Strap in folks; this is one of the longest issues of SITM. It ought to be, since this is the conclusion of the 'first arc' of the story.
I always really liked this cover page, even though it's pretty hard to make out what exactly is going on. Seth is jumping out to reach some kind of handle on a space ship, jumping over a field of fire. Nebula's castle burns in the background. Nebula, Dark One, and Doom's Day can be seen in the background as well (not sure why Doom's Day is there, since he doesn't show up in this issue). The Seth, Zach, and Jess symbols are orbiting Seth's head for some reason. Also, a Dark One minion robot can be seen exploding, as well as the laser of the Robo Buster firing. So busy! But I get a good sense of epic-ness here.
I think I vaguely got the composition for this cover from the box art for the Sega Genesis game Strider. (<link) The castle in the background, and the importance of the handle on the ship are reminiscent of it, and considering Nebula was heavily based off of the Grand Master or whatever his name was strengthens the theory.
Let's see... the number of times that confining Seth have actually worked = 0. Good job there, Nebula. Just a cracker-jack plan.
However, Nebula is having none of this. He fires green lightning! Look out!
|Well that was fast...|
Seth and Nebula battle it out. That third panel is Nebula's green lightning 'negating' Seth's energy blasts. However, Seth gets a lucky shot at Nebula's orb, which apparently spells trubs for Mr. Skeletor Genie.
|There's a shift to pen for the dialogue bubble... Why?|
Without the anchoring power of the orb, Nebula's skull explodes, his cloak crumpling to the ground. Seth decides to take advantage of Dark One's distraction and book it. I can't spell 'popsicle' correctly, however.
|Mask off = IT'S ON!|
I guess with Nebula's death, the castle destabilizes and begins to fall apart. The various minions are already fleeing as best they can. Before Seth can get to an escape ship, he is blasted by the purple lightning power of DARK ONE!!! And he's even taken off his mask! What could this mean?
Well, we see that Dark One is just another yellow, bald person, just like Seth & co. So he's human, I guess? I never overtly state this in the comic, but this was supposed to be a Big Reveal of the following fact:
Dark One was actually my childhood bully, Matthias! DUN DUN DUUUN! There was a strange, sick little boy who was my next door neighbor for several years when I was young, named Matthias. While we were sort of friends, he also did a lot of fucked up stuff. My parents hated him, and eventually forbid us from playing with Matthias ever again. Not one to question my parents, Matthias took on a sinister quality. He was the closest thing I had to a bully or enemy as a kid, so I decided that he was Dark One's 'true identity.'
This makes Seth and Dark One's climactic showdown all the more thrilling, no?
|Same last words as his master...|
Our duel lasts for... one page. Dark One deflects a few of Seth's energy bolts with a purple shield-thing, but then Seth shoots the ceiling above Dark One, burying him under a pile of rubble. Perhaps a call back to how Doom's Day 'killed' Seth? Perhaps. Seth sure looks dumb in that last panel. He's like 'bwuh?'
Dark One is defeated! But is he dead? There's not enough time to confirm the kill, as the fire spreads. It appears there are no ships left!
"Ert!" is supposed to be a tire-skidding sound. I was very happy with the fire pouring out of the entrance to the castle.
I guess 'BRAAAA!' was my go-to sound for rockets taking off? Come on, Seth! You can reach it! I mean, you were able to magically fly to the top of the castle, so why can't you just magically fly to the rocket? Or leave the castle under your own power? I guess the limits of Seth's powers are ill-defined.
Seth makes a running jump, and grabs those handles at the last moment! Below him, the fire consumes Nebula's castle. The orchestral score swells!
|Dat 'splosion though.|
Nebula's castle explodes in an awesome blue-white super nova thing. So cool. The rocket flies straight into a plot hole, where Seth magically finds his way back home to the Morff. Everyone is happy to see him.
|First panel = F--|
That's a terrible first panel. Zach looks like a deranged cactus. Before Seth bothers to inform his brothers on what just went down, they are interrupted by Prometheus, who is on the computer.
|Spelling/grammatical errors: 3|
Prometheus has detected an 'interplanitary object' heading in their direction. It appears to be a cylinder of some kind. I like my little text box at the end:
"Could this mean more trouble for the gang, or is it a flying soda can? Find out next issue!"
Thanks, 10-year-old-me, I couldn't have wrapped this up better myself.