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!









As great as the concept art is --- and as much as I always love seeing pieces from the legendary Earl Norem --- it's those internal memos about why they should try to create a "Male Action Figure" and how they're useful for channeling aggression that I find most fascinating. Especially considering that He-Man was apparently meant to compete with Evel Knievel.

The full 304-page book will be released on May 6 with a cover price of $39.99, along with a special edition limited to 4,000 copies. And yes: It contains an interview with Dolph Lundgren.