DC’s Masters of the Universe #1 Digital Comic

I find it a bit odd that nobody knew about this until Geoff Johns posted a link to a LA Times article early Friday.  DC is putting out digital comic shorts that tell stories of various Masters of the Universe characters, starting with … Sir Laser Lot.  I would assume since Geoff is writing it this makes sense that his character gets the first book.  It’s still strange that no one really knew about these pretty much until they dropped earlier this morning.  Mattel apparently has plans for MOTU but just doesn’t want to make the effort to let people know about them.

SNL Digital Short staring Sir Laser Lot

For the (in my opinion) slightly high price of ninety nine cents you can own your own digital copy of Masters of the Universe issue one.  Not to be confused with the upcoming series from DC that will be in comic shops.  This looks to be digital only and fairly short, concentrating on a character and telling a quick story about them.  Sir Laser Lot is the first and should be followed by Battle Cat and Man-At-Arms.

I’d actually never bought a comic online, so this was my first time doing the digital thing.  I installed the comixology app on my phone, and when the comic was available I made my dollar purchase.  The comic downloaded and now I own it.  I must admit the presentation is better than I thought it would be.  I figured they would just present pages much like a normal book and I would scroll through them.  In actuality the app presents the book to you in an order that’s easy to read, zooming in on important parts and then zooming back out to show entire scenes.  It works surprisingly well and puts another dimension on how they can tell a story.

However as much as I like the technology, I don’t think the price is where I would want it.  Even a dollar for what ultimately ends up being about eight pages worth of comic is not worth it.  Also it has the same problems I have with buying Kindle books … the comics cost as much as their digital counterpart, which doesn’t make sense to me since you don’t have to print anything.  The price is a little high for what you get in my opinion.

On to the actual book.  The story is decent enough, I like that Laser Lot is a forgotten knight of the past living in the swamps keeping to himself after something horrible happens.  I think beaming him into Skeletor’s lair and just throwing him into the main storyline is a mistake however.  I think these new characters would be best used to help explore lesser known denizens of Eternia.  We have 30 years of stories and fan expectation from the a-list characters; it makes more sense to use these guys to learn more about the lesser known Spikor or Snout Spout.  There was also a kind of unnecessary reference to the Mighty Spector which I am sure pissed off quite a handful of people.  I can kind of understand why it would make people angry too.  I’m fine with the Laser Lot origin, but adding in the Spector seems like they are trying too hard to tell us these guys are “cool.”  I’ve said before that I am all for the new characters, but don’t try so hard to make them the spotlight when you already have a host of characters with their own stories to be told.

While I’m a fan of the story I find the art leaves something to be desired.  They took a lot of liberties with some character designs, especially Evil Lyn.  They seem to have turned her into a succubus with a giant chest.  The last panel of the book looks like a Rob Liefeld Youngblood cover. I’m not really sure where Trap Jaw is standing in that last panel either because at that height his legs should be about two feet into the ground.  Everyone behind Laser-Lot seems to be floating in some space-time continuum … probably made by the Spector!  I just don’t like that nineties Image art style, it feels soulless and puts the comic industry back.

Despite the gripes, I am glad this came out.  I can’t say wether I will go out and get the next issue because that price thing still really bugs me.  But it did give me a little appreciation for Sir Laser Lot and that was probably the goal of this anyway.  You win this time Geoff Johns.


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