Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gallery #4: No words

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Episode #110: "The Problem With Power"


There are so many great images from the classic's "The Problem With Power," which is also the best episode of the series, so here I present the first of many! All Duncan can muster after Adam gives up his powers, and throws his sword into the abyss, is that he has the Wind Raider ready to take him home. I love how the Sorceress just bows her head because not even she, the wise, all-powerful guardian of Grayskull, can find the appropriate words for the situation. Adam's expressions are priceless, as he believes he actually killed another living being. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gallery #3: "Your failure cost me Grayskull!"

"Idiots! Cowards! Your failure cost me Grayskull!"
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Episode #7: "Lessons"


"Lessons" was one of the most anticipated episodes of the M.Y.P. reboot because it was scripted by classic, fan-favorite writer, Larry DiTillio! I've always loved this scene where Skeletor rips into his men, and it always reminded me of the classic opening scene to She-Ra's "Huntara," inwhich Hordak does something very similiar. "Huntara" was also written by Mr. Ditillio!

Gallery #2: Anime-Style He-Man

The New Adventures of He-Man
Opening Credits


With my latest obsession of capturing my own images from my He-Man DVD collection, I was compelled to take a look at the New Adventures. Inspite of some fan reaction, I particulary enjoyed them, and loved not only the creation of new characters, but a further expansion and evolution of the mythology! Here I present an image from the opening credits that I really enjoy. I love the anime style Jetlag Productions brought to He-Man.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Header #1: October 2011

Masters of the Universe: Legacies

Gallery #1: "They're burning the village..."

"They're burning the village..."
She-Ra Princess of Power
Episode #29: The Price of Freedom


This haunting image is without a doubt one of my favorites, and is taken from probably the best episode of the entire She-Ra canon. She-Ra and He-Man gazing upon the Horde cruelty still gives me chills. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zodak is NOT a hero!

The Hero vs. The Anti-Hero

Although no incarnation could ever replace the classic, Mike Young Productions created an amazing reboot that changed the way fans look at He-Man, and whilst I never really cared for the original character of Zodac, the updated version has become an all-time personal favorite of mine. Drop the "c," add the "k," and that is just the beginning of the Cosmic Enforcer's makeover because times they are a-changin'! No longer subject to the hurdles and red tape of ordinances that blocked Filmation, M.Y.P. not only enhanced the action and animation quality of the program, but also sought to make the characters more three dimensional than ever before. One of my favorite over-all character arcs from the series, was that of Zodak's want for revenge against King Hiss for devouring his brother. Forget all that you know, in terms of vengeance from the classic He-Man show because Evil-Lyn and Kothos got nothin' on Zodak! (See the original He-Man's "Revenge is Never Sweet" for reference.)

When we are introduced to Zodak, in "Snake Pit," the Cosmic Enforcer is very much a loner, and does not want the aid of the Masters, as Kobra Khan makes his first attempt at freeing his ancestral snake bretheren. In the end, Zodak realizes the error of his ways by not taking up his allies on their offer, but a disturbing dream that details his brother Zeelahr's final moments as well as a vision of the Snake Men conquering the planet, in "Rise of the Snake Men" Part 1, blindsides him. Obviously, the guilt of not being able to rescue his brother is what ultimately fuels Zodak's quest for vengeance, which keeps the story and the character very riveting because these are sentient emotions that everyone succumbs to.

Upon the arrival of Evil-Lyn, Kobra Khan, and Rattlor, the audience really is not sure if the villains did indeed overpower the Cosmic Enforcer, or he allowed for his staff to be taken in order to open The Void. In true Evil-Lyn fashion, the witch sarcastically remarks about the "great" Zodak's defeat, but as his enemies depart, the Enforcer's eye are wide open. During the beginning of the second part, Stratos states, "Three mere warriors defeating the Cosmic Enforcer? Hard to believe," which makes it painfully obvious that Zodak intentionly conceded; thus, allowing King Hiss to be released upon Eternia. When he declares to He-Man: "My brother... My battle... My vengeance..." there is no turning back for the character. Disregarding the consequences of his actions as well as ignoring He-Man's pleas, Zodak can no longer be looked upon as a "hero." The irony of the whole situation is that He-Man himself, in this particular series, has only taken up the sword and mantle of Grayskull for a very brief time, and even he can see the pitfalls in his allie's path.

Initially, his justification for his actions is to handle the snake men "forever," and although he defeats King Hiss twice, the price of the snake king's re-entry has been a costly one. Devastation and turmoil aside, the demise of a caligar, in "Rattle of the Snake," as well as the destruction and loss of lives in the village where He-Man first encounters Serpos, brings He-Man's final line, and that of the series, into question. When King Randor states that the entire kingdom should offer their gratitude to He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe replies with, "You should thank Zodak." The Cosmic Enforcer's thirst for revenge makes him somewhat responsible for the events that have transpired, and he should be held accountable for his actions. I love the internal conflict and struggle that arises in the anti-hero, but that last line is just totally inappropriate. This mis-interpretation is just one of the few qualms I have with M.Y.P.'s season two, and its a shame that they were not given the opportunity of an additional thirteen episodes because they would have definitely added the necessary depth to the character. All and all, Zodak remains one of the best characters to be explored throughout reboot, but he is not hero!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Notes #1 - Brave New Eternia or Etherian Epitaphs


The first episode of any storyline is always a bit tricky because the writer is tasked with the job of having to either introduce and/or re-introduce a whole new set of characters. Granted, you may know the He-Man and She-Ra of Filmation or M.Y.P., but the reader is not totally familiar with the writer's interpretation of these characters. The initial hope and intent was to make the cast more three dimensional by giving them real life problems, such as Man-At-Arms being in a wheel chair, or Mekaneck and Ram Man being deceased, which are all the harsh realities of war. A special note, even though a character has passed on that does not necessarily mean they won't pop up again, which is a lovely fail-safe when writing about a magical world!

Cast of Characters

Adora / She-Ra
Beast Man
Count Marzo
Duncan / Man-At-Arms
The Goddess
Horde Troopers
Keldor / Skeletor
King Hiss
King Randor
Oo-Larr, the Jungle He-Man
Queen Angella
Queen Marlena
Ram Man
Shadow Beasts
Shadow Weaver
The Sorceress / Zoar / Teela'Na
Swift Wind

MOTU References

  • The Spidersaur appeared twice in the classic He-Man series, in "The Curse of the Spellstone" and "Double Edged Sword," but the initial inspiration to use the beast came from remembering it appearing in the background of the US - RCA/Columbia VHS from Vol. 1.
  • The Crystal of Allanar was seen in another personal favorite of mine, "Origin of the Sorceress."
  • The Creeping Horak was also used in "The Curse of the Spellstone," which is also one of my personal favorites.
  • Duncan telling Teela he was turned into a Snake Man twice is a reference to the never produced, but infamous comic rendition of "Captured," which would have been episode 40 of the M.Y.P. reboot.
  • Azrog and Spydra appeared in "The Return of Orko's Uncle," which admittingly isn't the best episode from the classic series, yet I've always loved those two particular characters.
  • As a huge fan of Evil-Lyn, I always loathed how her final battle between Count Marzo ended in the 200x series episode "History," which inspired her line about "knowing her place."
  • The Trollan that I never call by name is Squange, who appeared in "Orko's New Friend," and like the others, I just really enjoyed that episode because of the character Jawbreaker, which has absolutely nothing to do with the story.
  • Modulok's gatemaker is of course a nod to a huge fan favorite, and one that I personally love, She-Ra's "Gateway to Trouble."
  • Though not a favorite, I needed a plot device; thus, the use of the Moonstone from the She-Ra episode, "Glimmer's Story."

Non-MOTU References

  • The first half of the title from this episode is taken from Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World."