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

  1. #1801
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Hi all - moved talk of the sub to the proper thread about the Ongoing. There are some that straddled the line but mostly were talking about DC's handling of the property in general that I left here.

    Please continue any sub talk here: http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...from-DC/page11

    Thanks!

  2. #1802
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LORD FALLEN ELDOR View Post
    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!
    The LOTR heroes were better than any single orc and each guy cut down hundreds of them. Legolas and Gimli even made sport of it.
    He-Man is no different. He-Man is a warrior, not a superhero. He has a sword and an axe, which are weapons. He's not baking cookies.

    Now if we are talking Filmation He-Man who used his sword as a tool, then that is different. He was a superhero role model. But this is a different version of He-Man; a warrior who puts villains to the sword. That's heroism in the ancient style world that they live in. These characters carry weapons for a reason. These swords, axes, halberds and such are WEAPONS that KILL people.

    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!
    Filmation He-man is the moral police. This is not Filmation He-Man. This He-Man is a warrior with a sword that he actually uses.

    Warriors kill. And they can certainly feel regret if negotiations sadly fail and He-Man dispatches a villain while he is doing his duty defending Eternia.
    But these guys DO carry weapons. And use them.

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  3. #1803
    Heroic Master of Music baileyrecords's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    The LOTR heroes were better than any single orc and each guy cut down hundreds of them. Legolas and Gimli even made sport of it.
    He-Man is no different. He-Man is a warrior, not a superhero. He has a sword and an axe, which are weapons. He's not baking cookies.
    He leaves that up to Wun-Dar!
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  4. #1804
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Just moved some more posts. Remember, this thread is for the Mini-Series that is now done. There is a new thread for the Ongoing. Keep Ongoing posts here:

    http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...from-DC/page12

    Thanks all!

  5. #1805
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    Filmation He-man is the moral police. This is not Filmation He-Man. This He-Man is a warrior with a sword that he actually uses.

    Warriors kill. And they can certainly feel regret if negotiations sadly fail and He-Man dispatches a villain while he is doing his duty defending Eternia.
    But these guys DO carry weapons. And use them.
    Precisely! He-man's morality only works in Filmation because his enemies have the personality and mental capacity of children, and hence are fundamentally incapable of causing real harm. It would be highly immoral for He-man in the Filmation universe to kill an enemy in combat, true, but that's only because it would be analogous to the principal of a school taking up a sword and striking down schoolyard bullies. Lone gunmen who massacre innocent children don't exist in the world of Filmation, so the level of heroism it takes to stand up to that kind of evil is never called for.

    The difference between a hero and a villain has nothing to do with the strength of the hero vs. the strength of the villain. It has to do with his character and values. Being willing to kill on the field of battle to steal, rape, pillage, murder, and enslave is evil. Even if you have to fight against overwhelming odds to achieve victory, it's still evil. Being willing to kill on the battlefield in defense of life and liberty is virtuous. Even if you're mightier than your attackers.

    The difference is in context. The hero fights (and kills if necessary) to prevent the villain from harming the innocent. The villain fights and kills in order to harm the innocent. Why isn't this obvious to everyone?

    I swear, the Filmation He-Man, as much as I love the guy, would be a horrible ally to have on a real field of battle because he would be more concerned with not killing enemy soldiers than he would about having my back. I can easily see myself getting cut down because He-Man was frozen in a moment of indecision over whether he could justifiably take the life of an enemy in order to save mine.

  6. #1806
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    I really want that #1 Classics figure cover, but I don't trust how these will be shipped at all and they will all probably ship banged up. What to do?

  7. #1807
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbomb23 View Post
    I really want that #1 Classics figure cover, but I don't trust how these will be shipped at all and they will all probably ship banged up. What to do?
    I didn't see when they are supposed to start shipping....when is that?

    And they should come in some kind of mailing package, my friend got a few a while back from DC, and they came in a cardboard sleeve.
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  8. #1808
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    Here we go again.......

    Oh dear. I’d be looking forward to the next part of the series much more if I hadn’t been so disappointed in the last one – which I though, frankly, poor in almost all respects. Even leaving aside the picaresque plot (such as it was) and the pretty average standard of the artwork, the conceptualization, characterization and – above all the writing – seemed to me all deeply flawed. And I’m somewhat at a loss why this had to be so as the framework already existed – but was largely ignored or, worse, altered in ways that added nothing (indeed detracted from) the mythos and made very little sense whatsoever.

    You see, I’m a writer – and have been for a several years, and to me, these things do matter. It is incomprehensible why some of the changes were instituted when the canon already provided a higher standard of narrative storytelling by far. It is not merely a knee-jerk reaction against change; it is a strong sense that such changes need to make cogent sense, to create a compelling new vision – and I see no convincing evidence of this here.

    When an idea takes flight and captures the wider imagination, then it moves onwards and upwards and acquires a life of its own – becoming in effect a part of folk memory; the Masters may have begun as a toy line, but it has moved ground since then and has become, over a mere thirty years, a mythology capable of standing on its own. The existence of this site and many like it surely proves the point. But this entails a basic responsibility to remain faithful in essence to the material; how far can change go before the original and the new are at odds - and therefore different things entirely?

    From this belief stems my innate disappointment – and my hope that things may get better. Can DC really do no better than this? I think that fans deserve better than this – indeed I do. I get the distinct impression (in part from reading the writer’s own view expressed at interview) that the desire to make a splash, to shock, to epater la bourgeoisie was the driving imperative here - and that it overruled all other considerations. And, for that matter, how “new” actually is this approach? I would argue that it may be new to He-Man (though not in a good sense) but it is very far from new in the DC context. What I see here is very familiar old DC ground - and He-Man bent and twisted to fit in with that, rather than any effort being made to adapt to the pre-existing framework. There is a definite lack of understanding and appreciation and I would even go so far as to say that I suspect a certain level of contempt for the Masters canon.

    I illustrate my point with a few examples:

    He-Man AS The Power . This is patently absurd; the Elders are, in effect, the gods of Eternia and He-Man has been given access to their strength (though not necessarily their wisdom or knowledge.) But that does not make him in person The Power - it really does not. To give the combined powers of an entire pantheon to a mortal man is insanity writ large – and the canon has very carefully avoided falling into this trap. The Power is the equivalent of The Deplorable Word, of Sauron’s Ring, of Promethean Fire – it is patently NOT for mortals to wield. Power corrupts, it consumes those who wield it, it corrodes good intentions and turns inexorably to evil ends. Even leaving this aside (and why would we, since it’s so vital a point?) is it at all wise to give such power to a man who can be killed, or captured or enchanted? Obviously not – suggesting that there was a very good reason why the canon avoided this error; Giffen and Co. might have taken heed of that. Wiser and better informed heads (such as Val Staples) even made the point that He-Man has not been granted all the power of the Elders; their strength but not their wisdom. This makes him – correctly in my view – the servant of a (very demanding) higher power – NOT the Power itself. This has huge implications for the richness of the stories – the ongoing dramatic tension of his dual personality, the burden of wielding the Power, the nature of power itself. He-Man must be depicted as what he actually is; the servant of a higher power, aware of his mortal status, his limitations; able on occasions to draw on yet greater power that comes to him as the embodiment of that power – but certainly NOT that power himself. He may be the most powerful man in the universe – but he remains just that: a man – and subject to the immutable laws of mortality. This leaves him vulnerable (which means, dramatically, that we can identify with him) and it gives him that vital aura of nobility, wisdom and sorrow – the lattermost stemming from the knowledge that evil cannot be just destroyed. All this has been swept aside – by a failure to understand or to care – and this in part explains the flatness of the new stories, their lack of involving depth and complexity. Most of all, nothing has been created in place of what has been lost. The “new” He-Man is thus a shallow creation, shorn of the attributes which rendered him unique. He-Man is not some generic DC superhero with intrinsic powers; he is a far more complex and subtle creation that that – and therein lies his enduring interest and appeal.

    The same applies to the significance of Adam – which is simply ignored. Adam has an important dramatic role; ignoring it detracts from the richness of the material available to writers and they do so at their peril. Yes, the basic deception is patently absurd (though the 2002 comics handled it really well) and involves some suspension of disbelief (hey - this is Eternia, after all) but there is more to Adam than this. Adam is the key indentifier, the ‘real’ character – and has an important role in this respect; his innate decency made him fit to be chosen as a hero – and he retains that; and this is vital. Adam protects He-Man from the corrosive effects of wielding the Power. People seem readily to assume that being He-Man is somehow intrinsically wonderful; personally, I very much doubt that it is. Once Adam reluctantly assumed the duty – under pressure to save his father’s life – he also assumed a terrific burden – and one that must come with a human cost. But Adam, not being himself a hero per se, is not easily corrupted – and endures. Note that He-Man cannot remain in that role indefinitely – but must revert to being Adam; this is depicted as even happening sometimes involuntarily, under supreme stress – and he, as Adam, on more than one occasion saves He-Man by being able to escape and resist what He-Man cannot. This duality can lead to tension – sometimes comic and sometimes almost tragic – but invariably significant and conducive to compelling storytelling. And now, yet again, this is swept away – and again – nothing is set in its place; tabula rasa is again the order of the day – and for what good reason?

    A He-Man who takes human life is a very fundamental shift – and an unwelcome one. It does not make the “new” He-Man more adult or somehow more fitted to 2013; it diminishes him – renders him just like the rest of the loincloth-wearing sword-slingers. The real and significant point to remember is this: he is so much more skilled and stronger than his foes that he doesn’t need to kill – thereby showing both his moral and military superiority. This is not simply Filmation morality – it is not. It is an appreciative view of He-Man which stresses his astonishing compassion and humanity – which stem from his patent ability to kill – but forbearance in not doing so. In this respect he is an embodiment of the will of the Elders – and that saves him from the fate his enemies would inflict upon him. The essential nature of He-Man is that he is good; how many times has this point been made in every incarnation? How many times has he overcome his enemies – and spared them, respecting the life of all Eternians, even the evil ones who would clearly not do the same for him? Yet, for all their evildoing they cannot conquer him – because of his adherence to this code, which has the Power protect him while he enacts its ultimately benign will. Are we now to accept that this no longer matters? That good can somehow overcome evil with evil’s weapons – and yet remain good? A thousand times no!

    As for it being more ‘realistic’ – well – how far should we really be seeking gritty realism in Eternia, where sorcery mingles seamlessly with technology, where all the women are beautiful, all the men have eight-packs – and no doubt, like Lake Woebegone, all the children are above average? Think in those terms and the apparent demand for a killer He-Man may appear in its due perspective. On a personal note, before becoming a writer I spent over ten years as an officer in the Armed Forces – much of the time in combat roles (with all the good and ill that inevitably follows from this) – and I can honestly say that, while a large number of persons of various different nationalities tried to end me with a wide variety of weaponry (including a sword) at no point did anyone ever attempt to blast me with a strike of sorcery! And that experience was adequately real for me to be completely sure that He-Man taking human life is a very immature and retrograde step indeed. Horde troopers, rock monsters, robots – by all means, the more the merrier; but NOT the violation of the sanctity of human life. Would that I could say the same; but, then, I am not He-Man.

    Eliminating the Sorceress for the sake of a shock moment adds what, exactly, to the dramatic potential of the new series? I can see no good reason for it at all – none. The true significance of Castle Grayskull has been swept away with one stroke of a sword. But nothing has replaced it – only He-Man in person, as the Power (sic) as the sole link with the Elders (vide supra.) This really does not seem to have been thought-through with any degree of clarity. Perhaps some prior research would have helped.

    Teela has become no more than yet another feisty superhero decorative sidekick, complete with stripped-down costume and an endless supply of wisecracks. All pretty standard DC stuff; I mean, hardly groundbreaking, is it? I personally have no problem with her skimpy costume - but I do with the fact that she apparently suffers from Tourettes. Her abuse of English and constant smart**s attitude I find very wearing indeed. And in any case it’s internally inconsistent; if He-Man IS The Power (sic) – meaning (bizarrely) that he is the actual embodiment of the gods – then surely her continuing to treat him like Adam in her ongoing tedious and banal banter is singularly inappropriate. If one is to create a “new” take, then is it too much to expect it to conform to its own contrivances? Apparently yes.

    Orko as arch-traitor . Words fail me at such an utterly feeble plot-contrivance. And this is meant to be a more mature approach, is it? Then I’d really, really hate to see a childish one……

    So, taken as a whole, does this constitute a more adult, more mature take on the canon - or is it just a dull re-tread of the standard DC superhero standard line? I would argue very much the latter;

    I don’t detect much understanding of or sympathy for the traditional Eternian ideals expressed in the canon – and this strikes me as a shame – and also conveys an element of hubris – or, at the very least, of re-inventing a perfectly serviceable wheel. I find the new series flawed in its fundamental conceptualization, lacking in internal consistency and shallow in context. As a result it is not compelling storytelling.

    Half an hour’s research and thought would surely have been sufficient to obviate some of the more obvious inconsistencies – but, as we know – thought is irksome – and half an hour is a very long time.

    Let me suggest as an antidote a re-read of the Shard of Darkness, from the 2002 Image Comics series. This elevated comics to the level of superb entertainment – and set very high standards – which these simply can’t match. And Val Staples draws on the whole rich and wide range of material to create dramatic storytelling that is intellectually as well as visually satisfying; a genuine tour de force – not least on account of Staples’ almost instinctive understanding of the material and capacity to expound it with style and eloquence. The Shard illustrates superbly the points I have attempted to make above; He-Man is set a test by the Sorceress – which he singularly fails – by falling for the tempting lure of supreme power inherent in the crystal; he is driven mad, attempts to kill, falls into a very real peril beyond merely his life – and – just note how he is saved in the end. Now, to me, this is The Comic as Art Form – it really is. And it sends this recent DC batch screaming back to the pit whence they came.

    If you disagree, then I would humbly solicit that you should go and re-read it (or better still the whole series) – and it is right here on the site in all its wonder and complexity. http://www.he-man.org/publishing/sub...id=52&subid=42 Staples and Santalucia was a very potent pairing indeed; it’s tragic that this did not continue – and left us to the mercy of these recent dismal offerings. O Tempora O Mores….

    And so a new batch of comics rolls onto the horizon – and judging by the spoilers thus far, they are going for the cataclysm – again. Not much sign of building up a longer-term context, or exercising narrative restraint towards this. I’m not altogether surprised, frankly. Shock and awe at the expense of such things has ever been attractive to the jejune and ill-informed. I had hoped that they might have gotten that out of their system – but the latest indications are FAR from good.

    I’m far more likely to hold my subscription than my breath.

    Last edited by Scriptor; March 21, 2013 at 08:13pm.

  9. #1809
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    A He-Man who takes human life is a very fundamental shift – and an unwelcome one. It does not make the “new” He-Man more adult or somehow more fitted to 2013; it diminishes him – renders him just like the rest of the loincloth-wearing sword-slingers. The real and significant point to remember is this: he is so much more skilled and stronger than his foes that he doesn’t need to kill – thereby showing both his moral and military superiority. This is not simply Filmation morality – it is not. It is an appreciative view of He-Man which stresses his astonishing compassion and humanity – which stem from his patent ability to kill – but forbearance in not doing so. In this respect he is an embodiment of the will of the Elders – and that saves him from the fate his enemies would inflict upon him. The essential nature of He-Man is that he is good; how many times has this point been made in every incarnation? How many times has he overcome his enemies – and spared them, respecting the life of all Eternians, even the evil ones who would clearly not do the same for him? Yet, for all their evildoing they cannot conquer him – because of his adherence to this code, which has the Power protect him while he enacts its ultimately benign will. Are we now to accept that this no longer matters? That good can somehow overcome evil with evil’s weapons – and yet remain good? A thousand times no!



    As for it being more ‘realistic’ – well – how far should we really be seeking gritty realism in Eternia, where sorcery mingles
    seamlessly with technology, where all the women are beautiful, all the men have eight-packs – and no doubt, like Lake Woebegone, all the children are above average? Think in those terms and the apparent demand for a killer He-Man may appear in its due perspective. On a personal note, before becoming a writer I spent over ten years as an officer in the Armed Forces – much of the time in combat roles (with all the good and ill that inevitably follows from this) – and I can honestly say that, while a large number of persons of various different nationalities tried to end me with a wide variety of weaponry (including a sword) at no point did anyone ever attempt to blast me with a strike of sorcery! And that experience was adequately real for me to be completely sure that He-Man taking human life is a very immature and retrograde step indeed. Horde troopers, rock monsters, robots – by all means, the more the merrier; but NOT the violation of the sanctity of human life. Would that I could say the same; but, then, I am not He-Man.

    But that's another He-Man. Not this one. Why continue to give this version of the character the attributes of the moralistic He-Man with Superman-level strength and wisecracks?

    We've had versions of He-Man who slew enemies back when DC first had MOTU back in 1982. This isn't new.

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  10. #1810
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    Greetings Max,

    could I just make a point? Orcs are not human (or even elvish; once, long ages before, they were, but no longer - Tolkien was as clever as usual in creating a creature who could be wiped out without scruple) and so it isn't an exact parallel.

    I believe that you underestimate He-Man badly in saying that he can kill humans and yet remain He-Man.

    He is so much more skilled in war and stronger than his foes that he doesn’t need to kill – thereby showing both his moral and military superiority. This is not simple-minded Filmation morality – it really isn't. (I am not holding a candle for a return to those values - and I did make the point that I see the 2002 comics as setting the standard) It's far more complex and important than that. It is the basic and vital fact about He-Man; he really does not need to kill - and doesn't - at least not humans, though he can trash robots, Horde Troopers and rock monsters ad libitum.

    He-Man has both compassion and humanity – which stem from his clear capacity to kill – but morality in not doing so. In this respect he is an embodiment of the will of the Elders – and that saves him from his enemies who have no such scruples. The essential nature of He-Man is that he is good and he overcomes his enemies – and spares them, respecting the life of all Eternians, even the evil ones who would clearly not do the same for him. The Power protects him while he enacts its will and so he comes to no harm; killing humans would likely lose him that protection, as it would go against the Power of the Elders. He is a warrior indeed and armed as such - but a warrior of a different and very superior kind.

    Good cannot overcome evil with evil’s weapons – not in Eternia (and probably not here, either!) So there is and must be clear moral ground between good and evil - and this matters. We expect Despera to act like that as part of the Horde - but do we really need He-Man to emulate that? And if we do, then what's wrong with us? Must we degrade that which is higher simply because we cannot ourselves aspire to it? I want to see a clear-cut difference between the twins - and that Adora will ultimately see this - and come around to the right side and reclaim her birthright. Why should she do that if her brother sheds blood just like her?

    Isn't that a fair point? I hope so!
    Last edited by Scriptor; March 21, 2013 at 08:08pm.

  11. #1811
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    Greetings Max,

    could I just make a point? Orcs are not human (or even elvish; once, long ages before, they were, but no longer - Tolkien was as clever as usual in creating a creature who could be wiped out without scruple) and so it isn't an exact parallel.

    I believe that you underestimate He-Man badly in saying that he can kill humans and yet remain He-Man.

    He is so much more skilled in war and stronger than his foes that he doesn’t need to kill – thereby showing both his moral and military superiority. This is not simple-minded Filmation morality – it really isn't. it's far more complex and important than that. It is the basic and vital fact about He-Man; he does not need to kill - and doesn't - at least not humans, though he can trash robots, Horde Troopers, rock monsters ad libitum.

    He-Man has both compassion and humanity – which stem from his clear capacity to kill – but morality in not doing so. In this respect he is an embodiment of the will of the Elders – and that saves him from the fate his enemies who have no such scruples. The essential nature of He-Man is that he is good and he overcomes his enemies – and spares them, respecting the life of all Eternians, even the evil ones who would clearly not do the same for him. The Power protects him while he enacts its will and so he comes to no harm; killing humans would likely lose him that protection, as it would go against the Power of the Elders. He is a warrior indeed and armed as such - but a warrior of a different and very superior kind.

    Good cannot overcome evil with evil’s weapons – not in Eternia (and probably not here, either!) So there is and must be clear moral ground between good and evil - and this matters. We expect Despera to act like that as part of the Horde - but do we really need He-Man to emulate that? And if we do, then what's wrong with us? Must we degrade that which is higher simply because we cannot ourselves aspire to it? I want to see a clear-cut difference between the twins - and that Adora will ultimately see this - and come around to the right side and reclaim her birthright. Why should she do that if her brother sheds blood just like her?

    Isn't that a fair point? I hope so!
    But that's giving this different version of He-Man his Filmation attributes.

    Certainly He-Man is the best character in the series, after all it's his series. But in DC, even He-Man as a trained warrior deals with the threat of an army of enemy warriors the obvious way -- by putting them to the sword. Maybe this He-Man would find an alternative to killing if he was as powerful as his Filmation incarnation. But maybe this He-Man isn't pushing moons and throwing frozen lakes.

    He-Man is saving Eternia. There is no rehabilitating entire masses of warriors in 22 minutes or quick super-strength fixes like throwing the invaders back to Snake Mountain. This is an ancient world mentality, not a modern-day "killing makes a hero the villain" superhero mentality. He-Man IS a warrior.

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  12. #1812
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    But that's giving this different version of He-Man his Filmation attributes.

    Certainly He-Man is the best character in the series, after all it's his series. But in DC, even He-Man as a trained warrior deals with the threat of an army of enemy warriors the obvious way -- by putting them to the sword. Maybe this He-Man would find an alternative to killing if he was as powerful as his Filmation incarnation. But maybe this He-Man isn't pushing moons and throwing frozen lakes.

    He-Man is saving Eternia. There is no rehabilitating entire masses of warriors in 22 minutes or quick super-strength fixes like throwing the invaders back to Snake Mountain. This is an ancient world mentality, not a modern-day "killing makes a hero the villain" superhero mentality. He-Man IS a warrior.

    But surely there is more to it than that? Again - please - let's leave Filmation out of it; no pushing of moons and chucking of lakes! Can he save Eternia (which isn't like Earth) by utlizing the same methods as Despera? Equally to the point, can he save Adora that way? Wreck all the Horde Troopers, sure - but continue to spare human life. That is as valid for an ancient world as it is now. It wouldn't be a question of making He-Man a villain to fall like this; it would mean that he was no longer recognizably He-Man.

    Do take a re-read of the Shard - please. It ducks no hard truths about power, corruption of goodness and the nature of morality - but it stops short of He-Man killing - though during the period of his madness more by good luck than judgement. And Val Staples really can write! Not easy, given the limitations of the format; writers of novels, as I am, have it far easier in a lot of respects.

    I honestly believe that it is both possible and desireable for He-Man to retain a moral stance on this point.

    As to the level of his power - well, this new incarnation is meant to BE the Power, per se; in which case what excuse has he for becoming a bloody-handed slayer?

    He is a warrior - agreed; but not in that particular way. He's better than that - and must be.

  13. #1813
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    I didn't see when they are supposed to start shipping....when is that?

    And they should come in some kind of mailing package, my friend got a few a while back from DC, and they came in a cardboard sleeve.
    The 1st issue comes out in mid April, I'd imagine it starts shipping shortly after that?

  14. #1814
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    But surely there is more to it than that? Again - please - let's leave Filmation out of it; no pushing of moons and chucking of lakes! Can he save Eternia (which isn't like Earth) by utlizing the same methods as Despera? Equally to the point, can he save Adora that way? Wreck all the Horde Troopers, sure - but continue to spare human life. That is as valid for an ancient world as it is now. It wouldn't be a question of making He-Man a villain to fall like this; it would mean that he was no longer recognizably He-Man.

    Do take a re-read of the Shard - please. It ducks no hard truths about power, corruption of goodness and the nature of morality - but it stops short of He-Man killing - though during the period of his madness more by good luck than judgement. And Val Staples really can write! Not easy, given the limitations of the format; writers of novels, as I am, have it far easier in a lot of respects.

    I honestly believe that it is both possible and desireable for He-Man to retain a moral stance on this point.

    As to the level of his power - well, this new incarnation is meant to BE the Power, per se; in which case what excuse has he for becoming a bloody-handed slayer?

    He is a warrior - agreed; but not in that particular way. He's better than that - and must be.
    MVC's He-Man takes some Filmation elements and puts them into the MYP storyline. And that was THAT version of He-Man. This DC Comics version is a new animal. You say that He-Man must be better than a slayer? What if any older canons of Eternia are wrong because the new DC Comics version is a different place? The rules have changed.

    This is recognizably He-Man too...






    ...still a hero, but dispatching enemies as an ancient world warrior does.

    And what is the Power or He-Man's level of power, defined in the new DC comic's canon?
    Super strength? Battle prowess? Access to Grayskull's secrets? We don't know yet.
    You speak of his power level, but the only power we see is that he is able to best Skeletor in single combat.

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    But hang on a moment - these creatures clearly aren't human....

    As I say, kill all the monsters, demons, Horde Troopers - no problem, attaboy, go to it with a right good will - save some for me! But not humans - that's the crucial difference.

    He shouts to poor old Skeletor that he IS the Power; this is confirmed by what the Sorceress tells him in the (lamentable) Origins of He-Man; agreed that it isn't clearly defined as to what this constitutes - but he is now supposedly the actual embodiment of the Elders, possessing the collective power of an entire pantheon of gods (which is absurd, of course, since he remains mortal) Now, I absolutely don't agree with this ill-thought-out novelty - but it does suggest that his power should be rated at an impressive level. I mean, do you see really the Horde actually winning this fight? No; nor do I.

    So; he's powerful enough not to have to kill humans - and, one hopes, good enough morally to show his twin the error of her adopted ways - thus enabling good to triumph (and us to care that it should.)

    (But many thanks for the trip down amnesia lane - I haven't looked at these comics in years and enjoyed seeing them again - and I love the archaism of the language spoken therein!)
    Last edited by Scriptor; March 21, 2013 at 11:51pm.

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    I really don't understand how people complain about how MotU is portrayed in other media, but when I read these forums a lot of people use the following phrase: "in my canon..."

    So why is it OK for people to create their own stories which, most of the time, go against EVERYTHING that has been laid out before in Filmation, mini-comics, the movie, what-have-you, but when DC Comics makes their version of MotU people complain? Isn't that "their canon"?

    I have to admit that I loathed the series when it started. I didn't like the art at all, and the story seemed rushed most of the time. But I really liked the last few issues, and I'm looking forward to the new series.

    If you don't like the comic, don't read it. Simple as that.

  17. #1817
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pancho View Post
    I really don't understand how people complain about how MotU is portrayed in other media, but when I read these forums a lot of people use the following phrase: "in my canon..."

    So why is it OK for people to create their own stories which, most of the time, go against EVERYTHING that has been laid out before in Filmation, mini-comics, the movie, what-have-you, but when DC Comics makes their version of MotU people complain? Isn't that "their canon"?

    I have to admit that I loathed the series when it started. I didn't like the art at all, and the story seemed rushed most of the time. But I really liked the last few issues, and I'm looking forward to the new series.

    If you don't like the comic, don't read it. Simple as that.
    But they really WANT to read it... That's why they complain so much...

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  18. #1818
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    Scriptor has a great point regarding "Shard of Darkness". That was one of the best He-Man comics visually & story-wise. I have some problems with the idiom He-Man uses in it, (I prefer the "archiac-type" speech from the early minis, rather than the "teenage-high-school" type talking, & I didn't like the Trap-Jaw was still a dumb-ass, but these are my only complaints).

    The recent stuff - new minis & DC is NOTHING compared to what Val et al did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    but he is now supposedly the actual embodiment of the Elders, possessing the collective power of an entire pantheon of gods (which is absurd, of course, since he remains mortal) Now, I absolutely don't agree with this ill-thought-out novelty - but it does suggest that his power should be rated at an impressive level. I mean, do you see really the Horde actually winning this fight? No; nor do I.
    As a rule... I LOVE weaknesses. I loved the old powers coming from his 'power vest'. That was an element that stayed in my canon forever... and cost me quite a few power vests... I love the powers being in the sword, whoever gets the sword has the powers...

    I HATE seeing these things disappear. Makes a nearly unbeatable hero COMPLETLEY unbeatable. I was ticked off something fierce when they introduced the 'Grayskull bloodline' as a limitation... Now Hordak can't get the power sword... or Trap Jaw enact a plan of his own... Adam and Keldor... that's it But yeah, now 'I AM the power???' Complete rubbish.

    As for a mortal holding all the power of the pantheon???

    captain-marvel-acronym.jpg

    This... is not exactly unheard of....




    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    MVC's He-Man takes some Filmation elements and puts them into the MYP storyline. And that was THAT version of He-Man. This DC Comics version is a new animal. You say that He-Man must be better than a slayer? What if any older canons of Eternia are wrong because the new DC Comics version is a different place? The rules have changed.

    This is recognizably He-Man too......still a hero, but dispatching enemies as an ancient world warrior does.

    And what is the Power or He-Man's level of power, defined in the new DC comic's canon?
    Super strength? Battle prowess? Access to Grayskull's secrets? We don't know yet.
    You speak of his power level, but the only power we see is that he is able to best Skeletor in single combat.
    He-man as violent killer was around for a year or two, and then discarded. I DID like pre-filmation and used most of the elements in my own canon, but He-man as a role model IS the standard. He's like superman. Super-powered guardian of the planet who does not NEED to kill to get the job done.

    Superman has had 're-imaginings before too' Anyone remember this?

    250px-SupermanTheDarkSide.jpg

    or

    1771475-ew_superman_speeding_bullets_09_super.jpg

    If DC wanted to do a reimagine of superman or He-man as a violent, take-no-prisoners, type in a limited capacity... few would complain. But if its the new STATUS QUO... that's when people get uncomfortable. Theres just something about the Power Sword dripping with Blood that makes people uncomfortable. Even in the old days, He-man was mostly empty threats. He would SAY he was going to cut someone in half... but then something would 'stay his hand'. Even Pre-filmation had very few deaths.

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    [QUOTE=phantom1592;3235255]As a rule... I LOVE weaknesses. I loved the old powers coming from his 'power vest'. That was an element that stayed in my canon forever... and cost me quite a few power vests... I love the powers being in the sword, whoever gets the sword has the powers...

    I HATE seeing these things disappear. Makes a nearly unbeatable hero COMPLETLEY unbeatable. I was ticked off something fierce when they introduced the 'Grayskull bloodline' as a limitation... Now Hordak can't get the power sword... or Trap Jaw enact a plan of his own... Adam and Keldor... that's it But yeah, now 'I AM the power???' Complete rubbish.

    As for a mortal holding all the power of the pantheon???

    This... is not exactly unheard of....


    Yes - agreed; but it doesn't tend to work out well, either for the indvidual so blessed (or, rather, burdened) or for the world they inhabit, does it? Power really does corrupt those who wield it; huge power does it faster! Tolkien was once asked if the LOTR was an allegory of the contemporary events of WWII; he replied wearily that it wasn't - since the allies would undoubtedly have used the Ring to destroy Sauron - and thus unwittingly have created another Dark Lord. Even leaving aside the issue of the Manhattan Project one has to agree with the Prof. Not good for people, that kind of awesome power - not at all. He-Man is better off serving it than - allegedly - being it!

    I really am in agreement with you about the error in removing all weaknesses from the hero - and also reducing access to the Power to Grayskull's bloodline; it is, as you say, bosh.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If DC wanted to do a reimagine of superman or He-man as a violent, take-no-prisoners, type in a limited capacity... few would complain. But if its the new STATUS QUO... that's when people get uncomfortable. Theres just something about the Power Sword dripping with Blood that makes people uncomfortable. Even in the old days, He-man was mostly empty threats. He would SAY he was going to cut someone in half... but then something would 'stay his hand'. Even Pre-filmation had very few deaths.

    Well - I probably would complain (but that's just me.. and I can always ignore it - unless it becomes the norm, as you say) but you are quite right here; the Power Sword dripping with human blood was the point where I lost it with this series. I am delighted that you and I are in accord that a man with that degree of mystical power and god-given strength and skill does not need to kill feeble human opponents like Lyn's tribesmen. It demeans what He-Man is and what he stands for - and completely underestimates his ability and wisdom.

    By the way - were pre-Filmation He-Man's victims human? The ones posted by MGMax were actually all demons - and I have no scruples at all about them - and nor should He-Man!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes indeed; there is very big difference between He-Man trashing robots, monsters and Horde Troopers and him mowing down Evil-Lyn's pathetic little tribesmen and staining the Sword of Power with blood. Bloodshed per se is fine - it is a war - but He-Man does not need to take human life - as Scott Metzger says. He is way too powerful, skilled and Elder-imbued either to need to or to want to. That is, after all, the point - that he is a hero wielding a great power, which protects him from evil - and makes him understand the essential difference between that and good, its nemesis.
    Isn't that why he triumphs over all adversity - against overwhelming odds? Otherwise, sans the Power, he's just another barbarian with a sword - and thus equally insignificant.
    Last edited by Scriptor; March 22, 2013 at 10:54pm.

  21. #1821
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    [Yes - agreed; but it doesn't tend to work out well, either for the indvidual so blessed (or, rather, burdened) or for the world they inhabit, does it? Power really does corrupt those who wield it; huge power does it faster!
    A noble enough soul can manage it. Captain Marvel (shazam) always handled it like a champ, as does Superman... Black Adam, not as much.

    I see that as what makes Adam so special. If anyone ELSE had the sword, it would lead to path of darkness...


    And again, that may be what makes Adam so important... so he doesn't have ALL THAT POWER all the time... Just when he needs it the most.



    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    \
    By the way - were pre-Filmation He-Man's victims human? The ones posted by MGMax were actually all demons - and I have no scruples at all about them - and nor should He-Man!
    Well... there was always the likes of Trap Jaw and TriKlops... and I THOUGHT he threatened some wizard in the DC mini series.... but its blurry. Threats... but never carried out. the Bad guys always escaped his axe.

  22. #1822
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    A noble enough soul can manage it. Captain Marvel (shazam) always handled it like a champ, as does Superman... Black Adam, not as much.

    I see that as what makes Adam so special. If anyone ELSE had the sword, it would lead to path of darkness...


    And again, that may be what makes Adam so important... so he doesn't have ALL THAT POWER all the time... Just when he needs it the most.
    Yes - spot-on; it's crucial that He-Man cannot remain in that guise indefinitely but must revert to being Adam - in part to save his alter ego from the corrosive and corrupting effects of wielding great power - making Adam indeed special - as you say. It's a point I made earlier in my critique of the current DC take - which is deeply flawed in my view in its exposition of the nature of the Power.

    The same applies to the significance of Adam – which is simply ignored. Adam has an important dramatic role; ignoring it detracts from the richness of the material available to writers and they do so at their peril. Yes, the basic deception is patently absurd (though the 2002 comics handled it really well) and involves some suspension of disbelief (hey - this is Eternia, after all) but there is more to Adam than this. Adam is the key indentifier, the ‘real’ character – and has an important role in this respect; his innate decency made him fit to be chosen as a hero – and he retains that; and this is vital. Adam protects He-Man from the corrosive effects of wielding the Power. People seem readily to assume that being He-Man is somehow intrinsically wonderful; personally, I very much doubt that it is. Once Adam reluctantly assumed the duty – under pressure to save his father’s life – he also assumed a terrific burden – and one that must come with a human cost. But Adam, not being himself a hero per se, is not easily corrupted – and thus endures. Note that He-Man cannot remain in that role indefinitely – but must revert to being Adam; this is depicted as even happening sometimes involuntarily, under supreme stress – and he, as Adam, on more than one occasion saves He-Man by being able to escape and resist what He-Man cannot. This duality can lead to tension – sometimes comic and sometimes almost tragic – but invariably significant and conducive to compelling storytelling.


    So I'm very much in agreement with you; I do, though, prefer the concept that neither Adam nor He-Man be asked to handle the combined power of an entire pantheon of gods; that seems to be asking a great deal of even the most noble of souls, and I am very taken by the idea expressed by Val Staples in the 2002 comics that He-Man doesn't actually possess ALL of the powers of the Elders - only some, specifically the strength and skill in battle.

    Do you have a view on this? I should be interested to know.


    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Well... there was always the likes of Trap Jaw and TriKlops... and I THOUGHT he threatened some wizard in the DC mini series.... but its blurry. Threats... but never carried out. the Bad guys always escaped his axe.
    I see; well - he plainly didn't kill the evil duo, though, as they are very much still around.

    I must say that I haven't been able to find any evidence of He-Man taking human life until the demeaning and completely unnecessary bloodletting heaped so ignominiously upon his stainless character by the recent DC series. All very ill-advised indeed - and distinctly jejune.
    Last edited by Scriptor; March 23, 2013 at 05:58am.

  23. #1823
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    The comics that were released during the MOTUC line are pretty forgettable. From the DC to even the new 3-parts mini-comic that was released with some figures, I think they're pretty weak.

    Personally, I feel that people will remember the original vintage mini-comics, the Filmation cartoons, and the 200x cartoon and comics, but all the MOTUC-era comics will be forgotten pretty fast.

  24. #1824
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    But hang on a moment - these creatures clearly aren't human....

    As I say, kill all the monsters, demons, Horde Troopers - no problem, attaboy, go to it with a right good will - save some for me! But not humans - that's the crucial difference.
    I find this argument ridiculous. It is okay for He-Man to kill creatures but not humans? Just because demons are demons doesn't mean they aren't intelligent. And hey, let's not forget what Skeletor is- 1/2 Demon, 1/4 Human, 1/4 Gar so by your math He-Man should be able to kill him.

    What you are basically saying is on the battlefield it would be okay to kill Clawful, Beast-man, Mer-man, Trap-Jaw, Faker, and Whiplash just as long as he doesn't kill Evil-Lyn, Tri-Klops and Jitsu... right?

    Keeping sociopaths alive who will repeatedly kill innocent people if given the chance isn't heroic. It is moronic. It is heroic to take on the burden of having to kill one person (or a few people) in order to save thousands. They key is for them not to kill excessively. It goes to show that when they do decide it is necessary to kill just how important that choice is. Is it really remarkable that He-Man doesn't kill in Shard? He never killed in the 200x series, so his choice not to kill is just an illusion.

    A heroic warrior who is constantly in battle but never kills is very two dimensional if they don't deal with the consequences of that choice. Batman makes that choice and constantly deals with the consequences. That is what makes him interesting (okay, one of the things). The versions of He-Man you are speaking of for the most part just ignore that killing is even an option (Shard story not-withstanding) which isn't dealing with the consequences... it is living in a fantasy world (inside of another fantasy world! ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptor View Post
    So I'm very much in agreement with you; I do, though, prefer the concept that neither Adam nor He-Man be asked to handle the combined power of an entire pantheon of gods; that seems to be asking a great deal of even the most noble of souls, and I am very taken by the idea expressed by Val Staples in the 2002 comics that He-Man doesn't actually possess ALL of the powers of the Elders - only some, specifically the strength and skill in battle.

    Do you have a view on this? I should be interested to know.
    Honestly, I'm not a fan of the Eldor's at all. I never saw them do anything, I was never impressed with them as a group. I prefer the power to be as mysterious as possible. Nobody is entirely sure WHAT it is... but everyone WANTS it. THAT'S my ideal Canon.

    As for wisdom? I HATE Wisdom as a 'power'. It makes for very poor storytelling. Going back to Captain Marvel... it's a bit ridiculous how often they play him as naive... or making rookie mistakes... or screwing up.

    He's got the WISDOM OF SOLOMON going on... once that kicks in you shouldn't HAVE the kind of doubts and confusions that 'ordinary' heroes have...

    I like him Super strong.. Actually, My FAVORITE powerlevel was pre-filmation where he could whup just about anyone.. but he had to work at it. If he was jumped by 3 or 4 bad guys??? he better have some help around...

    But yeah, strength is really all he needs... maybe some combat techniques...




    Quote Originally Posted by ZexisStryfe View Post
    Keeping sociopaths alive who will repeatedly kill innocent people if given the chance isn't heroic. It is moronic. It is heroic to take on the burden of having to kill one person (or a few people) in order to save thousands. They key is for them not to kill excessively. It goes to show that when they do decide it is necessary to kill just how important that choice is. Is it really remarkable that He-Man doesn't kill in Shard? He never killed in the 200x series, so his choice not to kill is just an illusion.

    A heroic warrior who is constantly in battle but never kills is very two dimensional if they don't deal with the consequences of that choice. Batman makes that choice and constantly deals with the consequences. That is what makes him interesting (okay, one of the things). The versions of He-Man you are speaking of for the most part just ignore that killing is even an option (Shard story not-withstanding) which isn't dealing with the consequences... it is living in a fantasy world (inside of another fantasy world! ).

    yep... Totally disagree with everything here.. Personally I HATE teh popularity of the anti hero/vigilanties... At their best I find them boring, at their worst theyr'e essentially villains themselves.

    The ONLY time I like to see punisher... is when he guest stars in Daredevil and they're competeing over who gets the bad guy... and punisher is nothing more than a moralistic opponent.

    But on his own?? uggg.....


    1)Heroes don't have the right to take the law into their own hands... Anyone who criticizes batman for not killing Joker... Needs to look JUST as hard at Arkham guard #3... or Gordan... or the mailman who sees him drive by... They ALL would have this 'heroic responsibility' to snap the clowns neck... or anyone else whos a danger for that matter...

    2) If you kill the bad guys... you have no more bad guys. Or good guys for that matter... Death in stories like this... take more from the story then they give. EVERY one of the MOTU... good and Bad guys are AWESOME... They are not general mooks. or Sidekicks... or peasants.... They are 'heroic/evil masters of... Whatever. Whatever it is they are doing... they are the BEST at it.

    The good guys are like the Expendables... All the greatest heroes of the land joining together to fight the evil....and the evil guys have assembled the greatest monsters from the universe to fight them.... Every ONE of them should have the skills and battle prowess to survive a fight.

    Otherwise... you end up just replacing the dead guy with someone else that's less interesting. Teela-sorceress, SLL-Man at arms... Whoever takes over for Stratos... Random deaths are for horde troopers and no name palace guards.

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