Last month, Dan Abnett kicked off the Eternity War event for He-Man, along with artists Pop Mhan and Mark Roberts. The new series is the successor to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and it features the full and final showdown between He-Man and Hordak as the two battle it out for the fate of Eternia. For his part, Prince Adam has the armies of the Masters and the Serpent-Men of the underworld realms who pay homage to their goddess Serpos. Hordak has his vast armies of Horde troopers and various lieutenants. And this is one absolutely crazy battle.
Gorged on the blood of Grayskull’s descendant, Hordak finally has the power to break out of the Fright Zone and invade Eternia physically. But of course, his various lieutenants and the massed power of his Horde troopers lead the way for him until then. And that’s where Adam and Teela’s massed army of Serpent-Men comes in. He-Man: The Eternity War #2 packs in much more action than the first issue and shows a pitched battle for Mount Zoar where the heroes make good on their promises and we see something rather emotional happen as well with one of the central Masters of the Universe, someone who has been around from the start.
Again, I really want to mention the cover first. Stjepan Sejic is an absolute beast with his artwork in general and the covers he has been doing recently for the He-Man franchise with DC are among his best works to date. While I’m slightly miffed that She-Ra isn’t anywhere here as she was on the last cover and is not in the story as well, I still love the whole badass warrior march thing going on here. Battle-Cat’s new feral look is dang good.
As I mentioned above, the story largely revolves around the battle for Mount Zoar, with He-Man leading an army of Serpent-Men and many of their more famous classic leaders against Mantenna and his complement of Horde troopers. It is all pretty fast-paced with lots of great shoutouts to various characters and you get to see He-Man be a real leader. With the death of King Randor previously, Prince Adam is now the King of Eternia, and that is what we get to see from him.
Of course, there are the usual self-doubts as well, and I loved that Adam had a great chit-chat with Duncan aka Man-At-Arms about them. He has always been a father figure for the young prince, from almost the earliest days, and we see yet another example of such here. And I liked the fact that Duncan brought up the point that He-Man had been leading the war since the start and that Prince, nay, King Adam was not around. That the prince had given up his civilian identity to carry his people through the war. For now. Great moment that one.
The rest of the issue focuses on a one-man raid by Duncan against one of the Horde’s orbital weapons, a disruptor powerful enough to function as a WMD-like energy cannon. It is pretty much a suicide mission since Duncan won’t really have any backup for this job, but that is kind of what makes it all so much fun really. Duncan is a stalwart character and Dan Abnett doesn’t miss a beat with the character, not until the bitter end when something happens after the mission is over and Duncan is… adrift. It really does suck that I have to wait another month to find out what’s happened to all the characters!
Pop Mhan is the artist here with Mark Roberts on colours and Deron Bennett on letters. The Serpent-Men army is incredibly diverse and the artists bring all of that to incredible life here. Different types of Serpent-Men, different war-beasts, different colours, everything can be found in these pages. Pop Mhan has been with the franchise for a good time now and all I can say is that as he puts out more issues, the better he seems to get. The visual spectacle in this issue is amazing and Pop is well-complemented by Mark and Deron.
Fantastic issue. Loved it. Want more.
More He-Man: The Eternity War: #1.