Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Review: Masters of the Universe Sticker Fun Coloring Book

Masters of the Universe Sticker Fun

Year: 1982

Cover artist: RL Allen

Writer: Unknown
Illustrator: Alfredo Alcala
Colorist: Øyvind Johannes Meisfjord

Publisher: Golden Books

Series: Golden Coloring & Activity Books

Today's adventure is a special treat originally presented in the Facebook group Ancient Library of Grayskull by Øyvind Johannes Meisfjord. The pages of the book were also hand colored by Mr. Meisfjord himself using coloring pencils! Mr. Meisfjord has kindly given permission for his post to be shared here.

Return now to the pre-Filmation Enternia. Remember, this is a planet whose inhabitants are dealing with the aftermath of the Great Wars, which devastated the once great civilization and returned it to savagery. The Wars left behind advanced machinery and weaponry known only to a select number of people. The Sorceress has given He-Man some of these weapons, and now he defends the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil villain Skeletor...

And now Mr. Meisfjord presents to you a Masters of the Universe Sticker Fun Golden Book, drawn by the incomparable Alfredo Alcala...

This early story contains quite a few interesting aspects, some I believe to be quite unique in official MOTU media, so let’s have a look at this wonderful savage story..!

Already on the first page we can see that He-Man is not wearing his power harness. In times of peace on Eternia, he presumably has no use for the harness’ power enhancing capabilities. He is also presented as the STRONGEST Man in the Universe, not the Most Powerful Man in the Universe. Teela is described as a Warrior-Goddess, suggesting the dual use of her figure being a part of the story.

The early concept of combining the two halves of the Power Sword is very much in play here, and also the fact that one of the halves is hidden on the highest peak in Eternia, probably in the realm of Avion, where Stratos resides
<...and apparently naps as well>.

Skeletor enters Castle Grayskull and orders Mer-Man to capture Teela to be his bride, an early concept which was quickly played down in the preceding MOTU media.

Teela is indeed captured and brought to an underwater cave, where we are treated to a glimpse of one of Mer-Man’s fellow sea dwelling men.

A rousing battle outside the walls of Castle Grayskull is fought, with Beast Man seemingly being overwhelmed by Stratos and Man-at-Arms, but not before putting up a fierce resistance. The jawbridge on the castle is, unexplicably left open, which can only be interpreted as Skeletor being VERY confident of his powers. Battle Cat enters the castle with He-Man, but is probably not able to take the elevator up to the throne room, as He-Man is left to face Skeletor alone.

Meanwhile Man-at-Arms shows a rare feature of the Sky-Sled, namely its ability to function as an underwater vehicle. Presumably the high tech armour of Man-at-Arms allows him to breathe under water. As Man-at-Arms reaches the underwater cave where Teela is held captive he does not find Teela, but the Sorceress. Is this a way of showing that Teela and the Sorceress are one and the same, that Teela has the ability to change into the Sorceress, or that the Sorceress can «posess» Teela, when she is needed? Or has Teela simply put on her snake armour?

In any case, Mer-Man is quickly overpowered by the combined might of the Sorceress and Man-at-Arms.

Back at Castle Grayskull Skeletor’s confidence seems justified as he has the Strongest Man in the Universe on his knees, having, seemingly, ripped off He-Man’s power harness during the battle. The Sorceress appears, splitting the Power Sword in half, stripping Skeletor of his power and saving He-Man’s life.

The defeated villains flee, with Skeletor pinching the Wind Raider to ensure the quickest possible getaway, while a reemerged Teela is turning the flagpole to display the heroic side of the flag. He-Man, once again out of his power harness, thanks his friends for helping him beat Skeletor, and peace is restored to Eternia once more, as the Spirit of Grayskull hovers ominously over Castle Grayskull.

Thus ends Mr. Meisfjord's article... While we know that the coloring pages were drawn by Alfredo Alcala, the author remains unknown. The plot appears to be pretty much cribbed from the first two mini-comics, there's nothing new here, but I think this can be excused. It wasn't meant to tell a new story, but to present the themes of the original play pattern while providing coloring pages featuring the figures and toys available at the time.

Here is the coloring book with pages hand colored by Øyvind Johannes Meisfjord for you to download and enjoy as a CBR file, just follow the link on the left.

CBR files hold comic book pages as images in a compressed archive format enabling them to be viewed, sequentially, from within a comic book reader program or app such as CDisplayEx.

How did you enjoy today's adventure? What about that awesome coloring job by Meisfjord? Did you ever have a Masters of the Universe coloring book? Please take a moment to leave your thoughts in a comment below!

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