Thursday, April 23, 2015

He-Man and The Masters of the Universe - DC Comics 2012

Masters of the Universe, or MoTU, is franchise I have followed since the beginning in all its forms. The 1980s cartoon and toys were the first media franchise I can remember really getting into. I took to Skeletor, and later Hordak, like most kids my age loved Luke Skywalker. I even liked the follow-up series set in space; the Skeletor light and sound staff being one of my favorite toys that Christmas.

And though the 80s adapations haven't held up that well for me, unlike Thundarr the Barbarian which is still great in story and animation, the 2002 MoTU series is top notch. Great animation, more complex story telling, and all hokiness pushed aside led it being the best adaption yet. It's a real shame it got canceled so quickly. From what I read they were leading up to the coming of Hordak to Eternia.

And for toy collectors, Mattel has been doing some great revamped versions of the classic figures for collectors. I've had my eye on Keldor(Skeletor with a face) and Hordak for some time, but have been trying to resist yet another collection.

So being a fan of the franchise, I was excited to hear that DC Comics was going to be producing a new comic series. And though its been running since 2012, I just now bought the graphic novels. One reason being I like to make sure a title doesn't get canceled right away. The other being I only buy graphic novels these days and wanted a few to build up.

The new series is quite good and stands out in one major way. It is the first MoTU adaption to be targeted at adult's only. It has the complex writing of the 2002 series, but without the network constraints. This comic is dark and often violent with one instance of He-Man actually cutting a bad guy in half. It unfortunately doesn't follow the 2002 series, and is a whole new series, but has some interesting ideas and cool takes on the classic characters. Teela, who is snarky and nearly as tough as He-Man, constantly gives him a hard time and is a real stand out character.

I don't want to give away much about the story, spoilers and all. But it begins with all the Masters living mundane lives and having no recollection of their heroic past. The first few issues are tad slow with too much focus on He-Man himself, but once he meets Teela the series takes off and was hard to put down.

He's got bangs and knows how to use them.

My only gripe with the series is the artwork is a little rough. There are a few decent issues here and there, but it could be better. I may be a bit spoiled by companies like IDW who put out the highest quality art possible for 80s properties. Luckily, they quickly phase out He-Man's Prince Valiant pageboy haircut. The cover art, on the other hand, is always fantastic. Interior art aside, it is still a very good comic even if you are only a causal fan of the franchise.


  1. I'm a lifelong MoTU fan, too, and that comic looks awesome. You've driven me to finally start collecting issues/graphic novels. I especially like Evil-Lyn's look. The upcoming book The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has my interest, since the covers painted by Earl Norem on the He-Man Golden Books just blew my mind as a kid.

    1. I'm really glad to hear you are a big MoTU fan too! I've had my eye on that art book as well.

      And being an Evil Lyn fan, I think you will really like her in the new series. They made her much more formidable and on the same level as Skeletor. Plus, there is this one painted cover of her that is amazing.