Mini Comics

British Origin of He-Man mini comic (1988)

The rare Origin of He-Man mini comic produced in the UK. Although it is copyrighted 1988, I would have guessed that it was drawn in 1985, given the character selection and style.

Update: I have been informed that this is actually a reprint of the first section of the full-sized UK Masters Of The Universe Comic Issue #1. Thanks to Jukka for the heads up!

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6 thoughts on “British Origin of He-Man mini comic (1988)

  1. okay.. finally decided to give this a detailed look.. lets see what characters we have..
    I never liked it when they referred to the good guys as the Masters of the Universe.. it’s an evil title.. so when some early stuff said Skeletor’s group wanted to be the Masters of the Universe, that makes more sense to me.. but anyway..

    Good guy group:
    He-man, Orko, Fisto, Man-at-arms, Teela, Buzz-off, Stratos.. All fine so far then minor problems.. Man-e-faces – in a Cy-clone pose and colour scheme
    Mekaneck – in.. erm.. unknown colour scheme.. (purple and red.. who?)
    Unknown Guy right at back -.. erm.. okay, can still a head and a shadowed leg so.. I got nothing..

    Evil Warriors:
    Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Trap-jaw, Beastman, Clawful, Tri-Klops..
    really weird Mer-man in green
    Kobra Khan.. in pale green… I was taking off a bit cause it looked more like a weird mask then his head but.. more toy based as most of the art is, so it’s Kobra Khan.

    Evil Horde:
    Leech, Hordak, Grizzlor, Mateena
    Modulok – in an interesting build.. in fact, is that Build even possible? 3 sets of arms, but you only get 2 with the figure (no, not 3 sets.. 5 arms.. the main torso is in the Middle of the body.. no, at the back.. they are just the tail section with a set of legs behind it. instead of two different guns, he carries 2 of the joined version of the guns so that design MIGHT be possible if you had two copies of Modulok (I can’t tell if both heads are the same or just if one has the wrong colour eyes.

    Also, is that one of the FIRST times I’ve seen Hordak’s Bat in fiction?

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  2. I used to religiously by the Masters of the Universe comic here in the UK every week (for some reason I recall I came in at Issue #5, with a memorable cover of He-Man trapped inside an hour-glass held by Skeletor). The comic actually had some fairly decent plots and concepts at times (in with some quite bizarre ones and a few duds), but I always felt it was let down by the artwork, which often looked very rushed and at times quite lazy, especially by a year or two in. He-Man in particular often didn’t look that heroic or muscular – in some shots he looks more like Frank Spencer! (Classic British sit-com character)

    Either way, spot that in the Evil Warriors illustration, Kobra Khan has a hook! I remember reading up on the reason of this a few years ago – originally, Trap Jaw had stood there, but the artist had changed him to Kobra Khan (yeah, Trap Jaw is now on the other side of the panel). Similarly, notice that Clawful is holding a sword and has a human-like right arm; as I recall, it was originally Jitsu in his place. (Oh and that rendition of Mer Man looks hilarious!) 😀

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    1. …Oh, I forgot to say. Notice Man-E-Faces – flying! As Manic Man points out, it’s very Sy-Klone like (maybe Man-E was changed with Sy-Klone midway through illustrating, just as Kobra Khan and Clawful were)… but it wasn’t the only tiime that Man-E-Face was, bizarrely, seen flying in the U.K. comic. I’ll have to whack my brains for the issue/story, but there was at least one other instance of Man-E-Faces being shown in the air. I suspect the illustrator may have had some misinformation about Man-E’s abilities.

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  3. Clearing up some of the confusion on previous responses… This minicomic is a reprint of “Legend of Grayskull”, the first story to be printed in the UK London Editions comics, in issue #1, which came out in March 1986. The ‘story’ was written by Brian Clarke, lead writer and editor of the comics, and drawn by Selecciones Industriales, a Spanish art team who produced many of the artworks for UK publications at the time. This particular minicomic which reprinted the story (most of which was originally in black and white but was coloured specially for this minicomic) was given away as a freebie with one of the later issues of the MOTU fortnightly comic in about 1988.

    Some of the errors and oddities in the artwork, i.e. the flying Man-E-Faces, Kobra Khan having Trap Jaw’s hook arm etc., are presumably due to the Spanish art team not being entirely familiar with the characters they were drawing at the time. The first several issues of the UK comics featured a few oddities along those lines, which gradually became less frequent as we got further into the comics’ run, as the artists got used to drawing the characters. I would be very interested to know where PJ Gathergood got the info that Trap Jaw originally occupied Khan’s position in the Evil Warriors illustration and Jitsu occupied Clawful’s- this makes perfect sense but I have not heard/red this from any official source yet, so if you have the info PJ Gathergood, please get in touch, it will be useful info for my UK Comics website! (www.motuukcomics.co.uk)

    Man-E-Faces, meanwhile, had the ability to fly in the German Interpart-Condor Comics, which I think slightly predated the UK Comics. It is quite possible the artist here used those comics for reference. One of the stories that showed him flying was reprinted in the UK MOTU Special published in 1987, which was published by London Editions but featured stories reprinted from the German Comics. Man-E-Faces only appeared in one regular story in the UK Comics in the Adventure Magazine issue #5, and he did not possess the power of flight in that.

    Shameless plug here but I will be covering these topics more on my UK Comics fan site (see above for the URL)- you can keep up to date via the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/motuukcomics

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aidan, thanks so much for the additional information on this comic. I posted this way back when I was just starting the blog, with absolutely zero analysis. I wouldn’t do anything like that today, but I was still figuring out what the blog was going to entail. Even now I haven’t done any real research on the UK comics.

      In any case, I wholeheartedly recommend everyone checking out Aidan’s UK Comics fan site – it’s really the authoritative source on the subject! I’ll add a link to it on my links page today.

      https://www.motuukcomics.co.uk/

      Liked by 1 person

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