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Thread: Pre-Filmation MOTU technology, sorcery and mystery

  1. #1
    MOTU Addict/Horde Wannabe Spikewolfe's Avatar
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    Pre-Filmation MOTU technology, sorcery and mystery

    I figured there must be a thread for this era somewhere, but in using the search, I was only able to find the one for pre-Filmation in MOTUC. Mods, feel free to merge this if you know of an appropriate thread.

    Since MOTU first appeared in 1981, I've always preferred the look and feel of the canon in the original 4 mini-comics as well as the later Alcala comics. I've never been able to put my finger on exactly why until seeing the pic of the new MOTUC Wind Raider with the engine hatches open. The problem for me is that it's 100% technology! I'll explain. In the original mini's there was technology and sorcery like there is in all versions of MOTU, but in the earliest version they are much more intertwined and mysterious. In the lead up to Filmation, (and in all versions of MOTU since then) there is technology and sorcery, but they are kept separate from each other. Weapons and vehicles are usually creations of Man-At-Arms or sometimes Tri-Klops. Making the vehicles and weapons creations of current characters instead of unknown ancients takes away the mystery and a lot of the appeal IMO. The vehicles and weapons in early MOTU were mysterious items left behind in the wake of a great cataclysm and few knew the complete history/story behind them. Mini-comic appearances of Point Dread and the Talon Fighter are perfect examples of this ancient, mysterious type of vehicle that is equal parts technology and sorcery. Even the original Castle Grayskull playset had this aspect to it as well.

    So there you have it. Ancient, mysterious origins to weapons and vehicles and the lack of closely intertwined sorcery and technology are what I feel have been missing from MOTU since the early 80's. What do you all think? I'm curious o hear what everyone thinks, but especially interesed in the opinions of other hard core pre-Filmation era fans.

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    Heroic Warrior gjm679's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more. As a kid, I only had 2 of the original 4 mini-comics, but 6 out of 7 from the 2nd wave, missing only "The Tale of Teela". They were always my favorites. Especially, Tri-Klops and Trapjaw's comics. Once Filmation started up, the whole story line changed, and the comics started to suck. (Some were painfully stupid.)
    Adding to the mystery was the fact that Zodac never appeared in any of them. I've always thought they just rushed out the first 8 figures before anyone realized that nobody knew what the hell a Cosmic Enforcer was supposed to be.
    Moving away from the early combo of sorcery/technology/barbarianism was like watching your favorite band sell out.
    However, I am not a total purist. I prefer the MYP cartoons to the Filmation ones.
    But if this movie ever happens, I want Tri-Klops, Trapjaw, and Mer-man to be portrayed like they were in those early comics.

  3. #3
    Sunflower Golden Lord josh's Avatar
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    I think you summed it up pretty well, Spikewolfe. At least for my adult self. When I was growing up, I wasn't happy that Prince Adam wasn't in the live action movie. These days, I could generally do without him.

    I agree with you, gjm679, about the earlier Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops, especially. Not only did they seem tough on their own, since they didn't actually want to work for Skeletor (and in the case of TK, his honor made him seem less cookie-cutter), but Skeletor seemed even more evil because he could bend these unwilling people to his will. And the Alfredo Alcala and Mark Texiera artwork has always been something I've enjoyed in those mini comics. They're probably the reason I work in the comics industry.
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    Fighting Foe Fan Whiplash7's Avatar
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    I like the mixture of science, mystery, and even sorcery, but not necessarily in vehicles and such all at once. Not all of the vehicles or weapons necessarily had unknown or ancient origins, or had magic. ie: The Battle Ram obviously was ancient, but not magical. I'm not sure anything is ever said about the Wind Raider's origin, but Man-at-Arms refers to it as "Science". In "Danger at Castle Grayskull", MAA is shown to not only invent weapons, but also vehicles (Attack Trak). Personally I like that mixture of both old/mysterious technology, and new stuff too. As well as keeping magic in the mix, but mostly separate from each science.
    Last edited by Whiplash7; August 7, 2011 at 02:45am.

  5. #5
    sculptor - fantastique JimPansen's Avatar
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    All of MOTU glory rose in Germany nearly without Filmation!
    So we were blessed in my opinion
    I don´t hate Filmation but im very happy i got to know Masters without it!

  6. #6
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Great job, Spikewolfe!
    We need more Pre-Filmation love around here!

    The Blonde Teela (Battleground and Alcala Teela) Thread
    The Cloak and Dagger Evil-Lyn (The Real 200X Evil-Lyn) Thread
    MegaGearMax's 200X/MYP Screen Grabs

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    Evil Witch of Metternia Met-Hild's Avatar
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    I always interpreted the old minicomics so that most Eternians had fallen to a state of barbarism or at best medieval level where all high technology was as good as magic to them. Like Clarke's law states: "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". There was real sorcery and witchcraft abounds, and the ancient technologies were mix of science and magic, but even when faced with pure technology, He-Man would think it was all sorcery. Man-At-Arms had some knowledge of the technology passed down through generations, at least to keep things working and replicate things invented long ago, but not enough to start a new technological revolution.

    I've never really been a fan of a modern feeling high-tech fairytale take on Eternia that started with Filmation and culminated with MYP. You get the feeling that they have all the technology from Star Wars but decide to wear furs and leathers and fight wars with swords and maces for no good reason. I still think the MOTU mix of barbarians, technology and magic works best in the first minicomics, where most of the technology is made up of poorly understood relics of a long-lost supercivilization.
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    Heroic Warrior
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    This is one of the reasons why I hate that they created King Grayskull and the MOTUC bios.

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    Master of Physics VZX's Avatar
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    I agree. Even as a kid in the 80s, I never liked the Filmation series. I much preferred the early mini-comics and DC comics.

    I agree about the ancient technology thing. It makes more sense as to why these warriors would have ancient weapons and armor and still fly around in vehicles.

    The very first Mini-comic, "He-Man and thePower Sword", would make a great place to start for a movie. Each page could almost be a storyboard for the film.
    "Everything comes to he who waits."

  10. #10
    Fighting Foe Fan Whiplash7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechthild View Post
    I've never really been a fan of a modern feeling high-tech fairytale take on Eternia that started with Filmation and culminated with MYP. You get the feeling that they have all the technology from Star Wars but decide to wear furs and leathers and fight wars with swords and maces for no good reason.
    Well in MYP, some of the weapons are shown to be scientific as well. MAA's Mace does a lot of stuff (which I really like), and Buzz Off's axe shoots energy. I like that some 'primitive' weapons are more than they seem.
    As for using use swords or dressing in certain ways? I like to think of it as cultural in nature, in clothing and in combat. Eternia is a violent and war-torn planet through the ages, so perhaps hand-to-hand combat is considered an honorable true test of skills in battle, and still popular.

  11. #11
    MOTU Addict/Horde Wannabe Spikewolfe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjm679 View Post
    Couldn't agree more. As a kid, I only had 2 of the original 4 mini-comics, but 6 out of 7 from the 2nd wave, missing only "The Tale of Teela". They were always my favorites. Especially, Tri-Klops and Trapjaw's comics. Once Filmation started up, the whole story line changed, and the comics started to suck. (Some were painfully stupid.)
    Adding to the mystery was the fact that Zodac never appeared in any of them. I've always thought they just rushed out the first 8 figures before anyone realized that nobody knew what the hell a Cosmic Enforcer was supposed to be.
    Moving away from the early combo of sorcery/technology/barbarianism was like watching your favorite band sell out.
    However, I am not a total purist. I prefer the MYP cartoons to the Filmation ones.
    But if this movie ever happens, I want Tri-Klops, Trapjaw, and Mer-man to be portrayed like they were in those early comics.
    Actually, check out the "Power of Point Dread/Danger at Castle Grayskull" read along book and record. Zodac appears there.

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior gjm679's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikewolfe View Post
    Actually, check out the "Power of Point Dread/Danger at Castle Grayskull" read along book and record. Zodac appears there.
    I was only referencing the mini-comics.

  13. #13
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Arkangel's Avatar
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    i know i started a thread like this a few years ago, must had been too long ago cuz it doesn't show up anymore

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    MOTU Addict/Horde Wannabe Spikewolfe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjm679 View Post
    I was only referencing the mini-comics.
    Okay, I always considered the record/book set that came with Point Dread to be one of the mini-comics. Packed in with vintage MOTU, same artist/writer as well. I guess you're right though.

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior gjm679's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikewolfe View Post
    Okay, I always considered the record/book set that came with Point Dread to be one of the mini-comics. Packed in with vintage MOTU, same artist/writer as well. I guess you're right though.
    Point Dread was a very early release. I've always wondered why items like Snake Mountain, Fright Zone, etc. didn't come with their own comics/books too.

  16. #16
    Heroic Southpaw Lefty's Avatar
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    First, of all I accept and like all different versions of the MOTU continuity. I watched filmation everyday as kid. I was blown away by MYP as a 25 year old. I collected and loved all of the MVC comics.

    With all the that said, pre-filmation is my true love. Someone bought me He-man, Skeletor and MAA in '82. I thought they were cool toys, but was totally engrossed in the mini-comics that came with them. I got one duplicate comic, so I had 2 of the original 4. I think they were "He-man & the power sword" & "King of Castle Grayskull". I read those books until they literally fell apart. I probably sort of learned to read from them, as I was very young.

    The world presented in those minicomics was so "grown-up" compared anything else that was presented to me at the time (I was only 5).

    I liked the cartoon well enough when it started, but no other continuity had the mysterious wonder of the original.

  17. #17
    Moron Extreme Gonzo Merman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    First, of all I accept and like all different versions of the MOTU continuity. I watched filmation everyday as kid. I was blown away by MYP as a 25 year old. I collected and loved all of the MVC comics.

    With all the that said, pre-filmation is my true love. Someone bought me He-man, Skeletor and MAA in '82. I thought they were cool toys, but was totally engrossed in the mini-comics that came with them. I got one duplicate comic, so I had 2 of the original 4. I think they were "He-man & the power sword" & "King of Castle Grayskull". I read those books until they literally fell apart. I probably sort of learned to read from them, as I was very young.

    The world presented in those minicomics was so "grown-up" compared anything else that was presented to me at the time (I was only 5).

    I liked the cartoon well enough when it started, but no other continuity had the mysterious wonder of the original.
    Yeah, when I was first introduced to he-man, it was back in when I was 4-5 ish. I remember discovering the cartoon after I got my first He-Man. It also helped that my mom worked at Mattel in Baldwin Park and she knew about it. I can't remember what the factory was that was near by. I think Kenner, but it had a strawberry in the logo. I don't know. Also, there was a drive in theater in the area which we saw a lot of the cool 80s movies like Star Trek 2 and 3 and the 80's Batman movie

  18. #18
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Genius! I never thought of MOTU that way! That is, Eternians were part of a race of people who evolved, evolved, evolved to the point that technology ruined them. A new civilization rose from the ashes, using magic and leveraging technology left behind by the civilization before.

    While I credit Filmation with actually solidifying a consistent foundation for the mythos, I was heartbroken to see how watered down they made it. Like many others, I grew up on the minicomics. That said, I loved the MYP version.

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    Fighting Foe Fan Whiplash7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    First, of all I accept and like all different versions of the MOTU continuity. I watched filmation everyday as kid. I was blown away by MYP as a 25 year old. I collected and loved all of the MVC comics.

    With all the that said, pre-filmation is my true love. Someone bought me He-man, Skeletor and MAA in '82. I thought they were cool toys, but was totally engrossed in the mini-comics that came with them. I got one duplicate comic, so I had 2 of the original 4. I think they were "He-man & the power sword" & "King of Castle Grayskull". I read those books until they literally fell apart. I probably sort of learned to read from them, as I was very young.

    The world presented in those minicomics was so "grown-up" compared anything else that was presented to me at the time (I was only 5).

    I liked the cartoon well enough when it started, but no other continuity had the mysterious wonder of the original.
    Apart from the learning to read bit (I was 9), a lot of what you wrote applies to me. I read the minis until they fell apart too, lol. The toys were cool but aren't what initially appealed to me. It was when I started reading the first minicomic that I was just completely reeled right in. My cousin had given me an extra, I loved it and eventually started getting toys. And over time I mostly got the first 4 minis with the figures, over and over. I got quite a lot of "Battle in the Clouds" iirc, lol. It took a long time to get the 4th one though, I got it on my 11th birthday. It came with Whiplash. Fond memories of that day!

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior gjm679's Avatar
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    Sounds like a lot of us had the same experience. I don't think I had any figures until about '83. "The Vengence of Skeletor" came with one of my first two figures. (I got 2 at the same time, one of which was Skeletor, but don't remember if it came with him or not.) The comic was bilingual (w/ French) and is posted on this site in the publishing section. I had several figures before I ever heard of the cartoon. I remember seeing the list of new figures (* coming soon) on the back of one and wondering who Prince Adam was.
    Anyone out there who saw the cartoon first, and then saw the old comics much later? Would be an interesting perspective.

  21. #21
    "No Lashor, We Bash Ya!" Robzy's Avatar
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    I agree! I never really liked the Filmation show, even as a kid. The comics were definitely superior. I prefer the magic/Gods/mysterious science storyline too!
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    Alcala Idolator Crusader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimPansen View Post
    All of MOTU glory rose in Germany nearly without Filmation!
    So we were blessed in my opinion
    I don´t hate Filmation but im very happy i got to know Masters without it!
    Same thing in Belgium.
    The cartoon was aired on Dutch and French television ("Par le pouvoir du crâne ancestral" ... ugh) so I could watch it, but the main exposure was to the toys themselves in the toystores, the catalogs or the merchandising (view-master, placemats, stickers, etc) in regular stores and they featured a vastly different, more barbarian He-Man like the one in the early mini-comics.
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  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior suckator's Avatar
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    I like the pre-filmation era best as well!

  24. #24
    Master of Eternian Lore Chroniklor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
    Same thing in Belgium.
    The cartoon was aired on Dutch and French television ("Par le pouvoir du crâne ancestral" ... ugh) so I could watch it, but the main exposure was to the toys themselves in the toystores, the catalogs or the merchandising (view-master, placemats, stickers, etc) in regular stores and they featured a vastly different, more barbarian He-Man like the one in the early mini-comics.
    Yep, that's a true word! I can't remember exactly, but I even think not all episodes were aired... And don't forget the minicomics. I still have some old ones from back in the day "Battle in the Clouds", "Menace of Trap-Jaw", "A Dragon's Gift"...
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior snakeeyes0217's Avatar
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    My friend won tickets to the premiere of the Filmation cartoon at a big theater in downtown Chicago. Having been a fan of the original mini-comics, I was so excited to see those comics brought to life! Then they showed them...my friends and I suddenly felt like Masters wasn't cool anymore...that they turned it into something for "babies" as my friend who won the tickets told me as he handed me the MOTU crayons and coloring book that he won with the tickets.

    So now while I appreicate the Filmation stuff, the bad reused animation and juvenile stories almost killed MOTU for me. The good that came out of my dissapointment is that it inspired a ten year old me to write and draw my first comics in the vein of the original minis.

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