Image has the power: He-Man comes to comics in November

[He-Man]'80s nostalgia has been hot for a few years now. Radio stations all over the U.S. celebrate Saturday nights with playlists comprised solely of songs from bands like Animotion and the Pet Shop Boys. This same nostalgia also spawned a short lived television show on Fox. Are white jackets with fluorescent T-Shirts, fast cars and a constant five o'clock shadow next?

No where else is '80s nostalgia more evident than in comics, where relaunches of "GI Joe," "The Transformers" and "The Micronauts" have been met with great success. This November a certain muscle-man hopes that enthusiasm spills over to his title.

Monday, Image Comics announced "Masters of the Universe," the hit animated series that ran from 1983 to 1985, will be published by the big I starting this November. MV Creations has obtained the license to develop comics based on the "Masters of the Universe" property from Mattel, Inc., and has chosen Image as their published.

"We couldn't be more pleased to add 'Masters of the Universe' to the Imageroster," commented Image Publisher/Vice-President Jim Valentino in a release. "We hit oneout of the park and sparked the '80s nostalgia boom last year with thereturn of 'GI 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," said Val Staples, President ofMV Creations. "We've been working closely with Mattel via our Web site for almost two years to relayimportant brand news to the fans. Then, early this spring we completed aspecial promotional comic and other exciting promotional items to bereleased later this year with the toy line. Producing the new comic serieswas more than we ever could have hoped for."

"Masters of the Universe" will debuts as a four-issue series centered around a new animated cartoon airing on the Cartoon Network as part of the Toonami block. According to the release the comic will feature more complex stories than one might expect, with "intense action and emotional depth." Following the conclusion of this Cartoon Network airing, a regular series will launch which will focus on individual characters, trying to move it away from the more campy side of the franchise.

"The direction of the story and the quality of the art is very important toMattel," said Staples. "They are mindful of the fans, and they do not wantto limit the creative possibilities of the comic. This makes producing theseries even more enjoyable for the entire creative team.

[He-Man]"While the comic must revolve around the saga of the new toy line andcartoon, the story within won't be treated as just a rehash of the past. Wewill explore areas fans have wondered about for years, and the comic willlead up to things no one ever expected."

According to the release, "Masters of the Universe" will be written by Staples with some surprise guest writers also contributing over the course of the series. Art for the series will be provided by Italian artist Emiliano Santalucia, who'll be pencilling, who is joined by inker Marco Failla, also from Italy, colors by Jason Keith and lettering by Dreamer Design. "Masters of the Universe #1" will feature three covers: one by Santalucia, one by J. Scott Campbell, and a special wrap around cover by renowned painter Earl Norem. Norem painted the covers for the old "Masters of the Universe" magazine and is coming out of retirement specifically for this relaunch.

"We are very excited to have Image Comics and MV Creations on board for therelaunch of 'Masters of the Universe,'" said Mattel's Marketing Director,Geoff Walker in the release. "This is one of the largest action figure launches in Mattel'shistory. The role of comic books in extending the storyline to our fans isvery important. Image and MV Creations have shown the passion for He-manthat we believed necessary to create an incredible comic. Additionally, fansof J. Scott Campbell and Earl Norem are in for a special treat with theirinterpretations of He-man."

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