Dark Horse Comics newly released He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Newspaper Comic Strips contains stories from the early 1990’s that have not been accessible to most fans, until now. This is due to the fact that these stories were published in some local newspapers in the United Statues, and even more popular oversees, leaving most fans even aware that these even existed. The newspaper prints continues the tales from the Filmation animated series (which was cancelled back in the 1980’s), and tells the story of the space-themed New Adventures of He-Man that became an animated series in the early 1990’s.
Tracking down all of these comic stripes was not an easy task, and between obtaining some of the stripes by the artist Chris Weber, a trip to the Library of Congress in Washington, and some were even located in the Los Angeles based spanish-language newspaper La Opinion. Despite the best efforts of the researchers, thirty five out of 1.674 comic stripes may forever be lost. That is a very small amount, and the book specifies this as 2% of the content was missing.
The book features 506 pages of He-Man stories, with bonus content that includes pitch stripes, syndication differences, script and story premise excerpts, and letters from Mattel’s Project Manager Mark DiCamillo to Chris Weber dated in July and August of 1990.
Thank you to Dark Horse Comics for providing their He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Newspaper Comic Strips book for review.
Availability: February 2017
Like many fans, we never knew that comic stripes of He-Man existed due to a number of factors including these weren’t printed by all newspapers, and the fact that there was no internet around to obtain this information on what was going on with He-Man. Thanks to Dark Horse Comics, Mattel, and the team that took the time to track down most of these stories, we are able to take a look at these stories for the first-time. At this time, we have not gotten started on the reading, so story plots is not something you will find in this review, only an overview of the book itself.
There are a wide range of characters in this book from both He-Man, She-Ra, New Adventures, and other sources. The book is mostly in black and white, with at least a good portion of the stripes in color. The scans themselves are very neat and clear. The introduction of the book suggests how many long hours and hard work went into digging up all of these old stories as mentioned above, and despite all of this hard work, 35 comic stripes are missing and may forever be lost.
Having watched both He-Man and She-Ra in the 1980’s, and again recently just to refresh the memory thanks to Netflix, the stories do seem like they continue the continuity and overall flow very nicely. Of course, I haven’t started reading it, but did want to share some of the pages with readers that haven’t purchased theirs yet. Many characters are featured in this book, including He-Man, Skeletor, Hordak and other Horde members, Evil Lyn, Beast Man, and even Gwildor and Ninjor are in the story. She-Ra and the Great Rebellion never made it into these comic stripes, as this was under a different license (according to the interview with Chris Weber on page 300).
A personal favorite part of the book was the interview with Chris and Karen Weber, as Chris worked on the stories, and Karen was the editor. This is some great inside information on how everything came into place and even the most die-hard He-Man fan will love this.
If you haven’t yet picked this up, you should. For $29.99 (or less at our sponsors below), you get over 500 pages of He-Man goodness plus a ton of bonus content. The value is incredible, and we hope to see Dark Horse continue on with He-Man. Even if they were to continue 200X’s third season that was briefly told in the mini-comics that came with Masters of the Universe Classics figures by Mattel, it would be great to have those untold stories in a collection as well.