The She-Ra and the Princesses of Power show on Netflix has not long concluded, but an original graphic novel has been released recently telling an untold tale from the show. I’m a fan of the original She-Ra show and liked this new one, but found it a bit more of a task to keep going with it. My favourite episodes were ones where new characters were introduced. This bodes well for this book, which presumably includes a character not seen in the show. Let’s see!
So, the story is about the Great Rebellion and the Horde travelling to a place called Candila, where once someone we only know as the Fire Princess became corrupted by the Spirit Ember, a runestone with great power. It’s to the benefit of both respective sides to get it, to either weaponize it or prevent it from becoming a weapon.
This turns the story into an extended episode of the show, with greater length but no more story beats, as they quickly travel to the place, then battle for possession of it. Ultimately, neither side gets it, meaning hugs all round for the good guys, and the usual brooding for the bad guys.
This isn’t a story comprised of several issues collected together, so there aren’t the regular stop points that you’d be used to. Just a case of talking and talking and talking, then some action (with some talking in it), then some more talking. The voices of the characters on the show are matched, although I enjoyed the occasions (with the likes of Entrapta) where you could apply your own reading to it.
Needless to say, some potential not met in this, as the idea of a runestone that corrupts the user and the environment around it is not fully exploited. There could’ve been a moment where She-Ra, in trying to connect with it to heal it, was corrupted by it herself and almost was seduced by its power, or Catra got greedy for the power and couldn’t control it. Instead, they just went for the usual “I can’t do it! I don’t know what to do to stop it!” story.
I was disappointed with the story because they didn’t try to do something, or include something, that they couldn’t do in the show. The artwork was fine, consistent with the style of the show, but this is where they could’ve exploited the form, and they didn’t. Very mild recommendation to check out if you’re a fan of the show, but if you’re a casual reader give it a miss.