When I first opened this minicomic, I was surprised to see a fairly off-model version of Skeletor staring back at me with his not-so-creepy hollow eyes. Through the entire comic, I was wondering, “Why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is he all chained up like a bondage fetishist?”
But then I peeked at He-Man.org entry on “Skeletor’s Dragon” and then remembered that way back when there was indeed a Skeletor like this, only he looked even more dorky than he does in the comic. The action figure, called Dragon Blast Skeletor, has a spray-pump built into him so he can squirt other figures with his hypno-spit or something like that. The only problem is that the figure looks like he’s got a dragon-boat figurehead strapped to his back, and not a living breathing dragon as portrayed in the comic.
But the silly look of the figure aside, “Skeletor’s Dragon,” isn’t really a showcase for the action figure, but a way to advertise the Battle Bones vehicle. How’s that? Well, the comic came packed with the D.B. Skeletor, so they don’t need to sell us that. They needed to get us to buy something else, so why not good ole Battle Bones?
The vehicle is a troop-transport made out of an old dinosaur skeleton. To do so, troops snap themselves into the skeleton’s ribcage and get hauled around.
Now if that doesn’t sound comfortable, you’re right because it doesn’t look comfortable either.
As you see, He-Man gets the driver’s seat while Teela, Man-At-Arms, Fisto and Ram-Man get stuck wit the bitch seats. Instead of cushy rides like the Attak-Trak, flying high in the Wind Raider, clip-clopping on Stridor or even cruising on the Battle Ram, these guys get clamped-in by the waist with no other support. It’s like a prescription for back problems.
And really, how can this thing be much faster than walking?
All those complaints aside, the comic does feature a neat four-panel sequence, which depicts just a few seconds of time. That in itself makes the panels an odd example of “decompressed story-telling” in a He-Man comic. That’s common for comics nowadays, but back then it was pretty rare for a comic that will imply cross-country trips in between panels.
Here’s what He-Man.Org has to say about Skeletor’s Dragon:
Skeletor finds some fossilized Eternian dinosaur bones and gives themlife. Then, after capturing some heroes and putting them in a trance, hegoes after He-Man. He ties He-Man up, but chains are no match for theMost Powerful Man in the Universe, and he breaks them easily. Then hestops Skeletor and Battle Bones becomes good, telling He-Man the storyof how he was once alive untold millenia ago and ended up being the lastdinosaur on Eternia. Finally, he says, he laid down and died.
Packaged with Dragon Blaster Skeletor.
To read the entire comic online, go here.