Monday, 1 April 2013

X-Men/She-Ra One-Shot

This was posted on April 1st, as part of a joint effort with SpaceSquid and Teebore. We never imagined that anyone named would see it. My apologies.

Hello! I'm writing this on 30th of March, somewhat in a hurry, as I've realised I've got another hole to fill. I had planned to cover the backups in Classic X-Men with Nate in them, but I forgot to even bring them up to Bradford with me! I guess those will have to wait for a while. But I don't want to have to readjust all the dates subsequent posts are being made on again, and leaving another gap so soon seems not very classy.

Fortunately, there is one thing I can do: the X-Men/She-Ra promotional one-shot for a while. And since I missed by some time the actual era-appropriate position, the fag end of the Claremont era seems as good a time as any. I discovered it a couple of months ago, when I was at a Local Comic Shop with an extensive back issue collection.1 I found it in a 25p bin, quite damaged (frankly, it was the worst condition I have ever seen a comic), and at first it looked like just another 1980s X-Men issue, but I wanted to figure out which one, because I do have some gaps in that era. And then it turns out to be something else entirely.
So, anyway. This is a rare writing collaboration by Chris Claremont, who might have plotted with other people, but very rarely co-writes - in this case with a Dom Jon Seepyus, presumably coming in from the Masters of the Universe side of things. The pencils and inks are provided by P. R. LaFolio, and are about satisfactory. Like the earlier X-Men/Micronauts miniseries, it seems to exist to sell toys and/or provide interest in another comic line; but instead of being published as a normal comic, it seems to have been bundled with toys instead.

I simply don't have the context for this, because I don't remember very much of He-Man/She-Ra. I certainly have watched bits of He-Man - it broadcast on ITV in the mid 1980s, but I remember finding it stupid, much preferring ThunderCats. I don't remember ever watching She-Ra specifically, either, which makes my memories of limited use here. I certainly wasn't aware of the involvement of J. Michael Straczynski in it, 'cos that was the very start of his career, before even The Real Ghostbusters (which I do definitely remember watching and enjoying.)

I'm not even sure I really found He-Man to be stupid on its merits, rather than because of peer pressure. Although BBC and ITV were as direct rivals as you can get - and both were free-to-air - there was still, in the time and place I was growing up - a whiff of classism about them. CBBC was slightly more respectable than the crass populism of CITV. And we were trying to be middle class (and trying to be middle class affects your activities a lot more than actually being middle class, it turns out). Yes, some of my favourite children's programmes were CITV ones (Woof!, Knightmare, Press Gang2, Bad Influence) - but that's all live action stuff. The cartoons I liked tended to be broadcast on CBBC. I believe my first exposure to X-Men/Marvel would have been the repeats of Spider-Man on his Amazing Friends on CBBC.

So, having realised I was in no position to comment on this comic, and finding that the fragments of it were in too poor condition for me to risk transporting again (or even to scan - not that I actually own a scanner), I asked the comic shop in question whether they had heard anything more about it. And jackpot! They had a transcript of it! I have sent this to my colleagues SpaceSquid and Teebore (links to their blogs are in the blogroll), and they tell me they plan to do actual analysis of this soon.

1. I am blessed to work near Orbital Comics and live an Overground stop away from Krypton Comics. If you're reading this, hi guys.

2. Steven Moffat's first TV series. Apparently it still holds up. I also really liked Dark Season by a certain Russell T. Davies, which... doesn't so much. But Marcie is a really good Doctor.

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