Thundercats: The Return
A five part comic book series published by Wildstorm
/ DC Comics
from April – August 2003 (which means they actually hit the comic book stands between February and June 2003).
Each book was authored by Ford Lytle Gilmore
and pencilled by Ed Benes
. The first two issues were inked
by Joe Pimentel
, while the final 3 were inked by Rob Lea
This series of comics, although based on a kid’s television series
, seems a little more adult oriented
than previous comics – sort of. The female characters are big breasted
and wear skin tight
, torn, barely-there outfits
. But then, the dialog and story line remains “kid simple”. A strange mix.
Issue Plot Synopses
#1 – Apr 2003
The first issue opens with Snarf
considering opening the Book of Omens
and releasing Lion-o
, who has been training within the book to become the Lord of the Thundercats for 5 years (although it only seemed like 1 day to Lion-o). Snarf explains to Lion-o that Mumm-ra
has again risen to power and enslaved all of Thundera. Lion-o pledges to free Thundera
and his companions, and destroy Mumm-ra once and for all. The issue closes with a shot of Wilykit
and Wilykat scantily clothed
and chained, in the service of Lord Mumm-ra.
#2 – May 2003
Lion-o, thinking that Tygra
is dead, sets off with Snarf to save Panthro
who is enslaved in the mines. In a couple pages, Lion-o has beaten a couple of Mumm-ra’s baddies (don’t worry kiddies, they just unconscious – Lion-o would never kill anyone!) and he’s into the mine to find Panthro. Meanwhile, Mumm-ra watches the action in his pool of evil red water
in his pyramid
while smacking around the barely covered (sweet) Wilykat
. Lion-o and Snarf find Panthro being mistreated in the mines and quickly lay a smack down
on the baddie guards. A call of “Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats, Ho!
” and they’re done. An unnamed Thunderian slave asked Lion-o to promise to free Thundera from Mumm-ra, then stays behind to guard their escape. It doesn’t look like he makes it, but you never know – remember, nobody dies in Thundercats.
#3 – June 2003
This issue was published with two different cover pages. One features Mumm-ra and Lion-o, while the other depicts the Thunderian male fantasy of Cheetara’s well endowed
form in a skin-tight swimsuit
type thing chained to a stone column surrounded by Mumm-ra’s henchmen
The issue opens with a nude Mumm-ra
exiting his bath and being dressed by the (still) scantily clad Wilykit and Wilykat
. The scene changes to Tygra working in what looks like a scholarly setting, being harassed by some baddies. We pan over and find Cheetara chained to a stone column
(wearing the very limited remains of a bikini), and being harassed by baddies, as is their M.O. Lion-o and Panthro decide to save Tygra and Cheetara by bursting in the front door and kicking butt. They grab Tygra and then save Cheetara in 10 pages of mutant knocking-out action. The issue ends with Cheetara smacking Lion-o, believing it’s his fault that Thundera has fallen to Mumm-ra. Finally we see Mumm-ra convincing Wilykit to turn traitor and lead his friends into Mumm-ra’s clutches.
#4 – July 2003
We open with Wilykit scratching himself up and coming up with a story about how he escaped Mumm-ra, to cover his true traitorous intentions. Then there are some nice panels of scantily clad Wilykat being abused by Mumm-Ra. While Lion-o, Panthro, Tygra and Cheetara argue about how Lion-o left Thundera to fall to Mumm-ra, in comes Wilykit with his story of escape and how he can lead them in an ambush of Mumm-ra. Meanwhile, back at the pyramid, Mumm-ra is summoning up some super-powerful mutants from his pool of evil red water. The Thundercats follow Wilykit’s lead and enter the pyramid, knocking-out a few minor mutant baddies
and finally coming face-to-face
with Mumm-ra. Now Mumm-ra explains how he used Wilykit and then blasts him with some finger lightening and drops him into the evil red pool. The Thundercats feel bad and get ready to face Mumm-ra’s new mutant baddies.
#5 – August 2003
Continuing the scene from the last episode, Mumm-ra drags the chained and sobbing Wilykat away from the fight Lion-o et al are giving the super-powerful mutants. In a few pages it looks like things are under control so Lion-o leaves by himself to find Mumm-ra. We find the evil mummy harassing Wilykat (who’s still in a Princess Leia type get up), but she fights back and Mumm-ra accepts that she’ll never be a good slave and frees her. Honestly, he seemed sad to let her go – maybe there’s a soft side to the old mummy
Mumm-ra decides it’s time to kick some Lion-o butt so he calls on the spirits and transforms into the all powerful muscle bound blue dude (who always loses). Meanwhile, Wilykat returns to the Thundercats where she aids in the fight, and poses nicely for a panel with Cheetara – both in barely there skin-tight suits, almost bursting out of them (the excitement builds!). So, Lion-o tries to take Mumm-ra on his own and almost gets whipped before the other Thundercats arrive and smoke (literally) Mumm-ra. They all decide that Lion-o can’t do this Lord of the Thundercats thing on his own, and Lion-o accepts that while reminding them that he’s the reason Thundera has fallen.
And the series finale kicker: Mumm-ra isn’t dead (surprise!) and neither is Wilykit (surprise!), and we hear the beginnings of Mumm-ra’s plan to turn Wilykit into an evil sorcerer who will serve Mumm-ra. Stay tuned kids!
The final page of issue #5 shows what appears to be the cover of the next 5 part comic series entitled Thundercats: Dogs of War
. This series will be set 10 years into the future, with Lion-o as an aged king while Thundera is besieged by a canine race. The book says the new series is coming in June, which when translated from the comic book calendar, means it should have been available in May or April 2003.