I have a little sad news today. It’s time to wrap up my He-Man and She-Ra run on Sourcerer. I’ve had a great time here, and I loved getting to connect and reminisce with all the other fans who’ve commented.
If you missed any of the posts in the series, you can check them out at the links below.
I do plan to continue posting about He-Man and She-Ra in the future and I’d like to ask what Sourcerer’s audience would like to see from my posts. Originally, I had planned to post character profiles and bios. I realized that I don’t have any more information than the bios on he-man.org, and I think the fun of this series has been it’s connection to 80s nostalgia.
Over the summer I’ll be switching gears to a new series based on comments I’ve received about my cartoon posts. It’s a bit more serious, but I think you guys will enjoy it if you’ve liked the memoir posts!
Rose here, checking in with more He-Man and She-Ra musings. Last time, I shared a list of reasons why He-Man is awesome, so today I’ll follow up with an equally awesome list for She-Ra. I’m linking to some of Killersha’s fanart again, because it too is awesome.
Click the image to visit full size on DA.
She can pull off an alter ego without pretending to be something she’s not.
One of the things I emphatically hate about alter egos with superpowered characters is the tendency of these characters to pretend to be something they aren’t while claiming to uphold virtues like truthfulness and loyalty. Lies of omission and evasive half-truths annoy me as well, but I have more sympathy for those situations if I accept that the character believes he/she is protecting others. Princess Adora/She-Ra never dissembles. She’s competent, authoritative, brave, and outgoing in both of her forms, and Adora is nearly as popular and well-liked as She- Ra.
She saves her brother’s ass almost every time she sees him.
She-Ra is notable for its crossover episodes with the characters from He-Man, which ran even though He-Man was out of production when She-Ra aired. Most of them feature She-Ra hauling her twin brother out of some jam, even when He-Man ostensibly shows up to help HER in the first place. (There are some exceptions, and He-Man does return the favor a few times.)
She has compassion on the guy who lied to her for her entire life.
She-Ra’s back story is that her alter ego, Princess Adora, was kidnapped as an infant and raised as a member of the Evil Horde. Hordak and Shadow Weaver were both mentor figures to her, and he clearly dislikes them after she learns how they have manipulated her. In the episode My Friend, My Enemy, She-Ra breaks a spell that has been cast on Hordak by shedding tears of compassion
She climbed the highest mountain on Etheria without her superpowers.
This doesn’t really need much explanation, but the episode is called The Stone in the Sword, and the setup is that stone becomes damaged, and the only way for Adora to become She-Ra again is to go through a series of epic trials to reach the Founders of Etheria.
She doesn’t wear a bathing suit or a pink cape. (Unless she’s a toy.)
Okay, her costume is a little bit bathing suit like, but a skirt is a big improvement over bathing attire and leotards.
Her sword can turn into pretty much anything she wants.
Including wings in one episode.
She could have gone to live in a cushy palace but chose to stay in the woods with a bunch of strangers and fight the Evil Horde.
See the aforementioned back-story. She had a chance to return home and live as a Princess, but she chose to go back to The Great Rebellion, which had been her sworn enemies until a few days before.
8.Granamyr respects her. So does the Unicorn King
Granamyr, the great dragon I wrote about in 10 reasons He-Man Is Awesome, appears in the She-Ra episode Darksmoke and Fire. It’s a really cool episode for He-Man fans or fans of the Darksmoke dragons. I like it, even though there’s a bit of formula repetition with She-Ra having to earn the dragons’ trust. The Unicorn Isle episodes seem more like Darksmoke retreads to me, but I do like the character of the Unicorn King, and the focus on the unicorns is a valueable addition the show’s mythos. She-Ra’s way of earning the King’s respect is her own, despite similarities in theme.
She can do “snarky princess” without having a chip on her shoulder.
Everybody knows I love Princess Leia, so I’m partial to snarky princesses in general. I’m always glad to see one who can do it without being a jerk to everyone (especially the men.)
Her mother can fly a spaceship. And she pwns Skeletor’s ass. That is all.
Yet. This is a blatant repeat from the He-Man list, but if it applies to him, it applies to his twin sister.
Today’s featured fanart is a collaboration, used with permission from JacksonGee at DeviantART
Hey, everyone. I hope you’ve all enjoyed my Masters of the Universe/Princess of Power Memoir. This week, something a little lighter.
10 Reasons Why He-Man Is Awesome: A List
He never hits a living thing. Ever. Not once. How many superheroes can you say that for?
So much for the show being “violent.” He man frequently throws rocks, dodges villians, sometimes tosses them if they come running at him, but you’ll never see him attack someone and you’ll never see “biff! bam! boom!”
Violence is always his last resort.
This is related to number one. Eternia’s royal family has a pretty pacifistic philosophy, especially given the world they live in. Negotiation and discussion always precede “go throw a rock at it.”
Even the villains know that books are the greatest treasure in the universe.
In the episode, The Great Books Mystery, all of the books on Eternia disappear. One of the villains is systematically magicking them all away. Skeletor, the main villain, is jealous, because he knows that books are the most important treasure there is.
He can turn sand into glass by himself. No assistance required.
Related to number one, once there was a giant scorpion-monster-thing trying to attack He-Man. Rather than harm it, He-Man turned a bunch of sand into glass and built a cage to hold it temporarily.
His alter ego wears a pink vest and purple tights.
A lot of fans view this as a negative or something laughable. I’ve heard it described as a way of “distancing” Prince Adam from He-Man or Adam “emasculating” himself so that people would have less reason to suspect he was He-Man. I never read it that way. It seemed to me that people on Eternia had a very different fashion sense than we have on Earth. I liked the idea that a main male character just happen to like pink and purple, and it always seemed quite princely to me. Call me weird.
He rides a green tiger with orange stripes.
Say that with me again. GREEN TIGER WITH ORANGE STRIPES. And Battle Cat is the bomb.
His nemesis rides a purple Panther.
I actually think it would’ve been more awesome if He-Man had been riding the purple cat, but at this point, I really can’t picture He-Man without Battle Cat. I always loved Panthor, though. My brother had Panthor and Battle-Cat toys, and I used to stage cat-fights all the time.
His powers come from “the secrets of truth and knowledge.”
In the episode “The Taking of Grayskull,” the Sorceress gives He-Man more strength so that he can pick up the castle and throw it through a white hole. (Okay, you just have to go with this.) The power she gives him comes from “the castle’s secrets,” which she describes as “The Secrets of Truth and Knowledge.” He-Man’s powers are already derived from Grayskull, but this implies that there was more power to be had. The fact that “truth and knowledge”=”fur-clad barbarian” is just…I don’t know…awesome.
I didn’t get to see The Secret of the Sword in theaters. I was worried I would miss something important to the series, but Filmation repackaged the movie into the first five episodes of She-Ra. That was the first time a cartoon series had done a five-part opening. The formula got to be pretty common in the 80s and 90s. It still happens on newer shows, though, usually in somewhat of a different fashion. Modern adventure cartoons are much more conscious of story-arcs that run through the entire seasons or even entire series. She-Ra is rarely given credit for that innovation.
Anyway, before I get out my soapbox here, let me share my She-Ra experience. The pilot episode, Into Etheria, impressed me. Okay, I was like nine, but I was in the show’s target demographic, so it must’ve been doing something right. Surprisingly, the rest of the five-part arc lived up to the pilot.
I loved the early episodes’ opening sequence because it was so different from He-Man, but it was still clearly Filmation. To me, it was different enough to catch my interest and familiar enough to feel like I was coming to a comfortable place. And it was gloriously cheesy in the way of most good 80s cartoons.
I loved that the first episode began on Eternia (for familiarity) and sent Prince Adam (not He-Man, but Adam) on an epic quest. I have to admit that I really did like the look and feel of Etheria as compared to Eternia.
I was excited to see that the villains were actually in charge of Etheria and that She-Ra and her rebel companions had the deck stacked against them. Maybe it’s the Star Wars fan in me. The rebels get a lot of knocks for their visual designs. Some of that I agree with, but as characters, they seemed dramatic and compelling in those first episodes, and I especially liked that Adam decided to dispense with his cowardly prince disguise and just be his true self.
Shadow Weaver and Hordak seemed much more sinister and threatening than Skeletor or Evil-Lynn. The spell of deception that Shadow Weaver had on Princess Adora was serious freaking dark magic, and the level of manipulation Hordak exhibited with her was far beyond anything I had seen Skeletor accomplish.
The other villains, like Grizzlor, Scorpia, and Mantena, were kind of goofy, but then so were a lot of the villains on He-Man. Catra had as much potential as Evil-Lyn did, and I immediately wanted to know about her shape-shifting mask.
As much as I loved He-Man, I never felt like there was a sense of threat or danger (except on the rare occasion that something happened to the Sorceress or King Randor.) The heroes were firmly in charge of Eternia, and there was never any doubt that Skeletor’s schemes were going to fail.
In She-Ra, it felt different. I knew that the rebels would “win” each episode, but there was always risk of them being captured or retaliation from the Horde. How were they ever going to drive the Horde, with its massive army of robots and superior technology in general, off of their planet?!
Was Queen Marlena going to get in her spaceship and come to her kids’ aid? Was King Randor maybe going to send in the Eternian army? Well, obviously, those things would’ve killed the series before it started, but I was imagining a grand finale that ended something like that in a couple of years.
Did it ever happen? Well, a girl can dream. 😉
Well, I’m sad to say that I need to wrap up the memoir today. As I was writing, I realized I had a lot more to say about She-Ra, gender-based marketing in cartoons, and the state of “shows for girls” today, almost 30 years after She-Ra hit the airwaves, but all of that’s going to have to wait for another blog series. Maybe here, maybe over on my blog.