Sunday, March 19, 2006

Retro Review

In 1986, Star Comics (a division of Marvel Comics publishing titles such as Ewoks, Heathcliff, He-Man & the Masters of the Universe and Peter Porker: The Spectacular Spider-Ham) published a little title called Care Bears. Issue number five tells the story of the first Care Bear (and Care Bear Cousin) in light of the "new Care Bears movie." While the cover of this Stan Kay/Howard Post comic may look like it could contain some decent art at least, it was deceiving. The art was absolutely crappy, as was the coloring and shading. I feel for the kids who were treated to such a poor display as this (I wonder why Star Comics didn't catch on...). In this book, Hugs and Tugs are given the Story Star, which tells them about the first Care Bear and really, the origin of the Care Bears and Care-a-Lot. Before they get to hear the story, however, two kids being neglected by their parents wish for real animals instead of stuffed ones, and the two diaper-clad bears appear. So, the story is soon told of how Noble Heart Horse and True Heart Bear (pre-tummy logos) followed the sounds of sobs from their conflict-free Eden, and discovered a horde of kidnapped bear cubs and other animals in a cage, whom Dark Heart was trying to turn into evil followers. Noble Heart distracted the kidnapper while True Heart "wished" the animals' cage opened (because, of course, the Wishing Star was out). When Dark Heart realized he had been tricked, all of the animals wished together to be out of his clutches and the Wishing Star then created Care-a-lot and the Forest of Feelings for them. They were all given logos on their tummies by the star and then Noble Heart and True Heart were turned into stars (?) to watch over the cubs (and the cubs were duped into a life of protecting the feelings of the humans on Earth below at some point in there). The Story Star's tale is overheard by the neglected kids' parents and they all have a tender moment before Noble Heart and True Heart burst in to retrieve Hugs and Tugs. Yow. This writer wasn't very ambitious in telling the origin behind this marketing giant. Must have taken a cue from the artist.

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