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Thread: Interview - DC Comics - Mattel Head Writer - Rob David [exclusive info + pics]

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    Interview - DC Comics - Mattel Head Writer - Rob David [exclusive info + pics]



    Hello Mr. David!

    I've seen your name credited on the MOTU comic, alongside with Lloyd Goldfine. Can you tell more about what are your duties and Lloyd's? How did you both land on the comic-project?


    Sure! I'm Head Writer and Lead Creative on "Masters of the Universe" for Mattel's Playground Productions. Playground Productions is Mattel's new Entertainment and Story department, led by Dave Voss. My job is to create, write and supervise new storylines for the brand, across platforms (including comics). Lloyd is Supervising Producer. He's also my editor, occasional writing partner and friend. I love the guy. Lloyd recruited me to work for Mattel. We go way back, both of us come from TV, and we worked together on a bunch of shows including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Turtles Forever: the 25th Anniversary TMNT movie.

    Your name is attached to the App-game "He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe". What was working on that like?

    A total crack-up! It was such a fun team to work with. I wrote the game, and the game trailers, and was lead creative on the project, alongside Mattel's Gabe DeLaTorre, MOTU's Design Supervisor, who designed the look of the game. Gabe's brilliant, and one of my chief joys at Mattel is getting the chance to sit down and watch Gabe at his Wacom tablet. Joe Ferencz was the marketing genius behind the App, and the knowledgeable Nick Torchia produced it, without whom none of it would be possible.



    The game was timed for MOTU's 30th anniversary. The idea was to reach as wide an audience as possible. Not just the fans who are still actively engaged with MOTU, but the casual fans, the lapsed fans; the fans who loved He-Man as a kid, but haven't really thought about him in thirty years. The best way to reach everybody is through comedy. This was an opportunity to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. But at the same time celebrate what we all love and remember about MOTU. My inspiration was the movie “Galaxy Quest.” I thought that film did a brilliant job of being self-aware, tweaking a legend, while at the same time being an unabashed love letter to Star Trek.

    Before this, fans have mostly heard from Scott "Toyguru" Neitlich some info in regards to the comic. He was also present at the comic-panel in 2013 Power-Con. What is his role in regards to the comic?

    Scott's awesome! Scott handled marketing on the comic when it first started up, but he hasn't been involved on the book since the earliest issues of the ongoing series. Marketing (on Mattel's side) is under the thoughtful care of Joe Ferencz from Mattel's Franchise Development.



    The last story arc brought up many cool concepts. Fans of the 2002-cartoon know the name Serpos being attached to the Giant Snake that King Hiss awakened. In the DC Comic the name is referenced to Life-Bringer/Zoar. How did that come about on pulling all these names together for one entity?

    I really wanted to explore MOTU's great mythology, dive deeply into it, and look at it new ways.

    One thing I love about Eternia is that it's located at the center of the universe -- Ground Zero of the Big Bang. It's the first planet of creation. At its core is the magic that created the stars, the planets, all of us. Everything.

    Eternia would therefore be uniquely important -- to everybody. Every race in the universe would have a legitimate claim to Eternia. And just like many cultures here on Earth share similar myths, just told differently with different names, it occurred to me that the races in MOTU would be no different. All their myths would eventually lead back to Eternia. The source. The magic. They may have different names for that magic. But they'd all be talking about the same thing.

    Eternians, Snake Men and the Horde are MOTU's three main factions. In the DC Comics Continuity, these three tribes each believe that the magic of Eternia (the magic that created the universe) has a "consciousness" and see it the same way the ancient Greeks saw Gaia, as a Mother Goddess, the mother of everything. But they each see that Mother Goddess in their own way. Three facets of the same deity, like the Hindu's Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Or in their case: Serpos, Zoar and Horokoth. Serpos being related to Creation and the Dawn of Time, Zoar to Preservation and Eternity, and Horokoth to Destruction and Entropy.

    In the DC continuity, the Snake is the symbol of Serpos, the Falcon is the symbol of Zoar, and the Bat is the symbol of Horokoth.



    What King Grayskull did was build a fortress around the planet's singular access point to Eternia's magic. He did so to protect it from those who would use that magic for evil. But bad guys don't see themselves as bad guys. In many ways Hssss and Hordak have just as much claim to the power inside Castle Grayskull as Grayskull did. It's their birthright as well. Culturally. Historically. It's all of our birthrights, really. Skeletor certainly feels that way. In his case, it's all in the family.

    It's analogous in some ways to the real world, where we often see religious groups and whole nations fighting over the same temple mount, with each faction believing theirs to be the rightful claim, all of them too blinded by hatred to see their similarities as people. We have an opportunity in these comics to dive deeply into the mythos, and tell it a way that hopefully speaks to the modern world we live in.

    After the Orbital Blast, we haven't seen Man-At-Arms or Roboto. What happened to them?

    We haven't seen the last of 'em! Remember, the first rule of Man-At-Arms: "Always be prepared!"

    That twist with Randor and King Hssss was quite something. It brings up a lot of questions from the readers' side. When can we learn more of that?

    Expect a lot more from King Hssss! I love King Hssss. He was always one of my favorites. He's Gabe DeLatorre's favorite character too. The whole "disguised leader of the snake men" is just awesome. The one thing I've always found strange about him, though, is that he always went back to the same human disguise, the man in the green armor. Why? Once he reveals himself, that disguise would be useless. And it's not like he's particularly fond of Humans and just likes the way that disguise looks on him.

    So I thought it would be interesting to take his core concept and give it a new twist, and play it out logically. Make it so that he's actually wearing the skins of his victims. He slithers inside his victims and consumes them whole from within (just like a snake swallows its food whole, only with Hssss it's inverted). He then inhabits their bodies. Wearing their skins, taking their place, moving from person-to-person, hidden. Hssss could be anyone. Your best friend, your wife, husband, anyone. In this manner, Hssss has existed on Eternia since nearly the Dawn of Man. As the shadow serpent. Whispering in people's ears, manipulating history, plotting the come back of his people. When he sheds his human skin, he reveals his true multi-headed serpent form, and then must move on to the next human host (if he wishes to remain hidden). He is of course extremely dangerous in whatever form.

    The inspiration for the Hssss arc was "Dante's Inferno" if Virgil was actually the devil in disguise.

    I wanted to return fans to that feeling they had when they first met Hssss as kids, when they were first shocked by the reveal of his true snake form hiding behind the guise of a human being. I also wanted his new disguise to be a big deal and impact Adam in a profound, emotional way. That's why I chose Randor as the first reveal.

    We know when Hssss first became Randor, but we may not reveal it anytime soon. After all, He-Man doesn't know. And Hssss enjoys torturing He-Man, and it's important that we see the world through He-Man's eyes.

    But Hssss will be back. Count on it! And he could be anyone.

    King Hsss blasted He-Man's new armor off him. How was he able to do that?

    He-Man's armor was specifically conjured to help him deal with the technological threat of the Horde. Hssss uses magic. Supreme, primordial magic. So it wasn't suited for that kind of attack.



    That's the story logic of it. But the thematic reason is that He-Man is being figuratively stripped of many of his safeguards in this war. Castle Grayskull. His father. Teela. He needs to find his inner strength. His strength of character to win.

    In the next arc, after the Origin of She-Ra, we're going to double-down on Adam as a character and showcase what makes him greater than any man, any king. What makes him worthy to be the He-Man.

    We'll also explore the meaning of his different armors, and more importantly the significance of the new sword.


    [He-Man new armor concept art by Gabe DeLaTorre]

    That easter-egg of seeing Filmation Sorceress inside Star Seed was fantastic. Does that mean it is her true form?

    Yes! And it always will be!

    Will we ever see what Life-Bringer/Zoar actually looks like?

    The Life-Bringer/Zoar, if she truly exists, is beyond human comprehension. If we saw what she actually looks like it would make our eyes burn and our heads explode.

    Teela becoming the New Sorceress was a major step in the overall story. How did that come about?

    I wanted Teela's character to move forward in this arc. Her special relationship with the Sorceress has been a part of MOTU since the first mini-comics, and I just wanted to take her to that next step, and have her become the Sorceress. But I'm not a fan of her just putting on the same falcon garb and taking her mom's place in the exact same way. Just like any daughter, she's her own person -- and it's fun to have her forge her own path. Ever since I was a kid, I've always wondered why Teela's figure came with snake armor, and this was too good a chance not to come up with a fun story reason for it, one that would go straight to the heart of the mythology.

    But really, her journey has just begun! In the Origin of She-Ra arc we'll start to explore what it means to become a Sorceress, the awesome responsibility of it – and just how much of her humanity she’s retained. And that's just the beginning.

    It's going to be fun to showcase all her new powers. Some will be similar to her mom's, but with a twist. For example, Teela Na could transform into a falcon, so it stands to reason that Teela can now transform into a s>SPOILER!<ke.



    [Teela as new Sorceress concept art by Gabe DeLaTorre]

    We've seen Adora as Despara in her own digital comic, and then the ongoing first story arc. Now the upcoming story arc will have her on the path to her destiny. Dan Abnett revealed that "everything will change". Can you elaborate on that?

    Isn't Dan Abnett incredible? Lloyd and I are both big fans of his writing. If you haven't read "The New Deadwardians" you should stop reading this interview and go read it now. He's a great collaborator, writer and a total pro. He also understands this genre in his bones. Go check out his “Warhammer” novels, and after that crack open his "Guardians of the Galaxy" comics. The new movie is based on his groundbreaking work. We're so happy he's on MOTU.

    The upcoming She-Ra arc is both epic, but also intensely personal at the same time. It's a character piece that’s rooted at the center of the mythology, and connects to He-Man’s lore in surprising ways. And at the end, there's no going back. It'll be a victory for our heroes, but also for Hordak. He'll be able to move forward with his plans. Seeds planted in other issues, like the "Origin of Skeletor" one-shot for example, will pay off. But no doubt about it, She-Ra's arrival is a game changer. Now, it's war! The next two arcs after the Origin of She-Ra are huge.

    Will we see She-Ra on Etheria at some point?

    At some point, very likely. Adora is too good a person, deep down, to abandon Etheria. She will always feel an emotional connection to that world, and a moral duty to help restore it, if possible. But first she has to help her brother save Eternia, and defeat Hordak once and for all. She's a very busy lady.

    The new story arc "The Blood of Grayskull" begins with a prologue-issue about King Grayskull. In the 2002-cartoon we saw him defeat Hordak, sadly dying in that final battle. But this time it will be different?

    How did you approach King Grayskull and his story?

    I don't want to spoil anything in the issue! You'll find out next week! I can't wait for you to read it! But I will say King Grayskull is a supremely important figure in MOTU, and also specifically in the mythology of these comics. He forged the Sword of Power. He took the power of creation and weaponized it. He did so to save the universe. But it's like when they built the first H-Bomb. Once it was created, it could never be uncreated. It changes the dynamics of power on Eternia forever. I also approach Grayskull as a man, a human being, and not just a legend.

    With all this talk about Goddesses and the power of the universe, it's important to remember that Grayskull -- and Adam -- are human beings. It makes them even more aspirational. They took it upon themselves to wield a great power -- a power far greater than themselves -- in the service of a noble cause. It's an awesome responsibility. And neither of them ever loses touch with their humanity. If you think about Adam, that's the real reason he doesn't stay He-Man forever. He-Man is his warrior form. When the battle is over, it's important to Adam to lay his weapon down, to give the power up, and to stay human. He fights to restore peace. That's why he's worthy of the Sword of Power King Grayskull forged so long ago.

    Will there be the prophecy of the Twin Swords?

    There will be a prophecy. But as with all prophecies, its meaning won't be as simple as it seems at first. Each side in this war has their own interpretation of it, usually one that suits their own agendas, whether good or evil. It's actually related to prophecies we've heard before in the one-shot origin issues.

    Solicits mention Anwat Gar. Is that a hint we might see Sy-Klone?

    Sy-Klone won't be in the next arc. He's a great character, tho, and he could always appear in future arcs.



    As for the look of She-Ra. The cover-appearances so far have had her in the classic look. Will we see her in that outfit?

    She-Ra's outfit will be both instantly identifiable as She-Ra, her iconic costume, but also updated for the comic.

    Thank you very much Rob!

    Thank you, Jukka!

    I also just want to take a moment to thank and give a shout out to some of the people at DC who work so hard making this comic. People like Michael McCalister who's been on this book from the beginning, and edited the first arc of the ongoing series, and who makes the whole process run so smoothly. And Pop Mhan who delivers page after page of awesomeness. I call him He-Mhan. Just wait to you see his She-Ra pages. They're insane.

    And Kathryn Layno who colored the first Despara arc, and literally worked through earthquakes to deliver her pages, and they were so beautiful. So many people work so hard on this book because they love MOTU. And they're not the only ones. He-Man fans have kept this brand alive, even when nothing was going on, for so long. Just by their passion and intelligence. People like Danielle Gelehrter, Val Staples, Josh de Lioncourt and so many more. It’s so clear how much Masters of the Universe has affected us all, and how much we all still get from it. We're all in this together!

    Thank you!
    Rob


    interview-mattel_rob_david.png

    concept-art_org_dc-motu_teela-snakegoddess.jpg

    concept-art_org_dc-motu_heman-zoararmor.jpg
    _____________
    Interview by Jukka Issakainen
    May 23rd, 2014




    Check out the earlier interviews
    - writer Dan Abnett
    - inker Diana Egea
    - artist Mateo Guerrero
    He-Man & She-Ra fan, writer to official Dark Horse MOTU/POP books

    · ToonJukka - Youtube Channel with He-Man/She-Ra videos; Origins, Trivia, Top5 lists and more!

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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Will we see She-Ra on Etheria at some point?

    At some point, very likely. Adora is too good a person, deep down, to abandon Etheria. She will always feel an emotional connection to that world, and a moral duty to help restore it, if possible. But first she has to help her brother save Eternia, and defeat Hordak once and for all. She's a very busy lady.


    Thank you for asking my question! I'm geeked that She-Ra will likely go to Etheria at some point.
    Last edited by Tallstar; May 23, 2014 at 07:54am.
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    Council Elder zodak74's Avatar
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    This guy has more knowledge of what's going on in MOTU than I would have thought... I'm glad he's steering the ship.
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  4. #4
    World's #1 GOAT MAN Fan NastyNate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zodak74 View Post
    This guy has more knowledge of what's going on in MOTU than I would have thought... I'm glad he's steering the ship.
    Amen to that! What a great interview. I need to catch up on this series Asap after reading this, I'm loving his personal take on the MOTUverse.
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    Heroic Warrior Mavericius's Avatar
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    Nice interview ... so it all will come together ... all the one shots and things bugging fans? I truly hope that's the case and after several story arcs we will have a different view on some of the not-so-loved comis. Please :-)

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    Pillar of the Community hadley's Avatar
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    Wow. MOTU is in the right hands.

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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    There's so much insight in this interview and he articulated everything so beautifully. In particular, I really liked this part.

    That's the story logic of it. But the thematic reason is that He-Man is being figuratively stripped of many of his safeguards in this war. Castle Grayskull. His father. Teela. He needs to find his inner strength. His strength of character to win.
    "My favorite Harry Potter movie is Troll."

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    Heroic Warrior Orko's Magic Hat's Avatar
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    Wow, I love the direction he's taking MOTU, it seems very natural. I really like some of the ideas he's including like Eternia being the centre of the universe and most important planet (like the MOTU movie intro) and how King Hsss "wears" his victims - gross! but very cool. Very interesting to see how this series develops. I'm looking forward to the She-Ra arc and the forthcoming He-Man/Adam story which is very needed IMO as we never learn much about the character.
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    It seems as if they are bringing the mythos back full circle to the original source material pre-filmation. IE: there is no Adam anymore, Teela is The Goddess, etc. I'm very excited about all of this. Now, if only the character costumes were left to Pop Mhan instead of whoever is giving us "pants" He-man and jawless, tusked Skeletor.....
    It's all been done before. Everything to say has already been said. Do me a solid and pretend I posted something witty and original here

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    Grew up on a horse Baena's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm really enjoying where this comic has been going lately. Where it's been going all along I suppose, but we're now seeing more of it play out so more of it makes sense.

    Green Goddess Teela… I'm so cool with that.
    I've often imagined the cobra armor as her "Sorceress form", so it's cool to be on that same page. Having them make her GREEN is all the more cool for me.
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  11. #11
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    Yet another great interview Jukka, keep them coming.

    Now onto the bit that made me groan slightly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jukka View Post
    One thing I love about Eternia is that it's located at the center of the universe -- Ground Zero of the Big Bang. It's the first planet of creation. At its core is the magic that created the stars, the planets, all of us. Everything.
    I know that it is just a fantasy sci-fi story and not to be taken to seriously but this just gets to me for some reason. This is simply because there is NO center of the universe, no Ground Zero for the BIg Bang, mainly because (despite popular belief) the Big Bang was not actually an explosion

    http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/po..._universe.html

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physic...GR/centre.html

    Narrator: So Copernicus was the first to push humans off to the sidelines.Rayman: Yes, and his theory was widely condemned and ridiculed at first. Now we know that not only are we humans not at the center of the universe, but there is no center of the universe!
    Narrator: Now that is really hard to imagine.
    Rayman: It is. But a center just doesn't fit with what scientists have learned through decades of modern astronomy. The Big Bang is the name scientists give to the events that started the universe. Although the Big Bang is often described as a huge explosion, an explosion has a central point, such as a bomb or a spark. The Big Bang wasn't like that.
    Narrator: Why not?
    Rayman: The Big Bang happened everywhere at once. It's an expansion of space itself, not the expansion of things in space. That means everywhere in space is moving apart from everywhere else. This has been going on in the entire universe for almost 14 billion years.
    so there we have it Eternia is not the center of the universe, because nowhere is. Tho I guess another way you could look at it is that Eternia IS the center of the universe, but then so are we and mars and jupiter and any other point in the universe, even the tips of our noses.


    Still cool interview

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    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Wonderful interview, Jukka! It's great to see MOTU comics going in a direction that adds to the mythos and keeps the fans entertained!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baena View Post
    Yeah, I'm really enjoying where this comic has been going lately. Where it's been going all along I suppose, but we're now seeing more of it play out so more of it makes sense.

    Green Goddess Teela… I'm so cool with that.
    I've often imagined the cobra armor as her "Sorceress form", so it's cool to be on that same page. Having them make her GREEN is all the more cool for me.
    I was always wondering how you would have liked that!

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    Historian of Eternia LORD FALLEN ELDOR's Avatar
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    Didn't Dave Voss have some involvement with MOTU prior to this? I recall the name...I just can't place it.

    Turtles Forever was amazing. THAT is what I'd do with MOTU as to not invalidate the various versions of MOTU, but instead celebrate them. I love DC's pre-Flashpoint Multi-verse. I want Masters of the Multi-Verse...

    I liked the comedy of the video game. I liked what the Game people had to say at the power-Con panel. Galaxy Quest is indeed a "Love letter" interesting choice of words. I'd love to see a bit of that levity in the current DC comics. Mattel played musical chairs on their employees because THIS is NOT what was notbeing not said in person at Power-Con last summer. That whole panel was all kinds of uncomfortable egg shell stepping. The only people who had anything worth saying where the video game guys...This guys' credit and inspirations is certainly more to MY STYLE. It's like he is in my head. That is good (if a little frustrating in a "i wish I tried more" kind of way...Looking forward to his continued involvement. I can't wait to sit down and REALLY read and mull over what jukka pulled out of him. (awesome job on that BTW! Thanks Jukka.)

    Marketing (on Mattel's side)
    The implication being is that Scott is not on Mattel's side? Curious. Perhaps because Matty less an internal department and more of a subsidiary company within a company? That would Imply Scott's influence on things OUTSIDE of Classic and Matty is minimal That is how I'm interpreting what he is saying. Or am I just seeing what I want to see? LOL.

    Will we ever see what Life-Bringer/Zoar actually looks like?

    The Life-Bringer/Zoar, if she truly exists, is beyond human comprehension. If we saw what she actually looks like it would make our eyes burn and our heads explode.
    "we went through five Prince Adams before they figured that one out."



    This guy is just saying all the right things.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfsfang View Post

    Now onto the bit that made me groan slightly
    While you are indeed correct, I agree with what Rob was saying because

    http://youtu.be/m4zqI9XhWxs

    you have to look at this type of stuff ESPECIALLY something as inherently goofy as MOTU with your five year old brain. Center of the universe and "Weaponizing the power of Creation" (I swear It's like I wrote that line...it is creepy...) just SOUNDS COOL. It's that Jack Kirby goofy/cool magic: Darksied Lord of Apokolips, Mother Box, The Source, High Father, Orion, Big Barda, Anti-Life Equation and Granny Goodness...You take it super serious, but with the knolnge that it is goofy and silly. You just don't POKE FUN at it. That's why that magic works...Another example

    Darth Vader. What the hell do either of those two words mean? it doesn't matter it just sounds bad ass. (no it doesn't mean "dark Father" I've heard that that is BS) To your point, MOTU is about Science and Sorcery and the border between them. From a certain point of view the Universe can have and also not have "a center"...

    He-Man: my power comes from the center of the universe...

    Man-At-Arms: "... "Center"...Of THE UNIVERSE!?!?...At what point did a fail you as a teacher..."

    The Sorceress: "Oh Duncan, there is more unknown to The Ancients then what is known by Eternos Philosophers. To the Timeless Ones, Eternia is The cross roads of Creation.

    Zodac: Exhibit Vintage DC comic & Filmation Me:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Baena View Post
    Green Goddess Teela… I'm so cool with that.
    I would hate to think that in an alternate universe a version of you never drew that AMAZING fan art of The Godesss that has lead to us having her as a toy as a unique character and a "future" version of Sorceress Teela. What a wonderful universe WE live in to be this blessed.



    It's just a shame we aren't in the shoes of our multidimensional next door neighbors...



    Oh well. WHAT we do have is getting better. (By the Ancients and Thanks be to the Sorceress!) I kind of would like to see a skin color fluctuate. Teela: Warrior Goddess could go green as a power up for dramatic purposes. That could be a fun way to work in a jab at the Hulk and her temperament.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by True Form View Post
    It seems as if they are bringing the mythos back full circle to the original source material pre-filmation. IE: there is no Adam anymore, Teela is The Goddess, etc. I'm very excited about all of this. Now, if only the character costumes were left to Pop Mhan instead of whoever is giving us "pants" He-man and jawless, tusked Skeletor.....
    I had a similar observation not to long ago. Agreed on BOTH parts. Would Pre-filmation DIE HARDS be pleased if this was the offical continution of Alcala or 1982 DC comics? That could be the case since the DC's numerious universal quantum shifts would effect the continuity of that stuff as much as it would Batman Year One or Silver age Superman stories...

    Crisis on Infinite Eternia is a story I'd Love to read...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by hadley View Post
    Wow. MOTU is in the right hands.
    indeed. I swear while reading his words I feel as if I wrote them myself!
    Last edited by LORD FALLEN ELDOR; May 23, 2014 at 10:05pm.
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  14. #14
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Anybody care to explain how Hsss eats a person from the inside out? There are only a certain number of ways into the human body. Check the toilet, kids.
    "I wouldn't be surprised if this movie has Adam as a skinny nerd from Earth battling another skinny nerd-hacker from Earth that used an alias of Keldor. They then enter Tron-style to a cyber world called Eternia, where they control muscle-bound avatars to battle (called He-Man and Skeletor). And these same avatars come to life and continue to battle in present-day Earth." - VZX

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior ksharpe's Avatar
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    great job and great interview Jukka.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior mykan's Avatar
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    Thank you for this insightful interview, Jukka! Very encouraging to hear how involved the forces in charge of the comic are. I was having my doubts about the direction of the comic to be honest, but this interview has helped to put things back on track for me.

    Much appreciated!
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  17. #17
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Hssss could be anyone. Your best friend, your wife, husband, anyone. In this manner, Hssss has existed on Eternia since nearly the Dawn of Man.
    King Hssss has probably "been with" many, many men.
    "My favorite Harry Potter movie is Troll."

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Matthew L. Martin's Avatar
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    Fascinating and encouraging enough for me to catch up on the issues I've missed, Jukka.

    As for King Hiss' disguise ...

    he one thing I've always found strange about him, though, is that he always went back to the same human disguise, the man in the green armor. Why? Once he reveals himself, that disguise would be useless. And it's not like he's particularly fond of Humans and just likes the way that disguise looks on him.

    So I thought it would be interesting to take his core concept and give it a new twist, and play it out logically. Make it so that he's actually wearing the skins of his victims. He slithers inside his victims and consumes them whole from within (just like a snake swallows its food whole, only with Hssss it's inverted). He then inhabits their bodies. Wearing their skins, taking their place, moving from person-to-person, hidden. Hssss could be anyone. Your best friend, your wife, husband, anyone. In this manner, Hssss has existed on Eternia since nearly the Dawn of Man. As the shadow serpent. Whispering in people's ears, manipulating history, plotting the come back of his people. When he sheds his human skin, he reveals his true multi-headed serpent form, and then must move on to the next human host (if he wishes to remain hidden). He is of course extremely dangerous in whatever form.
    This is an interesting new approach that has a lot of potential, and actually gets back to the Robert E. Howard roots of the Snake Men. I know that in the Call of Cthulhu RPG, the Serpent People (taken from Howard's stories) have a spell called "Consume Likeness" that lets them do pretty much this. I don't know if that comes from the original Howard stories, since I haven't read them, or was made up for the RPG. Either way, there are links to MotU--Howard's work has been cited as inspiration for the Snake Men, and Larry DiTillio worked on both MotU and the CoC RPG.

    That said, I do have issues with it.

    1. It's got similar 'one time only' issues to the basic disguise, as Mr. David acknowledges. Once Hiss is unmasked, that's it for that disguise. This also means that if he disguises himself as someone known to the readers, that character's lost for good. This leads into
    2. It's also rather dark. It means someone has to die--rather horribly--for Hiss to take on their identity.

    Now, the DC continuity is telling a serialized story for an older audience, so it works just fine. But I wouldn't want to see it made the 'default' way Hiss's powers work, since it narrows the audience and could impede storytelling options and play value. I'm pretty sure Mr. David is aware of that, and given some of the risks the DC series is taking, I doubt it's going to be considering the 'default' for any future media. But there are some people working on this line who sometimes seem to try to hard to make everything fit into a singular vision ...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew L. Martin View Post
    Fascinating and encouraging enough for me to catch up on the issues I've missed, Jukka.

    As for King Hiss' disguise ...



    This is an interesting new approach that has a lot of potential, and actually gets back to the Robert E. Howard roots of the Snake Men. I know that in the Call of Cthulhu RPG, the Serpent People (taken from Howard's stories) have a spell called "Consume Likeness" that lets them do pretty much this. I don't know if that comes from the original Howard stories, since I haven't read them, or was made up for the RPG. Either way, there are links to MotU--Howard's work has been cited as inspiration for the Snake Men, and Larry DiTillio worked on both MotU and the CoC RPG.

    That said, I do have issues with it.

    1. It's got similar 'one time only' issues to the basic disguise, as Mr. David acknowledges. Once Hiss is unmasked, that's it for that disguise. This also means that if he disguises himself as someone known to the readers, that character's lost for good. This leads into
    2. It's also rather dark. It means someone has to die--rather horribly--for Hiss to take on their identity.

    Now, the DC continuity is telling a serialized story for an older audience, so it works just fine. But I wouldn't want to see it made the 'default' way Hiss's powers work, since it narrows the audience and could impede storytelling options and play value. I'm pretty sure Mr. David is aware of that, and given some of the risks the DC series is taking, I doubt it's going to be considering the 'default' for any future media. But there are some people working on this line who sometimes seem to try to hard to make everything fit into a singular vision ...
    Compared to Skeletor and Hordak, King Hsss was always depicted as the most vicious. In the 200X series we also saw him eating people (Zodak's brother, enslaved Calligars). The difference is that in DC continuity Hsss is consuming his victims from inside, while in the 200X's he swallowed them whole. Yeah it's dark, but this is how Hsss is. And really the DC Snake Men are lambs in comparison with their 200X's counterparts, which like their king ate anyone that didn't belong to their species.

    I would also like to thank Jukka for another spectacular interview! I enjoyed this very much and left me thrilled for the future of this series.

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior KeldorTheCursed's Avatar
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    Hmmm... this interview makes me want to go to the comic shop and pick up my MOTU issues, which have been sitting in my pull for 3 or 4 months now.
    -KTC

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  21. #21
    Rainbow Warrior Irian's Avatar
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    I think this interview shows that killing off characters isn't a bad thing by itself - it just has to resonate with the reader, it has to be important for the story, it has to feel inevitable, it has to move the Story Forward, and work for the characters. Therefore killing off Randor works while killing off the Sorceress in sidenote does not. The writer has to EARN that death!

    That's why that hasn't worked in the bios...

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior MARKTRON's Avatar
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    Want to create a new BIOS?

    We must need another TOY GURU trying to destroy all "making sense" the different universes.

    To write and draw DC MOTU you don´t need to go to school.

    I think we have better stories in the forum

    To begin a NEW comic-characters (He-Man is´nt popular today we are not Batman or have alot of movies as Marvel) ongoing You must begin "boxing" the reader ...

    This is with Short episodes to show characters and stories Begin and End.

    And first using the common and classic information-stories

    THEN.... you write a marathon of comic series as sagas of alot of episodes.


    Learn about MYP, MV creations and IDW, Emiliando santalucia & Val with HE-MAN experience what means to REDESIGN a character and MANTAIN the esence.


    And YES, I still belive this could be banned becouse I can offense kids and babies who are watching AND FOLLOWING He-Man from Cartoon network, fOX kIDS, nICK and OTHER channles were He-man appears everyday becouse is the greatest hit for 2014 Kids
    XD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  24. #24
    Ally of Hordak Robin Hood's Avatar
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    With Hssss devouring the insides of people and leaving the skin to hide under since the dawn of man, I can’t help but wonder whether Eternian folklore has tales about him. And if so do they tell of a parasitic demon that takes over the bodies of humans leaving a lifeless hollow corpse behind or tell of Eternians mysteriously disappearing never to be seen again……. Perhaps, Eternia is a dangerous place even in peacetime!
    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”
    Buckminster Fuller

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
    With Hssss devouring the insides of people and leaving the skin to hide under since the dawn of man, I can’t help but wonder whether Eternian folklore has tales about him. And if so do they tell of a parasitic demon that takes over the bodies of humans leaving a lifeless hollow corpse behind or tell of Eternians mysteriously disappearing never to be seen again……. Perhaps, Eternia is a dangerous place even in peacetime!
    With all kind of mythological creatures, prehistoric beasts, alien monsters being around, and mages, demons and warlords that they are constantly fighting to controll the Star Seed's power, Eternia it could be considered one of the most dangerous places in the Universe.

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