As many of you will know I continue to self-publish cereal:geek magazine; the one-hundred page glossy magazine dedicated to the cartoons of the eighties. I have incredibly talented individuals write articles for the magazine. However, when I required an article covering the Masters of the Universe comic book published by Marvel's Star Comics imprint I knew I had to write this article myself, given that I have such strong views on this series! As I have rarely covered the Star Comics series on this Blog I thought it would be good to showcase the article I wrote for the magazine across a group of posts.
So here I present the fifth part of the article...
A lot of these poor characterizations owe much to the dialogue, which is often poorly written. There are some real 'gems' in there. A few of the best examples of how badly the character dialogue is written include Hordak threatening Skeletor with Grizzlor, "I send the snaggle-toothed Grizzlor to do you in!"; Man-At-Arms comeback to Hordak, "Oh, yeah, ugly? Sez you!"; Skeletor's use of the word "Humongous" when describing Monstroid; Blast-Attak's "Whoa-Ho! This Ninjor dude is good!"; Mosquitor's grammatically uneasy, "Mind holdin' a bit stiller, He-Man."; Snake Face's, "Come back here and get rocked!"; and another wonderful piece of dialogue from Snake Face to He-Man, "You bet your sweet potatoes you will!"
Also another 'Eternian' phrase "Crumb-bum" is uttered numerous times, once even by Skeletor! And we were all led to believe that he was a little more creative with his curse words in the cartoon. The problem I have with a lot of the dialogue is that it doesn't appear to be spouting fourth from the mouths of characters located on a world where magic and science are wonderfully balanced.
A lot of this dialogue sounds as if it has come from New York City in the eighties. Not for one second am I harkening back to the days of the characters as interpreted by DC Comics, but a character like Snake Face for instance should be more cold and calculated, not talking about He-Man's "sweet potatoes". Fortunately the Sorceress does not utter the word "dude" in her appearances, though if she had done, it would not have surprised me.
Throughout the first eight issues there are one or two moments of good dialogue. In the first issue we hear Man-At-Arms explicitly state, "I guess I'm still just better with machines than people". Sadly the line is a throwaway one as he says it in the background with no one reacting to him, but it would make for a nice story in itself. In issue two we have Orko mocking Adam' desire to avoid a forthcoming storm, highlighting the prince's dependency on the Sword of Power stating, "Scared of the rain! Is that because your sword doesn't come with an umbrella attachment!" And as dislikable as they are, the pairing of Rio-Blast and Snout Spout works well in issue four; their constant bickering and wanting to outshine the other works well in the context of the story.
To be continued...
(click on the image to see it at full-size)
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