By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Everything you ever wanted to know about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MoTU and She-Ra too) can be found in A Character Guide and World Compendium (available to preorder on Amazon), due to hit shelves May 10th. This voluminous tome is perfectly organized into sections to make finding information quick, and the fact the entries are further subdivided, based on either the toy-line, comics or animated series, makes for a great way for fans of this franchise to keep the facts straight!
Of course, I had to read the entry for Skeletor and The Sorceress right away. The sheer amount of information found for these two is staggering, and I love the dedication the research team put forth to collect images from various sources (including foreign adaptations) and photograph (i.e. the toys) to include. Even though some of the information can be found online at a wiki source, there’s something to this atlas which makes for a great conversation piece among nerds. The bonus of ownership is that this codex is reasonably priced.
While it will take time to read through all the entries in prep before a game of MoTU Trivial Persuit, I’m ready!
With no surprise, the Characters section makes up most of the book. Perhaps the best entry is the inclusion of Songster, from the 1987 Power Tour. The film is also acknowledged, and although that may have been a low point for the franchise and fans (well, Courteney Cox ‘s great smile made the film watchable), to find even minor characters get an entry certainly explains why this book is so thick! Although not many books colour code the edge of each section, the thought came to me as an afterthought to make flipping to specific sections easier. When my hard copy arrives, I’ll be using post-it notes. This will help me bounce to other units of the book easier.
Entries on the various beasts, factions, species, artifacts, magic, sacred sites (locations) and vehicles seen in the comics, series and beyond are included. While the authors endeavoured to collect every bit of information, some small piece of trivia or fact may have been missed. Scrollos apologizes in advance for anything that readers wanted to know about but was either omitted or did not fit in. If there’s ever to be a volume two, I’m sure they will be included then.
Given this franchise’s huge 35 year history, I’m sure one book is not enough; at least at Dark Horse Comics, they have all of Eternia to get anything missed into another publication.
4½ Stars out of 5