This week we roll back the clock more than 30 years and take a deeper look at the Master of the Universe Universe. MotU was something I loved as a kid and still love. To this day I still watch the original He-Man although I am a bit more critical and cynical in my viewing. '80s cartoons and D&D were the biggest influences on my creativity growing up (for better or for worse) and I think that influence is easily seen in not only my art style and content, but also in the spirit of the work as well, at least I hope it is. But whatever. Without further blabbering, let’s look at… Moss Man!
I know I’m scraping the bottom of the MotU barrel here but really, what a letdown. Moss Man. He is literally just a mossy man. I don’t know if moss is growing on his body like hair or if he is just solid moss like that red hairy thing that was buddies with Marvin the Martian. It really doesn’t matter though as physics/botany/biology/chemsitry in MotU rarely make sense (we will talk about this at a later date). There are a couple really shitty things about Moss Man…
First, his name. He’s made of moss and he’s a man, let’s call him Moss Man. They literally spent no time at all coming up with a name for this guy. I think his name is actually worse than Mekanecks. I mean, with Mekaneck, add least they fused two words and changed the spelling. With Moss Man they used absolutely no thought. This is a trend in MotU, bad names that is. It’s like they were under some ungodly time crunch and just had to come up with whatever they could in as little time as possible. What I’m wondering is how in the hell did someone think Moss Man was a good idea? I may do a list of worst MotU names. I need to come up with a scoring rubric though.
Second. What was his power? Camouflage? That he always grew facing north? Control moss? Who wants the power to control moss? How would that ever help anyone? Watching the video below should shed a bit of light on these questions.
Nice. So, Moss Man is green so he can’t be seen. Unless he stands in front of any color except green, then he is the most conspicuous MotU character ever. In the video he just stands in the shadow acting like his moss cover is working. He-Man falls for this as he is not only the most powerful man in the universe, but one of the dumbest as well. Thankfully for both He-Man and Moss Man, Skeletor is even dumber. It's sort of like the MotU version of Mayberry where He-Man is Andy Griffith and... Or, maybe He-Man just doesn’t really care as Moss Man adds nothing to battle anyway. Basically, Moss Man’s power is the ability to hide. Why didn’t they call him Coward Man?
As I leave Moss Man and MotU this week, here is something to ponder. Are MotU characters like Moss Man and Mekaneck and Two Bad unique or representational of entire species? I never really knew and I’m not familiar with the comics/extended MotU enough to know that answer? I like to think there are a whole race of moss people, otherwise Moss Man is just some lonely jerk who looks like a green sasquatch. If anyone knows this answer, let me know.
So, I feel a string need to balance the cynicism in this post. To do that, I would like to show off a bit of MotU art that is not only fantastic, but inspiring as well. Here you go…
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