Robot 6

Geoff Johns wants the Power of Grayskull

grayskullGeoff Johns and I have something in common: We both want Geoff Johns to write a He-Man comic.

In an interview at writer Poe Ghostal’s toy and action figure news blog, the Blackest Night, Green Lantern, and Superman: Secret Origin writer says that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is the only toy property he’d like to take a shot at writing. Now, normally this kind of offhand blue-sky wish-list comment wouldn’t merit a post, but I really love He-Man and Johns has written some of my favorite superhero comics of the past several years — and dammit, I’ve got a bully pulpit and I intend to use it.

Oh yeah, Johns discusses various other toy-related topics with Ghostal, including his childhood favorites and the highlights of his current collection. Unsurprisingly, Lantern Corps figures from DC Direct and Mattel fare pretty well, with Johns citing the action-figure version of his Blue Lantern character Saint Walker as his fave.

But seriously — Geoff Johns on He-Man! Start your letter-writing campaign to DC and Mattel in the comments.

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17 Comments

Only if he ties it back to the modern DCU and gets Paul Kupperberg to explain the tenuous connections he originally set between the New Gods and his own run on DC’s early 1980’s version of the MotU (see: Metron and his Mobius Chair vs. Zodac riding the throne from inside the Castle Greyskull playset).

Sean T. Collins

November 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Is that so? Wow!

Yeah, I’ve got a pending fact-check request in with Cronin for Comic Book Legends Revealed, but I’m considering asking myself.

I can’t say that I’m a fan of everything that Johns has written, but I admire his ability to develop a cohesive universe, and that’s part of what I loved about He-Man–not just the central character (to be honest, I found him somewhat boring), but the incredible mythology around him, around his supporting cast, around even the locations they were at. I think Johns would really be able to excel here and write a great He-Man epic, and I’d buy it.

“Only if he ties it back to the modern DCU and gets Paul Kupperberg to explain the tenuous connections he originally set between the New Gods and his own run on DC’s early 1980’s version of the MotU (see: Metron and his Mobius Chair vs. Zodac riding the throne from inside the Castle Greyskull playset).”

Huh?

Will this guy not rest until he controls EVERY property from his childhood? JESUS.

Awesome; got Kupperberg’s attention.

OK. Apologies for aging you, but this is a mystery that has plagued me since the third grade.

According to the internet, back in the day you were the writer of the Masters of the Universe comic books published by DC Comics. These were the first items of media that gave a backstory / defined the universe, beyond the books that came with the toys themselves.

There was a character named Zodac; a spaceman-looking dude dressed in red with clawed feet. As a toy, he was labeled as an “Evil Cosmic Enforcer” but apparently the comic books from DC portrayed him as more of a neutral force who maintained a universal order or balance.

In some scenes, he was shown flying around on a throne, not unlike Metron of the New Gods (who, as a child, I wasn’t exposed to until much later in life). Coincidentally, the design used for Zodac’s throne was almost identical to the throne used inside the Castle Greyskull playset.

Now around the same time, some research I did a while back that I am unable to locate indicates that you were also writing some Fourth World material. This lead me to believe that you intended to create a Zodac / Metron parallel.

I am not the only one online that believes in a parallel between the two characters (just google for Metron Zodac and see), but there’s never been any evidence as to WHY Zodac was flying around on the throne of Greyskull in those early books.

This is something that was never brought forward in the later Filmation cartoon and Marvel Comics universes.

Paul Kupperberg for the win! Squashua, I guess that’s your Urban Legend Revealed right there.

Chris, to be fair, they just asked him if there are any toys he’d love to write about, and he picked He-Man. It’s not like he’s waging some kind of campaign for it. That’s MY job.

Not quite, Sean. I think the initial post needed some additional context to put it into proper perspective, which I provided above. This is over 25 years ago we’re talking here.

DC signed the rights to MOTU before the toys were released. They had virtually no back story set up besides a very basic good guys vs. bad guys idea. A rep from Mattel came to DC and editor Dave Manak and I spent an afternoon on the floor of DC’s conference room playing with the prototypes of the figures and accessories and making shit up as we went along. I took a few notes, talked out a few very basic ideas with Dave and the rep and then went home and started writing. Zodac and the flying chair were part of the presentation, so I went with that–don’t recall for certain if the Metron parallel was brought up at the time, but with fan-boy-me in the room, I’d find it tough to believe I wouldn’t have at least mentioned it. They might have gotten rid of the flying chair (or switched it to a spot in the Castle) because of the similarity by the time the toys came out but after I’d written the comic.

A big fan of the Fourth World material, but I don’t think I ever wrote any of it, certainly not around that time…unless I’ve got a major brain fart going. My first connection with any of the Kirbyverse was when I tied TAKION into The Force, but that wasn’t until 1996.

I’m told — and I don’t know because I never watched the cartoon (being, y’know, in my 20s when it came out) — that a lot of the back story was based on the DC comic, so I guess I’m to blame, but I doubt I would’ve had Zodac in a flying chair if it hadn’t been part of that original presentation.

Paul

Awesome awesome awesome. Much thanks for adding much missing context.

I wonder who put Zodac in the flying chair then, as

(1) his action figure does not come with one, nor is there any evidence from the toy itself that he was to be associated with it

(2) the chair, when it appears in comics, is identical in appearance to the throne in the Greyskull playset (the chair that you turn to open the trap door).

For those of you playing at home, this New God / He-Man parallel inference is unrelated to the debunked “MotU Movie was a New Gods Movie” Urban Legend, referenced here:
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2006/11/02/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-75/

Dang…I never knew I could write in German!!

:)
Paul

“Will this guy not rest until he controls EVERY property from his childhood? JESUS.”

Just so’s you know, Chris, we ALL do that…or at least try! I’ve been writing comics for 35 year now and I JUST got to write my first Archie Comics stories, which I grew up on alongside DC, Marvel, Gold Key and Charlton. I’ve written characters for little or next to no money just for the opportunity to get to play with the Phantom or the Avenger or whoever. And when you’re the 800 lb gorilla as Johns currently is, you use it and get to have your fun. While you can.

Paul

My post 4 above this reads:

“I wonder who put”

should read

“I had wondered who put”

As in, items (1) and (2) are no longer outstanding questions. :)

Val Staples’ MVCreations did a great job with MOTU years back. I was always hoping MVC would come back with more He-Man books, but this is really interesting news. C’mon, DC, bring MOTU comics back “home”!

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