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More 1980s nostalgia on its way

By Rob Allstetter     June 25, 2002

Art from Image Comics' MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
© 2002 Image Comics

The '80s craze continues.

Image Comics has announced that MV Creations has obtained the exclusive license to develop comics based on the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE property from Mattel. Image will begin publishing the new adventures of He-Man and his counterparts beginning in November.

"We couldn't be more pleased to add MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE to the Image roster," Image publisher/vice-president Jim Valentino says. "We hit one out of the park and sparked the '80s nostalgia boom last year with the return of G.I. JOE, followed that up with MICRONAUTS and BATTLE OF THE PLANETS, and this makes it a grand slam!"

"It's a dream come true for all of us here," says Val Staples, president of MV Creations. "We've been working closely with Mattel via our website for almost two years to relay important brand news to the fans. Then, early this spring we completed a special promotional comic and other exciting promotional items to be released later this year with the toy line. Producing the new comic series was more than we ever could have hoped for."

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE will make its debut at Image Comics as a four-issue limited series that is centered around the animated cartoon feature by Mike Young Productions airing in August during the Toonami block on Cartoon Network. According to Image, the new comic book series will approach the stories "from a more mature angle, with intense action and emotional depth."

After the conclusion of the initial Cartoon Network special depicting the never-before-told story of how Prince Adam become He-Man, a regular series will launch, focusing on the saga of the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, exploring the individuality of characters.

"The direction of the story and the quality of the art is very important to Mattel," Staples says. "They are mindful of the fans, and they do not want to limit the creative possibilities of the comic. This makes producing the series even more enjoyable for the entire creative team.

"While the comic must revolve around the saga of the new toy line and cartoon, the story within won't be treated as just a rehash of the past. We will explore areas fans have wondered about for years, and the comic will lead up to things no one ever expected."

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE will be written by Staples with surprise guest writers also contributing over the course of the series. Penciling the series is Italian artist Emiliano Santalucia, who will be joined by inker Marco Failla, also from Italy Colors are by Jason Keith and lettering will be handled by the inimitable Dreamer Design.

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE #1 will feature three covers: one by Santalucia, one by J. Scott Campbell, and a wraparound cover by painter Earl Norem. Norem painted the posters/covers for the old MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE magazine, and he's coming out of retirement specifically to be part of the series' relaunch.

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