29 April 2007

Wings of Wickedness!

In a section titled "The Masters of the Universe Revealed:" from the 1981 Masters of the Universe Licensee Book one of the most interesting character changes is discovered when we learn that Stratos was originally planned to be an Evil Warrior! Amusingly in the accompanying illustration Stratos' expression does look particularly evil!


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In flight!

Here is a gorgeous illustration by Robin Davies featuring She-Ra and Swift Wind as seen in the Ladybird book "Spirit is Kidnapped". Believe it or not She-Ra and Swift Wind have just saved the day, even though the Princess of Power looks a little shocked in this image! This illustration is so strong that it should have been used as a promotional piece for the She-Ra Ladybird books...


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SPRAK!

I still believe that these two panels from the classic minicomic "The Search for Keldor" really pushed the boundaries of He-Man storytelling. Not only do we see a previously one dimensional King Randor nearly sacrifice his life to save the Sorceress, but we also get to see an extreme piece of violence as Faker is speared! These two panels show how these final Masters of the Universe stories were elevating themselves back to the standards set by the DC minicomics...


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28 April 2007

Imp shows up!

I have not been able to update the Blog over the last few days. So to make up for this I will showcase THREE posts today and three posts tomorrow!

It is not often that the little creature Imp appeared in a Masters of the Universe story, but that is exactly what happened in the Ladybird book "He-Man and the Lost Dragon". Interestingly in the book he is referred to as one of Hordak's many imps, and is not mentioned by name! Interestingly artist Robin Davies gives him a slightly furry look!


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Got ya now!

"The Clash of Arms" minicomic is quite possibly one of the most violent stories ever told within the Masters of the Universe series, and yet it is one of my favorites because of the action! The minicomic achieves a great deal by introducing a wealth of characters to the reader. One of the best fight scenes features Fisto fighting for his life against Clawful. Here I present one of the most brutal panels in the minicomic with Clawful slicing at Fisto, ripping his costume!


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Trap Jaw's diet!

Here is a bewildering page from one of the many Masters of the Universe coloring books that could be found throughout the eighties. In this illustration we see Trap Jaw, the villain with the metal mouth that can chew through pretty much any substance on Eternia, eating what appear to be grapes!


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22 April 2007

Catra invited.

The Ladybird book "She-Ra and the surprise party" features one of the earlier Princess of Power story trends in which everyone is considered good, even Catra. In this particular story Catra receives an invitation to a surprise birthday party for Madame Razz. If you think that sounds odd when Catra and Clawdeen attempt to create a disturbance at the party it is only in an effort to take the presents for themselves!


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Rebuilding Snake Mountain.

Here is a beautiful illustration from the Ladybird book "He-Man and the Lost Dragon" by Robin Davies showing Skeletor's Skelcon slaves rebuilding Snake Mountain while their master watches over them. What I like about this image is how everything in the image is painted with no outlines, except for Skeletor in discussion with his Skelcon. When Robin Davies illustrated Snake Mountain it was a mixture between the toy and the cartoon, which you can just about make out in this image.


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21 April 2007

The Kirby Crackle!

Bruce Timm, like so many artists, is a huge fan of Jack Kirby, and this was definitely the case when he was illustrating the Masters of the Universe minicomics. In this example from the minicomic "Snake Attack!" you can see one of Jack Kirby's artistic trademarks in the second panel, as indicated by the black dots of varying sizes, known in the comic industry as the "Kirby Crackle".


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20 April 2007

Don Manuel's She-Ra!

Before the character of She-Ra had been finalized work was already underway on the series. However when it came to storyboarding the first She-Ra episode "Into Etheria" artist Don Manuel had no character designs to refer to and subsequently had to design many of the characters himself. Even though he only designed She-Ra for this one particular storyboard image his take on the Princess of Power was truly unique, creating a scantily clad brunette!


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Doomed!

This is one of my favorite illustrations from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Power Of... Point Dread!" Not only do we get to see the very cool green and purple costume that Tri-Klops wore in these particular minicomics, but we also get to see him in action against Man-At-Arms. Even though this was quite a small panel illustrated by the great Mark Texeira, there is no doubt the raw energy of this piece as Tri-Klops' sword clashes with Man-At-Arms' mace!


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19 April 2007

Clamp Champ in action!

The idea for this Blog first came about when I thought how good it would be to focus on the many elements of He-Man and She-Ra that people may have missed over the years. The first images that popped into my head were these action-packed Bruce Timm panels featuring Clamp Champ. And finally, here they are on my Blog! What I found most interesting about these panels is that Clamp Champ mentions that he has super-senses, as he effortlessly takes care of Ninjor. I always thought that this minicomic featured the best portrayal of Clamp Champ, and gave him the most interesting of powers. Also note that he is spelled Klamp Champ...


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18 April 2007

New products...

I thought it would be interesting to showcase this page featured within the second minicomic "King of Castle Grayskull". I am particularly fond of this early advertisement as it shows that even though the Masters of the Universe action figures and minicomics were being rolled out, these particular characters were still not available to purchase! It is even more important to mention as a lot of people still believe that He-Man, Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Beast Man, Teela, Mer-Man, Stratos and Zodac were all released in one wave, when this was clearly not the case...


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16 April 2007

Evil Meeting...

Here is a great illustration from the Ladybird book "Spirit is Kidnapped" showing Catra and Shadow Weaver meeting in the Forest of Fear. The colors in this particular Robin Davies illustration are so strong, and the use of background paints with no line art to create a sense of depth and atmosphere is fantastic! Clawdeen was drawn differently throughout the Ladybird She-Ra books, and here we see one particular version of Clawdeen without her mane...


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Twigget rough - Sprocker!

Here is the second of three interesting design comparisons featuring Sprocker of the Twiggets from the She-Ra animated series. You will notice that aside from the slightly rougher and more detailed style of character design, Sprocker is slightly fuller in the face, appears to have slight facial hair, and is one stripe away from having a pair of Adidas sneakers! While these may not be the greatest of character design alterations it is interesting to see what might have been.


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15 April 2007

The Sorceress is a floating head?

"The Treachery of Modulok!" minicomic features a truly unique take on the Sorceress. When Prince Adam and Teela visit Castle Grayskull to ask for her advice she is presented as a floating head appearing within a wall of fire! Yes, it is interesting, but makes no sense...


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Catra's mask.

I have always been a fan of Catra's design so it is a pleasure to present you with the opportunity to look at Catra with her mask down over her eyes. Now in the She-Ra series this was always a hard spot, as within a second of her mask coming down over her eyes she would be transforming into her cat form...


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14 April 2007

A bounty hunter?

In a section titled "The Masters of the Universe Revealed:" from the 1981 Masters of the Universe Licensee Book we can see that Mattel's original plan for the character of Zodac was that of a comic enforcing bounty hunter! Of course the role of the bounty hunter would be eventually assumed by Tri-Klops, whilst Zodac became the Evil Cosmic Enforcer. This would confuse many children in later years when the DC Comics and cartoon presented him as neither good nor evil.


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Coloring Tongue Lasher!

Tung! Tung Lash! Tongue Lasher! The character with more names and spellings than any other in the entire He-Man and She-Ra series is presented here in all his glory! I remember as a child being surprised by the color scheme given to this character, as it bore little resemblance to the action figure's colors. This color guide proves that it was always intentional to give the character such a vast array of colors!


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13 April 2007

How popular was Evilseed?

Evilseed who appeared in the season one He-Man episode "Evilseed" was one of my favorite characters from the Filmation series. The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series by Mike Young Productions reintroduced the character to a new generation of fans, and he appeared in numerous episodes. Will alone had allowed Zadoc Angell and I the ability to write an incredibly in-depth guide to the Filmation series back in 2001 for the writers of the new show, a guide which included a lengthy profile on Evilseed! Be that as it may the character's portrayal in the new show was a little unexpected. Out went the old sinister Evilseed and in came this character that at times was portrayed quite comically with a highly irritating voice. On the first He-Man season one DVD boxset released by BCI a lot of fans who had long since forgotten about the original Evilseed were surprised to see the character show up, many believing him to be a creation by the writers of the new show! DVD quality finally gave us the chance to see the original Evilseed as he was always intended to look, a lot of his best movements animated by storyboard artist Tom Sito!

12 April 2007

The Origin of He-Man starring prototypes!

Here I present an interesting image from the 1981 Masters of the Universe Licensee Book, featuring not only a prototype He-Man figure, but also the famous Teela prototype! You will immediately notice that the Teela figure is being used as the Sorceress character, here presenting He-Man with his magical weapons as featured in the early Mattel storyline.


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11 April 2007

Keith Tucker's Act One!

Some Filmation storyboard artists would create a nice banner-like illustration at the beginning of their storyboards, most notably Don Manuel and Keith Tucker. On this occasion Keith Tucker illustrates a gorgeous looking opening page for the season one She-Ra episode "The Unicorn King", featuring She-Ra and the Unicorn King!


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Transformation atop Swift Wind.

Here is a nice illustration of She-Ra and Swift Wind by Terry Gabbey from the Ladybird book "She-Ra and the surprise party". It should be noted that this was the first Ladybird book not to be illustrated by Robin Davies! While Robin's beautiful style was what we came to expect from a She-Ra book, Terry's style lent itself extremely well to this She-Ra story by having a very classical look to it...


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10 April 2007

Size of the Velvet Glove!

The storyboards to the season one She-Ra episode "Horde Prime Takes A Holiday" reveal a scene that would have showcased the true majesty of Horde Prime's flagship, the Velvet Glove. During the episode we are treated to an impressive scene in which the ship casts a large silhouette across the planet Etheria, but as this panel from the storyboard reveals the ship was as wide as the planet Etheria! I have manipulated the image and rotated it so you can see how it would have appeared on screen...


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Twigget rough - Spritina!

Here is the first of three interesting design comparisons featuring Spritina of the Twiggets from the She-Ra animated series. You will notice that aside from the slightly rougher and more detailed style of character design, Spritina has a big pair of blue eyes, and a more traditional cute character look! While these may not be the greatest of character design alterations it is interesting to see what might have been.


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09 April 2007

Battle of the Titans #2

Here are pages four to six of a story that appeared in issue sixty-nine of the UK Masters of the Universe comic titled "Battle of the Titans". In one of the strongest illustrated pieces from the entire run of the UK comic He-Man battles the Sun Demon and tries to figure out the creature's weakness...


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08 April 2007

Stratos and Avion.

Here is a great illustration by Robin Davies as featured in the Ladybird book "Wings of Doom". Those of you who have been visiting this Blog for a while will know that I am a big fan of Robin Davies' artwork. The other interesting thing about his artwork, which I hope to focus on soon, is how it developed over the course of the many Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power books that he illustrated. For now, enjoy the leader of Avion's people, Stratos, joyous in flight!


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Believable action sequence...

I thought it would be interesting to feature a specific image from a great little piece of action as seen in the season one He-Man episode "Quest for He-man". This frame, which is shown all too briefly, beautifully showcases Ram Man's destruction of Tri-Klops' War Sled beyond repair! I should mention that in the original script a more believable conclusion to this action sequence was written. Instead of falling from a great height into small mud pond, He-Man catches Tri-Klops in the Wind Raider, flies close to the ground, and then drops him into a fish pond...


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07 April 2007

Hidden Combow...

Here is an interesting model sheet image of Bow showing how his Combow was supposed to sit on his back. However it does not explain how it is attached. Maybe, like so many things, it is achieved with magnets?


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06 April 2007

Battle of the Titans #1

Here are pages one to three of a story that appeared in issue sixty-nine of the UK Masters of the Universe comic titled "Battle of the Titans". In this story He-Man and archaeologist P'Marsh (also the name of the artist P. Marshall) stumble upon the Sun Demon, a creature with one weakness. This story was quite possibly one of the strongest illustrated pieces from the entire run of the UK comic...


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05 April 2007

Unseen season two Trollans!

Here is a page from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe season two Series Bible showing two characters that never made it into production. Zorko and Korko are two evil Trollans (the book has a few of them) illustrated without any intention of making them look remotely pleasant...


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04 April 2007

Granita!

Here for your viewing pleasure is a model sheet of Granita one of the Rock People, as seen in the episodes "The Rock People" and "The Light of the Crystal". The odd thing about Granita is that she came close to becoming an action figure, to the point where in the early Filmation material for She-Ra she and Stonedar have finalized names, but Rokkon was oddly referred to as Flint...


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03 April 2007

Skeletor's action figures...

Here is another illustration for your viewing pleasure, the likes of which can only ever be found in those Masters of the Universe coloring books. Here we see Skeletor with what appears to be his Masters of the Universe action figures! The artist so obviously had model sheets of the Evil Warriors, but not one of Skeletor. Also note that Tri-Klops, master of vision, has no eyes!


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02 April 2007

The Unwanted Gift...

Here I present the complete story of "The Unwanted Gift" from issue nine of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. I think we will all agree that the beginning of this comic is very similar to a certain season one He-Man episode that featured the debut of Granamyr! Notably we get to see Mer-Man's race in this comic, including a female on page five; a Mer-Miss if you like...


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