Thundercats 1 NM Arthur Adams Cv Wildstorm Gilmore McGuinness 1stp Warner Movie


SKU: 14569 Category:


Thundercats (2002 2nd Series) #1A

Published Oct 2002 by Wildstorm
Full color, 32 PG. (1 OF 5)

Ed McGuinness pencils the Thundercats in an all-new miniseries, beginning immediately where the popular cartoon left off with New Thundera restored, and Thundercats King Lion-O gathering his old friends. But there are dark tidings brewing at Mumm-Ra’s Pyramid, where the Ancient Spirits of Evil have concocted a nefarious plan to free the Shadowmaster from the Shadow Realm. It’s up to Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetera and the Thunderkittens to save the day!

WildStorm’s ThunderCats Revival Was Pure ’80s Nostalgia
When WildStorm Productions revived ThunderCats as a comic in the ’00s, it was as tame as the ’80s cartoon until a shocking last-issue twist.

ThunderCats: Reclaiming Thundera is a five-issue miniseries from writer Ford Lytle Gilmore, Ed McGuinness, Jason Martin, Chris Walker, Sergio Garcia and lettering from future Chew co-creator John Layman. The fad of 1980s revamps in the early 2000s had its genesis in an article in the fanzine Wizard that saw the magazine commission popular artists to render concepts like He-Man and the Transformers. While the Wizard staff was prescient in naming the creators involved with these revamp, they just couldn’t predict with total accuracy which artists would end up on which book. Former Deadpool and Superman penciler Ed McGuinness was named Wizard’s ideal Masters of the Universe artist, but actually penciled ThunderCats instead.

McGuinness would likely excel at any 1980s property, but his style truly fits the world of the ThunderCats. His work incorporates elements of Jack Kirby and manga, inspirations that aided him in pioneering the late 1990s/early 2000s “chunky” style of comic art. Thick, imposing figures that somehow maintain a slick edge to their design. Under his pencils, the ThunderCats retain their classic heroic proportions, while also appearing modern and visually engaging. Regardless of your feelings on ’80s cartoon properties, Reclaiming Thundera was legitimately one of the best-looking titles on the stands during its release.

The miniseries is pure nostalgia, aimed directly at fans of the 1980s cartoon series. McGuinness’ art isn’t exactly the original series’ style, but he resists any urge to redesign the characters. Many of the ’80s revivals had gritty or busy revamps, but McGuinness maintains a clean, smooth line. This isn’t an effort to reinvent or update the concept — this is the ThunderCats fans remember from the television series. In fact, the mini is explicitly set after the events of the show’s final episode, “The Book of Omens.”

Unlike other action-adventure properties of the time, ThunderCats provided its cast with a true ending to their story. The series finale had the team facing different tests to save their new home, New Thundera (their original planet was destroyed in their origin story, naturally.) Their young leader Lion-O faced trials within the mystic Book of Omens to prove himself once and for all as Lord of the ThunderCats. At the episode’s end, their arch-enemy Mumm-Ra is soundly defeated and the team is ready to repopulate their planet with other ThunderCats who fled Thundera’s destruction.

The premise of Reclaiming Thundera is a simple one. Lion-O is ready to send out the call for other ThunderCats to locate their new home, but a newly resurrected Mumm-Ra is constantly distracting him. The first issue has Mumm-Ra summoning Shadowmaster, a wizard who only appeared once on the show, to ambush the team. The villain’s defeated, rather easily. The heroes don’t have to outwit him or come up with a new battle strategy or really push themselves in any way. Mumm-Ra summons a villain, the heroes confront him, and there’s a double-page spread of Lion-O looking cool.

This turns out to be a pattern for the next few issues. The second issue continues the formula, while also introducing a guest star hardcore fans will remember from the show. This time it’s the noble samurai Hachiman, who aids the team against Slythe and the mutants, villains introduced in the show’s first episode.

The third issue swaps Hachiman out with Evil Chaser First Class Mandora, the show’s cool female space cop, and pits the team against the Lunataks, a group of punk-inspired evil alien raiders. Sadly, this issue has Ed McGuinness taking a month off, replaced by Francisco Herrera, who’s doing a riff on Humberto Ramos. It’s cartoony, yes, but a severe departure from McGuinness’ work. There is, however, a variant Joe Madureira cover (with amazing colors from Udon), marking one of the few times he rendered any of these characters.

McGuinness returns for ThunderCats #4, which features his strongest art on the title. The story finally breaks the series’ pattern, and even hints that more’s been going on than readers might’ve assumed. After WilyKat is kidnapped by a winged Ma-Mutt (Mumm-Ra’s adorable pet bulldog; seriously.) Lion-O confronts Mumm-Ra inside his pyramid, providing McGuinness his first opportunity to render the mummy’s transformation into his true form. If you’re an ’80s kid picking up this series, this is what you’re putting your money down to see.

After the team thinks they’ve earned yet another victory, Mumm-Ra declares they’ve been “jumping through hoops” and allowing him to exploit their powers and draw upon Thundera’s life force and channel the spirits of the ThunderCats’ ancestors. He uses this energy to revive Grune the Destroyer.

Very likely, only the most hardcore of fans remember Grune. He’s a former ThunderCat who turned against their mentor Jaga and, years after his death, menaced the team as a ghost. The villain has a strong gimmick — he’s a gruff sabretooth tiger who’s betrayed his former heroic alliances. Some of the old villains revived here don’t have much of an impact, but Grune feels like a legitimate threat.

The fifth issue’s gimmick is that Lion-O must face Grune — back in his body — for leadership of the ThunderCats, shortly after Jaga’s spirit has departed and left Lion-O with the responsibility of leading the team. (Apparently, an abandoned series finale entitled “Goodbye Jaga” would’ve followed many of the same beats back in 1989.) Grune is adamant Lion-O cannot merely banish him, as he’s declared a duel to the death. Boasting Lion-O doesn’t have what it takes to be king, Lion-O surprises Grune by parrying his attack and flipping the villain to the bottom of a nearby chasm.

This is the first real deviation from the kind of material you would expect from the show. The heroes don’t kill, and they certainly don’t kill as a final test to determine their ability to lead the team. Having passed his ultimate trial, however, Lion-O announces he is journeying inside the mystic Book of Omens to complete his training, and that when he returns he’ll have the wisdom to lead their planet into a new renaissance. As time operates differently within the Book of Omens, he’ll return to New Thundera (rechristened simply “Thundera” in this series) after only a few days, even though years will have passed for him.

And, for the second issue in a row, Mumm-Ra is back in his base, laughing manically. Mumm-Ra boasts that every confrontation in the series was an easy challenge he ensured Lion-O would not lose, all a part of his plan to force the ThunderCats into complacency. After their kingdom is rebuilt into something worthy of conquest, that’s when he’ll strike. It’s a curious move on Gilmore’s part. Were the easy victories of the earlier issues an intentional attempt by the writer to lure the audience into a false sense of complacency…or was he responding to negative feedback coming in as the issues were released? This was in the days of email and message board critiques in 2002, after all.

Finally, the evil Mumm-Ra reveals he’s cast a temporal spell over Lion-O that will keep him within the Book of Omens for years. He’s darkly amused at what Lion-O will discover when he finally emerges from the book. The answer to that lies in Wildstorm’s next miniseries, the rather controversial ThunderCats: The Return. The premise had Lion-O emerging five years later, on a New Thundera ruled by Mumm-Ra. It was a dark, occasionally sexualized take on the concept, one that contrasts sharply with this initial outing.

‘Thundercats’ Movie Revived With ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Director Adam Wingard

“Godzilla vs. Kong” director Adam Wingard is attached to helm a computer-animated adaptation of the beloved 1980s Rankin Bass animated series “Thundercats” for Warner Bros., from a script Wingard will write with frequent collaborator Simon Barrett (“You’re Next,” “The Guest”). Dan Lin of Rideback and Roy Lee of Vertigo, who produced Wingard’s film “Death Note,” were already attached to produce the film with a script by David Coggeshall when Wingard signed on, but Wingard and Barrett are starting fresh.

The original series, which aired from 1985 to 1989, was revived for a single season Cartoon Network in 2011, and then again in 2020 under the title “Thundercats Roar.” But as a feature film, “Thundercats” has been a tricky project to crack for the studio, which has hired a small parade of screenwriters and producers since at least 2007 to bring a movie to life. The underlying story is at once relatively simple — a team of humanoid cat-people (or cat-like humans) like Lion-O, Panthro, and Cheetara fight the evil wizard Mumm-Ra on the planet of Third Earth — and surprisingly complicated, with a mix of technological space sci-fi and swords-and-sorcery fantasy. There’s the mystical blade that holds the Eye of Thundera and the Ancient Spirits of Evil, and then antagonistic aliens like the Mutants of Plun-Darr and the Lunataks.

In an interview with Deadline, which first reported the news, Wingard made clear he is not interested in making a “Cats”-style live-action version of “Thundercats,” and wants instead to take a CGI-approach to the visuals that would embrace the “’80s aesthetic” of the original series.

“I don’t want to reinvent the way they look; I want them to look like Thundercats,” Wingard said. “I want to do a movie you’ve never seen before: A hybrid CGI film that has a hyper-real look and somehow bridges the gap between cartoon and CGI. That’s the starting point”.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.