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UK London Editions Comics

Issue #9

Release Date: December 1986

Stories:

The Secret of the Scroll, part 1

The Secret of the Scroll, part 2

Polar Peril

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Cover by: Joan Boix

The She-Ra comic sees out 1986 with this special festive edition of the comic. The cover, by Joan Boix, represents the story "The Secret of the Scroll" with its special guest appearances from He-Man and Skeletor.

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This issue's intro page.

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Story 1: “The Secret of the Scroll, part 1”
Writer: Pat Kelleher
Art: Joan Boix

Synopsis: It is mid-winter on Etheria, and Etheria is in the midst of celebrating the Season of Goodwill. As most of Etheria celebrates, She-Ra is trekking atop Swift Wind through an intense snow blizzard as she heads home from the Fright Zone, from where she has retrieved a particularly important scroll that Hordak had somehow gotten hold of. Suddenly, She-Ra and Swift Wind find themselves in an unfamiliar area, as the blizzard abruptly vanishes. She-Ra realizes they must have stumbled through the area of the Fright Zone that bridges the dimensions, existing on both Etheria and Eternia, and assumes they are now on Eternia. She decides to visit her parents, King Randor and Queen Marlena, and her brother Prince Adam, whose help she will seek in returning home. She transforms herself and Swift Wind back to Princess Adora and Spirit, and journeys to Eternos City, which is in the midst of a joyous celebration as Eternia simultaneously celebrates the Season of Goodwill. In the streets of Eternos, she meets Man-At-Arms, who accompanies her to the Royal Palace, where her parents and brother greet her joyously, pleasantly surprised to see her. Adora explains to Prince Adam how she wound up on Eternia, and presents Adam with the scroll. Realizing just how important the scroll is, Adam decides to accompany Adora back to Etheria to make sure the scroll is delivered to Castle Brightmoon as soon as possible. They transform into He-Man and She-Ra and set off across the Eternian Plains towards Castle Grayskull. They are unaware they are being spied on by Skeletor, who sends a team of his henchmen to ambush them so he can steal the scroll from them. As He-Man and She-Ra traverse the plains, Skeletor’s men spring a surprise attack on them, and as they are distracted in the heat of battle, She-Ra drops the scroll, which is stolen by Skeletor, who teleports himself away laughing as his men retreat, overpowered by the two heroes’ strength. Realizing the ambush was intended as a diversion, He-Man and She-Ra set off for Snake Mountain to retrieve the scroll.

Review: The special Christmas edition of the MOTU comic – Issue #20, released a week before She-Ra’s Christmas issue – surprised many readers with its sombre and heavily emotional approach to its heartwarming festive stories. The She-Ra Christmas issue opts for emphasis on the magical, fantastical aspects of Christmas and treats its readers to this truly magical Christmas fantasy 2-parter written by Pat Kelleher.

Pat Kelleher would seem the perfect writer to pen such a story, for in recent issues, which have taken a generally softer, more young child-friendly approach, Pat has shown himself to be highly adept at writing stories tailored to a younger audience while incorporating enough character depth, humour and action to keep older readers entertained – thus rendering him the ideal writer to produce a Christmas-themed She-Ra story without slipping too far into over-cutesiness or cliched territory.

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The first panels of “The Secret of the Scroll” do their bit to address the theological absurdity of characters on an alien world on the other side of the universe celebrating Christmas, a religious festival from Earth. The MOTU Christmas issue, in the story “Joy Bringer”, gave us a story that evoked a feel of Christmas without ever actually mentioning the word, with its theme of children receiving gifts in the winter from an unknown but friendly source. The She-Ra comic takes things a fair way further by stating outright that the Etherians celebrate a winter festival identical to Christmas in all but name, and it explains the similarity with our Earth-based festival with its opening narration panel, which explains that at this time of year “a festive force bursts forth from beyond the edge of the universe, touching every heart and bringing joy and happiness not only to Etheria, but everywhere. This event has many names. Here, it is called the Season of Goodwill.” This is an imaginative way to eliminate the awkwardness of the Etherians celebrating Christmas, by explaining that a mystical force throughout the universe affects all planets simultaneously, evoking similar celebrations on each world, so the festival we on Earth call Christmas is just one of countless versions of such a festival throughout the universe. And of course, this conveniently avoids any potential awkwardness of bringing religion into the comics – the fact that many elements we associate with Christmas were previously part of the Pagan festival of Yule, before it was combined with the Christian holiday, means there is no need to mention Jesus or convey an undoubtedly controversial religious message by having the Etherians follow the Christian faith!

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One distinct factor of this story is that while it revolves around She-Ra trying to retrieve and protect some kind of important scroll, it does not tell us exactly what the scroll concerns or why it is so important until right at the end, so the reader is kept guessing; quite unusual for a story in the She-Ra London Editions Comics. It begins with She-Ra trekking through heavy snow in the Fright Zone territory atop Swift Wind, having managed to recover the scroll from Hordak, who had somehow managed to get his hands on it. (It may strike readers as unusual that Swift Wind is carrying She-Ra on foot rather than by air as usual - we can assume that the blizzard is so heavy that it makes air travel impossible for them.) As Swift Wind carries She-Ra through the blizzard, heading for Castle Brightmoon where their friends await them, they suddenly find themselves in unfamiliar territory, with the blizzard having abruptly and inexplicably cleared. She-Ra realizes they must have passed through the area of the Fright Zone that bridges the dimensions, linking Etheria to Eternia. This area has been implied in previous editions of the MOTU comic which have established that there are two Fright Zones – one on Etheria, and a smaller one that Hordak uses as his base on Eternia, and which he uses to travel frequently between the two worlds.

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She-Ra chooses to take advantage of the happy accident of winding up on Eternia to visit her family in the Royal Palace of Eternos and enlist her brother, Prince Adam’s help. Transforming herself and Swift Wind back to Adora and Spirit, she heads to Eternos. On the panel showing Adora heading through the snowy terrain towards Eternos City, the regular Eternians shown traversing the same path are drawn wearing desert robes, giving a feel of the wise men on the way to visit baby Jesus (perhaps the closest the issue actually comes to direct religious connotations).

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It is clear from the following panels that the Eternians celebrate the Season of Goodwill as well, and this is consistent with the Orko the Magician strip in the MOTU Christmas issue, which showed Orko and Teela preparing a feast for the Season of Goodwill. The imagery is fully-fledged Christmas imagery in line with the Earth festival, with Christmas trees decorated with baubles, presents, hot pies and even carol singers of a sort. As she buys presents for her family, Adora bumps into Man-At-Arms in the streets of Eternos, who accompanies her to the palace to present her to King Randor, Queen Marlena and Prince Adam, who are overjoyed to see her as they prepare for the celebrations.

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As the King and Queen open their presents from Adora, she explains the situation to Prince Adam, showing him the scroll – and realizing just how important the scroll is, he takes it upon himself to accompany his sister back to Etheria to help her protect the scroll. Adam notes that “Man-At-Arms will make our excuses for us”, Man-At-Arms winking as the twins depart – thus indicating that, although one letters page in the comic stated that She-Ra’s confidants Madame Razz and Kowl are unaware of Adam’s double identity as He-Man despite knowing her secret, Man-At-Arms is fully aware that Adora is She-Ra.

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Attending to their respective animal accomplices, Cringer and Spirit, Adam and Adora transform into He-Man and She-Ra, Cringer and Spirit becoming Battle Cat and Swift Wind respectively. As they ride across the plains towards Castle Grayskull, Skeletor spies on them from Snake Mountain.

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It is a very pleasant surprise to see Skeletor make his first guest appearance in an issue of She-Ra, especially as he was completely absent from the MOTU Christmas issue, which gave Hordak the role of villain in its stories. And interestingly, this first panel featuring him evokes Filmation’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series more strongly than any of the MOTU issues have to this date by having Skeletor spy on the heroes from his chamber in Snake Mountain – something he regularly did in the cartoon series, but has not been shown doing in the MOTU comic to date. His dialogue is particularly hilarious as he refers to She-Ra as ‘Female Copy-Cat’! Beast Man is in full bumbling henchman mode as he fails to see what is so interesting about a scroll, evoking Skeletor to pound his fist on the table, declaring “If it’s so important that it takes two of them to guard it, then I want it!”

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Skeletor transports himself, with four of his henchmen – Beast Man, Tri-Klops, Trap Jaw and Spikor – to the plains as He-Man and She-Ra cross them, and orders his men to attack them. His henchmen are afraid to attack, knowing they will be overpowered by two of the heroes, and indeed He-Man and She-Ra make short work of them, although the ambush provides enough distraction for the two heroes that they fail to notice as Skeletor steals the scroll, which has been dropped in the heat of the battle. Hearing Skeletor’s laugh, and realizing the scroll has vanished as his henchmen flee, He-Man and She-Ra realize the ambush must have been a diversion while Skeletor stole the scroll, and there is only one place he can have taken it – Snake Mountain. This provides part 1 with a great cliffhanger as the two heroes are forced to divert their path to Skeletor’s domain – but as the narration panel emphasizes, what is the secret of the scroll?

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The letters page returns after its absence in Issue #8.

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Story 2: “The Secret of the Scroll, part 2”
Writer: Pat Kelleher
Art: Joan Boix

Synopsis: In the depths of Snake Mountain, Skeletor is studying the scroll. Realizing how incredibly important the scroll is, he decides he must hide it where it cannot be found. But then, Hordak materializes in the chamber, declaring the scroll belongs to him, and he and Skeletor begin to fight. Just then, He-Man and She-Ra enter the chamber, causing Skeletor to drop the scroll, which is retrieved by Hordak, who teleports away with it. Leaving Skeletor to curse his misfortune, He-Man and She-Ra depart for Castle Grayskull, where they use the space portal to travel from Eternia to Etheria, emerging in Doom Tower. In Hordak’s throne room, they see Mantenna decorating the room with a metal festive tree, which makes Hordak extremely angry when he sees it. He orders Mantenna to get rid of the tree, and Mantenna reluctantly casts it out the window, before Hordak orders him to take the scroll down to his chambers and lock it in the security cabinet. Mantenna carries out the order, but on the way down, is unable to resist sneaking a look at the contents of the scroll, after which he distractedly bumps into He-Man, from whom he runs in fear. He-Man retrieves the scroll, and he and She-Ra fend off an attack by Horde Troopers, escaping through a mechanically-controlled door, which they jam using the metal festive tree Mantenna had thrown out earlier. Escaping the Fright Zone, He-Man and She-Ra finally reach Castle Brightmoon, where Queen Angella and the Princesses of Etheria are waiting for them. She-Ra presents the scroll to Angella, who explains it is one of the few treasures left to them by the Jolly King, also known as the Magical Toymaker, a figure of legend who makes toys for the children of Etheria every Season of Goodwill. The scroll contains the recipe for a magical Plum Pudding that fills everyone who eats it with a portion of his happiness and warmth of spirit, that is shared among the Etherians every year. Madame Razz takes the scroll to the kitchen, where together with Castaspella’s magic, she bakes the Plum Pudding, and the Princesses sit down to begin the feast, before taking the Plum Pudding outside to share it with the children of Etheria, who are gathered outside for the celebration.

Review: Part 2 of this story begins with Skeletor, in his stronghold in Snake Mountain, viewing the contents of the scroll. A notable feature of this panel is the presence of a large purple bird watching Skeletor from atop its perch within the chamber – while the artist’s intentions are unclear, it would be nice to think this is supposed to be Screeech, Skeletor’s fighting falcon from the MOTU toy line, which surprisingly never appeared in any of the UK MOTU Comics. The presence of the potion jars and the large bubbling cauldron give Skeletor’s lair a real feel of a sorcerer or alchemist’s domain. One other thing worth mentioning is that while he has been well-established by now as the main artist on the She-Ra comics, this is the first time we have seen Joan Boix illustrate any of the MOTU characters, and it is notable how his rendering of each of them is distinct from those of the regular MOTU comic artists.

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As it turns out, Hordak has somehow managed to trace the presence of the scroll to Skeletor’s lair, and materializes in the chamber, demanding his former pupil hand the scroll to him. A brief fight occurs between the two evil leaders, Hordak using his shapeshifting abilities and his cannon arm, which the MOTU comics have established he cannot usually use on Eternia, although he was given the power to do so in the Twins of Power Special. The fight is interrupted by He-Man and She-Ra entering the chamber as Skeletor drops the scroll, enabling Hordak to retrieve it and teleport away with it. He-Man and She-Ra prepare to head to Doom Tower, where Hordak must have taken the scroll, and as they leave Skeletor behind, we get a quick namecheck of two of Skeletor’s minions yet to appear in the She-Ra comic, Evil-Lyn and Two Bad, as Skeletor calls desperately for some of his henchmen to come to his aid now He-Man is in his fortress.

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Unfortunately there is no space for an appearance by The Sorceress or a detailed look at Castle Grayskull, so we just get one brief glimpse of the interior of Grayskull as He-Man leads She-Ra and their respective steeds through the space portal to Etheria. They emerge in Doom Tower, where we get a particularly memorable appearance from Mantenna, who contrary to other villains is actually getting into the festive spirit, singing carols and decorating the Fright Zone with his own tree that he has made out of metal! Mantenna’s portrayal here differs quite heavily from his regular portrayal in both the MOTU and She-Ra comics – whereas previously he has been portrayed as a reasonably sinister villain resembling his action figure, here he is drawn looking exactly like he appears in the Filmation She-Ra: Princess of Power cartoon series, with a more comical, bug-eyed appearance as opposed to the gruesome appearance of his action figure. His personality likewise is more in line with his portrayal in the cartoon, as a comedic and cowardly henchman with a rather childlike personality. While his portrayal here may seem out-of-character in the wider context of both comic series, we can rationalize it by assuming that the festive season is simply bringing out a lighter and merrier side to his character that we don’t normally see. His scene here is certainly of quality comedy value, as he sings a version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” describing the chores he performs for Hordak, and subsequently annoys his master by decorating his throne room with the festive metal tree!

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As Mantenna reluctantly tosses the tree out the window at Hordak’s order, Hordak gets an interesting line where he refers to the scroll as “Superstitious nonsense”; it is indeed intriguing to think what, in a world in which magic and enchantment are a part of everyday life, would constitute superstition.

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Mantenna sneaks a peek at the contents of the scroll as Hordak orders him to take it down to his chambers, and we get a comedic panel showing Mantenna’s eyes popping out in the cartoonish manner that they frequently do in the animated series. Mantenna is about to sneak off to take advantage of whatever it is he has read about in the scroll, when he bumps into none other than He-Man, causing him to drop the scroll and run away terrified, in a comedic fashion. The character is very much in the mode of his Filmation counterpart here, for this is exactly the kind of situation we frequently see him in throughout the She-Ra cartoon series.

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After a brief confrontation with Horde Troopers, He-Man and She-Ra manage to escape the fortress and jam the door with the metal festive tree that Mantenna made earlier, which they find lying outside, thus shorting the door’s circuits and humiliating Hordak by decorating the entrance with a festive tree, She-Ra calling out “Compliments of the Season, Hordak!” as she and He-Man leave. Hordak kicks Mantenna onto his head when he has managed to unjam the door, and it is easy to feel sorry for Mantenna, as there’s little doubt he would have harmlessly joined in the festivities that end the story with the other characters, had he been given the chance by the heroes.

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He-Man and She-Ra finally reach Castle Brightmoon, and as they present the scroll to Queen Angella, we are finally told what exactly the contents of the scroll are about, and why it is so important. The scroll is one of the few treasures left to the Etherians by a legendary figure known as the Jolly King, or the Magical Toymaker, described as “the mighty and loyal friend of children”. The scroll contains a recipe of the Jolly King’s own creation, for a huge plum pudding imbued with magic that fills everyone who consumes it with a portion of the Jolly King’s happiness and generosity of spirit.

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As it must be baked by someone with magical abilities, Madame Razz, Castaspella and the Twiggets take it upon themselves to follow the recipe, and the princesses, together with He-Man, settle down to partake in a feast, raising their glasses with festive cheer and wishing everybody well for the New Year. Finally, they take the plum pudding outside to share it with the people who the Jolly King loves most – the children of Etheria, who the final panel shows gathered outside Castle Brightmoon for the feast and celebration, as a Santa Claus-like figure – presumably the Jolly King himself – flies overhead, in a sleigh drawn by reindeer.

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And so ends the main story of this special Christmas edition of the She-Ra comic. While it has taken a much lighter approach than the MOTU one did, and pushed the similarities with Earth’s Christmas festival much further, to the point the Etherians’ festival pretty much is Christmas in all but name, it is done in a clever and creative fashion, depicting the Christmas season as the result of a magical universal force that affects all planets throughout the cosmos, giving the Etherians their own equivalent of Santa Claus in the Jolly King aka Magical Toymaker, not a million miles off the mythical ‘Father Kis-Mus’ mentioned in the MOTU Christmas edition. (A similar approach was taken with Easter and the Easter Bunny in MOTU Issue #28’s story “Spring-Time for Skeletor”.) And Pat Kelleher has given us the ideal She-Ra Christmas story that all readers wanted to see, a magical adventure full of thrills, enchantment and light humour, all while managing to keep things entertaining for young and old readers of the comic, without straying too far into sickliness or outright silliness. (And as a particular point of amusement for older readers - the final twist of this story is likely to strike them as rather risque, for what exactly is the 'magical substance' used in the pudding to imbue the taster with such a state of happiness? Sounds as though the 'Jolly King' may have been Etheria's greatest drug dealer...!) And of course, a major highlight of this story is that it manages to traverse the worlds of both Etheria and Eternia, taking in the leaders of all four forces of good and evil from both comics – She-Ra, He-Man, Hordak and Skeletor – the first time we have seen all four of them together since the Twins of Power Special. Unfortunately it would also be the last such adventure in the comics, for the She-Ra comic was to fold after only five more issues. It was rare that the worlds of both comics were able to cross over in a single story, partly because this required the London Editions team to obtain permission from both the girls’ and boys’ divisions at Mattel, which was a lengthy and complex process – it is certainly a shame there could not have been more special adventures of this nature featuring She-Ra and He-Man together with their respective adversaries.

Ultimately, “The Secret of the Scroll” is the perfect Christmas adventure for the She-Ra comic; a magical and enthralling tale that is sure to enchant all readers and a mighty fine achievement by writer Pat Kelleher.


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Story 3: “Polar Peril”
Writer: Brian Clarke
Art: Francisco Javier González Vilanova

Synopsis: In Frosta’s Ice Palace, Frosta is informed by one of her followers that the north of the kingdom is full of Horde Troopers. Unsettled at the Horde’s sudden presence in the polar region, Frosta sends a Snow Goose to enlist She-Ra’s help. Upon seeing the Snow Goose, She-Ra realizes that Frosta needs her help, and sets out atop Swift Wind to the polar region. When She-Ra lands, Frosta explains the situation to her, and they travel to the northernmost area of the kingdom, where sure enough, a whole army of Horde Troopers is congregated around a small Ice Station which they are guarding. She-Ra and Frosta try to observe unseen, but they are attacked by a Batmex, which She-Ra tricks into crashing, transforming her sword to a rope which she uses to lasso the flying craft and bring it to the ground, knocking the Troopers out of action at the same time. They move towards the Ice Station, but immediately find themselves fired at by a squadron of Troopers, on which Frosta uses her freezing powers, putting them out of action. They enter the Ice Station, where they find a Hordebomb placed right in the centre, and Hordak’s face on a large viewscreen, from which he addresses them. Hordak explains that the Hordebomb is capable of releasing an inferno that will melt all the ice of the pole, causing a tidal wave that will lead to untold devastation throughout Etheria. There are two wires atop the Hordebomb which are slowly moving closer together, and when they meet, the bomb will detonate – but if anyone touches or moves the bomb, the wires will leap together, causing it to detonate instantaneously. She-Ra orders Frosta to use her freezing powers to freeze the air between the wires, to slow down the process of them moving together. This enables She-Ra to move the bomb, but Hordak scoffs that she is only postponing her doom, as the heat from the wires will soon melt the ice and enable the bomb to go off. But there is more to She-Ra’s plan – she takes the bomb outside the Ice Station, where she rewires the circuits of the Batmex that crashed before, enabling it to fly again. As the Batmex takes off, She-Ra places the Hordebomb inside the control compartment, and when the machine has risen into the air, the bomb goes off, causing the Batmex to explode in mid-air safely away from ground level, leaving the ice and the land safe. Frosta then uses her powers to freeze and crack the Ice Station apart, and later, as She-Ra and Swift Wind prepare to return home, Frosta and her people thank She-Ra for her help.

Review: The Christmas edition of the She-Ra comic continues with this icy adventure, which although not a Christmas story in any sense, is well-suited to the Christmas issue given its snowy setting. While the She-Ra comic has taken a mostly lighter tone of late, aiming at the youngest age demographic, “Polar Peril” is a return to a more action-heavy type of story, strong on both sci-fi and fantasy and incorporating what is actually one of Hordak’s most depraved schemes in the comic to date.

The snowy setting naturally allows for a spotlight role for one of the character’s most memorable and likeable supporting cast members – Frosta, the Ice Empress of Etheria, who readers will know best for her particularly striking debut back in Issue #5’s “The Wuglies” two-parter. This story places stronger emphasis on Frosta’s role as ruler of her own kingdom, with a gathering of her subjects appearing before her on the throne of her Ice Palace. Her denizens are given very eye-catching designs – two people with an Eskimo/Inuit appearance, a striking red-headed woman, an elderly man with a white beard and red robe, and an anthropomorphic polar bear, which delivers the worrying news to Frosta that the north of her kingdom is overrun with Horde Troopers.

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Frosta’s dialogue on the second panel contradicts continuity slightly when she remarks that Hordak has never troubled the polar regions before – which is false, as the Horde did infiltrate the Kingdom of Snows in Issue #5’s “The Wuglies”, which Frosta claimed in that story was the first time the Horde had ever bothered them.


Frosta summons She-Ra by sending her emissary, the Snow Goose, to fly to her in Whispering Wood. When the Snow Goose arrives, She-Ra explains that herself and Frosta once agreed that if a Snow Goose ever visited She-Ra, she was to come to Frosta’s aid right away – so she knows what must be done, and heads north to the polar regions.

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She-Ra arrives and Frosta explains the situation, and they travel northward to investigate the problem. They find the Horde Troopers congregated around a small Ice Station armed with lazer guns. As they are attacked by a Batmex, we get a good action sequence as She-Ra transforms her sword to a rope, lassoing the machine and bringing it crashing to the ground, knocking out several Horde Troopers in the process. They finally manage to gain entry to the Ice Station after Frosta uses her powers to freeze the Troopers guarding it, and they enter the chamber, where they find out the reason for this Horde operation. (Writer Brian Clarke made sure to have the Troopers speak on the panel depicting them frozen in ice, to show they weren't dead - otherwise this would have met with instant refusal from Mattel!)

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Hordak, from a viewscreen at the side of the chamber, explains that the Hordebomb – a metallic device placed in the centre of the room – has been set to detonate and release an inferno that will melt all the ice of the pole. Two wires atop the device are slowly moving together, and the bomb will detonate once they touch – but if anyone touches or tries to move the bomb, they will leap together, causing an instantaneous explosion. She-Ra realizes that by causing the poles to melt, the bomb will result in a tidal wave that will engulf the whole of Etheria and cause untold devastation. 

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We can really sense She-Ra’s anger in this scene as she realizes the extent to which Hordak will go to destroy lives across the planet. With the Horde having been portrayed in a mostly softer light throughout the last two issues, more mischief-makers than true evil tyrants, this is a refreshing return to form as we see that the evil dictator who rules over Etheria is still very much part of the comics.

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In trademark London Editions style, the scheme is thwarted by taking into account real-world science. First, Frosta uses her freezing powers to freeze the air between the two wires, causing a block of ice to form between them, allowing She-Ra to move the bomb without the wires leaping together. Knowing that the heat from the bomb will soon melt the ice, She-Ra puts her next stage of the plan into action by rewiring the circuits of the crashed Batmex outside, reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, enabling the machine to work again and rise into the air. (The dialogue "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow" is a homage to Jon Pertwee's Doctor in Doctor Who.) This is a neat touch as it makes use of the knowledge She-Ra gained about the internal workings of the Batmex crafts from her time spent as Force Captain of the Horde when in the form of Adora in her youth. Frosta, unaware of She-Ra’s double identity, expresses surprise at how She-Ra knows so much about the inner workings of the Horde machinery, to which She-Ra responds, “Oh, it’s just something I picked up”, though Frosta may well be twigging here that there is more to She-Ra than meets the eye.

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She-Ra places the bomb inside the Batmex as it takes off, and her scheme pays off well – the bomb detonates as the machine has risen into the air, causing the explosion to take place well away from ground level, leaving the ice safely intact. Frosta then uses her powers to freeze and crack the Ice Station apart, and the final panel sees Frosta and her subjects – mostly the same ones shown on the opening panel, with three of the anthropomorphic polar bears this time – bidding farewell to She-Ra and thanking her for her help as she mounts Swift Wind to return home.

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This is the perfect story to end the Christmas issue, its icy subject matter fitting in nicely with the Christmas theme, while its action-based plot, together with the depravity of Hordak’s scheme, will set the mind at rest of any readers who were concerned that the comic was heading permanently into pure toddler-friendly territory after the considerably lighter tone of recent issues. And of course, it is always great to see Frosta play a focal role in the stories. “Polar Peril” is a great action adventure story, making use of the LE Comics’ trademark ‘scientific solutions’ and bringing a very strong special edition of the comic to an effective close.

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© Aidan Cross, 2021.