The age of superheroes began with the introduction of Phantom and Mandrake, by the late great Lee Falk, way back in the 1930’s. What followed was an era where comic books sold like hot cakes, with millions of copies being sold on a monthly basis. These sales were the result of heroes like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Hulk, and more. Amidst the hullaballoo associated with these superheroes, another was introduced who set a new standard for how we look up to superheroes. His name was He Man.
He was born in the 70’s when Mattel produced action figures of the character, and the figures became so popular that the character spawned its own franchise with his own comic books and TV cartoon shows.
The super hit TV series, He Man and the Masters of the Universe, featured Prince Adam, the ruler of a planet called Eternia. He had a cowardly tiger as a pet, named Cringer. Adam possessed a Power Sword which when raised, turned him into a super human with incredible powers.
At the same time, his cowardly tiger turned used to turn into a fierce Battle Cat. His arch nemesis was Skeletor and their rivalry became the central storyline of the series spanning 130 episodes.
During the 80’s and the 90’s,when the era of cable television was yet to arrive in most parts of India, He Man was one of the animated series telecast by Doordarshan for the children of those times.
The series was revived again in various formats but nothing could match the brilliance of the original TV aniamted show. Additionally, He Man was also turned into a limited comic book series spanning 6 issues by DC Comics. The series garnered positive reviews but wasn’t revived again after that.
He Man has become a piece of nostalgia for myself and countless other kids who were born in the 80’s and early 90’s. Those were the times when we didn’t use to have much choice when it came to watching cartoons and we had to watch whatever we used to get.
Fortunately, we got well-made cartoons like He-Man. Several summer afternoons and evening were spent watching this cartoon and all these years later, the character still holds up. The new generation seems to have forgotten the superhero owing to limited exposure, but He Man will always live in the annals of Cartoon and Comic book history.