Friday, August 3, 2012


DC Comics Presents was DC’s Superman team-up title in the ’70s and ’80s. Issue #47 (July, 1982) marks He-Man’s first appearance in mainstream comics. This issue, “From Eternia – with Death!” was written by Paul Kupperberg and illustrated by Curt Swan and Mike DeCarlo. Here, Skeletor inadvertently opens a portal to Earth (specifically, to two feet in front of Superman), then bewitches Superman to fight He-Man.

Yes, they fight. It’s short, decisive, and not at all the most interesting part of this comic. Superman doesn’t do a great deal for the story, but having your A-list good guys fight each other has been a shameless (and effective) comic book marketing ploy since time immemorial. But from a Masters of the Universe viewpoint, as far as his role in the story, Superman is pretty much interchangeable with any of the other Heroic Warriors that Skeletor works his magic on.    

This is much more a MOTU comic than it is a Superman one, which makes sense given that DC went on to do a couple more things with the franchise in the following year. One of the ramifications of this is that we get quite a bit more Eternian world building than we’ve previously seen.

The DC comics feature a unique mythos that bridges the gap between the earliest He-Man stories and the cartoon in interesting ways. Many of the rudiments of the cartoon are here, including Prince Adam and a talking Cringer, but with distinct differences from their cartoon incarnations. Adam, for example, is a troublemaker, has tremendous strength of his own, and transforms into He-Man by entering the “Cave of Power.” Setting-wise, the transition from “primordial fantasy with advanced technology” to “medieval fantasy with advanced technology” is complete. Interestingly, the Queen-Marlena-is-from-Earth backstory, which is mentioned in the cartoon on a couple of occasions, appears first here. And DC continues to use the long-haired, blond Teela from the second series of mini-comics.

In the end, it’s a satisfying read, primarily because of the world building and new mythology.


Read it HERE

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