This is not a Wheeled Warriors advertisement


By Shawn Robare

So speaking of the Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors cartoon, it reminded me that I have a couple of short (4-page) comics stories that were inserted as ads in the Fall 1985, and Winter 1986 issues of the He-Man & the Masters of the Universe magazines.  Since the toys were produced by Mattel it stands to reason that the He-Man magazines would be the perfect place to spread the word on the upcoming cartoon and toy line.  These comics are also cool because both double as huge fold-out posters as well.

  

  

The first comic serves as the crib notes version of the origin story with Audric developing the perfect genetically engineered plant that will end hunger across the galaxy.  There are a couple of slight deviations from the first episode of the cartoon, but it’s more or less the same.  All told, this is at lest the fifth version of the origin story in illustrated or comic form.  In addition to the cartoon and this comic there is also a retelling in the WW Sticker Fun Book as well as Little Golden Book called The Adventure Begins.  Also, according to the WW wiki page there’s also a 13-page WW comic in a French comic anthology magazine called Pif Gadget, though I haven’t been able to put my eyes on a copy.  There were also mini comics included with the toys, though I’m betting they have a completely different story as the back of the box bios mention nothing about Jayce or any of the Lightening League.  I’m super curious to get a hold of some of the toy mini comics…

Both of these comics were illustrated by Paul Kirchner, a prolific writer and artist who has worked for DC, Wally Wood, and Heavy Metal Magazine.  He also created the 3.75″ line of military figures called Eagle Force for Mego (which was mentioned in this Hot Dog article.)  He also illustrated the fold-out posters, the first of which is basically a huge advertisement for the cartoon…

  

  

The second comic is a quick bit featuring Jayce “alone-at-home” while Herc Stormsailor goes off to search the planet they’re currently on.  It’s a little weird since Gillian and Flora should also be around, but apparently aren’t, even though all of the Lightening League vehicles are accounted for.  Anyway, Saw Boss and his cronies attack the Battle Base and it’s up to Jayce to defend their HQ.  What I love about the comic is a scene where Jayce realizes the only way to drive the attackers away is to combine all of the Lightening League vehicles into a giant totem pole of destruction in a maneuver called the Stack & Attack.  I wonder how many kids stacked their toys like this?

I also love the poster on the back side of this comic as it’s basically a catalog of all the toys.  I loved catalog posters like this that I used to get along with Transformers or any of the G.I. Joe vehicles.  I’m considering getting a cheap frame for this one as I think it would look great on my office wall…

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  • Paxton Holley

    Wow, those “”Lightning Strikes!”" and “”Stack and Attack”" posters are NICE! You said it earlier, Shawn, if nothing else, this cartoon was very well designed from a visual standpoint. I love the logo with the buzz saw. Everything is very visually appealing.

  • Esteban

    Oh man I just recently went to my mom’s house in Texas and picked up all my old He-Man magazines from when I was a member of that fan club. They’re all in a box in the closet right now. I’m crossing my fingers hoping I have those issues and that I left the posters intact. I will check tonight. Once again, thanks for reminding me about some facet of my childhood that would otherwise have remained long forgotten!

  • Kid Kobun

    Wow! I completely forgot all about Jayce. I’m almost certain that I had Saw Boss and Gun Grinder. They have that familiar look…like I can remember playing with them at one point. Maybe they weren’t mine. It has been well over 20 years.

  • Paul Kirchner

    Thanks for putting this art up. I had forgotten I’d done that, but I was pretty busy in those days.