This is an old one. I remember this being at school so I probably got it from the christmas shop at school, but I’m not sure.
This could possibly be the first graphic novel I ever got – It’s far more comic book than any of the other Golden books of the era. Interestingly enough, while this defiantely was written during the period that the cartoon was on, the imagry is strictly that of the toys. It still features characters lik the Socreress, and Prince Adam, looking a bit liek the cartoon, but King Randor looks far older and more regal. Many of the Golden books began to look more and more like the cartoon, they took great pains to replicate the look of the toys with this one. Teela is in her snake armor. Man At Arms is clean shaven, no moustache. Evil Lyn is bright yellow and she even turns into Screech – a character I don’t ever remember seeing in the cartoon.
The plot revolves around an ancient artifact that looks like a cross between a totem pole and a nuclear missile. It was disassembled and scattered across Eternia and it’s a race against the bad guys to reach it first.
Most He-Man fare from this era is very kid oriented, sometimes even silly ( the Marvel/Star comics immediately comes to mind). There’s some more serious mini comics in the first wave or two but after the cartoon defined the character the tone of the stories got a lot more watered down. This is surprisingly violent for the time period and for something so close to the cartoon. It’s refreshing actually, and one of the best stories from the time oeriod. I don’t see this getting reprinted any time soon, but you can frequently find these on eBay and I highly recommend picking this volume up.