SpartanNerd Review…He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book

This product is AMAZING!!!  I can’t recommend it enough!  I never purchased an art book before for myself, but the SpartanKid has Mega Man Star Force Official Complete Works.   I think that is fine…but the He-Man book blows that away!

(Many thanks to Daniel at the Tangled Web in Spartanburg South Carolina for giving me a discount!  What a great store!)

Obviously, I can’t just take a bunch of photos of each page.  (I wonder how long it would be until Dark Horse/Mattel sent me an order to take them down?)  Instead, I will summarize why I think this book is great, and include just a few pics.

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The front and the back cover are the least spectacular parts of the book.  Why does DreamWorks have a credit?  Barely mentioned here is the Power and Honor Foundation, who owns/houses/curates the art!  (I believe Emiliano Santalucia and James Eatock have a lot to do with this organization.)

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There are several document scans as well as scans of early work.  This book serves as a great visual documentary.  Most everyone has seen this image, that “Vikor” was eventually modeled after.  The original He-Man!

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You get a piece of reproduction cell art!  And you can put the image over different Filiation backgrounds!

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No one will ever deny that Earl Norem was the GREATEST MOTU ARTIST!  This book has several prints of Norem’s work.  This one is my LEAST favorite, and it is amazing!  The more I look at Norem;s work, the more details I notice!

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Here is another Norem.  There are several pieces of movie art.  And that is surprising to me.  Rights to stuff that deals with that movie always seems to be a point of contention.

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Unsurprising, there is lots of 200x art.  Here is Eternos Palace from the show.

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I have this art card.  I really like it!  I think it came with a DVD or something.  I have had it taped to my office wall before. The art book lets you see it extra large!

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The MOTUC Castle Grayskull Box art by Rudy Obrero is preserved here.  It folds out to reveal the entire MOTUC classics card back cross-sell art.  (Up to the point of printing, of course!)

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Something I never thought I would own…the MOTUC maps!  Only Masters of the Universe Classics subscribers received these, or people who purchased certain products.  (Castle Grayskull comes to mind.)  Every map is presented in this book!

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The book takes you all the way from Mark Taylor and Roger Sweet to the modern age of comics!  SpartanNerd readers know I love the new comics!  Here is one of the covers they presented in the book.  There are several other pieces of modern DC comics art as well!

The last part of the book was looking ahead, concept art, etc.  I wonder how much of this is DreamWorks.  (That is who is working on the current movie project, right?)  At least we already know that the gold plated Battle Cat armor is being used in He-Man and the Eternity War storyline.  But what about Skeletor at the bottom?

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The book takes you on a grand trip through the history, present, and future of Masters of the Universe.  I neglected to show you…

New Adventures art

Pre-Ternia art

Princess of Power art

An early Beast Man (too similar to Chewbacca)!

MV Creations work (Looks like Emiliano and Val put there differences aside for this project)

Sculptures

And oh so much more.  If you like Masters of the Universe, this is the book for you!

Can I say anything negative about the book?  I wish it had the full art of Norem’s He-Man and Skeletor’s epic fight, where Skeletor commands elephants and He-Man is riding a lion!  This is the first piece of art you see when you get past the gift-wrap print that is found on the hard-cover backing.  But it is partial.  (That is one of my favorite Earl Norem paintings!)

The other thing is…and maybe I’m wrong.  But the book is 400+ pages.  And the pages are HEAVY WEIGHT.  I am concerned that the book may fall apart over time with lots of use.

I give the Mattel/Dark Horse/Dreamworks He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book a solid 5/5!  Hopefully the Power and Honor Foundation will be able to continue putting out books like this in the future!

SpartanNerd…Thoughts on Master Grade Unicorn Gundam

I have personally build about a dozen Gundams.  It has been a few years since I did one…I am only really interested in Gundam Wing.  However, there is renewed interest among the Spartan-children for Gundams.  The most recent Gundam completed is Unicorn Gundam.  I am not going to offer a review, because I did not build the model myself, however, I have some statements from the SpartanTeen.  Following his statements, I have lots of photos!

“The Unicorn Gundam falls apart easily, unfortunately, especially in destroy mode.”

“It dwarfs Master Grade Heavyarms,”

“Black Light renders the pink details as orange light.”  (The SpartanWife says it’s coral.)

“It takes thirty minutes to an hour to transform into destroy mode.  It takes less time to return it to Unicorn mode”

“Gundam Unicorn cannot hold his bazooka very good.”

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SpartanNerd…Cool Idea- Photograph Toys with a Black Light!

Just some fun I had today…something really substantial forthcoming, however, oh Hub City Geeks!

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Skeletor is just about my favorite subject to photograph.  With a black light, his face looks extra gruesome.

I thought it would be cool to put the Havoc Staff that came with the Faceless One in the black light.  It isn’t that apparent in the pic below, but the pink translucent details on the “powered up” part of the staff changed bone white!

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Here is Modulock wearing the alternate Beast Man armor.  The unusual and unexpected thing is the plastic on the torso and visible in his joints at the knees and elbows glow a different color in the black light!  I noticed this with Draego Man too.  (Not pictured)

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I’ve never thought that the vintage Mantenna was a very menacing looking figure.  (This is my original toy from the 1980’s.)  Placing a blacklight on him changes this.  The red details become that salmon-isn color, which contrasts to the blue parts of his body that disappear in the blacklight somewhat.  His eyeball paint is about gone, but because of this it makes that weird thing that is his mouth seem extra creepy!

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The cool thing about Grimlock isis weapons.  They look translucent amber in person.  In the blacklight, though they pp like the science fiction things they should pop like.

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Last but not least, LILIANA!  The cool thing about this pic is as I was editing it with iPhoto, I was playing with the sharpness controls.  Lilliana almost disappeared when the control was at 0.  As you moved the slider, she would slowly appear or disappear!  Just like magic!  Because her substantially exposed skin is “flesh-tone”, and her clothes are all purple, this caused the disappearing effect.  I wish I had a modded Liliana card with this picture on it!

SpartanNerd Thoughts…The End of the New 52, Batman Eternal, and Future’s End

It’s Spring Break!  I have some time, readers.

I have pretty well determined I am jumping off of the DC Comics at this point.  I am not going to read Convergence.  I feel I have collected enough comics.  In fact, I have a nearly complete collection of Batman comics from the New 52.  This is a good stopping place for me…I recently purchased a “drawer box” and moved my MOTU comics to that box.  The other three top loader boxes I have a almost completely full.

I have been very devoted to reading Batman titles.  The only titles I skipped were “Batman Inc.” and I didn’t read all of “Batman: Dark Knight.”  logically, I felt Batman, Inc was a holdover from the old DC Universe…the universe I didn’t read.  I also didn’t think the art was as good as the other titles.  I hated that they killed Damien in those pages.  I eventually purchased a copy of that issue.

I am going to start cherry picking comics.  Maybe picking up graphic novels.  Doing more digital comics.  And I will continue to get Masters of the Universe comics.  I am a SLAVE!

(I also will pick up Batman #40…the final issue of “Endgame.  This book is late, coming out April 29.)

I have two reviews to offer here at the end.  One positive.  The other not so much.  Lets start positive.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

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Batman Eternal: Issue 52, (conclusion)

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Batman Eternal ends with an oversized final issue, finally revealing our secret bossman as Lincoln March and tying up the loose ends of “what happens next” with the different characters.

What I really liked about this issue was the beating scene, where Lincoln tries to take out Batman when he is tired and weak. But Bruce proves to be the stronger fighter.  And when the city people rise up and fight down the evil people that are burning down and pillaging the city, this answers the question about whether Gotham really is a victim…a city of good people ravaged by criminals.  I like how Batman’s allies rally around him, including Jim Gordon, to bring in Lincoln.

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Other points of interest…In the “One Week Later,” Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown seem to find the beginning of their romance.

Maggie Sawyer is the new Police Commissioner.  Am I wrong in thinking that now she knows Batman’s secret identity, being so closely aligned with Batwoman?  (i don’t know much about Batwoman.  But isn’t Maggie her partner?)

The Court of Owls takes Lincoln March back under, explaining their appearance in Endgame.

This feels like a good closing to a series that is fifty-two issues long.  And the dedicated reader is rewarded with more details about the Court of Owls.  There is supposed to be another Batman Eternal series on tap soon.  I am going to miss that one, though.  All around, I feel like I got my moneys worth, which brings me to the next not-so-positive review.

Future’s End: Issue 48, (conclusion?)

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This is the worst ending I have ever read in comics.  EVER.  I am going to try and keep the four letter words down…but that is how strongly I feel about it.  Mad enough to cuss.

Really, when you read every issue, weekly for 48 weeks straight, and then you are rewarded with the ending we have here.  Oh yes.  Reason to be mad.

This book has been a terrific read.  Why such a dumb ending?  Really.  UGH.

So why am I so disgusted?  Two issues ago, Terry McGinnis was killed.  OK.  Fine.  I haven’t ever been a Batman Beyond fan.  But I like what they did with him.  And I enjoyed the unlikely romance between him and Plastique.

So Tim Drake takes his costume.  I’m OK with that too.  He is certainly worthy.  But next is where the rushed writing, nonsensical ideas, and the flat ending all come in.  In issue 47, Tim Drake (Batman Beyond) goes back in time to prevent Brother Eye from terminating humanity (just like in Terminator, oh so cliche’.)  They wind up having a conversation, and Brother Eye, seeming still to be a “good guy”, agrees to preventing the action that triggered it all.  Then Brother Eye uses his time travel capabilities to send Tim back.  We are greeted with a final panel of issue 47 with Tim in a situation where a peaceful light is shining on him.   Nothing more.  So I was hotly anticipating what would happen next.  Tim would find the world fixed.  etc.

In issue 48 we see what that peaceful light was.  The reader thinks “Oh yeah.  Heroes save the day.”  And we now have a nice happy conclusion to the New 52 timeline.  IF ONLY THIS WERE TRUE.

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I’ll admit I was a little thrilled when Maddison’s eyes turned into Brother Eye’s eyes, and her speech text became red.

The peaceful landing that Tim received was apparently a ruse.  Brother Eye intended to trap him and assimilate him as one of his bugs.  So the real madison jumps in, is thirty years older, and Tim is apparently now in the 35 years in the future timeline, where the whole thing started, not in the year he was supposed to be returned to.

Basically there is a resistance against the machines, led by Madison, they manage to escape.  But the book ends with Brother Eye looking down on the ruins of the city.

So the heroes failed?  Brother eye has taken over the world.  Tim says that Brother Eye hasn’t won.  Not yet.

OK, how has he NOT WON?  The New 52 universe is ending, and this is the end of the Future’s End comic book.

BOO!!!  They should have given us a clue about what to read next.  And if that something was supposed to be Convergence, then TOO BAD DC.  YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR.

Enough of my rant.  All I’m saying is I might just throw up if Endgame doesn’t end well.  (Alfred’s hand got chopped off!)

Maybe I shouldn’t be so mad?  Didn’t the other DC Universes in the past come to abrupt decay?  I have heard about Superboy Prime punching reality, and am knowledgeable somewhat of the Flash inadvertently creating the New 52 universe, with the old universe just “disappearing.”  These worlds are supposed to be revisited with Convergence.  Because I am so ignorant of all that, I am just going to refrain.