Robot 6

Keith Giffen takes over DC’s He-Man with Issue 2

He-Man #2

DC Comics today announced a fairly last-minute shuffle on its He-Man and the Masters of the Universe comic. According to The Source blog, Keith Giffen will take over writing duties from James Robinson starting with the very next issue, September’s #2.

“He-Man and friends were a big part of my son’s young life,” Giffen said. “That meant that they became a big part of my life too. I can still rattle off the plotlines to more than a few of the cartoons and am still pretty good at reattaching the arms and legs of woefully abused action figures. I’m thinking that more than qualifies me to write the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe comic book. Well… that and the fact that I so want to. I mean, c’mon… it’s He-Man!”

Robinson was solicited as the writer for issues 2 and 3, and in fact is still listed on the DC Comics website as the writer for both (as I type this, anyway). The post doesn’t mention why they’ve made the abrupt change. Robinson is in San Diego this week, so no doubt the question will be asked.

Robinson is certainly busy enough right now, what with Earth 2 and apparently some sort of Image series that will be announced on Saturday.

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Comments

31 Comments

That’s pretty weird to pull him off it unless maybe he was working on too many things at once.

Or maybe his scripts sucked.

Poor Keith Giffen. He gets stuck with all the last minute fill-in jobs in the DCU.

I was one of DC’s fans who championed the reboot and what it could mean for the publisher and comics in general, despite many changes that I didn’t necessarily like, but this constant creator shuffle is quickly wearing on my nerves. This WAS a title I was thinking about investing in but I’ve started to re-think it. Don’t get me wrong, BOTH of those writers are great talents, just I question if this is another George Perez on Superman type of thing- things being changed until it just becomes a trainwreck.

If anyone can handle this, it’s Giffen.

Man, this should have been the first choice!!! Giffen’ art from OMAC would have been great for this series. Hopefully Keith can turn this into something readable.

This kills much of my interest for the book. It makes me think that the line is being over-managed though, as I get the feeling Robinson is on the series he is on in order to avoid too much editorial interference.

I read the first issue and it was TERRIBLE!! I understand where the writer was wanting to go with it, but the execution was poor.

I used to really like Robinson’s work — but frankly, given some of the awful scripting and storytelling in E2, I have to wonder what’s up with him in general.

I feel bad for Giffen and Tan

Well, this sucks. Robinson doing some world building with Masters of the Universe was something i was really looking forward to and he seemed to have a ton of enthusiasm in the interviews.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Keith Giffen is the most underrated writer in the history of comic writers and I think he’ll have some real balls to the wall fun with this.

But yeah.

Why would anyone bother with He-Man comics when there are already Conan comics out there? One of the Ion TV channels plays reruns of the He-Man cartoon constantly and I have to say, they are pretty darn terrible. I mean, the whole thing was just the cheapest animation thrown together to sell toys. I invite anyone to sit through an episode of that show and then tell me with a straight face that anyone involved in creating that show gave half a shit about the end product. Robinson is right to split on this gig. I mean, if they’re going to be true to the original version of He-Man, shouldn’t they just ship these issues off to be drawn by kids in some sweat shop in Korea or something?

Well that was abrupt. I’m sure Giffen will do a good job but this is an odd move on the surface of it.

Dear DC,

We are getting tired of buying your comics only to have the creative teams shuffled in a couple of issues, sometimes the very NEXT issue. Your reboot keeps getting messier and messier. Please stop.

Love,
Everyone

Best news about this series. The first issue was very poor, and Robinson himself admitted he had no prior knowledge of the franchise. Plus, Giffen understands “fun” like few, so he can sure put some fun back into MotU.

Plus, much like Blue Beetle, MotU already has a legacy element, since Prince Adam is the latest (and greatest) of a long line of He-Men (which is the title given to the champions sworn to the defend the Sword of He). This was Mattel’s way of incorporating the storylines of the original mini-comics (where He-Man was a barbarian) into the cartoon canon.

Andrew Collins

July 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

@carparts

Childhood nostalgia. Pure and simple. I LOVED He-Man as a kid in the 80′s, and had most of the figures. But I had the misfortune of watching an episode as an adult and…yeah. I have no interest in this new series, but I can see where some people may pick it up out of enjoyment for the characters, based on their memories of the toys/characters from long ago.

Bicycle-Repairman

July 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

“I mean, if they’re going to be true to the original version of He-Man, shouldn’t they just ship these issues off to be drawn by kids in some sweat shop in Korea or something?”

“He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” was actually one of the few TV animated series from the 1980s made entirely in the U.S. American animators were paid more than animators in Asia so Filmation tried to save time and money by reusing drawings.

Simon DelMonte

July 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Hmmm. Robinson doing an Image series. He usually works best on things that he really, really loves. A creator owned book would fit that bill.

But he needs a strong editor to make him focus. Some writers can tell their own stories without help. I don’t think he’s one of them.

I miss Archie Goodwin.

And yeah DC is just a mess.

I read the first issue and not only it was bad (in my opinion, of course), but you don’t get to see He-Man in action. It seems to follow the same format that the Earth 2 book is following, introducing one or two characters per issue. We can’t discard some production problems, but since the announcement was made only a week after the first issue is published and the book has been delayed a month. It sounds to me like Mattel might have asked for some sort of change in the script, and DC had to pick somebody on the fly…

I mean, issue #2 was supposed to be publish in August, that script has to be done and Philip Tan probably already pencilled it… I’d bet that they probably had some work already done for issue #3. Now Giffen has to write fast and I wouldn’t be surprised if issue #2 has more than 1 penciller and none of them are Philip Tan.

Nostalgia aside, the story didn’t even make sense on its own. You understand the issue better because of the interview that Robinson gave at MTV geek, but the comic itself doesn’t explain things properly, and it leads you to think that Skeletor is aware of He-Man’s secret identity and where the de-powered He-Man is living, so he waits until He-Man remembers who he is before attacking him…. yeah, that makes sense.

UMM issue 2 better be out in August, not September! It’s a monthly comic after all.

He needs to be Gay. Why does not James Robinson write?

Thank’s for that professional steadfastness and dedication Robinson… “The first issue didn’t catch on like wildfire…f— it. I quit.”

carparts:
The same reason they still make Batman comics, even though Batman comics right up through the ’60s were juvenile and often “pretty darn terrible.” Same reason GI Joe and Transformers comics keep being produced, despite having ’80s cartoons that were “pretty darn terrible.” There is a large group of fans who grew up with the stuff that now wants more material featuring these characters, and the examples above prove that just because something was juvenile or poorly-done in the past, there is no reason it has to continue being so.

That aside, MOTU has a rich comic book history that predates the cartoon, and is superior to it.

Seriously, writer switch in the middle of a limited series? Christ, just cancel previous orders for #1 and restart doing the LS when Robinson has time again.

Seriously? In the *middle*? That pretty much *assures* a schizophrenic story that starts with one vision and ends with another.

Clarence Carter has a song that contains the lyrics:

What your man leaves undone, I’ll do the rest.

DC seems to be needing a lot of Clarence Carters lately. Seems to be the same writers all the time picking up these still-birth books and trying to put some life into them. For me, this says I am done buying DC titles until they are out for a while. Then I get the $1 discount as I buy digital, and I can be sure that the authors vision stays solid.

Nothing against Keith, but him getting sloppy seconds like that where he has to take something someone else started and make it his own? I would rather a book that started from Keith from day one.

“Nothing against Keith, but him getting sloppy seconds like that where he has to take something someone else started and make it his own? I would rather a book that started from Keith from day one.”

YES, If Robinson cant finish then cancel the title and put together a new story with talent that can finish and tell the story “they” want. Giffen’ work would have been better from the outset than having to salvage something from Robinson. Too bad Giffen couldn’t just give DC the middle finger and make a living doing his own work at IMage or Dynamite. I think it is a shame he is treated this way by DC.

I don’t understand how Robinson can churn out such utterly beautiful quality in “The Shade” and then give us some boring piddle in “Earth 2″ #3?

The conversation between a newly-minted Green Alan Scott and his green flame benefactor was hilariously bad. Oh, and Sam, dead fiancee, you can piss off. Green flame is talking now. Lol. what?

I don’t remember Robinson ever dropping a project out of the blue, you all must be thinking about JMS…. quality-wise, I can see how you can be confusing them, but i think that Robinson was fired.

I’ll be the first to say that Robinson’s work had declined. That “Cry for Justice” mini annd his run on JLA in general were pretty bad. However I love his Earth 2 stuff. I just hope the payoff is as good as the build up. But for better or worse I love his retooling of the Justice Society. I also liked the first issue of He Man.

carparts:

“Why would anyone bother with He-Man comics when there are already Conan comics out there? One of the Ion TV channels plays reruns of the He-Man cartoon constantly and I have to say, they are pretty darn terrible.”

Because He-Man has a fantastic rogues gallery with tons of potential for stories you couldn’t do with Conan. Also, the minicomics that came with the figures (and which had little in common with the animated series) were legitimately great, no nostalgia required.

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