For the honour of Grayskull!
I have been patiently reading DC’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe graphic novel series in the hope that She-ra would have to show up eventually and I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved the recently released volume 5: The Blood of Grayskull, in which She-ra (and Swift Wind!) makes her first appearance of the series. Although Adora first appears in #3, and again briefly at the end of #4, this story focuses on her journey to becoming She-ra.
This graphic novel is definitely more sophisticated than the cartoon I watched as a child, but there are some very familiar echoes. Adora is more traumatized from her time with the Horde and realization of what she did in the name of Hordak. After a brief flash back to set up the story, the main plot begins at Adora’s campsite – motivated by guilt to be alone, yet determined to fight Hordak any way that she can. He-Man makes an appearance with a message from the sorceress and the pair soon start out on their quest. In turns, she is mission-focused military tactician (at one point He-Man has to convince her to rescue some prisoners which she has ignored in order not to give them away), healer, animal lover and He-Man’s equal in battle. Ultimately her first transition into She-ra is motivated by her love for Adam. She is portrayed as a compassionate warrior, a role model for any woman.
If you were a fan in the 80s, it is familiar enough to connect to with the added benefit of some really beautiful artwork. And although I’m obviously biased, it really is one of my favourite covers ever. I enjoyed this one so much I am anxiously awaiting Dan Abnett’s next release: He-Man: The Eternity War, due out next month.