FW Team-Up: Superman and the Masters of the Universe

Siskoid is joined by Dr. G, Man of Nerdology and MOTU expert, to discuss DC Comics Presents #47 (July 1982), in which, somehow, Superman finds his way to Eternia, meets He-Man, fights Skeletor, and shills for one of the most popular toy line of the 1980s! Break out your figures and come play round our house!

Listen to the Team-Up below, or subscribe to FW Team-Up on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: FW Team-Up Supplemental

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16 responses to “FW Team-Up: Superman and the Masters of the Universe

  1. At one point I had this comic and the original 3 issue DC mini-series … alas lost to that ‘what did you do with them Mom???’ phenomenon we all seem to have encountered.

    Do I recall that in one of those books they accidentally switched the Teela and Sorceress characters?

    I suppose this was an appetizer for MOTU. I have never been a big fan.

  2. Great show fellas! I somehow missed this comic, and kicked myself for decades afterwards. I had every MOTU toy released from the beginning until about early 86 when I dropped out. I was in on the “pre-Prince Adam” barbarian era Dr. G discusses here and on his show, and I will admit I had a hard time reconciling Prince Adam with what I saw in those initial mini-comics, at first at least. I first met him in the free preview advertised at the end of this story. This was a full year before the TV series debuted in the fall of ’83, but obviously it was in development, and Mattel was shifting focus to more match its storyline. Some weird leftovers such as Teela and the Goddess being separate entities, despite sharing an action figure, are still found here, as you guys pointed out. Superman was also in that preview, as I recall.

    The MOTU/Transformers team-up sounds fun, with not only the vehicles changing, but you’ve got the robotic horses like Stridor, and even He-Man ally Roboto…what would he transform into? And no Rob Kelly, not a box.

    Fun stuff!


    1. It’s wigging me out that this image has NO Batman! I understand why, Batman and Superman shared World’s Finest, so Batman hadn’t appeared in DCCP. But today, that wouldn’t have stopped DC from putting Batman in that comic. With all of the other familiar faces, it’s just unsettling to be Batmanless.

      1. Zatanna isn’t wearing the same outfit that she wore in her DC Comics Presents appearance on the pin-up from DCCP. Thank goodness! In her DCCP appearance, Z was still sporting the pony-tail/pixie boots look. I like the Perez costume better than that, although I still prefer Zatanna in her classic top hat and fishnets look.

        I enjoyed the show, even though I was never a MOTU fan. I had abandoned action cartoons in the 1980s, because they seemed like watered-down, sanitized versions of comics.

        Part of your discussion reminded me of why I hate Super Hero fights that have a clear winner. They always leave fans of the loser upset. I wish DC would have refused to let Superman lose to Muhammed Ali. Even though Batman is my favorite character, I think the way DC makes out like he can take out Superman and Darkseid is ridiculous.

  3. Just finished listening to the episode, and I have to say you guys were very timely in your release! I have had MOTU on the brain for the last couple of weeks thanks to a conglomeration of a few events. My brother and I were big MOTU fans as kids, having a very large collection of the toys and being fans of the TV show. My brother was there at the launch and I was playing along soon after. I have never read this comic, however, so it was a treat to hear about it.

    Anyway, the first event which put MOTU on the brain for me was at HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC over Father’s Day weekend. On Friday I happened across a complete (!), boxed (!!) Eternia playset! It had just sold, but the dealer was kind enough to let me and a few other MOTU fans just oggle it for a few minutes. Having never seen Eternia, either the set or the box, in person before, this was something really impressive to me.

    This is a link to a picture of the gigantic Eternia box: http://www.hisstank.com/forum/members/ljacone-70673/albums/eternia-5197/20180615-120136-a-64021.jpg

    The next event was my kids going to VBS (Vacation Bible School) where one of their activities was making slime! As they rushed to show me their slime creations, all I could think of was the Horde Slime Pit (another playset we did not have)! “Not the slime!” So this lead me to watching Slime Pit videos on YouTube.

    This lead to reading the massive Art of He-Man And The Masters of the Universe book on the Hoopla app (both the book and the app are highly recommended), and discovering that the movie is also available to watch on Hoopla! These lead me to breaking out all of my vintage MOTU figures from childhood! All told I have 42 vintage MOTU figures, mounts, and vehicles in my house at the moment. About half of them are complete, and nearly all the rest are partially complete. What a flashback!

    And then you guys drop this awesome podcast! Great to hear the story of how Superman got pulled up to Eternia, only to split as soon as possible because he’s not into furry underpants! Great show Siskoid and Dr G!

    What else can I add but “I HAVE THE POWER!”

  4. I’ve always been a fan of the idea that other heroes have specialized powers that can out-do Superman: Hulk is stronger, Flash is faster, etc., it’s just having all those skills in one person makes Superman so powerful–everything you need in one place! So IMO He-Man should have been written as, pound for pound, stronger than him. I wonder if that was a stipulation on DC’s part? We’ll shill your toy line, Mattel, but we’re not going to knock our marquee character down a peg to do it.

    Castle Greyskull is one of the last toys I ever got, a present from my late sister Cyndi. I didn’t play with it as such (like Siskoid I was a mite too old for toys by this time), but I appreciated the craftsmanship and visual imagination of the MOTU line. Still do.

    Great episode!

  5. OK, now I really want a “Battle Hound” toy and the Transformers line. Of course I’m pretty sure Dr. G is of the opinion that I’ve had my quota of Masters of the Universe merchandise. 😉

    Seriously, though, this was a really fun episode to listen to. Tie-In crossovers aren’t something that I considered in this series. Now I’m waiting for the Crystar/Doctor Strange episode.

  6. I was able to listen to this on the annual drive to the beach and loved it! Great work, gentlemen!

    One of the more cool things this crossover eventually brought about were the DC Universe Vs. Masters of the Universe Classic action figure two-packs. The MOTU figures were colored to more or less resemble their comic book appearances, but Beast Man was sadly not among them (he was eventually released on his own as a convention exclusive—http://www.he-man.org/collecting/toy.php?id=5126).

  7. As a fan of Sandman (Wes Dodds), this was an incredibly annoying issue to track down. Because of the MotU connection, it was consistently more expensive than any other DC Presents, but was also the issue with the “Whatever Happened to Sandy the Golden Boy?” backup.

  8. Ah, this book has always brought back such memories for me! I was a HUGE He-Man and Superman fan but I never knew this book existed until the early 2000’s. I remember looking everywhere for it but my local stores didn’t have it and the prices on Ebay were ridiculous. I love He-Man and Superman but eighty bucks was a little steep.

    Cut to a convention they had here in Manhattan every November called The National. It was similar to the monthly conventions that company ran at the time but it was in a bigger space and had a few more vendors. I remember looking through the fifty cent bins and sure enough, I found this issue. I wasn’t sure if the guy either didn’t know what he had or didn’t care (it was a slapped together box with no particular organization) but I calmly brought this and a couple other issues to the seller for a REALLY good price.

    If you think I took it home and read it…you DAMN right I did! I read this thing cover to cover and loved it.

    To this day, this might be in the top 5 of my greatest convention finds.

  9. Dang it… This episode helped re-ignite my MOTU curiosity. I collected a lot of the toys when they were released but didn’t watch the cartoon series. I have so many questions…

    1) Has there been an origin story told about Skeletor?

    2) Does Teela’s reptile armor play into the later addition of the Serpent Men to the toy line?

    3) Is Skeletor wearing a mask or is the skull his real face?

    4) Is Faker the Bizarro version of He-Man?

    I was thinking how having Superman meet up with He-Man fits in with Superman’s publishing history. In the Silver Age, he regularly met muscled heroes like Hercules, Atlas, and Samson. The only thing missing in this issue was He-Man trying to put the moves on Lois Lane!

    1. Sphinx,

      There have been a lot of different continuities in the MotU. The 200x reboot series really coheres the continuity as do the Image and now DC MotU comic series.

      1 & 3) The most recent version of Skeletor’s origin is that he is the half brother of King Randor and uncle to Adam named Keldor. His face is disfigured with acid when he made a failed coup attempt against Randor for the throne of Eternia. This mortal injury causes Keldor to flee and he makes a pact with Hordak to save his life. Hordak transforms him into the living skull face and he returns as Skeletor.

      2) The Teela continuity is seriously convoluted. The serpent armor goes back to her warrior goddess persona. In the recent DC Comics continuity, the serpent armor is related to the Snakemen and their god Serpos.

      4) Aside from being an imperfect copy of He-Man that is about the end of the comparison to Bizarro. He is Skeletor’s Android He-Man or more specifically a really cheap reuse of parts and accessories with a palette swap to make extra action figure money.

  10. Glad to hear that someone else engaged in action figure costume swapping. I used to do that with my Mego action figures. I remember liking how the Star Trek Klingon looked great in Iron Man’s outfit.

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