He-Man: Before the Power Sword

I just finished reading a great Batman book featuring the Wrath, a sort of counter Batman akin to Cat-Man and Owl Man. The comic, Batman Special No. 1, was quite good in that it revealed there was a “reverse Batman” operating throughout the world. In this issue, Batman seemingly defeats the Wrath. But that’s not the last of him, check out Batman Confidential Nos. 13-16 for another Wrath story.
Aside from the general awesomeness that was Batman Special No. 1, this 1984 comic also offered something I felt was kind of neat: Two different ads for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe  products.
In the middle of the book is this fairly nice poster:

At first, I thought this was a promo advertisement for DC’s Masters of the Universe comic book that came out around then. It’s obviously not, since there’s no mention of the comic. That made me study it a bit more, and it certainly has some oddities when its compared to the typical MOTU lore.

  • Skeletor is wielding a Power Sword. Now initially, the Skeletor action figure came with his own Power Sword that could be “fused” with He-Man’s. I have a vague recollection that the mini-comic storyline said that they each had half of the sword and when they fused them, it became the Power Sword. So does this mean this is an image of He-Man before he got the sword.
  • Man-At-Arms is riding Battle Cat. Now we all know that He-Man was the only one who could tame such a wild beast. How’s Manny doing it?
  • Speaking of Man-At-Arms, I like how he’s carrying the flag like that. The toy-version of the flag is an accessory to Castle Grayskull. I never thought of using any of the figures as flag-holders. Cool idea!
  • Mer-Man is flying the Wind Raider. Now I kind of like this. His colors pretty much match the Wind Raider’s. Plus the original toy included a grappling hook/anchor on the front of the vehicle. Maybe He-Man later stole it from Mer-Man.
  • Zodak: Just who are you shooting at? I always thought Zodak was one of the coolest figures. What was interesting is that he seemed to waffle on whether he was a hero or a villain. Kind of like the Silver Surfer in his early years.
  • It appears that Castle Grayskull is being defended by Skeletor and his crew. That’s interesting too, since it’s usually described as He-Man’s safe haven. Perhaps it once belonged to Skeletor?
  • He-Man has a knife in his boot. Who knew Adam was such a dirty player?

On the back of Batman Special No. 1 was another Masters of the Universe advertisement. This one was for Mattel’s Atari 2600 Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man Video Game.

I always wanted to play this game. It actually doesn’t look all that good since it appears that the only thing you do is shoot at things from the Wind Raider. Still, just knowing there’s a He-Man video game out there kind of makes me smile. Has anyone out there ever played it?
The fine print under the screen shot, by the way, says “Game shown on Intellivision, with SuperGraphics. Game varies by system.”
Geez, that’s not even the Atari 2600 version their showing! Makes you wonder just how bad was it?


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