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Thread: Masters of the Universe Mini-Series DC Comics Discussion

  1. #1776
    Former fan fic writer Hordak Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    Yeah, Skeletor trying to get into Castle Grayskull to learn all of it's secrets is his whole gimmick. What will he do now?


    Perhaps Skeletor, too, will get to move into some new territory. Just because the power of Grayskull is out of his reach won't mean Skeletor won't keep trying to conquer Eternia for himself.


    If I recall correctly, there were a few occasions in the Filmation cartoon where Skeletor at times tried to DESTROY Castle Grayskull and it's power like the one episode where Skeletor traveled back in time to ancient Eternia where he was trying to construct some kind of fortress in the same place where Castle Grayskull was supposed to be in the present. With his completed fortress in it's place, Skeletor would've made Castle Grayskull cease to exist from the timeline. Kind of like a 'if I can't have it, nobody will' mentality with Skeletor for that one.


    I think, in the new comic, Skeletor still will have plenty of motivation. First off, he hates He-Man for 'stealing' his 'birthright' plus all of the times He-Man defeated him. And, second, Skeletor will still want to conquer Eternia and lord over all living things. It just takes away the cliched 'Which Gimmick Will Skeletor Use This Time To Try And Break Into Castle Grayskull' idea.


    Castle Grayskull could still function as a fortress of some kind and pretty sure the technology of the ancients would still be hidden within it's walls. I dunno, I just want to see where the writers take this new incarnation of MOTU.
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  2. #1777
    Heroic Warrior Replikor's Avatar
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    I got into a major debate with my bud Joe over this, and felt I would get some opinions an thoughts on this from the rest of you.

     
    Is it just me or did anyone else notice the "Orko style" O's making up the entire lower section on the "flame demons" jawline shapes on the monsters at the end of Issue 6?

    Also if you look.. "whomever that is in the throne".. has red robes... and a blue hand... who else do we know that looks that way also uses magic.... ..ugh.

    More importantly... if you think along the lines of that train of thought and then go back reread that 6th issue; noticing the comment how Orko betrayed them by the masters; AND... then consider that IF that is indeed Orko... does that mean Orko now is the Skeletors boss? ...and the new main villain for HeMan to defeat on Eternia before Hordak an Despara/Adora arrive into the mix? .... ugh... leaves a terrible taste in my mouth...

    I have to say... I honestly do NOT AT ALL like where they are taking Orko's character storyline now in the comic OR in Classics...
    Last edited by Replikor; February 3, 2013 at 02:56pm.

  3. #1778
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    The new DC Comics – a critique.

    Firstly, apologies are due; as a new boy around here I really ought to be keeping quiet and learning the ropes – but I have just had time to read properly through the new DC offering and to gauge my own reactions to it – and I felt that something needed to be said. Not all will agree with me – plainly – and I apologize in advance to those who think my opinions out of place here; but I would be obliged were they to read what I offer below and accept (or reject) it in the spirit in which it is meant.

    To deal with the trivial first: I noted some poor continuity and the strangely uneven pacing of the plot – and some outright bizarre constructions. I offer some graphic detail of some of the more obvious aspects (do excuse the pun.)

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    exhibit a.jpg




    – and this?

    Exhibit b.jpg


    And again this?

    Exhibit c.jpg




    How fortunate it is that the Sword just happens to be located right under Evil-Lyn’s cauldron of fire (and set in a stone, no less; at least we were spared the line of knights awaiting their turn to give it a tug…) Skeletor can have had nor yearning nor use for it, we are led to suppose. Perhaps he was kept too busy trying to recognize his own handiwork.


    As for the lengthily picaresque plot (such as it was) Skeletor berates his minions for failing to prevent Adam working his way to becoming He-Man once more (whom the Lord of Destruction then fails to recognize – as above) on the grounds that their plans were all too elaborate. This wouldn’t be the same Skeletor who, having erased the memories of all his opponents, then carefully seeded them in various unlikely situations all over Eternia, later allowing them to come back – would it? Killing really IS too good for his enemies, apparently. And he really IS surrounded by idiots…. In which case it should come as no surprise to us that the L of D gets easily outwitted his own pet talking head.

    As for Teela the Valley girl with some serious issues over mastering basic English – well; dialogue isn’t considered a great part of this genre – and it shows.

    For the “look” of the thing, I suppose that there has to be some element of change over time; I can’t say I care for it personally – I much preferred 200x, but quot homines tot sententiae.

    Now, none of the above couldn’t be dealt with in future; it would just take some tighter artistic control – and better editing.


    But, to me, there are some much more concerning and serious issues that stem from this new approach – and, while the above is a bit of fun, this is the main thrust of my argument.


    Starting with the importance of the Sorceress, of Grayskull and of the Power, I was dismayed to learn that these things are now – apparently – consigned to the dustbin of canonical history. That the Power should reside in He-Man himself is grotesquely out of touch, not only with the original premise (which has stood the test of time) but also with the concept of who He-Man actually is – and what he represents. Surely it is not insignificant that He-Man is depicted as the servant of a higher power, rather than the source of that power himself. Remember, after all, whence the Power came; how could it ever reside, permanently, in one man – presumably mortal – however strong, however worthy? Power – even assumed for good purposes, ultimately corrupts. Remember the Shard of Darkness? The wider implication was always that He-Man could not always be He-Man – and his assuming a more suitable, ostensibly mortal and un-heroic form as Adam was a defense against not only his enemies, but also the wearing effects of wielding the Power. Removing this at a stroke is a fundamental re-alignment of the mythos – and it is hard to see where this will ultimately lead. My fear is that the desire to simplify matters (dare one use the phrase – dumb-down?) and to maximize shock-value has resulted in a hasty and ill-considered novelty that adds nothing; indeed, it is an essentially alien and negative development.

    So, He-Man as one-man superpower. Exit the Sorceress – seen by some as irrelevant. Again, I would argue that this is to fail to appreciate the subtlety implicit in having her tied irremovably to Grayskull as its chatelaine – the fair lady who serves the Power as its high priestess and human face – but who had had to pay a terrible price for that dubious privilege (the loss of her man, her daughter, her liberty) and who remains a high and remote figure for that very reason. Such is the way of duty; like the Queen on a chessboard she is both powerful and vulnerable – and therein lies the subtlety. She can sometimes act as Dea ex-Machina – but often herself has to be rescued from peril. She is wedded to her duty – and its prisoner, both rendered powerful and (in effect) crippled by it. Guarded by He-Man and his cohort, she guides and guards them herself. Unless she can be reborn or replaced (it’s possible, one supposes…) then all this has been lost; that axe (and therefore the writer) has a lot to answer for. Grayskull is an empty shell, bereft of mystery – and Skeletor is going to have to find some other fixation. One can take tabula rasa too far; much too far.


    As for Prince Adam and his dual personality; yes, it could get risible – the Filmation series was child’s play; how could anyone have failed to see what was so utterly obvious – but surely that easy dramatic irony was all part of the tongue-in-cheek fun? The 200x series managed it well, in my view; the teenaged and jejune Adam was plainly a different character – and there was a real sense that this duality was not always comfortable – and how could it be? But, to me, a great part of the point and interest of it all is the dramatic tension hinted at in being both the Hero of Eternia and the heir to the throne – and in keeping those two lives apart; and, indeed, what of Teela in this? Yes, it had occasional comic effect – but that underlying tension was ever-present and it provided both drama and depth. And now they’ve done away with it at a stroke – which in my view is a critical error – and lazy, too – in the modernist Hollywood-style nuance-crushing approach. It’s as if the audience is being judged not to be able to handle any degree of subtlety and must have everything reduced to short and simple messages, often repeated; the new comic series is veering dangerously in this direction, I fear.


    But this is not the worst aspect of it; to me the most serious error of judgment of all is the one that has set He-Man onto the downward and slippery path of becoming a blood-soaked barbarian. The entire point of He-Man is that he does not kill; robots and monsters do not count (like Tolkien’s Orcs they are created especially to be expendable without moral dilemma) but He-Man is sworn to defend all Eternians – even those who have turned aside and become evil. We have even seen him save Skeletor (not that he was grateful – but as a lord of evil that’s his job and we should respect that) and the two have even worked together on occasion (briefly – and with the bony-faced and hooded one betraying all trust – as above point). We do not need to be thinking in simplistic early-80s terms and looking for a return to the embarrassing moral messages ending those early episodes to be uncomfortable with this picture.

    exhibit d.jpg


    Perhaps EL’s loyal Mooks deserved it (even if also spell-enslaved?) but, to me, this is an essential misunderstanding of what He-Man actually IS – and what makes him different – and why he has survived for thirty years. Being a force for good is hard; it gives evil and treachery all the advantages – they don’t have to abide by the rules. They also get all the best lines. He-Man is constantly mocked by his enemies for his compassion and sentimentality; he is rendered vulnerable by the need to do the right thing, to keep his word; to show constant integrity; he cannot simply accept loss of life as an inevitable side-effect of waging war; he doesn’t do collateral damage. Just look at how often he has been shown surrendering himself to save others. Even leaving aside any overt quasi-religious overtones – isn’t that what heroism actually IS? Conan may be a barbarian – but he’s certainly not a hero (except in the eponymous sense, obviously) and He-Man most certainly is – which brings its own dilemmas and disadvantages. Just because all barbarians wear loincloths doesn’t have to mean that the syllogism extends to all loincloth-wearers being barbarians. And do we really need another blood-letting, wise-cracking barbarian let loose into this unhappy world? Or another brooding and inwardly tormented arch-perpetrator of deep moral ambiguities? Some might argue that the Dark Knight has been filling that role rather well for many a year.

    Ironically the first issue of the comics depicts an amnesiac Adam dreaming of battles as He-Man; “battles in which good always triumphed.” If things carry on along this current path, then how on earth is anyone going to tell if it actually IS good that wins; there will be precious little difference between two battling sides with arbitrary names of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ – but no actual moral distinction to differentiate them.


    I am thus deeply wary of this unwelcome new development; I can see why it’s being done – it makes it all so nice and straightforward, doesn’t it? – don’t fret about the morality – just look at all the pretty red spraying about, children! Biff! Bam! Behead! And – before anyone suggests it, I’m not crusading for moral re-armament; violence most surely has its place in the fantasy world – but not that kind of violence from He-Man, please. It’s not him – and swords have two edges.


    And I would go further and say that the bloodshed isn’t even needed; Eternia is constantly at war – and yet, while meteors land and heroes and armies battle, and while non-humans get trashed in legions, no-one actually dies. Unrealistic ? – why, yes, of course – patently. But it all rather depends on what you understand by reality, doesn’t it? Mine doesn’t actually include Eternia…. I see that world as sharing some of the characteristics of the mythos of the ancient classical pantheon, or of the Germano-Norse gods; they battle – and some are up and some are down and some are imprisoned for the good of all, exiled, or simply go – elsewhere – but no-one ever really dies. And this doesn’t diminish the dramatic impact of the stories; quite the reverse – it makes them timeless and enduring. And, while 30 years isn’t eternity, in our modern world with its constant speed-shifts, it’s a fair old start!


    Professor Tolkien – who spent a lifetime of serious study in this field and, let’s face it, was no tyro at the game – pointed out (and proved) that there are and must be certain intrinsic rules pertaining to the creation of any new world and its mythos. The scope and scale lies in the pen of the creator, in the wide realm of his imagination, but – and this is a very big but – the parameters, once set, are of stone and as unyielding. That is the only way to give a newly-created world its internal consistency; it must have rules (once drawn-up) – and it must continue to play by them, for otherwise anything – literally anything – can happen (think Imperial Storm troopers assaulting Camelot.) From the point of view of plot, that is an insupportable burden no writer needs – and tales constructed so loosely, without internal consistency, will ever fail to grip.


    Further, how many times can the USS Constitution or HMS Victory be restored without ceasing to be “original” – is grandfather’s axe still itself after three new handles and a new head? Yet the Idea remains (very Platonist!) and that is the key. So, then; how much can the world of He-Man be altered – and still actually remain He-Man?
    I am being contentious, I appreciate, when I say that this new direction is a grave error and should be checked before it drives its way clean out of the canon – or even canons; they can still be good stories (given tighter editing) but they somewhat crassly fail to appreciate certain enduring essentials about the way MOTU has evolved – and what has made it endure. I may be alone in stating that a he-man who kills without remorse and showers in the blood of his foes, whose duality as Prince Adam is known to all (and thus dramatically pointless) and who is himself the repository of the Power (rather than the servant and guardian of a higher one) is not He-Man – but I rather doubt it.


    I would argue that it really, really ought to be possible to stay broadly within the accepted canon and still come up with challenging, inspiring, new and developing tales from Eternia; nor need these tales be anodyne or childishly simplistic. I am doubly uncomfortable with the current DC approach in that it has willfully broken the commandment regarding the inner integrity of a created world – and replaced it with something that is far, far poorer and less satisfying to the extent of being gauche. Worse, in my view, its glibness and superficiality risks turning off a future generation of potential fans because there will be nothing to differentiate it from the rest of the somewhat tired gamut of one-liner-dispensing bloodslingers. And such things do not endure.



    Apologies, as I began with, for a lengthy disquisition on the Eternian cosmos – and to all those who will surely disagree with me. But I felt that I had to stick up for He-Man as hero; after all – I am absolutely certain that he would do the same for me……
    Last edited by Scriptor; February 3, 2013 at 03:04pm. Reason: line error

  4. #1779
    Former fan fic writer Hordak Alpha's Avatar
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    The graphic violence and blood in the new MOTU comic is.........I dunno.........a bit more realistic when it concerns a planet where science and magic intertwine and has been full of many ancient wars. The Filmation series would make us believe that the wars had no casualties and everyone was stunned into submission by freeze rays and the bad guys made sure to only blow up buildings that no living thing was inside of.

    And He-Man making use of his sword as a deadly weapon against opponents in this comic series is a more realistic approach as well. The fact of there still being a contingency of fans out there who get angry when their warrior hero who carries sharp weapons like a massive giant battle axe and an extremely sharp sword uses them to actually kill enemies who are coming at him with laser weapons, missile launchers, swords, knives and other weapons of destruction continues to amaze me.


    Even with a few continuity errors and some rushed tying up of loose ends, I still like the portrayal of He-Man in this new canon because of his portrayal of using his weapons to stop the enemy when need be. The new comic series would be freaking absurd if He-Man still tossed enemies into soft mud bogs, spouted corny one liners and still did Saturday morning feats of power.


    It's 2013, not 1983. He-Man seems to have finally been embraced to being portrayed as a character for adult readers for a change.

    But, really, the old school Filmation fans really need not get all angry and stuff. Their He-Man is safely untouched and perfectly preserved in the 130 Filmation He-Man episodes and the She-Ra episodes. It isn't like the new DC comic series is trying to retcon that fictional universe out of existence. It's offering the adult fans who want to see something a bit new with MOTU a bit of a change, bringing about a new MOTU that connects a little better with the savage roots of the original mini-comics and treats the combat situations with a bit more realism than previous incarnations.
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  5. #1780
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    I don't altogether disagree with you, m'lord Hordak Alpha - and I am really am not looking to maintain the fluffy Filmation world intact in amber – honestly! (Your point regarding its being perfectly preserved in the old episodes is a very good one – and I always liked the 2002 version much more.)

    But I am none the less concerned at the sheer pace and scope of the change made here; it is certainly more realistic - though within the confines of an unreal world - but it changes the paradigm.

    My chief point, I suppose, is that it is and ought to be possible to create a darker and more adult tone without actually slinging out all the aspects of the old He-Man that rendered him in my view unique among the genre. You, after all, have very successfully done so yourself in your own MotU fiction!

    And I do stick to my point about the essentially mythological nature of Eternia and the aspects it shares with the classical and nordic world-picture; these heroic and evil titans essentially cancel each other out - and this goes for their weapons too; sharp swords and axes fail to bite on opponents of their own rank, and sorcery is mostly not able to effect the death of the victim - since he/she is defended by a counter power. They are effectively prevented from killing each other - just as well, too, or character-attrition would be severe. So no soft bogs are necessary! (another good point!)

    It is, however, very bad news for non-titans caught between the powers - like Evil-Lyn's mooks - and just maybe they did have it coming. I can get used to increased levels of bloodshed if I have to - but I really don't like the idea of routine mass slaughter in defense of an arbitrary "good" becoming He-Man's stock in trade. In any case, he has such power and strength that he doesn’t actually need to kill – he can disable his opponents and their machinery and still preserve a degree of integrity that makes the good side winning actually matter. Isn’t that in essence why he was granted the Power in the first place? It’s also a lot less intellectually lazy than the constant triumph of the greatest degree of applied violence and slaughter.

    But you are undoubtedly right; the 2013 generation will expect gore – and is likely to get it. But does it really have to be the case; is bloodshed an essential pre-requisite of adult status? I wonder…..

    You know, I never realized I was so hung-up on this aspect until stung into a defense of baby and bathwater!

    And all this sets me to thinking; I have never written any fan-fiction material (way too much like the day-job!) and I hesitate to begin – especially in such august company. But I do wonder if it could be done; could one cast a shadow – a deep one – on He-Man and darken him? What would be the levers to pull to bring this about – and could one ever get him back again afterwards? And, if so, then would he not be changed?

    A young, newly-arisen He-Man confronted with an experience which makes him grow up in a way paralleled by Adam, his alter ego - a more adult He-Man emerging in a darker context. Now that would be a worthy challenge, I feel. Hmmm.

  6. #1781
    Former fan fic writer Hordak Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    I don't altogether disagree with you, m'lord Hordak Alpha - and I am really am not looking to maintain the fluffy Filmation world intact in amber – honestly! (Your point regarding its being perfectly preserved in the old episodes is a very good one – and I always liked the 2002 version much more.)

    But I am none the less concerned at the sheer pace and scope of the change made here; it is certainly more realistic - though within the confines of an unreal world - but it changes the paradigm.

    My chief point, I suppose, is that it is and ought to be possible to create a darker and more adult tone without actually slinging out all the aspects of the old He-Man that rendered him in my view unique among the genre. You, after all, have very successfully done so yourself in your own MotU fiction!
    I didn't have an idea that anyone here on the He-Man.org bothered to ever read any of my old stuff. I'm pretty much retired from the genre of fan fiction since it came to the point no one would read or comment, but if you did read any of it, I'm glad you gave mine a shot. If you didn't like any of it, that is fine too. To each their own.

    And I do stick to my point about the essentially mythological nature of Eternia and the aspects it shares with the classical and nordic world-picture; these heroic and evil titans essentially cancel each other out - and this goes for their weapons too; sharp swords and axes fail to bite on opponents of their own rank, and sorcery is mostly not able to effect the death of the victim - since he/she is defended by a counter power. They are effectively prevented from killing each other - just as well, too, or character-attrition would be severe. So no soft bogs are necessary! (another good point!)
    Of course, over time, you'd think it would come to a point where our heroes and villains would find stronger magicks or bigger weapons to eventually do someone in. Skeletor was always searching for more powerful dark magic in his quest to take Castle Grayskull and Eternia. There is always someone stronger than the strongest guy out there.

    It is, however, very bad news for non-titans caught between the powers - like Evil-Lyn's mooks - and just maybe they did have it coming. I can get used to increased levels of bloodshed if I have to - but I really don't like the idea of routine mass slaughter in defense of an arbitrary "good" becoming He-Man's stock in trade. In any case, he has such power and strength that he doesn’t actually need to kill – he can disable his opponents and their machinery and still preserve a degree of integrity that makes the good side winning actually matter. Isn’t that in essence why he was granted the Power in the first place? It’s also a lot less intellectually lazy than the constant triumph of the greatest degree of applied violence and slaughter.

    Of course, with the track record of Eternian jails in most of the versions of MOTU, the bad guys always end up escaping to cause trouble again. Cleaving the enemy in the head with a battle axe solves that problem...............unless the enemy gets resurrected by a necromancer, which could happen on Eternia. If Skeletor could tap into those powers, if any of his legions got slaughtered he could merely bring them back..........maybe not fully alive, but to a point where they would be good expendable help.

    But you are undoubtedly right; the 2013 generation will expect gore – and is likely to get it. But does it really have to be the case; is bloodshed an essential pre-requisite of adult status? I wonder…..

    War needs to be portrayed as it really is. Messy, horrific and destructive. By adding a bit of realism to an unrealistic world it can help the audience believe that such a world where people fly around with wings growing from their armpits and warriors in loin cloths can physically move mountains isn't entirely far fetched.


    There too by portraying the characters with genuine human emotions, the audience can also grow to care about the characters as people and maybe see themselves a little bit in these characters.

    You know, I never realized I was so hung-up on this aspect until stung into a defense of baby and bathwater!

    And all this sets me to thinking; I have never written any fan-fiction material (way too much like the day-job!) and I hesitate to begin – especially in such august company. But I do wonder if it could be done; could one cast a shadow – a deep one – on He-Man and darken him? What would be the levers to pull to bring this about – and could one ever get him back again afterwards? And, if so, then would he not be changed?

    A young, newly-arisen He-Man confronted with an experience which makes him grow up in a way paralleled by Adam, his alter ego - a more adult He-Man emerging in a darker context. Now that would be a worthy challenge, I feel. Hmmm.


    Fan fiction writers have been doing their versions of that idea for awhile now. It's just with DC's current MOTU comic book series it is the first time that sort of idea has been actually sanctioned by Mattel. This comic series isn't limited to following the canon and ideas set up by a cartoon series.


    The MVC MOTU comic series was a very good one with interesting stories and wonderful artwork, but they were confined to the canon established by the MYP MOTU cartoon, which was proven when Mattel more or less made MVC end up having to cancel their MOTU comic series when the writers tried to integrate concepts from the 80's MOTU into their comic series. Scareglow showing up in that Halloween issue was, from my understanding, is what made Mattel get all mad and started the chain of events which lead to MVC not wanting to fight with Mattel anymore and end their comic series prematurely.


    With DC's MOTU series, it seems the writers are a bit more free to do what they want now, which is great, and Mattel is sanctioning it, probably because now Mattel is gearing MOTU to just the adult fan audience and not trying to sell a toyline to today's generation of kids who only want the next card monster anime cartoon on the block.
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  7. #1782
    Heroic Warrior RocketPunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hordak Alpha View Post
    War needs to be portrayed as it really is. Messy, horrific and destructive. By adding a bit of realism to an unrealistic world it can help the audience believe that such a world where people fly around with wings growing from their armpits and warriors in loin cloths can physically move mountains isn't entirely far fetched.
    I disagree. Star Wars isn't realistic either, and yet still manages to be believable without excessive violence.

    The makers of these comics shouldn't have to show He-Man spilling blood to tell a compelling story. It's completely unnecessary, in my opinion.

  8. #1783
    Former fan fic writer Hordak Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketPunch View Post
    I disagree. Star Wars isn't realistic either, and yet still manages to be believable without excessive violence.
    Anakin having his body scorched on that volcano planet during his fight with Obi Wan looked like pretty excessive violence to me.
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  9. #1784
    Heroic Warrior RocketPunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hordak Alpha View Post
    Anakin having his body scorched on that volcano planet during his fight with Obi Wan looked like pretty excessive violence to me.
    I don't think it was excessive at all. It was entirely necessary to show the consequences of Anakin's actions, and to explain just why he has to wear that black suit for the next 3 films. It's a hugely important part of the story, not just gore for the sake of it.

    Anyway, i'll try and use a different film franchise as a example. The Lord of the Rings movies. There's plenty of fighting and killing with swords and axes, but it's never gratuitous. You don't see blood dripping from Aragorn's sword, unlike He-Man's in these new MOTU comics.

    I just feel that a franchise like MOTU, which has always been intended for children, has to maintain a certain tone. Graphic violence has no place in a universe populated by characters with names like Stinkor, Buzz-Off, & Two Bad.
    Last edited by RocketPunch; February 5, 2013 at 10:51pm.

  10. #1785
    Magical Diva xenadove's Avatar
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    Masters of The Universe Book?

    I have no idea what section this goes in. Does anyone know anything about this book coming out on Amazon?

    He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Vol. 1 [Paperback]
    James Robinson (

  11. #1786
    Court Magician
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    That's the collection of new DC mini series.

  12. #1787
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    Yup Greyskull28's correct, I just wanted to pop in & say I love the Callisto avatar.
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  13. #1788
    Magical Diva xenadove's Avatar
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    Thanks to you both

    And Callisto is awesome Clawful

  14. #1789
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    It is, however, very bad news for non-titans caught between the powers - like Evil-Lyn's mooks - and just maybe they did have it coming. I can get used to increased levels of bloodshed if I have to - but I really don't like the idea of routine mass slaughter in defense of an arbitrary "good" becoming He-Man's stock in trade. In any case, he has such power and strength that he doesn’t actually need to kill – he can disable his opponents and their machinery and still preserve a degree of integrity that makes the good side winning actually matter. Isn’t that in essence why he was granted the Power in the first place? It’s also a lot less intellectually lazy than the constant triumph of the greatest degree of applied violence and slaughter.

    But you are undoubtedly right; the 2013 generation will expect gore – and is likely to get it. But does it really have to be the case; is bloodshed an essential pre-requisite of adult status? I wonder…
    This is the quintessential question with He-Man, and the problem I see with the comic book. Is He-Man a hero, or simply a barbarian with a big sword? Given the present overseers of DC, I'm not surprised the latter seems to be the case, but that doesn't mean it's the right way to deal with the character. The lazy, easy way, yes, but not the right way.

    THe point is, He-Man is so powerful he doesn't HAVE to use the sword to smite his enemies. Heck, he doesn't need the sword at all; he could just pick up most of his foes and rip them in half. This is the quandry of ANY hero, never better immortalized than by the thoughts of a teenager with spider powers. THe idea that with great power must also come great responsibility is not a childish thought best kept to kiddie cartoons; it's a very important concept that underlies alomost everything someone in power does. The fact that someone CAN tear his opponents in half doesn't mean he should. The problem with power is that it is easy to use, and even easier to abuse. Once a hero starts down the path of thinking expedience is the same as heroism, it isn't long before he becomes as great a threat as those he fights against. No matter how strong He-Man is, there will always be someone stronger, and, one on one, he'll get beaten. The very "weaknesses" of compassion and caring the villains mock are the things that allow good to succeed. With compassion comes selflessness, teamwork, dedication, trust and all the things that evil doesn't have, things that, in the end, give good the advantage. Those aren't childish things, and ignoring them isn't adult. If more adults thought more like the 80's He-Man, maybe we wouldn't have such a messed up world today.

    From a writing perspective, it's even worse. Simple answers to complex situations, swing the sword and the problem is done. No afterthought, no consequences. It's the same kind of lazy writing that has me reading only a handful of DC books after years of being a fan. But it takes creativity, effort and imagination to write stories where a hero can't just chop his way through his foes, where he is held to a different standard than the villains. Having heroes anguish over hard choices takes skill with characterization. Having them deal with the consequences of their actions or even mistakes takes an understanding of linear storytelling and cause and effect. All of these things are sorely lacking in far too many written works (and I don't just mean comics, I mean books, TV, movies, etc), and somehow that is supposed to be an example of a more "mature" tone and outlook.

    A mature person thinks about his actions first, tries to find the way that is best or at least does the least harm, and considers the consequences of those actions on themselves and others. That sounds a whole lot more like the old He-Man than the updated version...
    "I will use this power for all the good that can be done, to work for peace, to encourage virtue, and above all, to preserve life in all its forms..." Superman

  15. #1790
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    This is the quintessential question with He-Man, and the problem I see with the comic book. Is He-Man a hero, or simply a barbarian with a big sword? Given the present overseers of DC, I'm not surprised the latter seems to be the case, but that doesn't mean it's the right way to deal with the character. The lazy, easy way, yes, but not the right way.

    THe point is, He-Man is so powerful he doesn't HAVE to use the sword to smite his enemies. Heck, he doesn't need the sword at all; he could just pick up most of his foes and rip them in half. This is the quandry of ANY hero, never better immortalized than by the thoughts of a teenager with spider powers. THe idea that with great power must also come great responsibility is not a childish thought best kept to kiddie cartoons; it's a very important concept that underlies alomost everything someone in power does. The fact that someone CAN tear his opponents in half doesn't mean he should. The problem with power is that it is easy to use, and even easier to abuse. Once a hero starts down the path of thinking expedience is the same as heroism, it isn't long before he becomes as great a threat as those he fights against. No matter how strong He-Man is, there will always be someone stronger, and, one on one, he'll get beaten. The very "weaknesses" of compassion and caring the villains mock are the things that allow good to succeed. With compassion comes selflessness, teamwork, dedication, trust and all the things that evil doesn't have, things that, in the end, give good the advantage. Those aren't childish things, and ignoring them isn't adult. If more adults thought more like the 80's He-Man, maybe we wouldn't have such a messed up world today.

    From a writing perspective, it's even worse. Simple answers to complex situations, swing the sword and the problem is done. No afterthought, no consequences. It's the same kind of lazy writing that has me reading only a handful of DC books after years of being a fan. But it takes creativity, effort and imagination to write stories where a hero can't just chop his way through his foes, where he is held to a different standard than the villains. Having heroes anguish over hard choices takes skill with characterization. Having them deal with the consequences of their actions or even mistakes takes an understanding of linear storytelling and cause and effect. All of these things are sorely lacking in far too many written works (and I don't just mean comics, I mean books, TV, movies, etc), and somehow that is supposed to be an example of a more "mature" tone and outlook.

    A mature person thinks about his actions first, tries to find the way that is best or at least does the least harm, and considers the consequences of those actions on themselves and others. That sounds a whole lot more like the old He-Man than the updated version...
    But Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are considered heroes and they've killed hundreds, if not thousands of orcs. A hero in the ancient world who kills his enemies isn't the same thing as a spandex-clad superhero who takes his enemies to jail countless times. The writers of the current DC stories seem to think that the old He-Man Filmation stuff was kiddie and are trying to make the characters more "mature".

    Heck, we don't know if He-Man is as powerful as he was in Filmation in DC continuity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    This is the quintessential question with He-Man, and the problem I see with the comic book. Is He-Man a hero, or simply a barbarian with a big sword? Given the present overseers of DC, I'm not surprised the latter seems to be the case, but that doesn't mean it's the right way to deal with the character. The lazy, easy way, yes, but not the right way.

    THe point is, He-Man is so powerful he doesn't HAVE to use the sword to smite his enemies. Heck, he doesn't need the sword at all; he could just pick up most of his foes and rip them in half. This is the quandry of ANY hero, never better immortalized than by the thoughts of a teenager with spider powers. THe idea that with great power must also come great responsibility is not a childish thought best kept to kiddie cartoons; it's a very important concept that underlies alomost everything someone in power does. The fact that someone CAN tear his opponents in half doesn't mean he should. The problem with power is that it is easy to use, and even easier to abuse. Once a hero starts down the path of thinking expedience is the same as heroism, it isn't long before he becomes as great a threat as those he fights against. No matter how strong He-Man is, there will always be someone stronger, and, one on one, he'll get beaten. The very "weaknesses" of compassion and caring the villains mock are the things that allow good to succeed. With compassion comes selflessness, teamwork, dedication, trust and all the things that evil doesn't have, things that, in the end, give good the advantage. Those aren't childish things, and ignoring them isn't adult. If more adults thought more like the 80's He-Man, maybe we wouldn't have such a messed up world today.

    From a writing perspective, it's even worse. Simple answers to complex situations, swing the sword and the problem is done. No afterthought, no consequences. It's the same kind of lazy writing that has me reading only a handful of DC books after years of being a fan. But it takes creativity, effort and imagination to write stories where a hero can't just chop his way through his foes, where he is held to a different standard than the villains. Having heroes anguish over hard choices takes skill with characterization. Having them deal with the consequences of their actions or even mistakes takes an understanding of linear storytelling and cause and effect. All of these things are sorely lacking in far too many written works (and I don't just mean comics, I mean books, TV, movies, etc), and somehow that is supposed to be an example of a more "mature" tone and outlook.

    A mature person thinks about his actions first, tries to find the way that is best or at least does the least harm, and considers the consequences of those actions on themselves and others. That sounds a whole lot more like the old He-Man than the updated version...
    This exactly. I'm selling off the first batch of comics and I'm not buying any of the new comics because I really dislike the path that they're taking. To me, the worst thing is the characterization. The character depictions are so way off that it's ridiculous. Don't even get me started on the re-designs. This DC take on MotU is not my MotU, and I will not be buying these comics. Too bad that IDW or Dynamite aren't doing MotU, as they update their classic properties, but keep them true to what they have always been. Their creators truly care and know about the properties they're working on.
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  17. #1792
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    But Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are considered heroes and they've killed hundreds, if not thousands of orcs. A hero in the ancient world who kills his enemies isn't the same thing as a spandex-clad superhero who takes his enemies to jail countless times. The writers of the current DC stories seem to think that the old He-Man Filmation stuff was kiddie and are trying to make the characters more "mature".
    Those characters were defending themselves in battle, and had no powers other than their skill with a broadsword or battleaxe with which to defend themselves. Sometimes there is no choice when defending your own life or others. But I'm fairly certain that at least some of the Tolkien heroes would take a less blood soaked route if it were available. Add to that the difference between fighting criminals and an outright war, and the comparison really fades.

    Again, I have yet to see an argument that explains why it is more mature to have a hero like the Punisher than Batman, why it;s more mature to have less concern for life. A He-Man who chops through Skeletor's minions never knows if those minions were "bad guys" or simple villagers Skeletor enthralled with his magic. Sometimes killing is the only option, but that is the last option, not the default.

    A body count does not make a good story; more often, it lessens it, making the deaths of characters a simple stunt for creatively bankrupt writers rather than the powerful, trans formative moment it is in well written fiction. It's like the GI Joe: Resolute movie; characters died and they shot real bullets, and that made everything great, except for the fact that they were so busy with the body count that they forgot to include much in the line of characterization or story. A movie that is nothing but an excuse to watch a lot of gun play and blood spilled is not "mature;" it's actually little more than an adolescent power fantasy, and a rather pathetic one, at that. That's the LAST thing I ever want to see MOTU turned into.
    "I will use this power for all the good that can be done, to work for peace, to encourage virtue, and above all, to preserve life in all its forms..." Superman

  18. #1793
    Heroic Warrior Krueger's Avatar
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    I don’t like squeaky clean heroes, like He-Man was in the Filmation series. Obviously I know that was down to what they could show in a children’s cartoon at the time, but the point still stands. I like a bit of grit. Saying that, a hero shouldn’t be seen killing everything left, right and centre. That’s not very heroic, I don’t think. Somewhere in the middle is good enough. A killing blow should only ever be delivered if there is truly no other alternative, IMO. Still, if it’s kill or be killed or they have to defend innocents and there is no other way but to kill, then so be it.

  19. #1794
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    Those characters were defending themselves in battle, and had no powers other than their skill with a broadsword or battleaxe with which to defend themselves. Sometimes there is no choice when defending your own life or others. But I'm fairly certain that at least some of the Tolkien heroes would take a less blood soaked route if it were available. Add to that the difference between fighting criminals and an outright war, and the comparison really fades.
    And the MOTU characters can't be seen as such? Maybe not if you're coming from Filmation, Jetlag or MYP canon (cartoons), but Pre-Filmation or DC canon, where He-Man can't wrap up enemies in the floor and throw them across the horizon?

    Again, I have yet to see an argument that explains why it is more mature to have a hero like the Punisher than Batman, why it;s more mature to have less concern for life. A He-Man who chops through Skeletor's minions never knows if those minions were "bad guys" or simple villagers Skeletor enthralled with his magic. Sometimes killing is the only option, but that is the last option, not the default.
    Punisher would have killed the Joker and that would have been the end of it. A cartoon is Batman keeping the Joker alive to always escape from Arkham to kill again, rinse and repeat. Maybe the question shouldn't be why is killing mature, but why is NOT killing considered immature. Most people think of heroes being overly merciful as cartoony, instead of simply dispatching such enemies.

    A body count does not make a good story; more often, it lessens it, making the deaths of characters a simple stunt for creatively bankrupt writers rather than the powerful, trans formative moment it is in well written fiction. It's like the GI Joe: Resolute movie; characters died and they shot real bullets, and that made everything great, except for the fact that they were so busy with the body count that they forgot to include much in the line of characterization or story. A movie that is nothing but an excuse to watch a lot of gun play and blood spilled is not "mature;" it's actually little more than an adolescent power fantasy, and a rather pathetic one, at that. That's the LAST thing I ever want to see MOTU turned into.
    I think MOTU doesn't need to be the moral preachy police to tell a good story. You can have violence, the occasional death, as well as great characterization. Why can't we have ALL of those things?

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  20. #1795
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    The kind of violence in this book is so boring, it is only used to take attention away from the bad storytelling. This isn't an adult comic book, because of the splatter elements in it. The storytelling is premature...

    Those DC artists showed clearly, that they don't have any idea how to handle this franchise.

  21. #1796
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berserker79 View Post
    The kind of violence in this book is so boring, it is only used to take attention away from the bad storytelling. This isn't an adult comic book, because of the splatter elements in it. The storytelling is premature...

    Those DC artists showed clearly, that they don't have any idea how to handle this franchise.
    Absolutely disagree with each of your words. In my opinion the MOTU DC comics are revolutionary for MOTU parametors.

    Awesome covers variants!
    Last edited by heavy-eternium; March 19, 2013 at 07:55pm.
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  22. #1797
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    Yeah yeah, varient cover... cute; I wanna continue to read Scriptor and Hordak Alpha's discussion/debate!

  23. #1798
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex The Kid View Post
    Yeah yeah, varient cover... cute; I wanna continue to read Scriptor and Hordak Alpha's discussion/debate!
    Huh? That 'debate' was pages ago. And, really no point to continue it. Where I see the graphic violence as a way to treat Eternia as more of a war torn, realism world; the classic MOTU fans aren't going to see it that way and never will.



    And, who dreamt up that action figure variant cover? It just looks odd.
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  24. #1799
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hordak Alpha View Post
    Huh? That 'debate' was pages ago. And, really no point to continue it. Where I see the graphic violence as a way to treat Eternia as more of a war torn, realism world; the classic MOTU fans aren't going to see it that way and never will.
    What I was trying to say was, that brief conversational between the two of you was one of the most intelligent conversations I've heard on here in a while and I'd love to hear/see more about both your points of view, it just ended so abruptly... that's all. Anyway, back to that strange variant cover...

  25. #1800
    Historian of Eternia LORD FALLEN ELDOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    THe point is, He-Man is so powerful he doesn't HAVE to use the sword to smite his enemies.

    From a writing perspective, it's even worse. Simple answers to complex situations, swing the sword and the problem is done. No afterthought, no consequences.

    It's the same kind of lazy writing that has me reading only a handful of DC books after years of being a fan. But it takes creativity, effort and imagination to write stories where a hero can't just chop his way through his foes, where he is held to a different standard than the villains. Having heroes anguish over hard choices takes skill with characterization. Having them deal with the consequences of their actions or even mistakes takes an understanding of linear storytelling and cause and effect. All of these things are sorely lacking in far too many written works (and I don't just mean comics, I mean books, TV, movies, etc), and somehow that is supposed to be an example of a more "mature" tone and outlook.

    A mature person thinks about his actions first, tries to find the way that is best or at least does the least harm, and considers the consequences of those actions on themselves and others. That sounds a whole lot more like the old He-Man than the updated version...
    And that Is why I read Robert Kirkman's invincible. It is everything I love about super hero comics, without everything I hate about super hero comics. I'm a huge DC fan but up until The recent Atlantis story, I haven't been able to find anything I would care to read again, much less recommend. Such a great open ended non resolution. It felt very real for all the reasons you just stated. The story reminded me why I fell in love with Geoff Johns' writing over a decade ago. It's been a few years since I have read that man's work.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    A He-Man who chops through Skeletor's minions never knows if those minions were "bad guys" or simple villagers Skeletor enthralled with his magic. Sometimes killing is the only option, but that is the last option, not the default.
    QFT. This thinking reminds of of what I thought was mature when I was the age of 14; Chaos! comics Lady Death

    Quote Originally Posted by Krueger View Post
    A killing blow should only ever be delivered if there is truly no other alternative, IMO. Still, if it’s kill or be killed or they have to defend innocents and there is no other way but to kill, then so be it.
    Right, that is the type of story I want to see. I want to see Adam/He-Man deal with PTSD and the after effects of horrors he sees. I want to see stories like "The Problem With Power" and "Lifetime", but perhaps this time without the happy resolution forced upon the writers of the 80's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hordak Alpha View Post
    Where I see the graphic violence as a way to treat Eternia as more of a war torn, realism world; the classic MOTU fans aren't going to see it that way and never will.
    The planet has had a full generation of peace since the last Horde Invasion and/or Great unrest. I can certainly see how Adam/Teela are ill prepared for Skeletor's brand of savagery, much less the Horde and the Sanekmen. It would be interesting to explore how far one is willing to go to win a war. But that is not what we have seen. No we have seen the equivalent of a hack N slash video game with almost no plot.

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    But Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are considered heroes and they've killed hundreds, if not thousands of orcs. A hero in the ancient world who kills his enemies isn't the same thing as a spandex-clad superhero who takes his enemies to jail countless times. The writers of the current DC stories seem to think that the old He-Man Filmation stuff was kiddie and are trying to make the characters more "mature".

    Heck, we don't know if He-Man is as powerful as he was in Filmation in DC continuity.
    If the writer is paying attention, then he is always the most powerful man in any universe in which he resides. A man like that who kills people who are weaker then him not only means he uses that power irresponsibly, but it makes him a bully!

    Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are considered heroes because they where outnumbered by a stronger force... IIRC the root definition of the word "hero" is precisely that. What today we might call "epic", is the same as the ancient "heroic". There is nothing legendary, heroic or epic about He-man cutting down a sea of average seized non super powered humans. In fact, It was something Skeletor would do!

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    Pre-Filmation or DC canon, where He-Man can't wrap up enemies in the floor and throw them across the horizon?
    • Knock em unconscious.
    • Bind them with their own weapon.
    • Punch a hole in the ground and toss em in it.
    • Skeletor can employ non living pawns and sidestep the whole issue like every other MOTU story ever told...


    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    Punisher would have killed the Joker and that would have been the end of it.
    You can't kill anyone of that level of marketability, and if you do, then it is ONLY for marketing reasons. Look to who just died in the pages of Batman comics. YAWN! If it didn't stick for the last guy, I doubt it still for you know who. It's hard to talk about death and morality of killing bad guys in comics, when the whole debate is muddled with the almighty dollar. but if we are to take the topic at face value then...

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    A cartoon is Batman keeping the Joker alive to always escape from Arkham to kill again, rinse and repeat. Maybe the question shouldn't be why is killing mature, but why is NOT killing considered immature. Most people think of heroes being overly merciful as cartoony, instead of simply dispatching such enemies.
    kill or be killed, in the end all you have left is a killer.

    See Mask of the Phantasm and Under The Red Hood. Batman stops him self from killing the joker because he knows that he has too much internal darkness for it to END with the Joker. He will become something worse then the joker if he gives into that impulse.

    "Normal people" can't handle the burden of that responsibility. It takes a long time and a lot of help to deal with post traumatic stress disorder. That's why we have courts, judges and the jury system, to elevate that sense of guilt associated with taking another life. It took my Father decades to deal with the horrors of Vietnam. My friends who have returned home are dealing with that now...

    Frank Castle is a &%@&%^& sociopath who belongs in a cell next to the Joker. For "People" * like him and Dexter Morgan it isn't about vengeance, or justice...People like that just find any excuse they can to kill. That isn't to say those type of stories aren't fun, heck I root for Dexter once a week when that show is on. If you want to have death and violence in fiction that is fine. On Spartacus it is even oddly beautiful, almost like a painting. I just object to the unrealistic casualness that it is often portrayed as, especially in revenge fantasies like The Punisher.

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    I think MOTU doesn't need to be the moral preachy police to tell a good story. You can have violence, the occasional death, as well as great characterization. Why can't we have ALL of those things?
    I agree, so long as he-man isn't mowing people down as if they are grass. I want to see the real consequences of death, especially in regards to a character who historically has a high level of moral conviction, is the main hero of the story and is price of a whole planet! He is chief of the moral police! he best damn well think long and hard before cleaning the blood off his sword!

    I want different characters to have different world views because of their history and cultural upbringing. I can see Stratos and Buzz Off having a very heated debate. I most certainly would expect some good puns about being "high and mighty"
    Last edited by LORD FALLEN ELDOR; March 20, 2013 at 01:10pm.
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