Heroes & Villains – Masters of the Universe: Revelation #1, Remembering Richard Donner

“Nothing of importance happened today.” A bit of historic apocrypha attributed to King George III and his non existent diary on July 4th 1776. It’s a legend that’s positively dripping with hubris and it really says quite a bit about the country that kept it going for centuries. It’s not like George 3 was checking the tweets that day and went, “Oh, snap! They declared independence? What a bunch of haters and losers!”

Regardless of how false it is the quote has been lodged in my brain for ages and I tend to think of it at least once a year around this time. So, what happened today? Nothing important.

And now… the weather.

Comics!

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION #1
Kevin Smith, Rob David, Tim Sheridan (W)
Mindy Lee (A)
Dark Horse Comics

Here comes the blurb!

This is the official comic book prequel to the upcoming Netflix television show written by Executive Producers Kevin Smith and Rob David and episode writer Tim Sheridan and featuring art by Mindy Lee (Crimson Lotus). 

Following a vicious Orlax attack on his father King Randor, He-Man learns the creature is linked to the origin of the sword of power. To save Randor and put an end to the chaos, He-Man embarks on an epic journey that pits him against his longtime foes Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, and sees Teela take the reins of a powerful legacy.

It’s safe to assume that I, like so many others of my age, am looking forward to He-Man’s return to the small screen later this month. Since this show is billed as a direct follow-up to the original Masters of the Universe cartoon there HAS to be a tie-in comic that fills in some of the gaps between where the old series ended and the new one picks up. I will freely admit that my MOTU knowledge is quite a bit lacking so Revelation was a…revelation. Judges? We’ll allow it.

Now, I’m not saying I haven’t seen the original cartoon (AND She-Ra) multiple times during its original run and in syndication but a lot of that information was overwritten by Star Wars and Transformers lore. It also didn’t help that the cartoon, Marvel’s STAR comics adaptation, and the mini-comics packaged with most action figures all presented different continuities. Don’t even get me started on the Dolph Lundgren movie.

Maybe Revelation will be part of an aligned He-Man continuity like Transformers tried to do a few years back. Maybe a barbarian with a magic sword in furry underpants that fights a jacked, blue muscled, skeleton man doesn’t need much more explanation than just that. After reading Masters of the Universe: Revelation #1 I know that the property is safe in Kevin Smith’s excitable and nerdy hands. It’s going to be SO much fun.

“Say, Jim! That’s a BAD outfit! Woo!”

Earlier this week Richard Donner sadly passed away. He was 91 which wasn’t a bad run, all things considered and the mark that he left on pop culture cannot be denied. He’s responsible for more than a few movies that helped shape my young and still forming brain at the time they were released, I could probably do another 500 words on how Goonies is one of the best films of all time.

But today, I’m going to focus on his Superman movie because not only did he make the perfect Superman movie, he changed the game, broke the mold, set the GOLD STANDARD for all other superhero movies that were to follow it. It’s been said that Kevin Feige has a screening of Superman at the start of production for every Marvel movie and that right there is the high that we’ve been collectively chasing for the last 43 years.

Every subsequent Superman cinematic endeavor has and forever will be judged against this movie and while you may have your favourite, none are fit to breathe the same rarefied air as Donner’s Superman. There’s something just so beautifully simple and true about how Superman is portrayed in the film. The famous tagline of “You will believe a man can fly” sells the high concept of the movie, but you will also believe that Superman is a hero that always does the right thing and that he is “a friend.”

Below, I’ve linked to my absolute favorite scene from the film. It is the purest distillation of what every Superman film should aspire to and it never fails to make me tear up every single time I see it. It. Is. Perfect.

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