DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe final breakdown




Way Way Way back in the day I was soooo excited about DC vs MOTU.

Eventually I came to think about this story as second rate to the other Masters stories we are getting.  DC seems to be pandering to the fans of MOTU, but want to put forth the New 52 heroes in the minds of those fans as well.  As far as I know, the only official way to get these books was to go to a bricks and mortar store…(you couldn’t subscribe to them from DC.)


I hear a lot of fans talking about the art being inconsistent.  I noticed a few things myself.  Teela’s armor is different.  Sometimes it looks like her “battleground Teela” skimpy clothes.  Sometimes it looks more like Man-At-Arms armor, femaled up.  Roboto is another one that is inconsistent.

The covers list a barrage of artists.  This is one reason for the inconsistency.

I like how there are a few splash pages in every issue.  Some are very powerful, like the one where He-Man kills Superman.  (I am especially fond of the red-eyed image of Skeletor in the clouds, looking on the action with pleasure.)

Whatever criticism can be leveled at the art, it has been far more consistent than the other Masters of the Universe comics put out recently.  (The mini-series, annuals, and ongoing)


The jawless, hulking version of Skeletor.

Queen Marlena is back on Earth!

The fusion of Orko and Horde Prime

The sword of power won’t serve the unworthy…sounds like Mjolnir!  (Superman is worthy.  Action figure time!)

He-Man can activate the power of Grayskull in the sword as a remote weapon!  (He uses it this way to destroy the Skull of Power.)  As far as I know, this is the first time that has ever been done!  (I think I will ask James Eatock about this.  If anyone knows, it’s him!)***

The age old question, answered.  “If He-Man and Superman were to get into a fight, who would win?”  Apparently He-Man.


How come The Death of Superman wasn’t more pronounced in the larger DC Universe?  Why no books spent on a funeral or mourning the loss of Earth’s greatest hero?  Why no replacement clones or cyborgs?  If DC were serious about He-Man having killed Superman…even if it only seemed to be so, wouldn’t they have created more hype?

Batman lets just about anyone into the Batcave, doesn’t he?

And the House of Mysteries?  That’s pretty easy to find too, apparently.

Does this story ignore Forever Evil?  In fact, the last line of Issue 1 says “Crisis on Whatever Earth This Turns Out to Be.”  So is it Prime-Earth?

Cyborg looks like his old self?

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) quit the Justice League, didn’t he?  Back in Justice League #12?  (The famous issue where Superman and Wonder Woman hook up.)

The Joker appears in the last panel of issue 5.  Yes mesmerized.  But still.  His face is stapled on his head…???

Skeletor uses mind control magic on the Justice League in issue 2.  Then in issues 5 and 6, Dark Orko uses mind control on them.  They seem to have a susceptibility here…shouldn’t they do something about that?  Counldn’t Constantine shield them permanently or something?

As early as issue 4 Skeletor seems ready to do a 180-degree turn on Dark Orko…at the prodding of Black Alice.  Why was he so attracted to Black Alice anyway?  Aren’t there more powerful mages on Earth?

When Dark Orko calls all of those meta-humans, Orion is one of those, as well as Wonder Woman.  We have seen what happens when these two get together.  Shouldn’t the level of catastrophe been higher?

Dark Orko deconstructs Skeletor again, before they are transported away “FOREVER.”  (We know they’ll be back.)  So what happens to Skeletor now?  He seemed to think he could grab Horde Prime’s power somehow from Dark Orko.  Was he successful?

Apparently Constantine, or at least one of the Justice League Dark can leave earth and go to Eternia at any time.

SpartanNerd’s rating   3/5.  Not an outstanding Justice League or Masters of the Universe story.  (An outstanding Justice League story…try Forever Evil..  An outstanding Masters story, try “The Origin of Hordak.)  It has inconsistent, but generally good art.  Loose connections to the larger DC New 52 continuity.  I’m sure it was a challenge to represent all three factions of the Justice League AND the Masters of the Universe.  But the characters should be truer to themselves.  Wonder Woman should have been ready to kill everyone, for instance, after Superman was “murdered”.

On the other hand, we find the beloved character of Marlena alive and well.  Eternia is a part of the New 52 universe, and we are introduced to Dark Orko, who isn’t as bad as people made him out to be considering.  I mean, at least he can probably be brought back to his regular form.  The character is salvageable now.  And that is a good thing.

***James Eatock answered my question!  Here is his answer, cut and pasted from FaceBook Messenger!  Many thanks to James, and I am sooooo honored!

In the episode “Orko’s Missing Magic” he calls upon the power of Grayskull whilst another being is holding the sword – Whilst not a remote detonation, the power explodes from the sword, causing the villain to drop it – I hope that makes sense!”

He-Man.org Fan Poll…The Current DC Comics

You can find the poll I reference throughout this post on He-Man.org until Sunday, February 16th, 2014 at 11:00 PM EST.

The poll asks our opinions about the current comics.  I am one of those (quiet?) people who actually enjoy the new comics, while all around the web people are bad mouthing them.

Here is how I answered the poll questions.  (Everything is a scale of 1-10, 1 being worst opinion, 10 being the best.)

Overall, how do you rate the story in the current on-going DC MOTU comic?

I gave this one a 7.  I appreciate the “secret identity less” continuity they have established.  The Dark Orko thing doesn’t bother me, and I feel it shouldn’t bother so many others.  The idea of “the buffoon” being the big-bad isn’t new, but MOTU fans don’t seem to be aware of this.  They are treating Dark Orko with the dreadful criticism deserved for Scrappy Doo in the Scooby Doo movie.
GO BACK AND READ YOUR ASIMOV, People!  (OK, I’ll lead you there, since you seem blind without me.  Check out “The Mule.”

What I don’t like is that they started the whole thing in an altered reality.  That isn’t a strong place to start.  I also don’t like the way they write Teela.  Hordak is OK, but far too many people have been killed off.  

They’ve beaten the Good Guys down over and over it seems.  There hasn’t hardly been any victory.  And I like my good guys to win in Masters of the Universe.

I almost feel like this whole current main story arc is heading towards a big reset button where the comics will transform into a more comfortable, filmation-esque story.  Everything and everyone reverted back to normal.  Or maybe a part of me wishes that would happen.

Overall, how do you rate the art in the current on-going DC MOTU comic?

II rated this one at 8.  Largely the art has been pleasant.  Some of it has been sort of Avant Garde, even.  (The Origin of He-Man in particular)

The art in this book is very high level.
And I think the hottest Sorceress design appears in this book too!

I don’t like all of the art.  There was one recent issue that I really hated…The one where they enter Subternia.  Nope.  Not my style.  Way too scribbly.

Here’s an example.  And it seemed to decay even more as the issue neared the end.

Overall, how do you rate the story in the current DCU vs MOTU comic?

Remember this post, oh Hub City Geeks?  I was so excited…You’d think I’d give it a 10.  But I give it an 8 instead.

Well…there are a couple of things that are unclear.  Is this story really in the New 52 continuity? It is billed as it is.

What has been happening in the main continuity of the DC Universe is never referenced, hardly ever anyway.  No news of Forever Evil.  And it seems Green Lantern is with the League.  Frustrating.  Didn’t he fly away after the whole mess with David Graves?

A couple of more weak things…Evil Lynn is not so good at deception.  Anyone can see a double cross coming.  Also, why wasn’t Wonder Woman more angry that He-Man killed Superman?  Everyone remember this, from the Old 52?

Shouldn’t more have been made of the Man of Steel’s demise?
As far as I know, this is the first time Superman was killed in the New 52.  I know, I know.  It was an impostor.  Still.  It is notable.

And this has been more of a Justice League Dark story, than a Justice League (regular) story.

Gripe. Gripe.  Gripe.

What do I like?  I like that this story comes right after the Horde invasion, but before the events of Masters of the Universe #7.  It is wedged in there.  I like that Skeletor’s story continues here, and that Dark Orko is revealed here.

(Shouldn’t I have separated my vote from the first question?  I guess I didn’t know they were distinguishing between the two titles.)

I like that Skeletor is gathering lackeys on Earth as well.  At least Black Alice.  And she has been entertaining.

You know what would be great?  In Forever Evil the Crime Syndicate keeps talking about “a being that destroyed our planet.”  What if that being turns out to be…Dark Orko.

I expect Darkseid.  Or someone like that.  But Dark Orko would rectify some of the seeming inconsistencies.  Wouldn’t t be cool if Dark Orko was from the Earth 3 Universe…That would be sick!  I guess we’ll find out when that this month’s issue ships!

(That is totally not going to happen.  DC wouldn’t base their universe on Mattel’s property.  Still, one could dream!)

I guess I should also mention the Unnamed One here.  There seems to be a coincidence.  The Unnamed One is Dark Orko.  And Dark Orko’s origin issue ships at the same time as the Nameless One.  Sorry for any spoilers…But you probably already knew anyways.

Overall, how do you rate the art in the current DCU vs MOTU comic?

The art here is on par with all of the other DC New 52 titles.  I am fairly pleased.  I rated it 9. (It still isn’t Todd McFarlane.)

How are the costume designs for the MOTU characters in the DC comics?

Now here is one I can be 100% behind.  I love the new designs!  It bothers me a little bit about Skeletor not having a bottom jaw, but in the same way the Joker doesn’t have a face, so….

I gave this one a 10.  I hope they make figures of the Masters with these designs as well.  Maybe even a mini-subscription, like they did a couple of times before.

Do you agree with my opinions?  Let me know!  I will have to follow up and compare my votes with the final results.

SpartanNerd Review…BCW Snap-It Comic Book Display System

A first-world problem.  I have so many comic books!  I have begun putting them into those boxes…the kind they use at the comic book stores!
But I have a few on display as well.  Some of my favorites!  One of the problems I have been having is that the shelf space that I use has a little “daylight” space behind it.  It is just a small crack, but it is big enough that my bagged and boarded comics that were on display kept falling down and behind the shelf.
I decided to invest in a more substantial display.  The BCW Snap-It display.  Here is my review!
I bought a 12 pack.  This is all they had at the store.  I didn’t see any larger packs, or smaller.
They did have six comics on display in one of these setups, hanging on the front counter.  This package is un-sexy.  In fact, the stack of 12 stands are bent in the package.  And it appears that is was done this way on purpose.

Here is what you see when you open the packaging.  The displays are bent, seemingly permanently.  This was worrisome.  The other thing is a package of button snaps which make it work.

Here are the snaps.  One is male.  The other female.

here is my first assembly.  The edges of the displays have pre-punched holes, and you snap a male and female button through the hole of two of them.  the problem is, the pre-punched holes are often not punched through enough.  Some of them come right off.  The others, did not.  And so I resorted to the big guns!

Smith and Wesson Urban Camo Serrated Titanium Blade!

It took me about an hour to get five displays together.  Before putting them on display,
I decided to read this gem.  After that hard work, I deserved a break.  It was great!  (Scare glow was prominent in this issue.  Oddly, no shadow beasts!)
A panorama of my Masters of the Universe shelf.  You can see that the five comics are displayed nicely.  Also some limitations of the display are evident.

So, it was worth the $15.  There are some problems.  The hole punch thing is the biggest problem.  Next time, when I put together the other 7 pieces, I am going to use a hole puncher.  This shouldn’t be necessary.  So I have to take a point off for that.  (I was afraid I would mutilate the display.)

Another limitation.  The way the panels of the display are built, it produces a pronounced line between comics.  And this is fine.  But if you notice my shelf has two on the end not in the display. These two are meant to make a scene when displayed together.  (These are DC Universe VS. Masters of the Universe #1, both covers)

Also notice, the second comic in the display is sealed…never opened.  This is the special cover of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1.  But the sealed packaging hangs out of the top of the display.  In fact, the comic can’t go all the way down into the display panel.  Because I know I have at least one more sealed #1 to put on display, I am going to have to take another point off.

On the upside,  I can display my comics in a pleasant way for the most part, and they are evenly spaced, and they won’t fall down into the daylight space behind the shelf.  Notice that comic on the end of the display.  That is an EARL NOREM!  (Earl Norem is my favorite He-Man artist.  EVER!)  I also have a Conan the Barbarian Earl Norem.  I wish they were signed!

So what is my rating?  3\5.  Do you agree?  Let me know!

SpartanNerd Sundays! Masters of the Universe…Spiritual things.

The current run of Masters of the Universe comics by DC have largely been regarded as bad by the fan community.  I disagree with “the fan community,” though, and hope to see a ton more comics in this specific story.  I think it is being well grounded and the long game is being considered by the writers.  The stories are being developed by the truly masterful DC, and are even being woven into the New 52 a little.

In this article I would like to talk about some of the more spiritual ideas being presented in these comics.

ZOAR and the Sorceress

In the Masters of the Universe mini-series, (modern DC comics), Skeletor kills the Sorceress.  Issue 1 of the ongoing series begins with her funeral…and King Randor delivering her eulogy.  Prince Adam, Man-At-Arms and Teela are all discussing the Sorceress, and kind of overpowering and dismissing Randor’s words as ceremonial drivel.  Randor uses Zoar’s name, as we would use God’s name.

Yes, the falcon form of the Sorceress.  This is the first time we have encountered this in the Master’s universe.

The Sorceress is described as the “oracle,” or vessel through which Zoar speaks.  We saw her appear to Adam and Teela while they were under Skeletor’s spell.  The Sorceress was projecting her essence to them, doing so by denying herself food and refusing to speak with Skeletor.

Then we have issue 8, where Zoar is explored a little further.  Zoar is apparently also the Star Seed from Filmation, and also Serpos from MYP, as well as this “goddess” that the Eternians are worshipping.  Mount Zoar (an analogue of Mt. Sinai or similar) sits in the center of where the dark and light hemisphere’s are divided…Clearly Zoar is a dualistic goddess.

King Randor has secret knowledge of Zoar…who is also the Star Seed.
At Mt. Zoar the survivors of Hordak’s “board wipe” see ancient writing about Zoar.

Moss Man’s description of Subternia is similar to Hell in Dante’s Inferno

I don’t like it.

As a whole, I have enjoyed these books.  I guess what I don’t like about this is the equating Zoar and Serpos.  Serpos was the Evil Snake god for the Snake Men, remember?  Also, the Star Seed was more interesting as a powerful artifact.  (Hey, what about Procrustus?  Maybe he’ll show in the next few issues about Subternia)

I feel the writers have thrown away a couple of opportunities here.  They could have used the Star Seed and Serpos as story elements…Now they have just condensed them.  Furthermore, they are making Zoar have a duel nature…being good and evil.


Hordak isn’t just an awesome general or emperor of the Horde.  He is called a “demigod”.  (The greek demigods were the half-man, half-god heroes, like Hercules and Perseus.)  He acts all powerful, and demands devotion from his subjects.  It isn’t like Skeletor, displaying anger by taking it out on his subjects…no it is more cruel, even killing or or threatening the lives of his subjects.

Uusually we see him as a sort of spirit, and this is explored in issues 5 and 6.  Apparently the story that King Grayskull killed him and banished him to Despondos is intact in this continuity.  (In the MYP show, we see Hordak’s spirit live after his body dissolves, and then he fly’s through King Grayskull, mortally wounding him.  This is what is apparently intact.)  As a spirit, Hordak has amassed huge power.

In Hordak’s origin book, (One of my favorites!), Hordak and Zodac are at war with one another…Horde verses Guardians, and then Hordak uses the “Armegeddon” of this war to absorb the life essence of both armies to use as power.  This is why he is so powerful!

The Eternians don’t believe in Hordak at first…They think he is an imaginary fairy tale vampire.  Well he is a vampire on a grand scale, absolutely!

We see Hordak as the equivalent of Satan for Keldor, as he succumbs to temptation to use his magic to transform into Skeletor.  He needs Skeletor to do his bidding…apparently with all of the power he has, he cannot set foot on Eternia!

And there’s prophecy!  Hordak see’s the prophecy as him fighting his brother, Zodac, and becoming the victor, but apparently he was wrong…the perfect warrior prophesied will apparently be He-Man.

I don’t necessarily like the design of the way the artists draw Hordak with a kind of Hindu design.  It looks absurd, and takes away from the way I like to think about him.

So I mostly approve, but not entirely.  What about Horde Prime…admittedly I haven’t watched that much She-Ra, but I was aware of HP before there was a MOTUC figure!  What about the more technologically grounded villain we saw in the old She-Ra cartoons?  Here we have the more mystical Hordak from MYP, who was very cool, but still lacking something vintage.  But I like the “force of evil” idea that he embodies.

I hope Skeletor can overthrow him.  That would be BOSS!


We see King Grayskull’s spirit working alongside Adam in the Forge of Eternia, using Zoar’s fire to create a new sword, and costume…I think there is a humanistic element here.  Maybe an element of re-incarnation or ancestor worship.  Adam has to OWN the power himself.  Not just be the power.  He can’t just expect it all to be given to him for him to be the complete master of it.  I rather like this plot point.

The Horde “capture” (destroy?) Castle Grayskull in issue 6.  The idea is that their symbol of hope is lost.  Hordak even says so himself.  The Castle has become their banner, kind of their cross.  If Grayskull more or less sacrificed himself defeating Hordak, that would be a tremendous analogy.

I approve!  Maybe we can see He-Man develop himself for once.  Usually the Sorceress gives him new powers and such.  But I like the new take.  And I like the new costume…even the new sword!

?What’s ahead?

I think maybe they are successful…They get to Zoar in a few issues, and use the power as a big RESET button.

Maybe it will be like the Horde never even came.  Maybe Skeletor will be back, with his jaw intact, and maybe even Orko will be a good guy again.

But I kind of hope not.  I want to see what they can do with what they have built.

Maybe they get to Zoar, and Teela becomes that new oracle in the Sorceress’ place.

Or maybe I am completely off.  They get to Zoar, and Orko is already there, ready to throw the Star Seed at them like a super-ball!

We do know that the artists from the first six books will be back.  That is a good thing.  I think issues 7 and 8 are badly drawn.  A bunch of scribble in my opinion.  Earl Norem should write them a letter!

DC Universe VS. Masters of the Universe

As promised, I purchased both covers.  Here’s a pic of mine in “combined” mode.

If you have been a long time Hub-City Geek, reading this blog every time the mysterious SpartanNerd finds time to post an entry, then you probably remember my excitement when this was announced.  Around May 10.

Here is a link to that post, in case you need a refresher.

I picked up my copies yesterday evening.  And read it today….

First of all, let me say I hesitated in reading this.   Both the Justice League and the Masters titles have left us at a cliffhanger….Masters of the Universe #5 ended with a promise of VICTORY in issue #6.  We just saw the Trinity War take down the Justice League(s), and in the rest of the DC Universe the villains are taking center-stage.

I hesitated because I didn’t want this issue to provide me with any spoilers.

Well,…no danger there people.  I really have more questions about when this story takes place.  If it does indeed take place after He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #6, then we know that the Horde have officially taken over.  I guess that was a spoiler.  But we aren’t sure in the way this was written, so…The events here actually COULD take place like in issue #2 or#3 or something.  It definitely isn’t at the end of issue #3, #4, or #5, though.  In those issues, Teela is a prisoner bleeding to death…

So here’s the verdict…As far as I can tell right now, the events in the rest of the DCU are not effecting this story.  It is either a side story, alternate universe, or maybe there is just some wacky stuff going on in the lab at DC.

On the other hand, we have been told repeatedly that this story is taking place in the mainline continuity!

(Continuity for me is a big deal, when the Big Two make it important.  It’s not such a big deal when it doesn’t seem as important, for instance, as when I read Conan the Barbarian.  But this is a subject for another post!  ((I know, Conan is Dark Horse, not a big two)))

First person we see when we open the book….EGADS…They made her blonde too?

Queen Marlena

Here, I scratched my head…Who is Marlena?  How could I ask such a question.  Am I not the biggest fan on the planet?

Oh yeah.  I know why.  She looks NOTHING LIKE MARLENA.  She looks like Invisible Girl, or StarGirl, or SuperGirl.  When She mentioned her name was Marlena, I was like, WHO?  Then it came to me.  This is the Queen.  In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #5, Randor briefly discusses Marlena’s “death.”  Looks like he was mistaken.  She looks like a member of the Justice League Dark.  And when I saw her seeking out John Constantine, that is exactly what I thought she must be.  But it hit me like a ton of bricks about halfway through the read.  She must have been sent here somehow before Skeletor’s great confusion was cast on Eternia.  (This is what happened in the much maligned Masters Mini-Series.  I personally like the mini-series.  But I understand why people don’t.)  Click the link to see some of my opinion.  I am the DB here.

So you get to reading…After Marlena beats Constantine’s enchantments, we see He-Man, Stratos, Man-At-Arms, and Teela kicking some Horde butt.  They uncover Evil-Lynn, who is imprisoned in a box that the Horde guards were guarding.  And guess what.  You didn’t see it coming.  I know.  (Of course I am being facetious)  Evil Lynn offers to join the Masters, to help them with their mutual interests.

Let me guess.  She’s going to stab them in the back.   $10 says it is before the end of the next issue!  How can they be so dense?

Anyway, we see Marlena talking with Constantine.  She says “Skeletor walks the Earth.” (See the picture above).  Constantine has heard of Skeletor.

Then we see Skeletor.  He has a new lady friend.  Someone I don’t know.  Black Alice.  wikipedia link.  She’s leading him around, trying to help him tap into the Earth’s magic source.  I can venture no further without addressing something big.  Lots of fans will hate me for this.  But…I see what they are doing.

Skeletor is without his bottom Jaw, and now sports goat horns.  He appears to be the symbol for a heavy metal band….Maybe MotorHead?

No, seriously.  This has been in the works.  See the pictures below from my copy of MOTU Mini-Series #6.

He-Man busted off Skeletor’s jaw.  Why doesn’t he replace it with a metal one?  I guess the nanites are not in his favor, like they were with Kronis (Trap-Jaw)
Here is Skeletor groveling in the pit.  All busted up.  “I’ll be back!”  Ala 1987 movie!

So now he looks like this, in his “not quite healed” form.
Skeletor can still talk.  Which lets us know it is that demon inside that makes this monstrosity work.
He talks with Black Alice about the heroes of the Earth.  They haven’t shown up, but he knows they will.  She mentions all three Justice Leagues, but Skeletor has heard of John Constantine.  So he takes special interest in the Justice League Dark.  It is during this conversation that we get our only glimpse of the Justice League, in a broken TV screen.  Besides the cover.  (WAA Waa waa…. Obvious propaganda going on here!)  We have a MOTU vs. JL title with very little JL.  Some Justice League fans are going to be mad.
At the end, Evil Lynn mentions that she has a “beacon” where Skeletor is.  Do you remember that back in the Mini-Series, Prince Adam was the “beacon” of Skeletor’s enchantment?  Looks like something similar is happening here.  She is talking about Marlena, and so Evil Lynn zaps the Masters to where Marlena is…Which is apparently in a different dimension than Eternia.
So this brings up some old-time fan talk.  If Eternia is a parallel dimension, is it the planet parallel to Earth?   Hmmmmm……  That would make sense here!
And that’s how the issue ends.
What did I like and what did I dislike?
  • It’s good to see Marlena.  Even if she is blonde now.
  • The new Masters designs aren’t so bad.  Many people hate them.  I like them.
  • It’s good to see Evil Lynn jealous of Skeletor, and she mentions a bond between them.
  • As always, I dislike Teela’s personality here.  She’s too snarky.
  • I wanted to at least see the JUSTICE LEAGUE do SOMETHING.  Evil Lynn vs. Wonder Woman.  Trap Jaw vs. Cyborg.  Superman vs. Skeletor….Or at least He-Man as depicted on the cover.  But nope.  It was all a big hype machine.
  • I’m on the fence about Skeletor’s new look.  I want him back to normal.  It’s good to be different.  But not for too long.  Sort of like I’m worried about the Joker…
  • At the end of the day, I hope this doesn’t turn into a Justice League Dark story.  I know the least about the JLD,  and I think they have the least appeal to the mass audience of the world.  But it looks like this story is going to go in that direction…
I’m giving this issue the benefit of the doubt.  I grade it 3/5.  This is a SET UP issue.  More big things are promised ahead.  I hope they iron out the continuity issues.  What’s up with the blond haired chicks?  Hopefully the happenings of this crossover have effects felt in-universe.  Hopefully the Masters will be considered a DC title at least on par with Vibe, Demon Knights, or Constantine.  
A title that matters.  This is what the Masters need.