Letters from fans in England and Nigeria are highlights of this issue's "He-Man Mailbox," as are drawings of Extendar, King Hiss and the (first-year) Snake Men, Castle Grayskull, and a particularly well-done picture of SSSQueeze.
Feature Story: She-Ra in "The Rebel Trap"
Catra's usefulness as a Horde spy is questioned by Hordak (who finally gets around to appearing in an illustrated She-Ra text story), after failing to locate the rebel's new base, somewhere in the mountains. Determined to prove her worth, Catra skulks about near the Whispering Woods, and happens upon Glimmer, obviously headed for the secret mountain outpost. Catra silently steals a scarf from Glimmer's pack as she rests by the river, and cruelly sets a trap for She-Ra, tying a wolf cub to a tree to get her attention, along with a note saying that Glimmer is being held prisoner at the Fright Zone. Also headed to the mountains with supplies for the rebels, Adora and Bow discover Catra's dare. Realizing it's a trap, Adora sends Bow ahead to the mountain base, while she "goes to find She-Ra." She-Ra soon arrives at the Fright Zone, infiltrating Hordak's dungeons without a hint of opposition. Just as she is thinking that this is too easy, Hordak, Catra, and a battallion of Horde troopers converge on her, backing her into a corner. Before she can draw her sword, Hordak flips a switch, and binds her hand and foot in chains of pure energy. Luckily, strong-willed Bow has not really gone on to the mountain base, but instead has headed straight to the Fright Zone to help, meeting up with a non-imprisoned Glimmer along the way. The 2 sneak into the Horde dungeons unopposed, and come across Catra interrogating She-Ra under heavy trooper guard. She-Ra notices her friends, and casually indicates the switch that controls her chains. An expertly-aimed shaft from Bow's quiver flips the switch, and while Glimmer causes a diversion with a blinding burst of light, She-Ra is freed. She easily takes care of the troopers, while Bow and Glimmer back Catra into a corner. She-Ra flips the energy chains switch, and Catra is caught in her own trap, and left to face Hordak's continued wrath. The supplies are finally delivered to the rebel's mountain base, and She-Ra declares that traps are dangerous to those who set them.
Feature Story II: "Rescue King Randor"
This comic story finds (a strangely capeless) King Randor taking a much more active role in his rulership of Eternia than usual. Leaving Prince Adam to be severely trounced by Teela in training exercises, the king speeds off on a jet sled to inspect his kingdom's northern border. This path takes him into Eternia's Haunted Hills, where a strange patch of turbulence downs and damages the jet sled. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, Randor activates the sled's emergency signal and waits for rescue. Picking up the signal, Man-At-Arms brings word of Randor's predicament to Adam's ears. Adam bolts to a jet sled and is off to the rescue, eager to show his father that he can handle responsibility. Teela worries about letting Adam go off alone, but Man-At-Arms is convinced that Adam is more capable than his daughter realizes. But at Snake Mountain, Skeletor, who was responsible for the turbulence that caused Randor's crash, has dispatched 4 of his agents to capture the king. As Adam arrives at the Haunted Hills, he comes across Randor surrounded by Ninjor, Blast-Attak, Snake Face, and SSSQueeze! This is no place for Prince Adam, this is a task for He-Man! Greatly outnumbered, He-Man is given a real workout by Skeletor's newest squad of goons (King Hiss is not even mentioned in this story), but eventually discovers clever ways of using their powers against each other. He knots SSSQueeze's long arms around Blast-Attak, preventing him from exploding, effectively putting both warriors out of action. Randor holds off the horrible Snake Face (a repulsive serpent springs from his mouth, instead of his forked tongue, in this story), while He-Man deals with Ninjor, using the ninja's nun-chakus, first to send him spinning, and then to pin him to the ground. Rushing to Randor's aid, He-Man discovers that he doesn't need it, he has rendered the vile Snake Face unconscious all by himself! "Don't forget," remarks the king, "I was a fair scrapper in my youth!" Gratified at the safety of the king, He-Man leaves, and presently Prince Adam shows up to escort his father home. Randor thanks his son for coming to get him, and tells him that he shouldn't try to compete with He-Man, that he is proud of Adam just as he is. Adam promises to keep doing the best he can, and admits that he wouldn't dream of competing with He-Man.
Puzzles and Activites
"Eternia Halloween" presents some terrific ideas for home-made Masters of the Universe Halloween costumes! Kids dressed up as Skeletor, the Sorceress, and King Randor model their very inventive suits, while accompanying text tells how they were constructed. A tiny note at the bottom of the 2-page spread mentions that Ben Cooper, Inc. markets ready-made MOTU costumes. "Power Puzzles" brings us the very first coed "Warrior Word Search," featuring the names of She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Catra, and Etheria, in with the standard Eternian names. The same "Power Puzzles" page also includes a "Connect-A-Creature" dot-to-dot. Who could that exploding character be? The next page is an "Evil Eyes" feature. Can you identify the 8 evil warriors depicted, just from the view of their eyes through a slit in the door? A 1-page article (ad) for the Power Tour shows a great posed still of the live-action show's He-Man and She-Ra standing back-to-back, and reveals some of the tremendous effort that goes into the program, from the 15 tons of equipment (lasers, video screens, a high-tech sound system) to the cast and crew of almost 50 people, travelling from city to city in 2 buses, with 4 trucks to haul all the equipment.
Poster #20, a Norem action scene that probably inspired this issue's "Rescue King Randor" story, is placed in the magazine upside-down! This "turn" of events has an unexpected benefit: page-turning in the centerfold poster region is made a lot less complicated. Clamp Champ is on hand in this scene (unlike in "Rescue"), aiding He-Man in his confrontation of Ninjor, Snake Face, and Blast-Attak. Nearby, Randor struggles in the clutches of SSSQueeze. The cover refers to this as a "Preternia Poster," but there is no real indication that the lush, hilly landscape is that of Eternia's past.