The Masters of the Universe series bible was written in 1982 by Michael Halperin for the 1983 Filmation cartoon and Mattel’s marketing of the toy line. Single-handedly, Halperin created Eternia, its geography, and backstory for all the characters (and “By the power of Grayskull!”), and defined their relationships and conflicts.
A great deal of what’s here will be familiar to faithful watchers of the cartoon. Even so, it’s worthwhile, as many story elements are fleshed out here that are present without explanation in the cartoon. And one can’t help but think that the origin stories presented here could have been the basis for a substantially better He-Man movie than the one we got.
Halperin’s story elements that weren’t used are definitely the most intriguing part of the bible: Eternia as a “good” planet, with a parallel “evil” planet in the same solar system; Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, and Tri-Klops as fellow astronauts with Marlena (Biff Beastman!); an explicit explanation of the power of Grayskull and an origin story for He-Man (both of which the 200X cartoon followed pretty closely).
Also of note are the proto-names (unrecognizable) and descriptions (fairly recognizable) of the supporting cast: names like Gorpo (Orko), Spy Man (Mekaneck), Bugoff (Buzz-Off), Lizard Man* (never merited a toy; only appeared in two episodes), Black Widow (Webstor), Fang Man (Kobra Khan), and Chopper (Jitsu).
There’s plenty more, but let me stop here and just say that this essential reading for those who love the cartoon as well as for those who are genuinely interested in the mythology of He-Man.
Read it HERE
*This is obviously just lazy naming. But what about the implications of that name? Is his given name really Lizard Man? If so, then what are the rest of his people called? Or is “Lizard Man” just what the other Eternians call him? If so, are they racist? Or maybe just horrifically unimaginative?