I had not read anything on He-Man and The Master of the Universe till now. In spite of that, He-Man was a big part of my childhood. I was addicted to the He-Man cartoon and would always be ready to do the ‘I Have The Power’ bit with all my passion whenever we had guests. I used to watch it every day because I got dad to record all the episodes on our VCR and I still have those tapes (sadly, no VCR). So when I saw the He-Man Omnibus at my neighborhood bookstore, I was overjoyed.
The He-Man Omnibus is a 3 and a half kg, 1500 page, nostalgia bomb that blew me away. It contains 68 issues divided across 6 story arcs. Once you start reading it, you realize that 4 stories form one big arc and the 5th is a sort of canon to that. The last one contains issues from the original He-Man run. The Omnibus ends with a showcase of the brilliant artwork you see all through the book.
Out of the 6 story arcs, my favorites are undoubtedly ‘He-Man and The Master of The Universe (TMOTU)’ along with ‘DC Universe vs The Masters of the Universe’. ‘He-Man and TMOTU’ is how the Omnibus begins and it is loaded with nostalgia. That’s because it introduces all key characters one by one within a very strong story arc. You quickly get invested in what is going on and want to know more to figure out why and how. The first time Prince Adam says those magical words, “By The Power of Greyskull, I HAVE THE POWER!”, I was almost in tears. At that moment, I was reading and hearing it from memory all at once. It truly was a beautiful moment. ‘DC Universe vs TMOTU’ has the strongest writing for me and with the addition of the DC lineup of heroes, there are plenty of great characters on display. The writing uses these characters really well and integrates the two worlds seamlessly. There are carefully planted surprises at just the right moments and I was shocked by all of them.
The artwork is fantastic all throughout and is clearly the biggest highlight for me. I loved the fresh take on most of the characters including Teela, Man-at-Arms (Duncan), Beastman, Skeletor, and even He-Man. However, the new perspective on Adam was not so great in my opinion. The icing on the cake for the 80s kids is the He-Man/Thundercats story arc which gives an additional dose of nostalgia. The writing here does not seem as convincing as the one in the DC Universe arc but seeing Lion-O and He-Man fight side by side made it all worth it.
He-Man and The Masters of The Universe is a treasure trove for fans of the cartoon and is something all fans would love to have as part of their collection.
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