This final installment of the He-Man magazine has no "Greetings" message from He-Man, apparently the publishers were aware that there wouldn't be a next issue, and saw no need to request further fan-mail or art. In the last edition of "Powermail," someone in the spell-check department must have been asleep at the switch! The names Rattler, Rio-Blast, Merman, Extendor, and Moss man are all featured, but oddly, SSSQueeze is spelled perfectly, twice! A final "Create A Character," the ferocious-looking but heroic Wolf Warrior, makes his debut, and great fan drawings of Roboto, Ninjor, Modulok and He-Man are also included.
Feature Story: She-Ra in "A Dangerous Disguise"
Etheria's Skee Village is famous for 2 things: their amazing apple crops, and their constant village festivals. The Fall Festival includes a Halloween-like costume party, and Maia is determined to have the best disguise of all! She has labored for months to create a duplicate of She-Ra's costume, but sneaking off to a pond to admire her reflection in the suit, Maia is captured by a novice Horde soldier, out on his first assignment, who thinks her to be the real She-Ra! Amazed at his luck, and at the ease with which he captured the legendary princess of power, the soldier leads his prisoner towards the Fright Zone, hoping to make the rank of captain for his accomplishment. Maia's pleading insistence that she is not She-Ra eventually makes the soldier doubt the identity of his captive, but just then, who should show up but the real She-Ra, en route to Skee to get some apples to make pies for a rebel celebration. Disarming the young Horde soldier, She-Ra and a greatly relieved Maia learn the lad's strange tale: he was found by Horde troopers, lost in the woods near here years ago. He was raised by Hordak, and until this day had never been outside the Fright Zone. He is not really evil, he explains, but he owes his life to Hordak. Excitedly, Maia eagerly recounts the story of a couple back in Skee, who lost their only son years ago. Could this Horde soldier be, in an incredible coincidance, him? A quick journey back to Skee leads to a meeting with the old couple. The revelation of a star-shaped birthmark confirms the story, and parents and son, who was named Jason, are joyously reunited! She-Ra and Maia each head to their respective parties, Maia with a new friend (I wonder how Jason was received at the party in his Horde uniform?).
Feature Story II: "The Dark Power of Skeletor"
As the story opens, SSSQueeze, Ninjor and Blast-Attak are on another mission for their master. Skeletor watches, via a viewing globe at Snake Mountain, as his minions dig a mysterious object out of the ground, shading the hole so that sunlight will not touch their prize, then seal it within a locked metal sphere. Just then, He-Man bursts onto the scene on Battle Cat, followed closely by Rio Blast and Strobo, out to stop whatever evil Skeletor's thugs are up to. But they are moments too late, for Skeletor sends a dimensional portal to assist his aides, and the three escape with their secret treasure. Knowing this to be a portent of evil, He-Man races ahead to Castle Grayskull, leaving Rio and Strobo to catch up. En route to the castle, He-Man notices a dark shadow spreading across the land, seemingly emanating from Grayskull. Passing within the shadow's reach, He-Man is suddenly assaulted by a tangle of writhing roots, which spring from the ground and entwine around the hero. He-Man finds that his strength has deserted him -- he is unable to break free! Battle Cat runs for help, and while He-Man struggles helplessly, an image of Skeletor fills the blackened sky. The lord of destruction reveals that this spell of darkness has given him dominion over everything that falls within the evil shadow, including Castle Grayskull! Skeletor is now He-Man's master, and he leaves his new thrall to contemplate his defeat, and to prepare himself for his new life as Skeletor's slave! Presently, Battle Cat returns with Rio Blast and Strobo, Strobo leading the way through the darkness with his searchlight. Rio cuts He-Man free from his wooden shackles with a volley of laser-fire, and He-Man reveals that he already has a plan to get into Castle Grayskull to stop Skeletor. He leads the team along the cliffs near Grayskull, continuing past the reach of Skeletor's shadow. With his strength returned, He-Man moves a large boulder, revealing a secret underground tunnel into Castle Grayskull. The long unused passage is blocked within by fallen rocks, but He-Man blasts through them with his mighty fists! Above, in the castle, Skeletor sits on Grayskull's throne, with Zoar imprisoned in a cage at his right hand. As he and his goons gloat over their victory, He-Man tunnels through to the surface, breaking through the rock to stand in the darkness before Skeletor. He-Man defies Skeletor, saying that the evil one does not belong in this "sacred place." But it may be He-Man who has made a mistake by coming here: as his friends join him from the tunnel, He-Man feels his strength ebbing again. He stumbles to his knees, helpless before Skeletor. Skeletor cackles with glee, and is unable to resist revealing the reason for his enemy's ultimate defeat. At his left hand rests the secret that his minions were retrieving at the opening of the story: a meteor fragment of the Dark Star (meteor? Stars don't have "fragments!") that nearly destroyed Eternia 2 issues back! This evil power created the shadow that has rendered He-Man powerless, but with a last-second jolt of inspiration, He-Man raises his Sword, and casts a beam of light from it in Strobo's direction. Catching the beam, Strobo goes into a spin, flooding the chamber with dazzling brightness. Touched by the light, the Dark Star fragment vaporizes, and Skeletor's spell is shattered. Defeated once more, Skeletor summons a portal out of Grayskull, taking his henchmen with him, and vowing one day to again rule Grayskull. He-Man vows at all costs to prevent this, and then turns to tell the Sorceress, appearing in the final panel, how good it is to have her back in command of Grayskull's power. A few words about Strobo: who is this guy?! He-Man's interesting new ally makes his only appearance in this story, leading to bouts of wild speculation (on my part) as to his identity, and his story. Strobo would be a ridiculouly easy figure to customize. He looks like a recolored edition of Sy-Klone, only with Zodac's head, and wearing King Randor's cape. A round, reflective mirror/searchlight takes the place of Sy-Klone's radar readout. It is certainly feasible that Mattel may have planned a Strobo figure, it would have been simplicity itself! He is really the breakout star of "The Dark Power of Skeletor," saving the day by displaying a very Sy-Klone-like power! What a strange new addition to He-Man's world Strobo is.
Puzzles and Activities
"Power Puzzles" winds things up with 2 more off-topic features: "Workable Words," a picture-oriented crossword, and "Mystery At Sea," an uninspired color-by-number/hidden picture puzzle.
Poster #23 ends an era with a 3-page version of the issue's cover, by the incomparable Earl Norem. Outside Castle Grayskull, He-Man rallys Clamp Champ and Snout Spout against the evil of Blade and Ninjor. Cropped out of the cover shot are Skeletor, recoiling in alarm at He-Man's approach, and Snake Face on the left, and Battle Cat and Rio Blast (for some reason, Rio is carrying Moss Man's mace despite his extensive cybernetic weaponry) on the right.