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Thread: Masters Mondays MOTUC bio reveals: May 20th - Fang

  1. #876
    Heroic Warrior Thrillhouse's Avatar
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    Whilst the majority of the new bios I've enjoyed, I have to say this one seems to be following a trend. Scott's bios were turning MOTUC into an adult world, where death could happen and storylines move forward, away from the kid-friendly versions we grew up with.

    Since the new bios, nobody can age or die. The Reawakening brought everybody who had died back to life, He-Man has de-aged to his toy-age self, Keldor came back to life, then redone the damage to his face to become Skeletor once again, Ram-Man, Battlecat and others time-jumped to the future so they are not older in the future and now this... the snakemen didn't die and Orko was ashamed for what he did during a war.

    The new bio directions are bringing the story back to the status-quo, and returning to a kid-friendly cartoon world. I think Scott's idea for MOTUC was building upon what we had grown up on, and continuing the world building and storytelling in a realistic way, daring to make permanent changes to the live of characters. What it seems to be is that the current bios are spending more time on "fixing the mistakes Scott made" when in actual fact fans don't realise these aren't mistakes, MOTUC was Scott's story to tell.

  2. #877
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    I have to agree on many of those points, my friend. I feel like this is what a lot of people want JJ Abrams to do with episode nine.

    I love the bios and the Canon that has been established thus far with MOTUC, and I actually love pretty much all of the new stuff, but this does feel a little bit like trying to bring the status quo back to a more comfortable point.
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  3. #878
    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    I agree as well. While I don't dispute the quality of the new bios and enjoy them overall, there does seem to be this lurking feeling that they're pandering somewhat to the fandom as a kneejerk response to the rancorous outrage caused by Scott's unapologetic, sacred-cow-slaughtering storytelling through the use of shock tactics, which itself seemed to be largely driven by a demand to "undo the mistakes and deficiencies of Filmation".

    It's a lot like politics in general - a backlash caused by an opposing backlash, caused by an opposing backlash, ad nauseam.

    Like anything else in life, a balanced approach is the most sensible. Some characters should die and stay dead, and some simply shouldn't. The lore loses focus once clichéd plot devices such as time travel, multiverses, and alternate dimensions are implemented to undo established canon according to current trends. The story needn't go too far in either direction to "progress".

  4. #879
    Heroic Warrior Wakko's Avatar
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    I've had issue with the bios since the beginning of the line. IMO, the bios should have stuck to just being bios, not storytelling/story-advancing devices (leave that if you must to media like the mini-comics). The bios should have been looked at from a POV of a "constant now," where everyone is alive. (Exceptions being characters like King Grayskull or He-Ro who exist to establish what happened in the past and explain why things are the way they are now, and their deaths are therefore a foregone conclusion unless they are immortal.)

    Because the bios were (unfortunately) used as storytelling devices, death was introduced. Too often it was simply for the shock value in an effort to "adult" the property, or it was used to make a lesser-regarded character seem more formidable (Mermista, Photog). This was an unfortunate direction. I get why Neitlich was motivated to turn the bios into stories -- it allowed him to introduce/refamiliarize characters in an effort to expand the toyline. I get that and I don't begrudge him that. But in the end, the bios often weren't really just bios and several characters "died" unnecessarily.

    As far as I can recall, the bios on the back of the DC Universe Classics figures never mentioned death -- they told where the character came from and what they could do. This is the direction the MOTUC bios should have gone in.

    But since they didn't, I don't begrudge these new bios that are making an effort to a) undo some of the unfortunate decisions made in the existing bios while b) continuing the mythology.
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  5. #880
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durendal View Post
    I agree as well. While I don't dispute the quality of the new bios and enjoy them overall, there does seem to be this lurking feeling that they're pandering somewhat to the fandom as a kneejerk response to the rancorous outrage caused by Scott's unapologetic, sacred-cow-slaughtering storytelling through the use of shock tactics, which itself seemed to be largely driven by a demand to "undo the mistakes and deficiencies of Filmation".
    I don't think this is what Scott did at all. He was telling a story for adult collectors, so he was of course going away from a lot that Filmation did, but I would be surprised if he saw any of those things as mistakes.
    I also don't see any "shock tactics" in his writings. Characters died, because conflicts where nobody dies are not very epic and he was trying to write an epic story. Did he always succeed? Well, that's a matter of taste and I would say, no, sometimes it felt more stupid than epic. But he clearly didn't just want to shock people. Those characters are not immortal (except in the sense that they are fictional) and it makes sense for them to go out with a bang.

    But even if Scott saw any "mistakes" in Filmation that he wanted to "correct" there is a major difference to what the new writers are doing. Filmation was a different continuity. This is still the same MotUC. What Scott wrote should stand. Bringing some people back from the dead? Sure. Things like that happen in fantastic setttings, why not. Bringing nearly everybody back? That's basically saying "Ha ha, the Second Ultimat Battleground didn't matter at all, too bad for you, Scott." And reinterpreting a major event like this is just ... let's say I'm seeing why you usually don't hire fanfiction writers for official stuff.

  6. #881
    Pillar of the Community hadley's Avatar
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    Masters Mondays MOTUC bio reveals: Apr 15th - Vanishing Orko

    Scott brought everybody back himself anyway with the Heroes Return and Villains Return spells, didn’t he? Or was that just a temporary thing?

    I generally enjoyed his bios but I really hate what he did with Skeletor so I don’t mind the retcon to bring him back to status quo.

    Anyway, regarding this bio, I appreciate the call out to the Oracle. I really liked him.
    Last edited by hadley; April 16, 2019 at 07:41pm.

  7. #882
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capeträger View Post
    And reinterpreting a major event like this is just ... let's say I'm seeing why you usually don't hire fanfiction writers for official stuff.
    I don't even know what that means. Do I hire fanfic writers? Just depends on if they've proven themselves as good writers, and if they have pitched themselves to me.

    But for these bios, I hired people who are not only fans, but who are also professionals that I've worked with many times, who have writing backgrounds, who understand the lore, who understand the fans, who know how to respect the needs of a toy company.

    And as a whole, these new bios have proven to be very popular and well received.
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  8. #883
    Heroic Warrior Snake_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    And as a whole, these new bios have proved to be very popular and well received.
    Absolutely. Nothing but the highest respect (and a little awe sometimes [^D) for Danielle and Eric. This Bio came out a little heavy-handed, but I'd be lying if i said that I wasn't super pleased overall with the end results. I was crestfallen, at best, when The entire Snake Men army was unraveled like an old sweater in the Second Ultimate Battleground. Seeing them back in existence due to this Bio does my heart good. :^)
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  9. #884
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    I don't even know what that means. Do I hire fanfic writers? Just depends on if they've proven themselves as good writers, and if they have pitched themselves to me.

    But for these bios, I hired people who are not only fans, but who are also professionals that I've worked with many times, who have writing backgrounds, who understand the lore, who understand the fans, who know how to respect the needs of a toy company.

    And as a whole, these new bios have proven to be very popular and well received.
    Okay, I could have explained that better. What I mean is, "There is a reason that the producers of, let's say, 'Arrow', don't go through fanfiction.net, look for Arrow-fanfictions they like and ask the authors to write episodes for them."
    I know you didn't do that. Nobody does that.

    This was more directed at the writers. There is a lot in the bios that I like, but occasionally, there are certain "fanfictionisms". Like, not letting characters permanently die or cramming too many different versions of things into the same continuity. And that can happen to accomplished and professional writers who do a good job overall, but it is still jarring when it happens.

    If someone actually hired authors based purely on their fanfictions, it would probably happen all the time.

  10. #885
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake_Man View Post
    Absolutely. Nothing but the highest respect (and a little awe sometimes [^D) for Danielle and Eric. This Bio came out a little heavy-handed, but I'd be lying if i said that I wasn't super pleased overall with the end results. I was crestfallen, at best, when The entire Snake Men army was unraveled like an old sweater in the Second Ultimate Battleground. Seeing them back in existence due to this Bio does my heart good. :^)
    With all bios, there will be some that score higher with fans, and some that score lower. It's similar to comics and TV episodes. It's the overall story that definitely matters. And it has to appeal to both fans and the powers that be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Capeträger View Post
    This was more directed at the writers. There is a lot in the bios that I like, but occasionally, there are certain "fanfictionisms". Like, not letting characters permanently die or cramming too many different versions of things into the same continuity. And that can happen to accomplished and professional writers who do a good job overall, but it is still jarring when it happens.
    Then I guess it's a good thing Danielle and Eric aren't writing fanfiction in these bios, isn't it?


    If this bio didn't connect for you, I completely understand. Not every bio is going to be a win for every person reading them.
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  11. #886
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    I'll chime in on this because, hey, why not. I've enjoyed these new bios for the most part, so this post is more a response to the notion that MOTU needs to be "sterilized" to its cartoon roots against Scott Neitlich's MOTUC canon.

    I had MOTU as a kid, had no attachment to Filmation (even as a kid I thought it was lame He-Man only used his sword as a transformation talisman), and was largely ignorant of the inner details of the mythos at large. So as a sort of outsider who had a childhood toe in the water so to speak, I'll say that I loved Neitlich's bios. The figures were already great, and I thought the bios were added spice to make these more than just non sequitur characters. I have always loved the sheer imagination behind MOTU, in the sense that if you have a crazy enough idea with a cool enough execution, it's plausible. Scott organized that for me in a coherent manner. I don't subscribe to EVERYTHING he wrote, but I admire the majority of it, even more than the vintage mini-comic mythos I was initiated into.

    Many people have an extreme attachment to the Filmation series, whose producers openly decried violence while using an artistic and literary genre (swords and sorcery) that is fundamentally violent. Even as a child I thought it was half-hearted pandering to parent groups (what can I say, I was a weird kid). I'm not saying that every genre ever has to become "dark" or "edgy" as is the accusation of trend in media nowadays. As odd, or perhaps pretentious, as it sounds, I look to the way other countries tell stories with real consequence in children's cartoons. At the risk of sounding like a "weeaboo", Japan is notorious for showing life and death in a tasteful manner in programs aimed at kids (and I don't just refer to the death, resurrection, and re-death of Optimus/Convoy in Transformers: Headmasters). The possibility of loss means that the heroes must take real, noble risks of self and make tough decisions-- something actual heroes do. Only cowards make nothing but easy decisions. That's a life skill I would want my child to learn.

    Personally, I thought Scott did a great job of keeping the heart of the Filmation series people loved while balancing the notion of risk and reward. Evil- true evil- isn't defeated in 22 minutes and doesn't stop even with the vigilance of noble heroes. It takes a heavy toll. I think it's one thing to have escapism into a world of wonder but it's another to want to escape from anything with consequence.

    All that said, as I mentioned at the start, I've enjoyed the content of the new bios I've seen so far (I'm reading them retroactively to be honest). Kudos on Battle Armor Sy-Klone. Now I'm torn on what head to use with Slamurai coming out haha.

    That's my two cents though, for whatever it's worth.

  12. #887
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    With all bios, there will be some that score higher with fans, and some that score lower. It's similar to comics and TV episodes. It's the overall story that definitely matters. And it has to appeal to both fans and the powers that be.




    Then I guess it's a good thing Danielle and Eric aren't writing fanfiction in these bios, isn't it?
    That's the thing. If they wrote a fanfiction where it turns out that the Snake Men are actually still alive, it wouldn't bother me. Typical fix-fic. Author wrote something I didn't like, so I changed it. Happens all the time and can be really good.
    But this is canon. And as such it should build on the work of previous authors, not undo it.

    But of course people can still enjoy this bio and I totally understand that people prefer the Snake Men army to be not completely wiped out and Orko not having that weight on his shoulders. I would have preferred if Scott hadn't done that, too. But he did and retconning it feels just cheap to me.

  13. #888
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    Just now seeing.

    I...uh...hmmmmmmmmmmmm.


    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    April 15th, 2019 bio reveal:
    Vanishing Orko

  14. #889
    Heroic Warrior Snake_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadley View Post
    Scott brought everybody back himself anyway with the Heroes Return and Villains Return spells, didn’t he? Or was that just a temporary thing?
    No, that was a VERY limited event. Four lead villains (Skeletor, Hordak, 200X King Hsss and Horde Prime) challenged by the Four main heroes (He-Man, She-Ra, He-Ro and King Grayskull), all time-displaced to stand together as the main capper to The Third Ultimate Battleground. It was a brief-but-epic (and ultimately pointless?) battle, but the way the Spells were invoked made it look like something out of a RPG. :^)
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  15. #890
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capeträger View Post
    But this is canon. And as such it should build on the work of previous authors, not undo it.
    I respect your position on that, but there's nothing that supports that as a rule of story-telling. Retconning is common, especially in long-running franchises where things can shake up at a moment's notice. Sometimes it's even praised for its positive results. Take comics, for example, where there are multiple retconned storylines that fans love. Popular retons include: Jean Grey didn't die and returned as Phoenix, Bucky didn't die in Captain America and surfaced as Winter Soldier, and Crisis on Infinite Earths which streamlined the DC Universe.

    I don't see why this is any different. I definitely understand why some fans don't like the Reawakening, and those fans have every right to feel that way. Speaking for myself, I'm also fine with the death of characters as a story evolves.
    But, let's also not forget how many fans were upset at the deaths of major characters in the MOTUC canon. Plus, this is a toy franchise. Keeping popular characters in rotation, and re-introducing them in a way that can lead to more toys, is going to happen.
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  16. #891
    Heroic slave of time man-at-work's Avatar
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    Ok, since we have reached this point where there's a Reaweakening and Snake Men are not extinct as a result of Orko's spell, I need a retconned story for Duncan. That death as a Snake Man was miserable, go for it Penny and gbagok! Also, what happened to Mekaneck?
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  17. #892
    Heroic Daddy to Hermione! Uki's Avatar
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    I like the idea that Duncan was whisked back in time before dying, getting merged with the life-saving Gem of Tamadge to become Sir Laser Lot.
    Last edited by Uki; April 18, 2019 at 10:40pm.
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  18. #893
    Heroic Warrior Snake_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uki View Post
    I like the idea that Duncan was whisked back in time before dying, getting merged with the life-saving Gem If Tamadge to become Sir Laser Lot.
    No, there was some speculation at the time concerning the mysterious power-gem-infused knight of Grayskull, but we now know that he ISN'T a time-displaced Man-at-Arms.

    There was that whole "War Wraith" story arc-let that went on during The Eternity War, perhaps THAT's a path to a canonicly-feasible resurrection for Duncan? Heaven knows that we still have at least TWO M-A-A figure heads lying in state that have yet to get a Bio... [^)
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  19. #894
    Heroic Daddy to Hermione! Uki's Avatar
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    Oh, I know, but I like my version better. I didn’t like the War-Wraith idea (or much of the DC stuff from the era) at all, and for King He-Man to go to all the trouble of snatching SLL from Preternia to serve as his MAA, this made the most sense to me.
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  20. #895
    Heroic Warrior Snake_Man's Avatar
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    Good enough. :^) You are right about King He-Man's odd hiring practices, too! [^D
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  21. #896
    The Man Shecky's Avatar
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    Isn't Sir Laser Lot a different ethnicity, though?

  22. #897
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    I respect your position on that, but there's nothing that supports that as a rule of story-telling. Retconning is common, especially in long-running franchises where things can shake up at a moment's notice. Sometimes it's even praised for its positive results. Take comics, for example, where there are multiple retconned storylines that fans love. Popular retons include: Jean Grey didn't die and returned as Phoenix, Bucky didn't die in Captain America and surfaced as Winter Soldier, and Crisis on Infinite Earths which streamlined the DC Universe.

    I don't see why this is any different. I definitely understand why some fans don't like the Reawakening, and those fans have every right to feel that way. Speaking for myself, I'm also fine with the death of characters as a story evolves.
    But, let's also not forget how many fans were upset at the deaths of major characters in the MOTUC canon. Plus, this is a toy franchise. Keeping popular characters in rotation, and re-introducing them in a way that can lead to more toys, is going to happen.
    Well, there is a difference between retconning something decades of real time and years of in-universe time after the fact and the very next authors doing so and it happening basically immediately after in-universe.
    I'm not rying to convince everyone, I'm just trying to make my point as clear as possible. I'm not judging anyone for liking the bio as is.

    I understand that you would want to have new forms of, let's say, He-Man so you can make a He-Man that people who already have the first one would still buy, while new collectors can still get a He-Man at all. But isn't rejuvenating him into his orginal toy appearance the exact opposite of that? There is no new toy in that.
    There are decades between the first He-Man and King He-Man and I don't think all possible variations have yet been explored.

    But back to this specific bio.
    If the goal is to get to the "good" Snake Men from DC comics, I can totally understand that. I liked He-Man and Rattlor being friends and I would like to see that in classics. But "the spell that explicitly takes things apart send them into another dimension instead where a deity magically turned them good" feels both ridiculous and an oversimplification of the Snake Men's personalities and motives.
    One of the strong points of the relationship between Rattlor and Adam was that Rattlor, working with the Heroic Warriors, came to see things their way by himself, not because of some magical purification.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and the tangent of bringing back Man-At-Arms ... I think that already kinda happend in the comics. I don't think it was completely clear, but there is something that looks like his armor fighting on its own. Someone (no idea if that was official) said (I think in the thread abou the Ultimates?), that MAA survived by loading his conciousness into his suit.
    If so, I would propose the following route: The Horde recovers MAAs body, including the memories still in the brain, and turns it into War Wraith. After War Wraith is beaten, Armor-MAA puts himself onto him, merges with him and we have Man-At-Arms back in a new cyborg form. Three new toys and some story drama.

  23. #898
    master of accessories facet's Avatar
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    Another monday another bio

  24. #899
    Heroic Warrior Snake_Man's Avatar
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    Yes! [^D

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  25. #900
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    This disappearing Orko bio is the first I’ve read and I love it. I get a strong Filmation vibe which is brilliant and in keeping with Orko as a character. Gonna go back and read the rest now. Great work!

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