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Thread: What I find to be a baffling He-Man editorial (link)

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior
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    Aug 2009
    Des Moines IA

    What I find to be a baffling He-Man editorial (link)

    I've held off making this thread but after talking to wolfsfang about it, I'm making it.
    (got in a big hurry there. had to make some corrections.)

    here is a link to an editorial on site I visit every day.

    this article/editorial just baffles me. I'm dumbfounded.
    Last edited by midor; April 28, 2019 at 07:28pm.

  2. #2
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Feb 2000
    Planet Earth
    Well, that is kind of a baffling article, but unfortunately, it's a side-effect of the Filmation version. What's more unfortunate is that Filmation He-Man is the most famous of all - so, while I'm baffled, I'm not surprised at all at this writer's surface-level research. ("Let me Google this and that, but I won't actually do deeper research.") To me, the sentiment is similar to what the world felt about Batman prior to the Keaton/Burton movie - it was pure cheese, making Batman (or rather, Robin) a gay icon and a campy hero. Like Batman, if you grew up with He-Man for years before being exposed to Filmation, you see it for what it was (and should be): a serious sci-fi/fantasy hybrid that somehow just works. Conan had just as much clothes on (or off?) and because of the tone, did not have the same connotation. That said, what makes He-Man even cooler is that he appeals to so many different audiences; while he's not gay, he's got a lot of gay fans (which is totally alright IMHO) and he's known around the world (and based on what Mattel has said at Power-Con, he's HUGE in Mexico.)

    If you want a more balance view, check out this video:
    "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

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    I'm not familiar with this blog, so I'm not sure if it pretends to be professional or not. I really don't get the point of the article, but here's the bulletpoints I picked up:

    •He-Man represents toxic masculinity so it's bad

    •On the other hand, MOTU/He-Man is a gay icon so it's good

    •But not too good, because it's hokey

    •Here's a list of unrelated characters that He-Man can be like

    •Hopefully He-Man isn't portrayed as by a caucasian in the movie, because reasons

    I can sense the general loathing for MOTU in the article; the same loathing that I feel prompted the reboot of She-Ra. I'll leave it at that because this is headed toward Tar Swamp territory, but I'm not impressed with what is essentially another edgy Tumblr rant disguised as snarky commentary.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior
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    Oct 2018
    United States
    Filmation He-Man is about as toxic as Mr. Rogers.

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior manowar's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Chicago IL
    Sometimes people can read too much into something and "create" a hidden meaning that doesn't exist.

    The way I see things is in terms of context. In this guys eyes, and any reference this guy has gathered, because He-man wears something that can be identified with gay culture, it infers He-man and Prince Adam are gay. The reality is, it's a toy. The agenda of the people who created it was to make money. They went with a barbarian theme, put limited armor and accessories together and sold them.

    If anything, the guy was trying to point out possible angles that could be brought up to trash a He-man movie. Toxic the million dollar superhero movies being made? Gay, because Prince Adam wears a pink vest and He-man wears a harness...oh well. People are people, why do they need to label them based on stereotypes.

    Teela always seemed to be a strong character. She was more capable than Adam. Little did she know he was He-man. Is was like Clark Kent. No need to foster "toxic" masculinity. Make a movie with strong female characters that are treated as equals to their Male counterparts.

    Don't feel that someone might profile a character's sexuality based on their costume. If He-man is wearing furry underpants and a harness, its because that's what the toy looked like, that's why. No need to make stuff up that isn't there.

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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Razzerian's Avatar
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    Nov 2018
    Antwerpen, Belgium
    The problem the writer clearly has is that he is basing his opinion on prejudice. I don’t take offence to his gayness-shtick. But this person clearly thinks He-Man is just a cartoon from the 1980s.

    He also goes on about He-Man being the stereo-typical macho man from the 1980s, but that things have changed. That today’s audience expects more from a hero...

    This is what tells me he hasn’t actually bothered to do his research. He-Man is everything but a macho brute. If anything, he’s smart, diplomatic and cunning.

    “Smart, kind and complex”

    What is He-Man if not exactly that?

    • He is a “gay icon” yet clearly in love with Teela, a gitl. Complex enough for you?
    • He outsmarts his enemy moreoften than he beats them up.
    • He puts the well being of others - including his enemy at times - ahead of his own. What is he if not kind?

    As a writer myself, I pride myself in doing thorough research before any piece I allow to be published, whether it’s online or in a magazine. Fact-checking is so important in journalism. This article is very one-sided to say the least.

    That said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any important things to take away from this prejudiced piece. It’s important that Sony handle the film in a tasteful manner, a bit of camp is fine but MOTU needs to be perceived as cool, not campy, it shouldn’t turn in to the wrestling of super-hero movies (aka a guilty pleasure - I like wrestling fyi). It’s cool if you like Marvel films these days, super hero films are socially acceptable these days. So why can’t MOTU be? But this is why I think they need to take the movie down a darker tone than the Filmation cartoon, which would otherwise limit it’s potential.

    Oh and newsflash, all superheroes, except for Darkwing Duck perhaps, tend to be ****-erotic. They all wear tight suits that show off their chizzled physiques and they’re all neatly groomed, aren’t they? What makes He-Man more gay than Superman?

    A bit ironic for a self-proclaimed “comic-book guy” to make such a point out of the “gayness”. It’s 2019 fella, **** like that doesn’t matter anymore.
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  7. #7
    Court Magician pcrowe's Avatar
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    May 2018
    Carlsbad, CA
    Seems like this guy was just looking for an easy target to make a point about some current cartoon characters that aren't big, buff, superhero types. Calling He-Man a dictator is ridiculous, as he is one of the most kind, level-headed heroes around. But I have to give a nod to the author, as I didn't realize "he-man" was actually a word, let alone that it dated back hundreds of years.

    The guy clearly hasn't been following He-Man, though, since he doesn't acknowledge more recent events in He-Man lore, like the fun Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe comic. Or even just the complex mythology that weaves through the character bios of the more recent figures. I think it's fascinating how Mattel built out the histories of the multiple He-Mans (He-Men?), essentially turning the prototype figures and drawings into new figures with their own stories, making that original He-Man from the minicomics into Oo-lar. I would love to see a comic book series that dramatized all those stories, the ancient myths of Eternia, Preternia, etc.

    I always loved the minicomics, felt they were darker, or maybe just more straightforward sci-fi/fantasy, than the cartoon. At least until the minicomics sort of dovetailed with the cartoon once the cartoon got so popular. And it seems like the writer of the article knew He-Man only from the cartoon--but if he did, he would never call He-Man a dictator! Filmation He-Man always helped teach kids a lesson at the end of an episode. Would Saddam Hussein do that? (But I digress...)

    My favorite He-Man stories are actually the ones in the newspaper comic strip, which I read in Dark Horse's collection. Since they're a serialized story, each one flowing into the next (rather than the essentially standalone stories of the cartoon or even the minicomics), you really get richer characterization, get a deeper sense of the society on Eternia. And they even bridge the gap between the original He-Man and The New Adventures of He-Man--and they even make it fun and cool! If you haven't checked those out, I really recommend the collection.

    He-Man is a larger than life character, and this writer was just looking for clickbait. I think He-Man kind of walks a line between camp and straightforward sci-fi. I mean, looking at the names of characters (Mechaneck, Clawful, Snout Spout (or was it Hose Nose?)), it would be hard to play it 100% straight. Which I think is part of the fun. He-Man has lasers and broadswords and castles and computers and flying machines and tecnodinosaurs--it just gave you everything you could possibly want. You have to have a little fun with it, but going full camp/comedy wouldn't be good either, since it has a rich mythology and just awesome designs. Guess we'll just have to see how the movie turns out (if it ever gets made).

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Eric's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    I don't have a ton to add to this discussion, but I believe this quote from the article proves what has already been hypothesized here: the author is writing about something with which he's just not familiar.

    "But as I see it the major problem with the He-Man property is that the idea of what a man is and can do has changed a lot since the 1980s. Instead of being simple, strong and physically perfect, the male protagonists of today's cartoons tend to be smart, kind and complex."

    Watching just one episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe before putting pen to paper (it's available on Youtube, isn't it? Easily accessible) would have informed him of what He-Man was really all about and just how on-the-nose his description for today's male heroes matched cartoon He-Man of the 1980s.

    He's entitled to his opinion, and he writes well, but I'd say he's based his argument around the name 'He-Man' and little else, and that's unfortunate, if for no other reason than the great work and positive messages Lou Scheimer and the Filmation staff put into the series.

  9. #9
    Catwoman...Hear Me Roar! Mikey's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    The Catwoman's Catacomb
    I didn't bother to read the article because prejudiced and bigoted remarks about my favourite properties are deeply offensive and make me angry. I love the whole MOTU, POP, and New Adventures franchises and many other properties.
    "Tell me I am beautiful - it means nothing to me. Tell me I am intellectual - well, I know it already. Tell me I am funny however, and that is the greatest compliment in the world that anyone can give me".

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  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior motogp_fanatic's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    I didn't bother to read the article because prejudiced and bigoted remarks about my favourite properties are deeply offensive and make me angry. I love the whole MOTU, POP, and New Adventures franchises and many other properties.
    Hah nice move Mikey, i myself avoided the article like plague... don't need negativity on my favorite stuff today.

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  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior InThe80s's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    What is not to understand about this article. I found it thoroughly researched and well written. The name He-Man had certain baggage attached to it even before the 1980s. There was another comic book hero called He-Man in the 1950s.

    The word "He-Man" means dictator or strong man. I believe the term is related to Latin phrase "Helios Mantel." This is not to be confused with the character He-Man.

    I brought up some of the other points this article covers in the tar-swamp a year ago. Overall He-Man could be problematic in this day and age due to being a symbol of patriarchy.

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