Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This Fall: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Meet the Justice League



Summer is almost here, which means that superhero fans are going to be treated to all sorts of Marvel and DC goodies for the next few months. On the Marvel side, we already have Iron Man 3 in the theaters, which will be followed by The Wolverine in July and Thor: The Dark World in November. We'll also be getting two new Marvel cartoons on Disney XD--Avengers Assemble later this month and Hulk and Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in August--as well as the live-action Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series debuting on ABC in the fall. Over at DC, we'll be getting the Man of Steel movie in June and the new Beware The Batman series on Cartoon Network in July. Also from DC is a crossover comic book miniseries that's scheduled for this fall, when the Justice League crosses paths with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

I'm not sure why DC is doing this, other than the ongoing nostalgic appeal of He-Man among people who grew up during the 80s and the fact that DC and Mattel, the company that makes He-Man toys, are owned by the same mega-conglomerate. He-Man was always a toy line first, and anything else associated with it was explicitly designed to help sell the toys. At best, He-Man cartoons and comic books were like a very poor man's version of Jack Kirby's New Gods comic book and since the characters from that series are already part of the DC universe anyway, I can't see He-Man and the Masters of the Universe doing anything memorable when they meet up with the Justice League. I suppose it would be interesting to see what would happen if Billy Batson got a hold of He-Man's Power Sword and then became, say, Captain He-Marvel or Shazam-Man, but I don't think that's going to be part of the upcoming miniseries.

I think that a much more fitting crossover would be between He-Man and Big Jim, another Mattel toy line that ran from 1972 to 1986. The crossover could depict He-Man and company teaming up with the equally muscular Big Jim and his muscular buddies--Big Jack, Big Josh and Big Jeff--and having adventures in dance clubs, Turkish bath houses and ancient Olympic wrestling competitions. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Where the boys are: Mattel's Big Jim action figures


Another idea for a better crossover we be to put He-Man characters into a sequel to Namco's Muscle March. Sure, Muscle March isn't a very complicated game, but it would fit perfectly with He-Man's hyper-muscular visual aesthetic and cast of ridiculous characters like Ram-Man and Fistor. Check out the preview video below to see the muscle madness to which I'm referring.





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