Masters Of The Universe Character Designs By Philip Tan

The last time DC Comics published a Masters of the Universe comic it was back in November of 1982, but He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has hit the comic stands this week once again with James Robinson (Starman) doing the writing with Philip Tan (Iron Man) handling the artwork.

Follow this link to DC Comics for more character designs by Tan. Personally I really, really like the look of Man-At-Arms, particularly the sketch on the right hand side…he looks a little more medieval.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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14 thoughts on “Masters Of The Universe Character Designs By Philip Tan

  1. Drahken says:

    MOTU was several different publishers. DC did a few issues, star (aka marvel) did a longer series, then there were the toy comics, I’m not sure who did those. Later there were ones by image, toy mini-comics by dark horse & crossgen, and now it seems they’re back to DC again.

  2. Drahken says:

    MOTU has been through many publishers. There were the mini comics included with the original toyline, by an unknown publisher. There was a DC one with heman vs superman, then a 3 issue mini series by DC, then star (marvel) did a series (13 issues, I believe). After the rebooted cartoon series in the new millenium, image comics did a few miniseries, cross gen comics did a mini series around the same time as well. Now it seems that DC has gotten the license again.
    …And that’s just the US ones. There’s at least one UK magazine & some german ones, plus there were a bunch of non-comic books back in the 80s (mostly by ladybird).

  3. TheSixMillionDollarJedi says:

    It hasn’t really stuck as a comic series for some reason. Transformers and G.I. Joe are still published. Granted they have bounced around from different publishers but new comics of those franchises have been published for years.

    I’m excited for this new MOTU series even though I never owned a single toy from the 80s.

  4. Rich Gott says:

    I loved the particular mini-series from the top cover. But between the mini-comics, the licensed comics, and the show, I could never figure out what the real story should be.
    I loved the axe and was always somewhat underutilized in different media. I used to imagine him hacking through his enemies like Conan. (On the other hand, the toy swords from He-Man and Skeletor could be pinched together to make a bigger sword. That synergy was impossibly great as a kid.)

  5. ShadowWing I do believe you are correct, friend.

    For what it’s worth I really enjoyed the Marvel ‘Star’ comics version of the Masters of the Universe, does anyone remember the two part storyline where Adam gives up being He-man and Skeletor wins?


  6. Rich Gott says:

    I never saw or read these! It looks awesome (as do the cover scans of issues #1-11 if found online). I like the composition of that cover art, though I’m not sure that I care for the particulars of how Skeletor is drawn.

    Skeletor wins . . . wow! I’m just tickled pink to know these exist. I may have to seek it out.

    I really don’t understand how I missed this, as I was definitely reading comics when they were at the $.75 — $1.50 price points. Around this time period I stopped buying from the spinner rack at my grocery store (where I had gotten previous Star comics like Muppet Babies and Top Dog) and would have my parents drive me to a comic book store in another town.

    Maybe that store never stocked Star comics,or they were sold out by the time I got there? (Or I even thought I too “grown up” to buy Star comics at that point, and I just don’t remember it that way?)

  7. Drahken says:

    I was never aware of any of the heman comics growing up, even though I was a huge fan of the show & had one of the heman figure with the spinning torso punch thing. I do however have scans of all(?) of the US comics, and a couple of the UK ones. Out of those, I’ve read all of the non-mini comics ones, and probably 60~70% of the mini comics.
    The star comics series also had a rendition of the live action movie. It’s mostly consistant with the movie, but adds a couple little details. For example, it claims that the first eternians were american astronauts.
    You can find scans of most of the 80s era comics at

  8. Dar says:

    The new designs look nice. Sort of Yoshitaka Amano-ish looking.

    I just hope DC isn’t “slut-ifying” the female characters like with others in their “reboot”.

  9. TheSixMillionDollarJedi says:

    Did anyone pick this up this past week? I picked up my comics today (July 8) for last week’s releases and this is was one of them.

    I read it and it’s good so far. It’s a reboot in a way that Star Trek is a reboot.

  10. Drahken says:

    I downloaded scans of it, but haven’t read it yet.

    It’s a reboot in a way that Star Trek is a reboot.

    ^Well, that kills my appetite for it. That “90210 in space” movie was utterly atrocious. It’s really hard to say which was worse, n*sync-trek, or bayformers.

  11. TheSixMillionDollarJedi says:

    It’s more in that it’s a story-based reboot the way Star Trek is. I don’t want to spoil anything.

  12. Drahken says:

    The part about adam being a woodsman is something of a throwback to the early minicomics. In the first issue of those, heman was from some tribe out in the forest.

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