervention in the unfolding drama.
He‑Man and Battle Cat return to the palace in order to find a talisman called the Cosmic Star Cluster. He‑Man remembers that the royal wizard Tarrak has care of the object. There's an interesting moment at the gate when the guards refuse He‑Man entry until Teela gives him permission to enter. He‑Man also fears that he will be recognised as Randor and Marlena's son. It's implied that he is a stranger in these parts who is famed for his deeds. In an aside to her husband, Marlena comments that He‑Man reminds her of her son. Randor dismisses the thought, saying his 'lazy roustabout' of a son is unlike the 'bold adventurer'. When He‑Man, Teela and Battle Cat arrive at Tarrak's chambers they encounter trouble.
The elderly Tarrak is impressively holding his own against a host of demons. The creatures are slaughtered mercilessly, and Man‑at‑Arms turns up and contributes to the carnage. Tarrak seems to be unaware of the significance of the talisman but confirms the demons seemed to be searching for it. He‑Man realises that someone in addition to Skeletor is hunting for the artefacts. Elsewhere Beast Man leads an attack on Avion just after Stratos returns from a hunting trip. His human wife Delora is featured along with other humans in the city. Stratos leads the attackers away and is protected by a spell of invisibility. The heroes realise Stratos was pursued because he holds another talisman. It's a great buildup for the next part.