Robot 6

Bruce Timm’s secret origin: He-Man & the Masters of the Universe


Years before Bruce Timm made his mark on superheroes with his work on Batman: The Animated Series, he plied his trade in the early 1980s as a background and layout artist for the animation studio Filmation. While he spent his days working on cartoons like G.I. Joe and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Timm devoted his nights to pitching Marvel and DC Comics. After a chance meeting with a Marvel editor, Timm got his break — but not at the House of Ideas. Instead, he made his professional comics debut in 1984 on the Masters of the Universe minicomics.

For three years Timm worked on this series, packaged with the Mattel action figures, sometimes inking  other artists and sometimes drawing his own. He contributed several covers to the series, especially in the European editions. Here’s a sampling of the various covers and pin-ups he’s done, as well as some interior pages. Be warned: It’s a lot different than the Bruce Timm time you’ve grown to love from animation, but it still has a special charm.



I loved the MOTU universe as a young kid and still have some of these mini-comics in my collection. Would love to see the complete series made available via print or Comixology.

And let’s not forget that his buddy Paul Dini got his start writing for the TV show, as did JMS. From such manure can grow amazing things.

As a kid, I never saw the He-Man cartoon show. I only had the mini-comics to base my play on, and boy, was I glad about that once I finally saw the cartoon show. My He-Man was more like Conan and less like the Silver Age Superman.
Thanks for all the cool memories, Mr. Timm!

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