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Friday, April 29, 2016

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Prince and the New Power Generation: Three Chains of Gold

You know, I was saving this issue for one rainy day. Unfortunately, it had to be for this. As some you y’all might know, Prince suddenly passed away last week. It was a bit of a shock to me and pretty much everyone else. I’m not the biggest Prince fan out there, but I like some of his songs. I’ve listened to most of his stuff from his prime. I can say that he was really gifted musician. The guy could almost play anything and that’s really cool to me.

I found this issue during Free Comic Book Day last year. I even tweeted on it since it literally looks like one of the most random finds ever. I mean, a Prince comic book? I’m not surprised that there would be something like that out there, but seeing is believing in this case. This was done by Pirhana Music back in 1994 and was an adaptation to a video Prince released around that time. Prince and the New Power Generation was shockingly written by Dwayne McDuffie… yeah, that Dwayne McDuffie! David Williams (no relation), Steve Carr, and Deryl Skelton handled the pencils for this 48-page issue. Inks were done by long-time inker, Josef Rubinstein.

Prince and the New Power Generation: Three Chains of Gold
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Pencils: David Williams (pages 1-22); Steve Carr (pages 23-48); Deryl Skelton (pages 23-48)
Inks: Josef Rubinstein
Colors: Danny Vozzo
Letters: Robert Lappan
Editing: Andrew Helfer

“Three Chains of Gold”
The story begins in Irech, a country in the Middle East. Its king and his brother, Tammuz, get into a disagreement about who will be the next ruler of the country. The king wants his daughter to take the throne but the brother obviously doesn’t like it. The ruler needs “Three Chains of Gold” to be in power and the king won’t give Tammuz his chain. The brother knocks the king down a staircase killing him. Tammuz then makes plans to usurp the title from the king’s daughter. We then shift over to another city in the Middle East where Prince and the New Power Generation is doing a concert. When the police show up to end the concert, the king’s daughter, Princess Mayte, makes it so that the concert continues.

After the concert, Prince and Mayte get to know each other a little better. Unfortunately, her bodyguard informs her of her father’s death. She returns to her home as Prince heads back to America. Mayte finds out that Tammuz killed her father and is now looking for the other two chains. Tammuz tries to see if she has her chain, but it turns out she gave hers to Prince. He then locks her up. Tammuz ends up sending assassins over to America in order to kill Prince (eh… too soon?) and get the chain. Luckily, Prince isn’t so easily tricked. Even when more come, he takes care of them quickly.
Man, if someone told me that Prince was Batman, I’d probably believe them. The guy could do almost anything!

In Irech, Mayte talks her bodyguard into escaping the country to head to America. They make it there while Prince is fending off another assassin. Prince and Mayte decide to get to know each other a little better if you get what I mean. The next morning, Prince assembles everyone together and they make a plan to get her father’s chain which is hidden in Gilgamesh’s tomb. They travel back to Irech, but Tammuz is waiting for them. He was warned by a reporter who’s trying to get an interview with Prince and looks suspiciously like Kristie Alley. They land elsewhere and head to a town. They almost get caught by the authorities, but Mayte has followers and Prince has fans.

Wow, the New Power Generation doesn’t screw around.

The group get camels and head to Giglemesh’s tomb. Prince, Mayte, and Tony (one of the NPG) head inside while the others provide a distraction. After they avoid traps, they make it to the final chain. Unfortunately, they find Tammuz waiting for them. He ended up using a secret passage the king created. Tammuz thinks he’s won, but a final trap finishes him off for good. In the end, Mayte has all three chains. She asks Prince to rule beside her, but he says refuses. The story ends with him handing her the chains put together.

……………………………………………………………

This was a fun story. It’s a bit clichéd, but seeing Prince like this is cool and funny. If you’ve ever wanted to see Prince as a swashbuckling, singing, loving, dude, then this is the story for you. It tries to not take itself too seriously. McDuffie did his best to infuse a lot of funny moments in. The artwork is also pretty decent. I will say that I enjoyed Williams’s work better than the others, but it all worked. There wasn’t much of a discrepancy between the different artists since the inks and colors made everything look consistent.
Well, then!

It does have some pitfalls. As I said before, it’s a cliché story of a guy who helps a hot woman in a foreign land. The villain is also a little generic. I also thought the ending seemed pretty rushed. That was weird to me because this was a huge issue without any ads. I guess it couldn’t be all perfect. Then, there was some art I wasn’t really feeling. Overall, this was one cool find. If you run into it in any cheap bins, pick it up for the Purple One.

Well, I’m outta here. Next month is Sci-Fi Month, so come back if you’re interested in me talking about some science fiction goodness. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and be careful out there. By the way, here’s a little something that might make you smile if you liked Dave Chapelle’s take on Prince.
Still makes me laugh.

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