Exercise is hard, but if your fitness goals tend to line up with the way that characters in the cartoons of the early '80s looked --- all stout muscles shown off by chest harnesses and loincloths --- then I have a plan for you. Instead of working out, just remove all mirrors from your home and replace them with Sideshow's new high-end statue of He-Man, the Grayskull-powered warrior from Masters of the Universe.
It's not unusual for San Diego Comic-Con to debut a new episode of a fan-favorite cartoon --- in fact, it'd be downright shocking if there wasn't at least one premiere screening over in the Indigo Ballroom all weekend. When the fan-favorite cartoon in question had its last new episode in 1984, however, that's a little more notable.
And that's exactly what's happening this year. On Wednesday, Super7 --- the folks behind the eponymous magazine and books about Japnese toys who are also responsible for reintroducing the world to Ultimate M.U.S.C.L.E. figures at last year's Comic-Con --- is debuting a brand-new episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe this Wednesday, almost 32 years after the last one.
It's been a pretty interesting year for crossovers. The epic Transformers vs. GI Joe just wrapped up with its literally planet-shattering conclusion, Judge Dredd's about to fight Aliens and Predators at the same time, and we just recently got to see the surprisingly amazing Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover that somehow happened in 2016 instead of 1994. Now, we're getting another crossover that Fans of a Certain Age have been waiting decades for.
In October, DC's gearing up for Thundercats/He-Man, in which the two muscled-up, sword-wielding action figure lines collide for the first time since every kid who owned both toys made He-Man hold the Sword of Omens and pretended to have him turn into a kitty cat.
If you did not know that Sony Pictures is working towards the production of a brand new He-Man movie, then you obviously are not one of the 462 supporters of the Change.org petition to have a new Masters of the Universe movie be put into production. The petition also (very helpfully) provides a suggested release date of 2017 or 2018, though I’m sure that the audience would gladly push that back for the right story.
Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist.
This week we're doing something pretty different. For one thing, though Masters of the Universe has been a comic, it's primarily a TV cartoon and a line of toys, and those are the sources I'm turning to in casting this movie. The other difference is that this movie is actually in development, with McG reportedly expected to direct.
This past weekend, you may have been lucky enough to find yourself in Austin, TX to attend the second annual MondoCon. If you weren't (like me), you apparently missed out on a whole mess of cool announcements (like me). In addition to the requisite vinyl and print teases for upcoming releases, Mondo also hinted at the future of its collectibles line. We already knew licenses like He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Madballs would be on hand, but Mondo's creative director of toys and collectibles Brett Otterbacher had a few surprises for those in attendance, too.
According to a recap in the Austin Chronicle, Mondo will be crafting statues based on two different DC Comics prints that have already been released. First, a cast version of Francesco Francavilla's "Red Rain" print will be coming soon. Like the Godzilla statue based on the work of Phantom City Creative, the Batman-as-Dracula piece will be stylized as a 3D recreation of Francavilla's scrawny, bony, fang-bearing art. There will also be a Harley Quinn statue based on the 2014 SDCC-exclusive print from Matt Taylor (above). How this Harley will be translated to a statue remains to be seen, as this piece is just as much about her room as it is her. It will be interesting to see which elements make the leap to physical form when the statue begins development.
This weekend will see the second annual MondoCon take place in Austin, TX, and with that comes the debut of amazing exclusive vinyl soundtracks, prints, screenings, posters and teases from Mondo about its plans for the coming year and beyond. While there will be a heavy leaning towards film at MondoCon, there will be a smattering of comic and cartoon-related goodness on display, too. Jock will have his own panel, the 1989 Batman will get a special showing, and for the first time, Mondo's upcoming 1/6 scale He-Man figures will be on full display.
The He-Man figure announcement came at San Diego Comic-Con, but the showing of any assets was very hush-hush, meaning this weekend's event will be the first time the general public will have a chance to peek at the prototypes for He-Man and Skeletor in their new forms. In advance of their debut, Mondo teased the a bit of the preliminary design sketches to give fans an idea of what to expect from their particular take on the '80s cartoon characters.
Artist Stjepan Sejic is a busy man. From working on the likes of Sunstone, Death Vigil, IXth Generation, Rat Queens, Ravine, and covers for seemingly dozens of different books, he somehow also found time to design a new series of statues for Sideshow Collectibles. I can barely tie my own shoes every morning, but this dude found way to digitally draw and paint a half-dozen books a month, and had some spare time to guide the look and feel of a line of Masters of the Universe premium format figures. Wherever this dude is eating, I would like to go to there.
We first got our look at the Sejic-designed pieces at San Diego Comic-Con, but now it appears Sideshow is ready to formally reveal the Masters of the Universe line with it's first piece, He-Man. This statue is just the first of two (the other being Skeletor) that were shown off at SDCC, but Sideshow intimates this could just be the beginning for the MotU series. If this He-Man is any indication, that's going to be a set of statues that even the most lapsed of fans can fawn over.
One of the greatest things about being into comics right now is that we're getting closer and closer to a time when there's nothing that isn't reprinted. I mean, really, as much as I love digging through back issue bins --- and as much as I doubt that particular pastime is going anywhere --- being able to snag a comic that might have otherwise been forgotten in a high-quality prestige format is pretty cool.
That's why I'm so excited about Dark Horse's upcoming He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Mini-Comic Collection. Set for release next week in comic book stores, the 1200-page hardcover collects the original mini-comic stories that were packed in with the MOTU action figures --- comics that featured creators like Mark Texiera and Bruce Timm --- in a brand-new complete package.
Remember when you were a kid and you'd pit toys from different lines against each other, like, say, having the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fight the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation in a crossover that somehow never happened? Remember how this was something you definitely did as a kid and not, like, this weekend when you were bored and realized that you paid good money for all these toys and so you might as well get some use out of them? Well, Ubisoft, the video game publisher best known these days for the Assassin's Creed franchise, is certainly hoping you do, because that seems to be the premise of the upcoming Toy Soldiers: War Chest.