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.
It’s been a while since we had an update on Sony’s Masters of the Universe reboot/revival/whatever. Last we heard, Kick-Ass 2 writer/director Jeff Wadlow had completed a script, while G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu departed the project. While the film is still in development without a director, Sony has brought on Thor: Ragnarok scribe and recent New Warriors writer Christopher Yost to rewrite the screenplay.
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.
If you were into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe back in the '80s, then you might remember that the toys came with minicomics that provided some additional story about bare-chested heroes fighting equally bare-chested (and surprisingly muscular) skeletons --- and if you were really paying attention, you might recall that those comics featured some early work from legendary creators like Mark Texeira and Bruce Timm.
If that's the case, you might be tempted to dig through toy bins at conventions and try to put together a run yourself, but fortunately, Dark Horse is saving us all the trouble. This October, it's releasing the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection, a whopping 1,232-page hardcover that collects every single minicomic from the classic toy line, bumped up to 6" x 9" and presented in production order.
Considering that it's a franchise built entirely on going way over the top with sword-and-sorcery action, bizarre sci-fi, and a heaping helping of Jack Kirby-inspired action, you might think that Masters of the Universe would be exactly my jam. The thing is, it was just slightly before my time --- my mom has reminded me on several occasions that I was once really into He-Man, but I was so young that I don't really remember it, and I don't have a connection to the franchise today.
That said, I want Dark Horse's The Art of Masters of the Universe book so bad that I'm not sure if I'll be able to wait until it comes out on May 6. Compiled and edited by Steve Seeley and Tim Seeley --- the same Tim Seeley currently writing Grayson for DC --- the book doesn't just collect concept art for the TV show, toy line and comics, but it's an exhaustive look back at the franchise that even includes Mattel's internal guidelines on how to create a "generic Male Action Figure" that are absolutely fascinating. Check out a preview below!
Some of the most horrifying things I have ever seen in my life are those baby dolls that people buy and then paint to be ultra-realistic so that they can sell them on Etsy to people who, I assume, have truly horrible homes. Today, however, I have learned that crafting horrifying babies out of plastic is something best left to the professionals, because I have seen Mattel's new Baby Skeletor doll.
While top talent -- as in, Moebius, Bruce Timm, Stan Sakai, just to name a few -- have elevated Mattel's Masters of the Universe toy, cartoon and movie franchise to something special, so far the closest thing a comic book creator had come to getting their own MOTU figure was sometime He-Man scribe Geoff Johns' childhood creation Sir Laser Lot being produced. But, thanks to the magic of... being Stan Lee? Stan Lee, who has co-created scores of iconic Marvel super heroes in addition to curiosities like Stripperella -- but has never had anything to do with MOTU -- has received a new alter ego in the realm of Eternia by the name of Standor.
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