It's the early 1980s and Marvel Comics is trying to figure out the next big thing among children 8-12 years old. Star Wars, kung fu, Kiss, disco, you name it, Marvel's done a comic book about it. Let's see, what's left? The kids must want something new in their comic books and in their action figures based on those comic books. Wait, what's that you say? All the kids are crazy about igneous rock formations? Why, that's it!

And thus was born CRYSTAR THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR! You'd think that this was some toy company idea that Marvel begrudgingly wrote a comic book around, but no - CRYSTAR was created and wholly owned by Marvel Comics, who licensed the concepts to Remco for an exciting line of crystal-based action figures and crystal-based accessories and vehicles. Which no child ever wanted, ever. Marvel, however, did not concern itself with intangibles like the fickle preferences of consumers; they knew that they could print it on quality paper, throw a painted cover on there and a "#1" in the corner and the comic book fans would buy it regardless. And now, get ready for feature length fantasy in the Marvel manner: THE SAGA OF CRYSTAR.

With a title like 'The Sundered Throne' you know that the guys behind this are firmly convinced they're working in the High Fantasy field now. Look out Tolkien! That throne is gonna get sundered and there might be little bits of it flying around, so look out.

Our story opens with some brother-on-brother wrestling in the throne room of the kingdom of Galax on the planet Crystalium. Two princes, one's Crystar, one is Moltar, three guesses which one turns out evil! Hint: it's not the one the comic book is named after.

Moltar is distracted by some yelling and is thrown by his brother. "Yay!" call out the nobles. "Yay!" High fantasy, folks.

Looks like there's important royal business to be taken care of, so all of Crystar's friends can leave now. Beardo gets to go home and see his kids, and moustache man is going to an "out of the way club" that welcomes "handsome boys". Hey, I don't write this stuff, I'm just putting it out there.

I gotta say, it's not often you come across a comic book so sure of its own narrative strength and storytelling energy that it wastes an entire panel on three people saying "hi" to each other.

The Time Of the Prophecy Of Chaos? As opposed to the Prophecy Of The Time Of Chaos, surely. I bet we'll get a double-page spread out of this one, that's MY prophecy!

Demon lord who is also chaos, conquer world, monsters, skulls, forces of order send champion wizard, "prisma-crystal" shooting demon destroying light rays, chaos defeated, promises to come back and screw with everybody again, yadda yadda yadda. Hey, what's that last part?

Hm, brother against brother. I wonder if that has any special meaning for us, brother? Ya think?

The mysterious unknown stranger turns out to be Ogeode, a mysterious unknown super wizard. Nice try on an awesome reveal, but it loses some of its power when it involves characters we've never heard of before.

Turns out that amazing double-page spread of demons and skulls and fire and Prisma-Crystals, all that happened only a few months ago! Boy, think of the exciting comic book THAT would have made! Giant monsters, super rays, fire, blood... but no. What WE get is brothers wrestling and super wizard Ogeode explaining how he's not good for much of anything any more, you're all doomed, good night. This is fantasy in the Marvel manner, people, feel the excitement.

So a couple weeks later and we're back with the gang in the throne room, watching paint dry... I mean, watching our two royal princes bicker and feud and call each other "gorf". It's not a question of IF the throne will be sundered, just a question of WHEN. And I do mean 'when' because we are well into this comic and not a lot has been happening. Fantasy takes its time, I guess.

Wait, another mysterious glowing figure appears! And our comic reacts as if it's meeting the new guy who moved in down the hall. "Oh, who is he?" Don't strain yourself with that majestic fantasy dialog there, comic.

I gotta say, it's rare to see a comic book based on crystal toys that has the balls to come right out and say that it is not impressed by crystal toys. That's some serious chutzpah right there.

Strange glowing man with a giant head and a fu manchu moustache appears out of molten lava in your throne room? I'm pretty sure he's evil. But they have to ask, it's only polite.

And hey, guess what. He IS evil. Refreshing to see some good honest evil for once. We wouldn't want any intrigue or trickery to gum up the works of our elaborate, sophisticated HIGH FANTASY here, you know.

So Moltar wants to join Team Chaos and Crystar wants to stay with Mom and Apple Pie. IS THE THRONE TO BE SUNDERED?! Please? We're waiting!

If only Crystar hadn't treated Moltar like a gorf, then none of this would have happened. I don't blame him, I hate being treated like a gorf. Now, being treated TO a GAME of Gorf, the awesome Midway arcade game, that would be DIFFERENT! Man, I loved to play Gorf. It had that crazy voice that taunted you, and the flagship sequence was always tough, and... oh wait, the little guy hit his head. Oh no.

it's tragedy and heartbreak and some strangulation as our hero Crystar attempts to murder his brother. Really selling some toys here fellas, kids love a good throttling scene.

But it's steakknife to the rescue as Moltar fights back the only way he can - by puncturing his brother's vital organs!! Who would have thought that a story entitled "The Sundered Throne" and prominently highlighting a prophecy about brothers fighting each other would feature brothers fighting each other?? Besides everybody, I mean?

Yes sir, we are only HALF WAY through this exciting tale of crystal warriors and their crystal vehicles and accessories. This is FANTASY, remember, fantasy in the mighty Marvel manner! Which apparently means "taking its sweet time". Tune in next week, same crystal time, same crystal URL, as we bring you part two of THE SAGA OF CRYSTAR THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR!!!