HE-MAN AND THE MOTU MINICOMIC COLLECTION
Minicomics and the MOTU go together like hand and glove. Fuelling the imaginations of young He-Man fans, minicomics were released with the action figures and quickly became hugely significant. It all began with a set of four, written by Donald Glut and illustrated by Alfredo Alcala. Those early booklets - which were essentially just promotional material issued by Mattel - turned into something unexpected. The world of Eternia emerged from those pages, giving ready-made backstories to kids as they took their toys into battle.
Seven new stories, written by Gary Cohn, continued the evolution of the MOTU. There were plenty more to follow, although none captured the raw power of the pre-Filmation minis. Ironically, the people who worked on those early booklets didn't see their efforts as anything more than work for hire. Gary Cohn didn't even like the character names and thought the whole thing would flop. He admits his mistake in his interview in this book, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection.
Here we have the complete collection of the vintage MOTU minicomics, plus those from the Princess of Power and New Adventures of He-Man toylines. They have been scanned and enlarged to roughly 50% their original size, which makes them easy to read, although the spine - at over 2" wide - is more limiting than it should be. Some more white space and larger pages would have improved this book. Sized at roughly 6" x 9", this book is arguably too small for its contents. But it's still a heavy monster at over 1200 pages, so I suppose a compromise between weight and size had to be found.
As well as the minicomics from the early toylines, we have examples from the Classics minicomics, old audiobooks, and samples from the 2002 (200X) comics. Some of the non-standard material has been shrunk down to fit. It's a fabulous collection by virtue of bringing all this material into one book, but even more so because it's very hard to get hold of some of the early minicomics: they've only been accessible on sites like this one in digital format.
I love this book even though my interest in the minis lies almost exclusively with the Glut and Cohn stories. The later ones were poorly written and illustrated with questionable artwork in places. Over-saturated cartoon-style colours were impactful in their own way, but lacked the subtlety of the first two series' artwork. Interestingly the Glut minicomics are presented here in the often-quoted order, but the artwork reveals that Battle in the Clouds should actually come after The Vengeance of Skeletor.
I don't know how good the compilers' source material was, but I'm impressed with the quality of the images. I
suspect a fair bit of Photoshopping took place to repair a lot of the panels. The images look new, and that's
quite a feat considering the delicate state 30+ year old minicomics are usually in. The glossy paper gives
these tales an appearance never seen before. I have to recommend this book because it's been put together well
and, more importantly, it is massively significant in terms of MOTU history.