For those that might look at Eternity War as a He-Man related comic event, they would only be partially correct. The powers that be at Mattel have been working hand in hand with the comic creators to tell a story that is above and beyond what has come before, and in so doing has looked some of the archetypes of hero and villain. So far it has been examined why exactly Skeletor feels the need to switch sides to being aligned with the heroes, but this issue takes on a different theme, that of the superhero and the secret identity. The Prince Adam secret identity of He-Man has been one which has been with the hero since the onset, and helped to appeal the story to some from a storytelling standpoint. The idea of nobility having a double life as a hero is nothing new, it comes from sources such as Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel, and even from Batman, but the need for the secret identity has never been examined as it has here.
The majority of this issue acts as a flash forward for the characters. An older He-Man rules absolutely over Eternia, but as they say absolute power corrupts absolutely, and a short vignette of the actions of this are explained here. In so doing it looks not only at the character but also at the superhero medium as a whole. In a world where so many superheroes are super powered operatives whose identities are known, this issue helps to make the case why secret identities are still a valuable part of hero’s lives.
This may not be the most hard hitting of the issues thus far in the series, but there is much to be said for the approach of the creative team. While earlier issues focused almost wholly on epic battles, the focus has changed drastically to being something much different. Now the characters are examining not only who they are, but also almost breaking the fourth wall to examine some issues beyond. Thus while this issue lacks a true hook in terms of plot development it fits neatly in the sequence of this series.
Story: Dan Abnett Art: Pop Mhan
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy