Who could forget the early 1980’s animated television debut of Mattel’s new toy line, Masters Of The Universe, courtesy of the acclaimed Lou Scheimer and Filmation studio?
“I have the power!” He-Man would bellow, lifting his Sword of Power triumphantly high above him. So amazing! Who could forget?
If you were into science fiction and fantasy, sword and sorcery, and all things that were muscley-oiled barbarianesque figures draped in loincloth, He-Man and his cast of friends and foes was for you! “He runs lifelike – like this!” we’d excitedly imitate to our school playground friends, mimicking the upper and lower torso movements of our animated Masters of the Universe heroes, chest muscles and thighs that didn’t abruptly stop when a running motion ended, like in other cartoons we watched. No, in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, it took an extra few seconds for a body in motion to come to a halt. It took the characters some time to reestablish their bearings. Just like in real life. How revelatory!
He-Man was different than anything we had seen before. And so the concept became beloved. All the kids I knew ran out to their local toy store in search of Battle Cat, Man-At-Arms, Teela, The Sorceress, Skeletor and the crazily named Fisto, Extendar, Buzz-Off, Ram-Man and Man-E-Faces figures. Of course, Castle Grayskull with its sharp-toothed drawbridge and its trap-door throne was a hot commodity (of which I can proudly state is still boxed up and protected in cardboard, somewhere in my parent’s attic, waiting for the day that my kids are old enough to play with it).
Although the series and toy-line fell out of favour over the decades, He-Man has always remained in the pop culture zeitgeist. Over the last few years, the wheel has turned, and the characters have become popular once again, giving rise to a new kids cartoon series, and a more adult-focused animated series on Netflix – surely aimed at those 80’s kids who have since grown up.
Today sees the 208-page hardcover release of The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe via publisher, Dark Horse Comics.
The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a compendium of behind-the-scenes drawings and paintings of the newly developed Netflix series that tends to add a little more science fiction heft to the fantasy elements of the property. Here, you’ll find He-Man and all of his allies, along with the villainous Skeletor and his group of minions, the landscape of the planet Eternia, technology, weapons and vehicles. The book highlights the making of the animated series, providing an in-depth look at how the series came about, from inception to streaming screen.
The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a perfect addition to any library for a fan of toys, especially in the fantasy and science fiction genres. Chiefly, it’s a wonderful illumination into the magical process of animation production and world-building.
Wield the power! Make the run to your better local comic book shop or bookstore today and pick up a copy of The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.