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Sunday, March 3, 2024

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MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION #1- He-Man is Back! (Smith, David, Sheridan, Lee, Renzi, Bennett, Šejić) Dark Horse Comics

Thanks to Dark Horse Comics for the review copy!

If you grew up in the 80s, there were probably three cartoons (that were really just commercials for toys) that shaped your life – Transformers, G.I. Joe … and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Like the other two franchises, He-Man also saw a big screen live action adaptation, albeit a horrible one (1987’s Masters of the Universe starring Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella). With Netflix releasing an animated reboot, this comic serves as the official prequel to the series. Does this comic have the power?

If you don’t know who He-Man is, you might not be super interested in this comic, but in case you are, here is some context. In the original cartoon, Skeletor is the main big bad (he’s basically a guy with a skull face). Prince Adam is kind of like a Clark Kent figure who uses a power sword to transform into He-Man and defend Eternia.

This comic starts a new storyline for the Master of the Universe, while filling in some Eternia lore that the series never really explained. If you watched the cartoon, you’ll like the Eternia history and explanation behind some of the show’s iconic features. If you haven’t seen the show, if you read the paragraph above, you’ll be fine.

The art keeps some of the hallmarks of the cartoon, while putting its own stamp on things. The characters are easily recognizable, but the strong lines are more angular and coupled with brighter colors. The oversized muscles (which I think were stripped out of one of the animated reboot attempts) are obviously not realistic, but consistent with the toys I grew up with.

The 1980s cartoon was fairly ridiculous. This issue (and I imagine the animated series, which I’ll have to check out next) feels darker and more serious, while maintaining the spirit of the Masters of the Universe I fondly remember. This comic has about the level of cartoon violence you’d anticipate from a cartoon about bad guys trying to take over and the heroes to oppose them, meaning it is appropriate for most ages.

This issue feels like a worthy successor to the He-Man series. If you don’t know who He-Man is but are interested in checking out the Netflix cartoon, this could serve as a good introduction since it is a prequel.

Masters of the Universe Revelation: #1 is now available.

Are you going to pick up this title? Have you already? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

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Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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