A Masters of the Universe Proposal

August 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Here’s what the cover to a Masters of the Universe comic would look like if I were creating it (click the image for a larger version). I did promise that I’d share wallpapers and the art files I created when drawing this piece, and you can get them at the bottom of this post. First, my pitch for a MOTU mini-series:
MOTU Cover

I’d love to do an all-ages mini-series that would hearken back to the fun silliness of the 80s Filmation cartoon. By blending the kid-logic of the cartoon with character-driven, kid-friendly comedy, this mini-series would appeal to the adult MOTU fans who enjoy modern cartoons like Adventure Time or Gravity Falls. Like a cartoon series, individual issues would operate as stand-alone stories independent of any current continuity, yet episodes could build on one another to create a pleasurable reading experience in trade paperback form.

He-Man and Battle CatThe mini-series might consist of three or six issues. Some of the stories that could exist in such a series include:

When Two Heads Aren’t Better Than One. During a battle against the heroes of Eternia, Two-Bad finds himself dangling over a lava pit. As he begins to lose his grip he is saved by He-Man. Reflecting on this act of kindness, one of Two-Bad’s heads decides to change sides and fight for Eternia. But Two-Bad discovers that being a hero is a lot harder than being a villain! How will the two heads work out which side they’re on? Can someone be both good and evil?

Attack of the Treeprechauns! When Skytree is taken from the Forgotton Forest by an unknown abductor, Tullamore and the Treeprechauns wage a war on all of Eternia until their beloved tree is returned. Both Snake Mountain and Castle Grayskull find themselves besieged by the improbably powerful sprites. When the thief is revealed to be Count Marzo, who stole the tree to set the Treeprechauns upon his enemies, both He-Man and Skeletor must work together to get Skytree back and set things right. (Skytree and Tullamore’s first and only appearances were in the classic episode The Dragon’s Gift)

SkeletorMer-Man’s Momma. Though serving Skeletor is often a brutal and humiliating job, Mer-Man finds contentment in that he’s at least the Warlord of the ocean. But when his mother, a gigantic kraken-like monster, returns from the deepest ocean depths with his brothers and sisters, Mer-Man learns that his situation is not at all satisfactory by his family’s standards. When she plans to drag Snake Mountain to the bottom of the ocean and rule the Council of Evil in Skeletor’s place, with whom will Mer-Man side?

The Darksmoke Hatchlings. Once every 100 years a new brood of dragons is born in Darksmoke, the home of Granamyr. Skeletor uses an ancient and powerful talisman to send Granamyr to the Realm of Demons and steals the dragon eggs. The eggs hatch at Snake Mountain, and the baby dragons imprint on Skeletor, who is surprisingly touched by their affection (much to Panthor’s chagrin). After a quick spell to bring the dragons to adult size, Skeletor leads an all-out assault on Palace Eternia. The only one who can reverse the spell is Granamyr, and the only mortals who can withstand the journey to the Realm of Demons are He-Man and Battlecat. The other heroes of Eternia make a valiant stand against Skeletor’s assault while He-Man quests for Granamyr, but will he return in time? Or will Panthor’s jealousy over Skeletor’s new pets drive him to throw a wrench in his master’s plans?

Of course there are opportunities for crossover stories featuring popular characters from the DCU:

Fabulous Secrets! Monteeg, the great collector of villains and monsters, has returned to Eternia to gloat over his old friend Skeletor with his latest acquisitions. He has captured and enslaved several DCU villains including Kanjar Ro, The Trickster, and Brainiac. After making a deal with Monteeg to borrow these warriors, Skeletor launches an attack on Grayskull. When Brainiac detects the secrets held within Grayskull, he turns on his master to take the castle for himself. Will the heroes of Eternia be able to save Grayskull, and Skeletor, from this powerful new enemy? And what will happen to Brainiac when he has assimilated the magical secrets of Grayskull into his technology? (Monteeg’s first and only appearance was in the classic episode Castle of Heroes)

There are a lot of fun places such a series could go, and I’d be very excited to explore them.

You can review a gallery of my MOTU character redesigns below.

MOTU Character Designs:

He-Man Character Re-Imaginings

WebstorMOTU Character Designs with Notes:

Okay, now for the downloads!

I’ve put together some wallpapers (or desktop images, whatever you call them) for you to have:

(Why iPhone wallpapers only? Because Android phones handle wallpapers way better, so Android users can just use the retina resolution desktop version)

I also put together a ZIP file containing the high-res pencils, inks and colors for you to download and play with. Instructions are in the README file contained in the ZIP. I’ve released these files under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. What this means is you’re free to modify and remix the files in any way you wish for any non-commercial purpose*, but if you share them you must link back to this post and attribute me as the creator of the original artwork on which your piece is based.

Get the files here (44MB)

Hope you have fun with them. Be sure to ping me on G+, Twitter, or Facebook when you share what you did with the work!

motu_pencilsmotu_colored*After all, these are Mattel’s characters, so selling merch based on their characters is a dicey proposition!


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