Poester DB sends along this dissenting opinion to my review of the first issue of DC’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. (Warning: contains spoilers for the entire miniseries.)
I am going to have to disagree with you on this one, Poe. I read tons of comics nowadays, and have read all of these with the exception of the origin of Skeletor which I don’t have. I agree with you some about the art, but not about the story.
I have heard much bashing of Issue #1. Typical of the MOTU fans I reckon. And I probably sound like Scott Nitelich (spelling?) when I say “Hello! We are getting a NEW COMIC! We should be thankful!” But it’s true. There has been a long dry spell in media related to MOTU since the Mike Young and MV Creations era.
But this time it is really different, and I can see why some people of put off by it. But hear me out please. My He-Man is the same as most peoples…The He-Man from Filmation and the Mini-Comics. The Prince Adam angle has been riffed on a lot. “Mineternia” has not so much. I feel that the writers have done well in advancing the stories forward. We can have a new context to put familiar characters…a context that is going more for the Barbarian angle, I think.
Poe, you mentioned that He-Man would appear on the front of every comic, whether Adam transformed or not….I say “So. That hot babe that Conan is painted with on the cover of his comic NEVER APPEARED IN THE STORY!!!” The cover got your attention, though. Then when you opened the book, you didn’t get what you expected. Isn’t it BETTER that way? If it was what we expected, then it would get old fast. (Prince Adam is transforming AGAIN…time to get a Snicker Bar from the kitchen…) (Or even better. James Eatock’s “This time the artists took special care with the transformation…..)
But we DID see He-Man. In Prince Adam’s dream. And he appears in the Digital Exclusive comics as well.
No. This time we are getting a NEW 52 style MOTU story. Maybe even a FLASHPOINT type of story. A story that accounts for all the schema before. But sort of twists it in a fresh way. In a way that is aimed at adult readers as well. This time it is not for the kiddies so much. I don’t see a problem with that. The MOTUC toys are aimed at us adult collectors? It is time to take off the “kid gloves” and let this Barbaric Sci-Fi Epic Fantasy live to its full potential.
Now the thing about writing for the trade paperback kind of bothers me. But as a comics reader I have come to accept that there will always be fewer one-shots. There are pros and cons about the big story arcs. But they sell books. Otherwise, DC and Marvel would stop printing them for the Graphic Novels. Isn’t that the goal? Resurrect He-Man in the minds of Mattel, and the minds of the people?
I also like that it seems that Mattel has handed the keys over to DC, pretty much, for this project. These books seem to go to places forbidden by Mattel since the filmation era. There is blood and sex appeal. Even a romance story in the Evil-Lynn Digital book. There is a truly evil Skeletor, who shocks you with what he does. A real villain. Not a clown. And if you read the Origin of He-Man, the transformation bit is going to be de-emphasised greatly, it appears. Where could this go? Maybe we will see He-Man finally in a more mature situation with Teela. Maybe they can grow beyond that hinted at love and can finally grow into a full on relationship that leads to marriage and a little Dare. All of this was handled very awkwardly before because it was aimed at kids. Who could forget that whole Fisto and Sorceress “scandal.” Maybe now Mattel and other people won’t have an allergic reaction to a little sex!
One thing about the last run of MOTU comics we got with Val Staples and Emiliano was Mattel seemed to have an iron grip on the property, if you listen to them talk. They could not do certain things. They had to do certain things. I just don’t think this comic is going to be hampered in the same way. Everything from the design to the tone feels like the writers and artists have complete control. I don’t doubt for a second that the upper management still has to see the books ahead of time. I just think they are letting DC Comics be DC Comics. Mattel can keep making toys, which it does best. DC can stick to what they do best.
As far as the art is concerned, I am a little spoiled. To me, the pinnacle of modern comic art was Todd McFarlane. No one can touch him. And I admire Earl Norem’s work so much on He-Man that his stuff canvases all of the computer screens that I regularly use. So nothing will ever be good enough for me, short of McFarlane drawing the comic, or maybe bringing Emiliano back. (I may be biased here…I am fond of Emiliano.)
I have heard a lot of rant about the blond Teela, looking too much like She-Ra. Without giving away too much, the new She-Ra has a “butch” hairdo. I believe that the iconic long blond hair will come back to She-Ra. Just at a later story, when Teela takes over as Sorceress, and thus, the confusion will be minimized. I heard a lot of bashing of the art in the Lazer-Lot digital comic too. I do feel that it was a little rushed. It felt that way to me. But a rushed MOTU comic is better than none! And the Digital exclusives were bonuses that NO ONE SAW COMING if you remember. I wonder if Geoff Johns knew it was coming?
The only designs that I have had an issue with are MerMan (He has a tail?) and Evil Lynn (Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty?) I don’t like the Butch “Despaira” She-Ra, but it was a new look that advances her somewhere she has never been. Kind of like Orko…..
Hope there weren’t too many spoilers for you or anyone else, Poe. But I feel strongly about the new comic and I getting my Subscription in today. (Payday!) I hope I am not too late for that first variant cover. Feel free to post this message if you want to, Poe. I’d bet others agree with me….