28 August 2010

He-Man's surprise!

Here is an odd sequence of panels from issue sixty-eight of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. While it is interesting to see the unique pairing of Jitsu and Scare Glow, the way in which Scare Glow has been illustrated is incredibly strange. The artist has chosen to given the character a hood much like Skeletor's, rather than the mighty collar that was a part of the action figure's cape. Scare Glow rarely appeared in the UK comic; his biggest appearance being alongside Ninjor in one of the Masters of the Universe Adventure magazines.

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27 August 2010

The Sea Hawk returns!

Here is a fantastic panning shot of Sea Hawk from the She-Ra season one episode "Anchors Aloft" Part 2, directed by Bob Arkwright. Like with all memorable moments in the Filmation He-Man and She-Ra series the inclusion of a moon makes a scene all the more dramatic! I am always disappointed that Bob Arkwright only directed one episode of He-Man with "Evilseed" and one episode of She-Ra with "Anchors Aloft" Part 2, because he was by far one of the most talented animation directors at the time...

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26 August 2010

Run for it!

Once more I highlight the colors that appeared in the UK Masters of the Universe comic, this time from issue sixty-two. The use of a flat orange color on the villains as they flee the exploding volcano works superbly against the pale yellow sky. Once again the colorist and the artist work well together to create a great sense of depth. Hordak's dialogue seems rather stilted though...

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24 August 2010

Angry Drissi!

The New Adventures of He-Man featured a lot of great animation throughout its sixty-five episodes, and when the Japanese artists had a chance to shine with character expressions and direction, they would! Here is one of my favorite shots of Drissi, who for once in the series looks none too pleased. In the episode "The Heat", upon discovering that her younger brother Caz snuck aboard the Starship Eternia, the camera pans across from a departing He-Man and Master Sebrian, and a scowling Drissi slides into shot!

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20 August 2010

Hail the champion.

Here is an impressive final panel from issue sixty-nine of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Having beaten the forces of evil in various competitions the Heroic Warriors are victorious, and of course He-Man is hailed as a champion. Interestingly King Randor is seen here with the costume that his action figure sports. In previous stories by this artist King Randor wears the same costume that appears in the Filmation cartoon. That said, during this artist's run on the UK comic the latest wave of Masters of the Universe figures including King Randor had just been released, and so he was almost definitely asked to adhere to the design of the action figure.

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19 August 2010

Atop Gepple's hair!

This visual gag from the episode "The Heat" involving Alcon sitting atop Gepple's awesome hairstyle was only used a few times during The New Adventures of He-Man series. Many people never really liked the scientists. However, even though they are incredibly annoying during their first appearance in "A New Beginning", after a while, as the writers focus on the friendship between Alcon and Gepple, the characters really do shine. It is amusing that during the latter part of the series Krex and Meldoc, the other two scientists, are all but forgotten by the writers...

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18 August 2010

Treetop Avion.

Here is an interesting oddity from issue thirty-eight of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. In the origin story for how the Heroic Warriors came to be, we see Stratos in his kingdom of Avion. Unlike previous mountaintop settings for Avion, as seen in the animated series and the Ladybird books, here we see a woodland setting for the Avionians. The level of detail in this illustration is enough to convince me to go with this idea...

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17 August 2010

Trap Jaw's disc-fyler.

I always like it when Masters of the Universe canons introduce new ideas, characters, or vehicles that would not necessarily appear in other canons. In issue three of the UK Masters of the Universe comic we see Trap Jaw piloting a blandly-colored, yet cool-looking disc-flyer with two large guns mounted on either side. The text would also seem to imply that this ship is owned by Trap Jaw. Unfortunately the disc-flyer is not seen for long due to an act of strength by He-Man!

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16 August 2010

Shadow Weaver's figure.

In the She-Ra season two episode "Bow's Magical Gift" for some unknown reason Shadow Weaver is drawn with a very striking figure! In these two images below you can see that the animators were paying extra attention to certain body parts to make sure that every single curve was accentuated. Too bad Shadow Weaver was evil...

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15 August 2010

Charged with treason.

Over the years in a variety of canons, we saw Orko perform a number of magical tricks, some of which involved Prince Adam. However, in issue fifty-seven of the UK Masters of the Universe comic Orko actually makes an incredibly valid point after being prompted by Teela. He declares that if he were to make Prince Adam disappear he may be charged with treason! As amusing as this sounds, in terms of the laws which no doubt govern the Royal Palace, this actually makes a great deal of sense! It would make for an interesting story to see Orko put on trial for making Prince Adam disappear...

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13 August 2010

The race for the sword.

Issue sixty-six of the UK Masters of the Universe comic features a very entertaining story in which Skeletor and Hordak both seek a sword which will rival He-Man's own Sword of Power. This fantastic action-packed panel is the moment in the story where Skeletor and Hordak have the sword within their grasp. But who is that in the background? Yes, it is He-Man. It does not take a genius to figure out what happens in the next panel...

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11 August 2010

What happened to Dylamug?

For ardent fans of the She-Ra series the character of Dylamug was most impressive upon his first appearance. In "Duel at Devlan" the character's robot-like persona gave him an edge over the other villains of the Evil Horde; it always felt like he could be unpredictably cold-blooded at any second. However, when the character shows up again in the season two episode "Shades of Orko" he is portrayed as nothing more than a buffoon; easily one of the stupidest members of the Evil Horde. Did someone reprogram him?

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10 August 2010

The heroes depart...

Here is a fantastic panel from issue sixty-two of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. If this was colored any other way the image would probably become a little flat. But due to the fact that the colorist gives each layer a strong flat color we get an amazing sense of depth with this image. The illustration itself is impressive with the Heroic Warriors looking back towards an exploding volcano. And one has to laugh how pretty much every single vehicle released as a toy is featured in this panel!

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09 August 2010

Rio-Blast explained!

Colonel Blast, a villain that appeared in the She-Ra season one episode "The Wizard" was clearly inspired by the Masters of the Universe action figure Rio-Blast. But many often ask why Rio-Blast, who was a Heroic Warrior in the toyline, became Colonel Blast, a member of the Evil Horde. The fact is much like Acrobad, Rio-Blast was still a character in development when Mattel gave the concept artwork to Filmation. Filmation were informed that the gun-toting character was evil and turned the concept illustration into a character who was a member of the Evil Horde.

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08 August 2010

Never surrender!

Here is one of my favorite pieces of direction from the She-Ra season one episode "Anchors Aloft" Part 1. The low angle makes for an incredibly dramatic image, as does the way in which Swen defiantly holds aloft his laser rapier! In the context of the story this image works perfectly, as Swen and his allies are flanked by mountains, on top of which are Horde Troopers with their stun beams pointed at them.

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07 August 2010

Campfire villains.

Issue fifty-three of the UK Masters of the Universe comic features an awesome illustration showing the forces of evil preparing for their combined attack on the heroes. Even though the yellow may be a little overpowering I do love the atmosphere throughout this image. It is not often that we get to see the villains relaxing. Also notice that the villains have separated into their respective groups; though it appears that the toy accurate Modulok is off for a wander...

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06 August 2010

Into Modulok's mouth!

The She-Ra season one episode "Just Like Me" has many fantastic directorial touches from Tom Tataranowicz. Most notably during the scene that ends act one. Instead of a simple fade to black as would often be employed, the villainous Modulok flies towards the camera, and we the viewer enter his mouth. At which point the screen fades to black! The creativeness of Tom Tataranowicz here is something to behold!

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03 August 2010

Out of a job.

This artist, during his run on the UK Masters of the Universe comic, would always finish a story with a lovely panel which either sums up the story or shows the heroes relaxing after another hard day's work. Issue fifty-eight features the heroes relaxing, outside of the Royal Palace grounds, as Orko reveals that Prince Adam cannot be like He-Man, otherwise he would put the champion of Eternia out of a job! Again, like so many of these stories from this artist's run, the colors are beautiful throughout the panel.

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02 August 2010

Making an entrance.

Here is a pretty powerful action-packed illustration from issue fifty-eight of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Just when all seems lost for the heroes in their competitive battle with evil, He-Man and Battle Cat dramatically leap into the arena! Battle Cat's pose in this illustration is terrific, as is He-Man's, with his Sword of Power raised skyward.

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01 August 2010

At Skeletor's mercy...

Although I was not a fan of the way in which the artists drew the backgrounds during the Mike Young Productions version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, this background from "The Price of Deceit" is beautiful to behold. Larry DiTillio originally wanted to make this location the ruins of Shokoti's temple from the original Filmation series, but that idea was vetoed by those in charge of the show. I love how tiny Evil-Lyn and Skeletor are when compared to the evil that clearly lurks throughout the vast structures of the ruins...

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