We’re going to take an extensive look at He-Man in books, comics, and mini-comics, from 1981 all the way up to DC Comics’ 2012 mini-series. I’ve never reviewed individual comics on this site before, but for He-Man, we do what we want. I bet we’ll even look at a thing or two that we die-hards missed the first time around.
As best we’re able, we’re going to treat this material with a more “serious” eye than most of this stuff has typically received (or deserves). Yes, a lot of it was little more than shameless toy marketing, but again, He-Man. We’re here for nostalgia, not Shakespeare. Any way it goes, we’re going to have fun with it. We’re going to start right off with the chronological beginning and, while we’ll generally go in order of publication, we may do a little skipping around (the mini-comics, for example, were typically produced well before they were first released; anyway, I’ll do my best on the dates). I will be giving ratings; scores will assume a certain degree of affection for the franchise. I’ll be relatively generous with the RECOMMENDEDs, as most of this material can be read in five to ten minutes.
Now, a little background: the Masters of the Universe backstory was made up as the creators and marketing people went along, and the result of this is several mythoi, with no real attempt ever being made to reconcile these into a single continuity. As such, it’s nearly impossible to talk about a single He-Man canon, but that’s all right as long as we all know where we’re coming from.
The Filmation Mythos is my favorite version of He-Man. Certainly it’s the one that had the biggest influence on my childhood and the one with the most stories. This originates with the 130-episode Filmation cartoon that began in 1983. He-Man’s true identity is Prince Adam, Man-At-Arms has a mustache, and Orko is a featured character. Just about every post-1983 story includes at least Orko and the Prince Adam identity. Rather than being distinctly separate, the pre-Filmation mythos evolved gradually into this.
The 200X Mythos is based on the cartoon that began in 2002. It is rooted in the Filmation series, extensively incorporates elements from the mini-comics and original toy line, and originates some of its own story elements and character histories.
So, here we go on our nostalgic He-Man retrospective/sentimental journey/bonanza-palooza.