Thursday, May 14, 2015

Masters of the Universe (Star Comics)

Masters of the Universe
Star Comics
1986 - 1988

Star Comics doesn't often times get the love that it deserves from the comic book community. It was a great subdivision of Marvel Comics which focused mainly on delivering titles to kids - Often times based on the latest and greatest animated cartoon/action figure line. As such, pretty much every title developed in the 80's featured a handful of issues before kids and the brand were off to something new. This often times didn't leave a lot of room for deep character building or massive story arcs, but it did however scratch that itch for kids in between the hours that the shows weren't airing.

Masters of the Universe was a thirteen issue series produced between 1986 and 1988. Because the original action figures had miniature comics packaged in with them (originally produced by DC Comics and later by Mattel directly), many fans consider this particular series to be volume 2.

The scripts for the majority of the series were penned by Mike Carlin (issues 1 - 8) with writer George Caragonne taking the helm for the final 3rd of the title (issues 9 - 13). As for the artists, many names were attached to the project such as (but not limited to); Ron Wilson, Dennis Janke and Danny Bulanadi.

Side Note - We love how issue thirteen showcases Skeletor on the cover based on (but not identical to) his film adaptation garb.

 In November of 1987, Star Comics incorporated a movie adaptation of the film which was released in theaters in August of that same year. Star took many liberties with the story, first and foremost shrinking it down to just fifty pages. They then changed certain events, and altered the ending which included Man-At-Arms returning from the lower level of Grayskull with an American flag and NASA flag dated July 10, 2221 - Eluding that the inhabitants of Eternia first came from the USA.

Many fans argure that the comic adaptation of the movie is far superior to the movie itself. Though personally we enjoy both, and still to this day have a guilty pleasure of watching the movie.

Also notable to the story was that the artwork for the characters was not totally based on the movie. In fact, only Gwildor, Blade and Beast Man were depicted as their film renditions. All the other characters were based on their Filmation look.

Sadly for fans, Star Comics stopped producing Masters of the Universe comics in 1988. Though there have been a handful of He-Man related titles that have trickled out in the industry since then, unfortunately it hasn't been many - The most recent being DC Comic's 2012/2013 digital print of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Join us next time when we take a look at Flaming Carrot Comics!

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