Editorials
Face to Face

It was one of the biggest events in Masters of the Universe history, and yet it remains comparatively unknown today. Only a few of us experienced it, though we'll remember it for a long time.

I speak, as you've probably guessed from the editorial title, of the Power Tour. This live show toured the United States in the winter of 1986-1987, featured many of our favorites "live on stage." He-Man, She-Ra, Man-At-Arms, Rokkon, Orko, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, Ninjor, Blast-Attak, Hordak, and the Sorceress all made appearances. Two new characters who appeared only in the show were featured -- a general whose name I can't recall (we'll call him "General"), and Songster, an Eternian bard with a magical guitar who set the stage for the story, accompanied with song, and told us of the old days of Eternia. I'm going to describe it as best I can, but my memories are over twelve years old, so they're a bit fuzzy.

The set was comprised of Castle Grayskull's facade, with a laser cannon resembling the one that came with Eternia placed on the right tower, two giant video screens on the left and right of the castle, and two dinosaur heads and necks (which strongly resembled that of Dinosorb) flanking the entrance to Grayskull. I remember the heads moving up and down as appropriate during the performance.

The program opened with a report on the video screens from the aforementioned General on the Power Tour, announcing those who would be coming from Eternia to our world of Earth. One by one, Orko, Rokkon, and the other heroes appeared on screen, and then, accompanied by smoke and movement of the Dinosorb heads, stepped out onto the stage. The last to arrive, of course, were She-Ra and then He-Man himself.

After a few minutes' banter by the twins (including He-Man's line "I wonder how Beast Man's going to react when he finds out he has to wear roller skates"), they introduce us to Songster and his magical guitar. Songster welcomes the audience, and opens with a song. I remember very little of the song, but the chorus was "Welcome to my universe: Masters of the Universe". He then tells us of the Ancients and the history of Eternia. According to this version, Hordak confronted the Ancients a long time ago, threatening to do vile deeds in the future. That prophecy was fulfilled centuries later, when Hordak kidnapped Adora. Eventually, Prince Adam became He-Man to fight off Skeletor, and later, Hordak and Adora came to Eternia. Hordak and Skeletor reunite, while He-Man fights Adora until the Sorceress (who appeared on the video screen -- I'm not sure she ever appeared in person) told him not to fight her, as she was "of royal blood." Adora realized her identity and became She-Ra, and that brought us up to date.

At some point during the performance, Skeletor and the Evil Warriors had arrived, and near the climax of the first act, the Heroic and Evil Warriors competed in a contest using "Power Gifts" -- roller skates. Elements of this included Ninjor being called out for pulling weapons and Evil-Lyn "skating like an Egyptian."

No, I am not making this up.

I'm not sure who won the contest, but in any event, by the time the first act was over, Skeletor and the Evil Warriors were in control. After intermission, the second act opened with Skeletor on the screens, declaring himself in control, and forbidding the audience to have any interaction with He-Man. He-Man and the Heroic Warriors led an insurrection, which almost failed, but She-Ra saved the day by having secretly gotten up to the laser cannon on top of Grayskull, which had a pretty impressive "firing" special effect. After that, the show wrapped up with a reprise of the song, and then the cast came out to say hello to the fans. I remember that He-Man wasn't able to come out, being laid up by frostbite -- at least, that's what I was told -- but I did get to see She-Ra, Skeletor, and some of the others.

The characters very closely resembled their toys, with some concessions to basic necessity (Orko had legs, for example). The continuity was kind of weird, but that's par for the course with MOTU. The music was catchy to my eight-year-old ears, and the fights seemed to be done well.

Despite any of its flaws, though, I still wouldn't have missed it for anything. Part of that's simple nostalgia, but part of it is that this is one of the few times we actually saw representations of the Masters of the Universe face to face, without a screen or the printed page. There's something special about that, something that makes up for any weaknesses in the presentation.

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