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From the s to the present day, comics publishers have been targeting more and more of their titles to collector audiences with features such as limited editions, the use of high quality paper, or the inclusion of novelty items.
From roughly through , comic book speculation reached its highest peaks. Once aware of this niche market, the mainstream press focused on its potential for making money. During this time, mainstream comic book publishers began to pander specifically to the collectors’ market. Techniques used included variant covers , polybags , and gimmick covers. When a comic was polybagged, the collector had to choose between either reading the comic book or keeping it in pristine condition for potential financial gain, or buying two or more copies to do both.
Gimmicks included glow-in-the-dark, hologram-enhanced, die-cut, embossing, foil stamped or foil-embossed covers.
However, many speculators would buy multiple copies of these issues, anticipating that demand would allow them to sell them for a substantial profit in the future. Low-budget independent publishers also proliferated during this period.
The low price of producing comics, and the ease and efficiency of the direct market enabled fly-by-night publishers to flood the market with product, much of it of low quality. This period also saw a corresponding expansion in price guide publications, most notably Wizard Magazine , which helped fuel the speculator boom with monthly columns such as the “Wizard Top 10” highlighting the “hottest” back-issues of the month , “Market Watch” which not only reported back-issue market trends, but also predicted future price trends , and “Comic Watch” highlighting key “undervalued” back-issues.
The speculators who made a profit or at least broke even on their comic book “investments” did so only by selling to other speculators.
Veteran comic book fans pointed out an important fact about the collectors market that was largely overlooked by speculators: popular Golden Age comic books were valuable because they were genuinely rare. Since comic books were originally marketed to children and not viewed as collectable until much later, most Golden Age comics didn’t survive to the present era.
And before the s, comic books were typically printed on cheap paper stock that aged very poorly. As a result, popular comic books published from the s through the s are extremely difficult to find and thus highly prized by collectors. By contrast, the speculator boom of the s saw large print runs of comics on high-grade paper that were carefully stored by multitudes of collectors, creating a glut of product in the collectors market. The comic book speculator market reached a saturation point in the early s, and finally collapsed between through Two-thirds of all comic book specialty stores closed in this period,  and numerous publishers were driven out of business.
Even industry giant Marvel Comics was forced to declare bankruptcy in , although they were able to continue publishing. It is surmised that one of the main factors in Marvel’s downfall was the decision to switch to self-distribution via their purchase of Heroes World Distribution.
Until then, many publishers went through secondary distributors such as the current and only mass distributor, Diamond Comic Distributors , and Marvel felt it could preserve some of its cash flow if it made the move to becoming one of the few publishers to also distribute directly to the comic market. This backfired terribly when the bottom fell out of the market, as they were stocked with multiple printings of variant and “collectible” issues that were no longer in high demand, and they could not cover the costs of their distribution service.
The bust can also be linked back to some of the series that caused the boom a few years earlier. DC’s decision to publish two blockbuster stories depicting the loss of their two major superheroes ” Knightfall ” — the breaking of the Batman — and ” The Death of Superman ” , and their subsequent flooding of the press as to their supposed finality, is considered by some collectors to have started a slow decay within the non-regular buyer comic community which then led to drops in sales.
Many comic retailers believe that numerous comic speculators took the death and crippling of two major characters to signify the end of the Batman and Superman series. As many comic readers and retailers knew full well, very little in comics actually changes with any finality. Many aspects of the status quo returned after the story arcs were over Superman died, but was resurrected, and Batman was crippled, but eventually recovered.
Many comic speculators who were only in the market to see important comics mature, then sell them for a profit, did not quite understand how quick the turnaround would be on the story recant, and many rushed out to scoop up as many copies of whatever issues were to be deemed significant.
Comic shops received not only staggering sales during the week that Superman died,  but also had to try to meet the demand. This led to the saturation of the market and the devaluing of what was thought to be the end of an American icon. Some comic book retailers and theorists deem DC’s practices in the press forum, and their relationship with the non-specialized consumer, to be grossly negligent of the status of the market, and that their marketing campaign, most likely not malicious in intent, spelled doom for the speculator market and comic sales in general.
Others place the blame for the comic market crash on Marvel whose product line had bloated to hundreds of separate titles by late , including the poorly received ” Marvel UK ” and ” ” lines , or creator-owned upstart Image Comics , who fed the speculator feeding frenzy more than any other comics publisher.
Other publishing houses had different problems. Their primary motivation was to make the properties more suitable for use in video game development. Eventually, Acclaim filed for bankruptcy following the collapse of its video game business.
The miniseries Deathmate — a crossover between Image Comics and Valiant Comics — is often considered to have been the final nail in the speculation market’s coffin; although heavily hyped and highly anticipated when initially solicited, the books from the Image Comics side shipped so many months late that reader interest disappeared by the time the series finally materialized, leaving some retailers holding hundreds of unsellable copies of the various Deathmate books.
Currently, most of the hype generated around the major companies’ comics involves changes to the characters, well-known creators writing or illustrating a title, and media coverage surrounding an adaptation to another medium such as film or television. The one remaining bastion for comic speculation remains in online auction sites such as eBay ; but even there, comic books remain a buyer’s market.
In the s, prices for genuinely rare near-mint comics rose steadily, doubling in some cases. Improved accountability has increased collector confidence, although some collectors have complained that the market has once again become more about speculation, instead of being focused on the art and stories.
The sale of a CGC-graded 8. It was quickly eclipsed by a CGC-graded 8. To preserve comics, which are a printed medium, it is prescribed that they be stored in cool, dark places, as sunlight can bleach the pages, and heat and moisture can also damage them. Sunlight can also react with the paper , causing it to “yellow”, as well as having a bleaching effect on the inks used within the comic.
Some collectors advise against storing comics in cardboard boxes, or using backing boards, as these are both sources of acid which can react with the fibers of the paper of comics, eventually destroying a comic. If these products are used to store comics, these collectors advise using products marked as acid free. PET film , polyethylene or polypropylene storage bags are popular, and allow a comic to be “bagged” in a contained environment, and have become the traditional way of storing comics.
Some comic shops now sell comics already in bags, although the quality of the bag can vary. These types of bags are not considered “archival safe” because various plastic compositions may contain elements or have other properties that could harm the comic in years to come. Mylars are the only bags available that are archival safe. Corrugated plastic boxes, preferred by some collectors, offer greater protection against acid while also offering better protection against moisture damage and vermin damage.
Original art, typically 11×17 bristol boards with the pencils and ink, can be protected against direct sunlight as well as acid deterioration by using an archival quality frame coupled with glass which has been treated to protect against ultraviolet rays. In the column Comic Book Vitamins  on the Project Fanboy website, Steven Sykora discussed preserving collections by submitting comic books to the CGC , where comics are inspected for flaws, graded accordingly and placed in an inner well — a sealed sleeve of Barex, a highly gas-impermeable plastic polymer.
This process is often referred to in slang as “slabbing” and there is debate as to whether this provides better protection for the books than an acid-free backing board and Mylar sleeve. Storing a comic as a computer file scanning and saving the comic as a comic book file or.
However, as with other digital means of storing media, this also allows for the possibility of copyright infringement via unauthorized digital distribution, such as peer-to-peer file sharing networks. A subscription crease describes a specific flaw in the condition of a comic book, particularly a crease through the entire book running from top to bottom. It is a term commonly used by comic book collectors. When comic book publishers began mailing comics directly to monthly subscribers they would simply fold the comic in half and stuff it into a standard 10 business envelope.
This method was expedient and cost effective — the comic book business survived on razor-thin margins — but resulted in a clearly visible line running from top to bottom of a comic. The “memory” factor inherent in paper assured that this crease would be visible forever.
Consequently, collectors , who prize condition, consider this a defect that lowers the desirability of a particular issue. This practice faded away in the early s when publishers found a marketing opportunity in mailing comics in larger envelopes, unfolded.
Hence the appearance of in-issue ads touting that monthly comics were “Mailed flat! Collecting original art is the collecting of the artists’ production pencils and inks used in the creation of comic books.
Unlike mass-produced comic books, there is only one piece of original art for each individual comic book page or cover. As of , it is the most expensive page of a comic book ever sold. Many private collections of comics exist, and they have also started to find their way onto the shelves of public libraries. Museums and universities with notable collections of comics include:. Comic collectors are people who collect comics or comic books. Many comic readers keep their comics for an indefinite period and have large accumulations, but a true collector differs in enthusiasm and degree; collectors will generally at least seek past issues rather than being content to read what new comics come along.
As comic book characters become more mainstream through adaptations in other media primarily television and film , a number of notable people have professed to be comic book collectors, such as:. With comics being a popular topic on the Internet, many websites dedicated to helping users manage their comic collections have been created.
These websites also contain a platform for communication to assist with discussions between collectors. Some websites allow purchasing and reading comic books online. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Hobby collecting comic books. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. Created by Filmation under the direction of executive producer Lou Scheimer , the cartoon made its television debut on September 5, , with the episode “The Diamond Ray of Disappearance”.
Running through two seasons, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was one of the first animated series produced directly for weekday syndication , as opposed to reruns primarily based on Saturday mornings.
Totaling episodes, with each season of 65 episodes stretching across 13 weeks, the series last episode, “The Cold Zone,” on November 21, Similar to the comics that came before, the series is set on Eternia, which is ruled by King Randor and Queen Marlena visibly younger in age and with more colorful attire than their previous comic versions.
He-Man’s nemesis, the evil wizard Skeletor now famously portrayed by voice actor Alan Oppenheimer as a cackling and more comedic villain , still wishes to conquer Castle Grayskull and learn of its secrets, but also now desires to take over the royal palace and rule Eternia; often seeking ancient and mysterious beasts and artifacts to try and stop He-Man and his allies. Other villains not allied with Skeletor would occasionally appear as well, such as the powerful wizard Count Marzo , the plant-demon Evilseed , Kothos, Shokoti, Negator, and the rabbitlike space pirate Plundor, to name a few.
Despite the limited animation techniques that were used to produce the series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was notable for breaking the boundaries of censorship that had severely restricted the narrative scope of children’s TV programming in the s.
For the first time, a cartoon series could feature a muscular superhero who engage in on-screen combat although most of the time wrestling -style moves were utilized instead of direct violence. The cartoon was also groundbreaking in that it was produced in connection with marketing a line of toys, as advertising directly to children was controversial during this period.
As an attempt to mitigate the negative publicity generated by these controversies, a “life lesson” or “moral of the story” was played at the end of each episode, which was usually tied to the action or central theme of the episode in question although in the United Kingdom, the closing “morals” were often edited out of the original broadcasts.
Brynne Stephens , and many others, including early script-writing work from Babylon 5 creator J. Fontana of Star Trek fame. The series, although still popular, would not be renewed for a third season in However, the characters would make occasional guest appearances in the She-Ra: Princess of Power Series , which was set in the same universe and followed the same continuity. The She-Ra series began with a 5-part animated serial which was later condensed into the animated movie The Secret of the Sword , released theatrically in the spring of and featuring most of the main characters from both cartoons.
The characters would continue to appear in guest roles throughout the She-Ra series, as well as a Christmas Special. Sales of the toy line continued to increase with the exposure of the animated series, and new waves of figures and vehicles were produced during this peak of popularity.
Making their toy-line debuts in were He-Man’s allies Buzz-Off “heroic spy in the sky”; beelike insectoid warrior with wings ,  Fisto “heroic hand-to-hand fighter”; bearded warrior with a large smashing fist as an action feature ,  and Mekaneck “heroic human periscope”; featuring an extending bionic neck.
Series three of Mattel’s MOTU mini comics contained stories similar to the Filmation animated series, with mini comics such as Dragon’s Gift , Masks of Power , and Double-Edge Sword adapting stories straight from the first-season episodes of the same name. The wave of action figures again included new versions of He-Man and Skeletor with special action features: Thunder-Punch He-Man whose backpack could be loaded with plastic ring caps to create a loud “bang” when turning He-Man’s waist and Dragon Blaster Skeletor which included a small water-squirting dragon chained to Skeletor’s armor.
The largest addition to the Masters of the Universe toy line came in the form of the Evil Horde , whose characters were set to debut in the animated He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword motion picture.
Although villains in the soon-to-debut She-Ra: Princess of Power animated series, five out of the six initial Evil Horde action figures were produced for the Masters of Universe line instead of the Princess of Power toy line with the Horde villainess Catra being the sole exception. In , Mattel and Filmation decided to diversify the Masters of the Universe line beyond its traditional realm of “male action,” in the hopes of bringing in a young female audience as well. Michael Straczynski.
The Secret of the Sword animated movie from earlier that spring was essentially a compilation of what would become the first five episodes of the She-Ra cartoon series. The series would run for two seasons, 93 episodes, from to She-Ra: Princess of Power was produced in lieu of continuing He-Man and the Masters of the Universe for a third year; however, He-Man often appeared in episodes of She-Ra to aid his sister, and several other characters from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe , both heroic and evil, also appeared in multiple crossovers.
After first transforming into She-Ra and seeing the error of her ways, she becomes a member of the Great Rebellion ; a secret small band of rebels, living in the Whispering Woods and fighting to free Etheria from the tyrannical rule of Hordak.
Unlike He-Man’s sword, She-Ra’s possesses the ability to transform into different weapons and accessories, such as a lasso, a shield, or a flaming blade. The premise of the She-Ra TV series was the reverse of the He-Man cartoon, where the heroes are actually rebels countering an evil establishment rather than Skeletor trying to conquer Eternia.
Released in , Mattel’s toy line Princess of Power sometimes abbreviated as POP featured almost exclusively female characters, all of whom featured an emphasis on hair and clothing, with “real” hair and partially soft-goods costumes. Described as “fashion action dolls,” essentially the line attempted to fuse the appeal of Masters of the Universe with Mattel’s successful line of fashion dolls , Barbie , and added many “Fantastic Fashions” clothing accessories packs to complement the female action figures.
The line of Princess of Power figures included She-Ra without a separate action figure for Princess Adora , Bow the only male figure in the POP line, without his moustache, as seen in the cartoon series , Glimmer “the guide who lights the way” , Kowl “the know-it owl” , Angella “angelic winged guide” , Frosta “ice empress of Etheria” , Castaspella “enchantress who hypnotizes” , Catra “jealous beauty” and the main female antagonist , and Double Trouble “glamorous double agent”; created only for the toy line and mini comics, never appearing in the Filmation cartoon series.
She-Ra’s main playset was Crystal Castle, a “shimmering castle of fantasy and fun for She-Ra and her friends! Apart from the main Princess of Power line, the preeminent villains of the She-Ra series, Hordak and the Evil Horde originally created by Filmation in collaboration with Mattel , were released by Mattel under the Masters of the Universe branding. The character Catra was the only villain to be released in the first wave of the Princess of Power figures, with Mattel downplaying her connection to the Evil Horde in the toy line.
Also late into the line in were three original characters from the live-action movie: Blade “evil masters of swords” , Saurod “evil spark-shooting reptile” , and Gwildor “heroic creator of the Cosmic Key” , with their entry into the MOTU mythos explained in one of the last original mini comics, The Cosmic Key.
One of the main storylines of the later mini comics, released with these later waves of action figures, was the introduction of a new major villain faction known as the Snake Men, first appearing in the mini comic King of the Snake Men.
All of this was leading toward what would have been a continuation of the series in “The Powers of Grayskull” line, before being discontinued. The proposed exploration of the distant past of Eternia, dubbed “Preternia,”  forms the basis of what was originally to be the next incarnation of the toy line, entitled “The Powers of Grayskull.
The proposed storyline was to focus on Ancient Eternia, which was populated by many creatures, including the aforementioned cybernetic dinosaurs and giants. When the Sorceress and He-Man arrive, followed by Skeletor, they find King Hiss leading an attack on a village in the hope of drawing out “The Elders,” using some of the cybernetic dinosaurs to their advantage. Hiss serves an “unnamed one” and agrees to unite with Skeletor on the basis that he might be an emissary.
Seeing Skeletor’s interference, the Sorceress allows He-Man to enter the battle but, “for reasons that will be made clear to you in the future,” he had to be disguised. He finds himself overwhelmed, but then a shadowy figure appears who turns the odds with a powerful wand. The stranger then sends the Snake Men back to their base and all the time travelers home.
However, some marketing press releases and prototypes have shed further information on this. The wizard was to be He-Ro , an ancestor of He-Man.
Raised by his mentor Eldor and discovering special powers in a cave, He-Ro would have led the fight against the Snake Men. According to the mini comics’ writers, it was intended that the central antagonist would be Keldor, a character revealed similarly late in the line to have been He-Man’s uncle and also strongly hinted to have been the former identity of Skeletor.
Whether or not Keldor was also supposed to be the “Unnamed One” Hiss served is not clear, although in an interview writer Steven Grant vaguely recalls that the intention was that the Unnamed One would be a greater evil who, as the Emperor was to Darth Vader , was intended to be the one who caused Keldor to become Skeletor.
In the years after the animated series ended, generally going along with the established Filmation continuity, Marvel Comics would release a younger-skewing Star Comics Masters of the Universe series that ran from to bimonthly and produced 13 issues; featuring many of the later characters introduced in the toy line, as well as new ones such as Lieutenant Andra.
Bitner’s creation, Fearless Photog , was never realized in the s and an action figure was not produced until the Masters of the Universe Classics collector’s toy line in Daily Masters of the Universe comic strips were also in newspaper syndication from until The strips were primarily written by Chris Weber and edited by Karen Willson, with distribution in the U.
The newspaper strips were generally lesser known to the wider fan base until 1, of the 1, daily strips were finally collected in hardcover format with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Newspaper Comic Strips , released by Dark Horse Books in The series was headed by Brian Clarke, and is often noted for in-depth stories expanding the canon and the origins of many Masters of the Universe characters.
In addition, London Editions would introduce several new characters, such as “Scrollos,” who served as an in-universe editor and guide to the series. Masters of the Universe and the Princess of Power featured in many children’s books from the s, with one of the main producers of these titles, Golden Books , publishing several series of hard and softcover children’s books from to The first few releases of the Golden books material is more in line with the early Mattel mini comics, with the later books following the Filmation cartoon series.
Most World I. These included many small hardcover book and cassette tapes produced by Ladybird Books out of the UK, several record and tape read-along book sets from Kid Stuff Records in the U. Several video game adaptations of the franchise were released from through to Throughout the s, a wide array of He-Man merchandise was released, including coloring books, activity books, Panini Sticker books, toothbrush holders, costumes, bed sheets, and many other items.
These cassettes would continue to add to the expanding Masters of the Universe mythos, introducing the world of Anti-Eternia, with an evil alternate universe version of He-Man.
A new character, Gwildor Billy Barty , is included in place of Orko, as the special effects of the time were deemed insufficient and too costly.
In the film, Skeletor has finally conquered Eternia after stealing the Cosmic Key from the locksmith Gwildor, allowing him to gain entry into Castle Grayskull and imprison the Sorceress. Stranded on Earth, they are faced with the task of retrieving their Cosmic Key which has fallen into the hands of the unwitting humans Julie Winston and Kevin Corrigan and returning to Eternia, before Skeletor can gain the full power of Castle Grayskull.
Skeletor sends his minions to Earth with the mission of recovering the Cosmic Key prototype, as the war between good and evil is transferred to Earth, before returning to Eternia for a final battle between He-Man and a golden-clad godlike Skeletor in the film’s climax. Numerous parts of the previously accepted history of the series are omitted in the film, including all references to Prince Adam, Battle Cat, Orko, King Randor, and Queen Marlena.
Many reviews of the motion picture criticized its departures from the cartoon, although the movie was produced as an adaptation of the toys only, with Filmation having no involvement in the film. The story concentrates more on the science-fiction elements of the franchise rather than the fantasy and the majority of the story takes place on Earth rather than on the world of Eternia.
Also departing from all other depictions, He-Man uses a gun in some scenes, instead of his Power Sword, and he is rarely shown displaying his superhuman strength in the film. Although He-Man twice utters his catchphrase “I have the power! The film was a critical and commercial failure , and received negative reviews, and is often considered to be the one of the worst films ever made..
Although Mattel had hoped that the movie would boost sales of the toy line, it instead had little effect on the line’s falling sales, and the MOTU toy line was finally discontinued in early under mounting financial difficulties. A sequel to the film was written, but by Cannon Films was in such severe financial troubles that it could no longer afford to pay the license fees to Mattel.
Due to film’s poor reception, thus the script was transformed into the action film Cyborg , starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The new series is radically different from the original fantasy -oriented milieu, shifting to an almost purely science-fiction setting that sees He-Man transported to the futuristic planet of Primus. He-Man with a new, more slender appearance and sporting a ponytail; voiced by Doug Parker leads the heroic Galactic Guardians; while Skeletor also with a completely new look; voiced by Campbell Lane , bases himself on the mutant world of Denebria, forming an alliance with Flogg and his band of Evil Mutants, who are hellbent on conquering Primus for themselves.
The series contains continuity links to the original Masters of the Universe and was intended as a continuation of the existing mythology, although some fans see it as a separate canon from the original series due to the differences in style and character portrayal. Other than He-Man and Skeletor, the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull is the only character from the original series to make regular appearances in the new series, acting as a spiritual guide to He-Man from afar. Teela also makes a later appearance in the series in the episode “Once Upon a Time,” although she bears little resemblance to her former Filmation counterpart.
Other frequently appearing heroic characters include the young shepherd girl Drissi, her little brother Caz, the scientists Alcon, Gepple, Krex, and Meldoc , the robots Gleep and UR, Grot the gardener, councilman Werban, the cyclops Meliac, and the remaining Galactic Guardians: Sagitar, Tuskador, Spinwit, and Artilla; with the final members Kayo, Vizor, and Nocturna rarely featuring in the show although they did appear in the comics and series intro. The New Adventures of He-Man cartoon series first aired September 17, , lasting 65 episodes, until the episode “The Final Invasion,” which aired on December 14, , and, unlike Filmation, did provide some closure to the series.
The majority of the cartoon episodes were written by Jack Olesker, resulting in a somewhat tighter continuity than the prior series. The He-Man toy line, debuting in , a year earlier than the animated series, featured four waves of action figures produced in slightly smaller scale to the previous line ; totaling 28 distinct figures in all, with seven vehicles, two playsets, and two accessory items.
Neither The New Adventures animated series or toy line proved nearly as popular as the originals, and the line ended with little fanfare in The New Adventures of He-Man series was also featured in its own series of four mini comics and in a monthly comic magazine entitled He-Man Adventure , which ran for about six issues, before returning to adventures on Eternia and was published by Egmont’s London Editions Magazines in the UK; World I.
These publications differed somewhat from the animated series with the addition of the character Darius who did not appear in the cartoon series in a major role as leader of the Galactic Council; the transition of the “Power of Castle Grayskull” into the Starship Eternia; and several of the figures sporting alternate names in some media and toy-line releases, such as Flipshot as Icarius, Flogg as Brakk, and Slush-Head as Kalamarr.
The Masters of the Universe franchise would not produce any new media for over a decade, although a new series was pitched by Lou Scheimer to DIC Entertainment in The series was to feature He-Ro alter-ego Dare , now the son of He-Man, as a sequel to the original animated series, but remained unproduced. During this hiatus, Masters of the Universe also began a following on the early days of the internet, with sites developed by Kevin Herbert one of the first , Adam Tyner with the Scrolls of Grayskull newsletter , Busta-Toons with focus on the Filmation animated series , and many others; eventually ending up with the expansive He-Man.
Masters of the Universe would also appear many times on the Adult Swim stop-motion comedy series Robot Chicken which introduced comedic character Mo-Larr. Both He-Man and Skeletor are often mentioned in pop culture, as seen on the long-running animated series The Simpsons on a few occasions. In , however, Mattel did act on the growing nostalgia for the s action figures by rereleasing replicas of many of the figures, under the banner of the Masters of the Universe Commemorative line.
Each volume contained an extensive array of special features, including original documentaries produced for the DVD set that featured interviews from many series creators and writers such as Lou Scheimer , Larry DiTillio , Paul Dini , and others.
In , Mattel launched a new Masters of the Universe toy line with sculpts designed by the Four Horsemen. The new toy line was made surprisingly faithful to the original line, with the characters gently “reimagined” and updated in terms of sculpting detail rather than radically reinterpreted.
One point of contention for many fans of the original Masters toy line was the redesign of He-Man’s Power Sword. According to Four Horsemen , this was due to their original re-sculpts being intended for a continuation of the original storyline in which Skeletor had obtained both halves of the Power Sword hence the new Skeletor figure’s dual blades with clear “good” and “evil” hilt designs , necessitating a new sword to be built by Man-At-Arms and endowed with the properties of the original by the Sorceress.
However, Mattel decided to reboot the continuity for a new generation of children, and thus the “new” Power Sword design became the “original” version for the new continuity. These factors likely contributed to the cancelation of the line in and ultimately not achieving the success of its s counterpart. The line’s faithfulness to the original series made it very popular with collectors, however, suggesting it would have been better served as a collector-based line, akin to DC Direct.
This theory was borne out in the wake of the discontinuation of the mass-market toy line, with NECA taking the rather unprecedented step of continuing the toy line through action-figure-size mini-statues scaled and sculpted to be aesthetically compatible for display alongside the Mattel toys. NECA would produce 22 “staction figures” in total, allowing fans to fill out their collections with other Four Horsemen redesigned characters that had yet to be produced as figures when the toy line was canceled.
According to a December 8, , interview with a Mattel representative on he-man. Instead, NECA was only permitted to produce non-articulated statues, which they did from to A new animated series was produced to accompany the toy line, made by Mike Young Productions and lasting for 39 episodes, with the series making its premiere on Cartoon Network’s Toonami on August 16, , and airing its final episode on January 10, King Randor was now a general rather than king, from an Eternian royal lineage , pronounced ruler of Eternia by the Elders of the Hall of Wisdom, which have gone into hiding inside the depths of Castle Grayskull.
Backstories of occasional characters such as Fisto, Moss-Man, Webstor, Zodak regarded a different character as opposed to the earlier Zodac , Two-Bad portrayed as two bounty hunters known as Tuvar and Baddhra, magically combined into one being by Skeletor’s magic , and Stinkor finally making an appearance in cartoon continuity as the mutated form of Odiphus are all expanded upon.
The series was originally title He-Man and the Masters of the Universe like the original series, being retitled Masters of the Universe vs. He-Man’s ancestor King Grayskull and his Sorceress wife Veena also debuted in this season against his nemesis Hordak now an ancient sorcerer.
Hordak and the Evil Horde were to be the main antagonists for the third season if the show had continued, but it was not renewed. The 40th and final episode was produced as a comic-book “special feature” on the last DVD set of the series, which was part of a three-volume release, originally by BCI Eclipse in and later in a collected release by Mill Creek Entertainment in and From to , Image Comics and MVCreations published several series of comics and one-shots that mirrored tales of Masters of the Universe ; the comic series elaborated and added to the mythos by introducing characters that never appeared in the 39 episodes of the television series.
Along with these, a handful of special or “pack-in” one-shots and trade paperback collected volumes were also produced. In , a new incarnation of Masters of the Universe was announced, with the first action figure, King Grayskull, released at San Diego Comic Con Based on the look of the original s MOTU toys, this new toy line was aimed primarily at the adult toy collector market with a 6″ scale, and were often available only through subscriptions from MattyCollector.
Sculpted by the Four Horsemen, these toys were updated versions of previous figures, as well as characters that never before had an action figure made of them, such as Filmation’s Queen Marlena, Fang-Man, Lizard-Man, Count Marzo, Granamyr, and many others. There were also newly created figures, exclusive to the Classics toy line, such as Draego-Man, Cy-Chop, Castle Grayskullman, and others. Figures were also released in two-packs with corresponding Superheroes and villains from the DC Comics Universe.
Masters of the Universe Classics surpassed the original s toy line in terms of length, running continuously for seven years with more than different figures produced following its launch in August Super7’s releases included figures from their animation special The Curse of the Three Terrors , followed by the Masters of the Universe “Ultimates” line which consisted of “deluxe” re-releases of Classics figures and a continuation of the prior Classics and Club Grayskull lines.
In addition to the toylines, starting in , Dark Horse Comics produced mini comics included in Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line of toys, continuing the series of mini comics first introduced in the original MOTU toys of the s. Seeley stated that these comics were intended to blend the different He-Man continuities and select the best stories and ideas from MOTU history. These mini comics provide an origin story of Keldor Skeletor , and then proceed to join into the later New Adventures of He-Man continuity.
Many of these stories are meant to be read in conjunction with the altered continuity presented in the character biographies on the cardbacks of the Masters of the Universes Classic’s line action figure packaging, and thus do not provide a detailed flowing narrative in the mini comics themselves. A Masters of the Universe comic book series was relaunched by DC Comics in , first appearing as a series of digital comics.
This was quickly followed by a six-issue mini-series and all new revised origin issues for He-Man, Skeletor and Hordak. This introduced a new back-story for He-man’s sister She-Ra as Despara , Skeletor as the half-Gar son of King Miro , Hordak, and the Snakemen; moving the storyline further along, with a new Horde invasion of Eternia and He-Man taking the Eternian throne, amongst other new developments.
Fans have later referred to the overall comic saga with the “Eternity War” moniker since it was all part of the same story. The series was executive produced by award-winning author, ND Stevenson creator of Nimona and Lumberjanes. The series’ first season of thirteen episodes was released on Netflix November 13, Under the direction of Glimmer’s mother Queen Angella of Bright Moon, the three embark upon re-uniting the Princesses of Etheria, which include Perfuma, Mermista, Entrapta and Frosta, each with re-imagined characters as well.
Also appearing in the series are Swift Wind without the alter ego of Spirit and with a completely different take on the character’s personality , Light Hope as a female hologram generated by the “First Ones” , Sea Hawk now presented as a more comical glory-seeking associate of Mermista , Castaspella as the sister of Angella’s husband King Micah , Madame Razz as an older and confused forest dweller with knowledge of Mara, a prior “She-Ra” , Netossa and Spinnerella.
The evil Horde returns as the villainous overlords of Etheria, and although Hordak remains leader of the Horde, Catra is often presented as the primary antagonist now voiced by AJ Michalka , with a much stronger relationship established between her and Adora. Shadow Weaver Lorraine Toussaint and Scorpia Lauren Ash also play prominent roles within the series, and cadets Lonnie , Rogelio and Kyle are introduced possibly inspired by previous Filmation characters.
Overarching galactic villain Horde Prime and a re-imagined shape-shifting Double Trouble enter the series in later seasons, and other previously established villains appearing in lesser roles are Admiral Scurvy, Tung Lashor, Grizzlor, Imp and Octavia.
Although no longer directly linked to He-Man or the Masters of the Universe, Eternia, Castle Grayskull and Adora’s kidnapping as a child are referenced.
Season two of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power was released on Netflix on April 26, , with a shorter seven-episode run; soon followed by season three, on August 2, and season 4, on November 4 of that same year. While firmly establishing a new continuity, these seasons make further connections to previously established lore and characters, and include Geena Davis voicing the role of Huntara in season three. The first 5 episodes made its debut on Netflix on July 23, , with the remaining 5 releasing on November 23, Masters of the Universe released a prequel comic series to the Masters of the Universe Revelation animated series on Netflix, with the first issue released on July 7, In December , it was announced that in addition to their other series, Netflix will also be developing a new Masters of the Universe series using CGI animation.
Bryan Q. Miller will serve as story editor on the series. Since , a reboot of Masters of the Universe has been in the works but has gone through development hell with various studios, directors and writers connected to the project. Variety reported in that Grayskull: Masters of the Universe would be produced by Joel Silver , and written by Justin Marks, and employing visual special effects to a large degree, as was done with the war film With that deal to reboot the film going nowhere, Warner Bros.
On May 12, , it was announced that the scripting duties had been handed to newcomer Evan Daugherty, with John Stevenson still attached to direct. In September , Sony took over the rights from Warner Bros. Chu was in talks to direct the film.
On October 12, , Richard Wenk was hired to rewrite the script for the film. The film would be set on Eternia. The site also reported that Chu would not direct the film. On April 9, , Schmoes Know reported that Wadlow would direct the film, but The Hollywood Reporter announced that he was merely rewriting the script.
On August 19, , Variety reported that Christopher Yost would rewrite the script. This draft of the script would be set on Eternia, but not exclusively there.
That it’s both credible and emotional, action-packed, and the story of a hero’s journey. It’s the genesis of He-Man, it’s the becoming of He-Man. We want it to be clicking on all cylinders in that regard. We’re not going to stop until we get it right. Along with the release date confirmation it was announced that McG was no longer directing the film. During the search for his replacement, Entertainment Weekly reported that David S.
Goyer had been brought in to write the script. On April 29, , a representative for Centineo announced that he would no longer play He-Man in the film. On January 28, , it was announced that Netflix had officially acquired the film from Sony and that Kyle Allen would now play He-Man. It was also revealed that David Callaham had written a new draft of the screenplay along with The Nee Brothers, with production was set to begin in
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