The Masters Of The Universe: Revelation Trailer Needs A Hero

Friends, one of the things about returning to the theater that I’ve had to come to terms with is a strict no cell phone policy. While we of course are allowed to use our phones during our breaks and such, it understandable why they wouldn’t want a patron to walk up to the concession stand and see someone tapping on their phone. I bring all of this up because it does mean that I manage to miss out on some pretty important pop culture news, such as the fact that Netflix released an incredible trailer for Masters of the Universe: Revelation a few days ago. One that like that quite impressive fan made montage trailer we shared last year featuring ‘80s cartoon heroes, makes great use of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For a Hero”. Executive Produced an co-created by Kevin Smith, prepare yourself for the first look at Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, which as I understand it is a continuation of the iconic Filmation series.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Netflix.

Man-At-Arms punching Trap Jaw in the side of the head, He-Man riding Stridor, Tri-Klops causing havoc while flying what looks like a Sky Sled, and an older Orko wielding far more powerful magic than we’ve seen him cast before. There is a lot to take in with that trailer for Masters of the Universe: Revelation, but I have to say that it looks quite epic as well as fun.

You might be very interested to know that there is an embarrassment of riches in regards to the voice actors that have been tapped for the new animated series. He-Man will be voiced by Chris Wood (Supergirl) with the legendary Mark Hamill providing the voice for the infamous Skeletor. It seems to be something of an animated Batman voice actor reunion as Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) will voice Mer-Man, Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is Trap Jaw, Henry Rollins (Batman Beyond) portrays Tri-Klops, and Kevin Michael Richardson (The Batman) is Beast Man to point out just a few.

In all fairness, that is just the tip of the iceberg with the cast of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, but I am happy to share that Alan Oppenheimer who was the original voice of Skeletor in the Filmation series, has been included in the show as the heroic Moss Man. Thankfully we do not have too long to wait before we get to see the series itself, at least the first half of the first season. In fact while the trailer reveals that the animated show will debut on July 23rd, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Smith let it slip that an aftershow will be also be produced featuring many of the cast from the series.

We would love to hear what you think of the trailer, let us know in the comment section!

Who’s Who In The DC Universe: Aegeus

Friends, the fifth entry in the classic Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe belongs to Aegeus – an arch-nemesis of Wonder Woman! While some of the other characters from DC Comics that we have so far shared in this Who’s Who series of articles, I either knew well or at least had a passing knowledge of, I must admit that I knew nothing of Aegeus before I picked up the first issue. Furthermore, as I have mentioned in the previous articles, while The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe might have beaten their long-time competitor to the punch by three whole years – Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, and Robert Greenberger in my opinion topped the Marvel version in both quality and range of characters they featured in their encyclopedic series. The trio managed to fill 26 issues with an all-encompassing roster of major as well as minor characters of the DC Universe, the latter of which in my humble opinion is the category that Aegeus happens to fall into.

IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ROCKFORD JAY COLLECTION.

The character of Nikos Aegeus made his first appearance in the pages of Wonder Woman #297, which was published in November of 1982 in a story entitled “Thunder on the Wind”. I must also point out that particular issue featured an incredible cover by Michael Kaluta (who I’ve talked about in The Shadow episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast) and also featured a back-up tale involving the Huntress, in addition to a story involving Superman aiding He-Man and the other Masters of the Universe in defending Eternia.

Back to Aegeus though, the character was co-created by Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan, and Frank McLaughlin – although I’ve seen online where it says that Curt Swan also had a hand in the creation. Mishkin along with Gary Cohn and Ernie Colon were also responsible for co-creating the cult favorite comic series, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld for DC Comics as well as joining with artist Paris Cullins to produce the Blue Devil comic book series. Gene Colan however might possibly be best known for his work at Marvel Comics with the legendary Tomb of Dracula but he would also co-create the Falcon and even Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. Frank McLaughlin not only helped create the character of Judomaster for Charlton Comics but he worked on the Gil Thorp newspaper comic strip too.

As is stated in the character’s entry in Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, which features artwork by Don Heck by the way (Iron Man, The Avengers):

Full Name: Niko Aegeus
Occupation: Terrorist
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operation: Greece
First Appearance: Wonder Woman #297
Height: 5’10” Weight: 175lbs.
Eyes: Blue Hair: Black

As we are introduced to Nikos Aegeus in the story “Thunder on the Wind”, it is through a summons of Diana to return to Paradise Island by her Mother, Hippolyta – Queen of the Amazons. She shows a disturbing vision to her daughter of a possible future where many of their fellow Amazonians fall to some great threat, which of course Wonder Woman vows to track down and stop.

The threat happens to be making itself known at that moment in Athens, Greece, as a poor ambassador is brutally executed by Nikos Aegeus. Realizing the murder will undoubtedly attract the attention of the authorities, Nikos and his fellow terrorists decide to hide out among some ancient ruins upon what they believe to be a deserted island. Only to find out that the ruins aren’t really deserted at all, as the single resident is none other than Bellerophon, the Greek Hero punished for his attempt to fly to Mount Olympus.

The origin of Aegeus pauses there as we find out that days have passed with Diana Prince still attempting to locate the source of the threat her Mother sensed. She is doing this in her military role at the Pentagon as Captain Diana Prince but isn’t coming up with anything, which is when Steve Trevor invites her to participate in an inter-service combat exercise between the Air Force and Navy. During this exercise though is when Aegeus decides to make himself known, appearing in the sky atop the mighty Pegasus and striking down Trevor’s plane with a thunderbolt of Zeus that he fires from a magical bow.

Thankfully for Steve though Diana calls forth her invisible jet to help him land his plane while she confronts Aegeus. The encounter doesn’t go exactly as you might imagine as Aegeus is more amused than concerned by the heroine lassoing his flying steed. Wonder Woman attempts to force Pegasus to land but it is then revealed that it can only be controlled by Aegeus. Before she can reach her foe the villain uses one of Zeus’ bolts to teleport safely away, and when Wonder Woman goes to check on Trevor, as the issue ends we learn that Aegeus has whisked him away as his prisoner.

It would be in the pages of Wonder Woman #298 where it is revealed that Bellerophon is merely using Aegeus to help him achieve vengeance against the Gods of Olympus, Zeus in particular. Blinded and shunned by mankind, Bellerophon waited for the likes of Nikos Aegeus to arrive, and the reason he instructed the now magically augmented terrorist into capturing Trevor was to learn the location of Paradise Island. Doing so in an attempt to gain access to the Purple Ray of the Amazons, which can give Bellerophon back his eyesight and even restore his youth.

The conclusion of Aegeus’ origin story was in issue #299 of the Wonder Woman comic book. I’ll cut to the chase and let you know that not only does the Princess of Paradise Island best the still formidable Bellerophon but she also thoroughly trounces Aegeus… after a mighty swing of a tree up against the side of his head. However, the villain is able to make an escape with the aid of his single remaining thunderbolt of Zeus, vowing vengeance of course in the process.

As the Powers & Weapons section of Aegeus’ entry in the Who’s Who points out, Wonder Woman’s foe returns after managing to acquire the six daggers of Vulcan, which happen to be weapons that are able to cut and penetrate almost all objects, including our heroine’s lasso of truth and her bracelets!

Closing out this article, you might be interested to know that shortly after Aegeus was given the spotlight in the Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, the character was wiped out – one of the many victims of the Multiverse collapsing courtesy of the Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series. Since that time however, versions of Nikos Aegeus have made appearances in both the 2010 New Earth and 2015 Prime Earth versions of the Wonder Woman comic book series.

Did You Meet He-Man And Skeletor At Universal Studios In 1985?

Friends, in 1985 Mattel arranged to have characters like He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor, She-Ra, Angella, and others from the Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power toyline appear at Universal Studios Hollywood for two weeks. In addition to providing exciting photo opportunities for children and their families, if you were lucky enough to be the age of 4 to 11 when visiting the heroes and villains from Eternia and Etheria – you would receive a free action figure!

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Cow Missing.

I can only imagine how many children were lined up for the event on those two special weeks between December 21st and January 5th. To say nothing of how many figures that Mattel must have handed out during the visit of those heroes and villains. When all is said and done there is very little information to be had about the event. Besides a quick post from theStudioTour.com, which states that the event was held on two weekends between February 8th – 10th as well as February 15th – 17th. Perhaps it was popular enough that Mattel and Universal Studios brought back the event? Although that site does provide a few photographs from when He-Man and others showed up at Universal Studios, the majority of them from the Masters Cast site. If you consider yourself a fan of the Filmation Studios He-Man and The Masters of the Universe animated series, I think you need to visit the latter site and read the heartwarming post by Lioncourt. While he doesn’t discuss the Universal Studios Hollywood event, you will see a few more photographs of it, but most importantly you will be able to hear the special audio message recorded by He-Man (John Erwin) and Cringer (Alan Oppenheimer) and mailed to a then six-year-old and quite ill Lioncourt.

As that audio message will prove – both John and Alan most assuredly were worthy of the powers of Castle Grayskull.

I sincerely doubt that the 1985 Universal Studios Hollywood TV Spot aired in my neck of the woods, which might have been a small blessing as I didn’t know what I was missing. If I had access to a working time machine though, you better believe that I would take the time to pose with Man-At-Arms and He-Man. If you were lucky enough to attend the event we would love to hear about it in the comments section!

Retro Records: The Thief Of Castle Grayskull

Friends, it was in 1982 when Mattel toys released the initial first wave of action figures for their new Masters of the Universe toy line, and it was a massive success. Perhaps kids of the day were primed to accept the sword and sorcery setting thanks to the likes of Dragonslayer, The Beastmaster, and Conan the Barbarian to name a few of the movies released during that time. Whatever the reason was, I can definitely tell you that I was bowled over the first time that I laid eyes on both He-Man and Skeletor at a little toy shop in our local mall. While money was extremely tight when growing up, for some reason my Father allowed me to pick out two action figures that afternoon. And my choices that day were limited to only four characters from the Masters of the Universe toy line, the aforementioned He-Man and Skeletor as well as Beast Man and Man-At-Arms. It seemed like a rather easy choice however and both the ‘Most Powerful Man in the Universe’ as well as ‘The Lord of Destruction’ came home with me to begin their long battle of good versus evil.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY 80’s ToysNow.

Thanks to my Grandparents I was gifted the impressive Castle Grayskull playset on my birthday the following year, it stands as was one of the biggest surprises in my youth, I had not asked for it and when I ripped the paper off and saw that beautiful artwork by Rudy Obrero… I started jumping up and down in excitement. And while I may no longer wage epic battles between He-Man and his fellow Masters of the Universe against the evil legions of Skeletor for the fate of Castle Grayskull – those adventures of my youth still echo in this ‘fortress of mystery and power’.

It was two years after that first wave of Masters of the Universe figures had hit shelves when Kid Stuff Records and Tapes released The Thief of Castle Grayskull, a book and cassette tape set. Interestingly enough the read along book is totally the same as the Golden Storybooks version released the previous year, featuring a story by Roger McKenzie with illustrations courtesy of Fred Carrillo. The former might be best known for his work on Warren Publishing’s line of horror magazines like Creepy, Eerie, and even Vampirella, although in addition he did write for both DC and Marvel Comics. Carrillo also worked with Warren Publishing but was perhaps better known for illustrating a slew of the DC Comics horror tiles such as Weird War Tales, Ghosts, and House of Secrets.

The story for The Thief of Castle Grayskull finds He-Man, Teela, Stratos, Man-At-Arms, and Battle Cat with a serious problem – Skeletor has used his magic to summon a vortex that rips Castle Grayskull from the very ground to transport it to the Land of Shadows. Can He-Man and his allies prevail against the threats of a demon army and Skeletor’s minions?

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Grayskull Warrior.

Enjoy Brett Weiss’ Retro Pop Culture A To Z – For Free!

Retro Pop Culture A to Z - Brett Weiss

Since so many people have downtime right now, I’ve posted a FREE digital copy of my Retro Pop Culture book for ANYONE who wants it. Since Patreon is the easiest way to distribute a PDF, I’ve posted it on my page, but you don’t have to be a member since it’s a public post. Enjoy and be safe! Click here!

Retro Pop Culture A to Z: From Atari 2600 to Zombie Films is a window to the past—a time of 8-bit video games, Silver Age super-heroes, Saturday morning cartoons, rock ’n’ roll music, and scary movies at the drive-in. The book includes 60 fun-filled, feature-length chapters on such icons of popular culture as Alien, the Batman TV show, the Beatles, Dynamite Magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, The Flash, Forbidden Planet, Golden Age arcade games, He-Man, the Intellivision, Jaws, MAD magazine, the Nintendo NES, Ray Bradbury, The Wizard of Oz, the X-Men, and many others. If you’ve ever stayed up all night trying to beat Super Mario Bros., dressed up as a member of KISS on Halloween, watched Thundarr the Barbarian while eating a bowl of sugary cereal, set a VCR to record your favorite show, wiled away an entire day reading a stack of old comics, or listened to Elvis or the Rolling Stones on a turntable or 8-track tape player, Retro Pop Culture A to Z is for you. If you haven’t done any of these things, no problem—feel free to dive right in and discover why your parents (or grandparents) are always talking about “the good old days.” Includes: *60 essays/articles on nostalgic pop culture favorites *More than 200 photos *More than 115,000 words *Quotes from the experts *Production histories *Collectibles pricing *Author anecdotes *And much more!

(Friends, Vic Sage here to remind you ff you would like to keep up with more of Brett Weiss’ work beyond what he shares on this site, please check out Words of Wonder. You will be able to see the latest news on his recent books he has published and are coming out – in addition to film and book reviews and more.)

This Masters Of The Universe Little Golden Book Has The Power!

Masters of the Universe Little Golden Book - Shane Clester

Friends, I was visiting a local grocery store the other day and upon heading to the check out aisle I stopped in my tracks. There was a small spinner racks filled with all manner of Little Golden Books – as I was passing by something had caught my eye – backing up a couple of steps I was quite astonished to see a Masters of the Universe Little Golden Book. Please let that sink in for just a couple of minutes – in 2019 – a brand new Little Golden Book was published based off He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!

If I am being honest I will admit my favorite version of He-Man is what was presented in those original mini-comics packaged with the toys. A more medieval – sword and sorcery version of the character – when he was a barbarian and possessed multiple harnesses offering him different powers. Now do not get me wrong, when it comes to the Masters of the Universe I love all versions of the characters – I just think there was something so very special about those original mini-comics, written by Don Glut and illustrated by Alfredo Alcala!

Video Provide by Mr. Magonagai‘s YouTube Channel.

I took a few moments and flipped through I Am He-Man! – this new Little Golden Book and then immediately placed it in my shopping cart and headed back to the check out aisle. I Am He-Man! was written by Frank Berrios and illustrated by Shane Clester, it is a wonderful retelling of the intro of the Filmation animated series – although it goes further than that. As this Little Golden Book offering also explains to youngsters the connection between He-Man and She-Ra – not to mention facts like the Sorceress can transform into the mighty Zoar!

Video Provided by Retrontario‘s YouTube Channel.

It appears that both Clester and Berrios are well known for their charming Little Golden Book offerings – having worked on the likes of the Star Trek, Avengers, Black Panther, DC Super Friends and many other properties. And while I didn’t pick it up on that trip to the grocery store I am very happy to say there is also I Am She-Ra! and in the near future there will be I Am Skeletor! as well.

A nice and rather unexpected discovery from just popping on down to the grocery store to pick up some bread and milk, right?