Oh, boy! I still remember the illumination of the “Filmation” animation company letters fall across my cathode ray tube television like colourful dominos, on some mid-week day, after school, in 1983.
How about these famous words: “Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said…”
No, it had nothing to do with puberty.
It was a cartoon, for heaven’s sake. Based on a line of action figures. Toys! It was He-Man and the Master of the Universe!
I remember, age ten, collecting the various He-Man set of action figures: He-Man, Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Ram-Man, Fisto, Extendar, Snout Spout, and Man-E-Faces amongst many others. Sure, they’re unfortunate (and somewhat homo-erotic) sounding names now, but for a while, they were right up with G.I. Joe and his swivel-arm battle grip.
But it was the cartoon series that sold me on all the toys.
Now, He-Man has been seen various iterations over the last few decades, both in toys and in cartoon form. Of course, who could ever forget the Dolph Lundgren-starring, big budget, Hollywood film in 1987? (The cast, that’s who! Bah-dum!) Seriously, it was that original 1983 series that seemed more real than any other cartoon I had ever watched before – and I had watched quite a few by the time I was ten. The show was famous for making its muscle-bound characters punch, walk and run in a very realistic way. After a sprint, for instance, there was no mere “stopping”. Nope, the characters sort of just “jiggled” their way to a standstill. To a ten year old and his pals, it was the most real thing since collecting proofs-of-purchase logos off of toy boxes and backboards.
He-Man and the Masters of Universe centered on Prince Adam, battling the forces of the evil Skeletor, in his alter ego form, the sort of Conan-esque barbarian strongman called He-Man. Protagonist and antagonist each held halves of the magic power sword, and each vied for control over the mysterious Castle Grayskull and the ultimate rule of the universe.
The true origins of He-Man, which begin in the late 1970’s with the company called Mattel declining a toy line based on a little science fiction adventure film called Star Wars, will have to be told another day.
Instead, let me tell you that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe return in a comic book mini series from DC Comics! Acclaimed writer James Robinson and artist Phillip Tan, an illustrator perfectly suited for the sword and sorcery genre, will return you to your childhood roots while placating your more mature comic book reading sensibilities in the process.
So make the run, and pick up He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1. You’ll undoubtedly “have the power” (to rule the universe, naturally) if you do!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!