Monday, February 11, 2013


Masters of the Universe: The Motion Picture is a 1987 one-shot adapted from the live-action film by Ralph Macchio and illustrated by George Tuska and Art Nichols. Here, Skeletor has finally succeeded in taking Castle Grayskull, and only a remnant of the heroic forces remains.

As you’d expect, there are a bunch of little story changes here to simplify and compress the story to a single (double-size) comic; some are good, some are bad, and some are simply interesting. Lubic, for example, is incredibly less annoying here. Beastman is talking; Blade isn’t. The ending has been changed substantially, most notably in that He-Man never surrenders (there’s also no explanation for how Lubic is suddenly on Eternia with them). There’s also no explanation for why Evil-Lyn betrays Skeletor at the end (one is forced to conclude from the film that Macchio read the script and took the Evil-Lyn-Skeletor relationship, which Macchio completely neglects, in a somewhat different direction). And there’s the scene cut from the film with the discovery of the ancient space mission.  

The pencils are by George Tuska, who also drew the three-issue DC mini-series that ran in 1982 and 1983. The art is adequate overall; the characters are fair, but the backgrounds are sparse, and poses are sometimes good and sometimes awkward. The effect of the comic’s climax is neutered quite a bit by the fact that Tuska draws Grayskull as being three stories tall or so (which is about the size we’re used to), but the He-Man-Skeletor showdown is centered around characters potentially falling to their deaths from about fifteen feet up. Yes, traditionally, the castle has that huge chasm around it, but Tuska certainly doesn’t draw it (and if it’s there, then the Power Sword is gone too).

The most obvious and notable thing about the art is that, with the exception of Beast Man, all the characters are drawn in the manner of their action figures, and Castle Grayskull is the good old rough-hewn stone fortress we know and love. Blade is given his non-speaking pre-production appearance, and is oddly colored, and Karg is a bizarre Darth Vader/bunny/Snooki hybrid.

This isn’t a great comic, but it’s an interesting alternate take on the movie, and if you have any regard at all for the film, it’s worth looking at for that reason.


Read it HERE