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Old 04-30-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
Kevin Roegele
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Join Date: May 2000
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Default Masters of the Universe is the ultimate Jack Kirby movie


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This from Wikipedia:

Comic book writer/artist John Byrne compared the film to Jack Kirby's comic book metaseries Fourth World, stating in Comic Shop News #497:
“ "The best New Gods movie, IMHO, is ´Masters of the Universe´. I even corresponded with the director, who told me this was his intent, and that he had tried to get [Jack] Kirby to do the production designs, but the studio nixed it." "Check it out. It requires some bending and an occasional sex change (Metron becomes an ugly dwarf, The Highfather becomes the Sorceress), but it's an amazingly close analog, otherwise. And Frank Langella's Skeletor is a dandy Darkseid!" ”

Director Gary Goddard clarified this in a letter appearing in John Byrne's Next Men #26, in which he stated:
“ "As the director of Masters of the Universe, it was a pleasure to see that someone got it. Your comparison of the film to Kirby’s New Gods was not far off. In fact, the storyline was greatly inspired by the classic Fantastic Four/Doctor Doom epics, The New Gods and a bit of Thor thrown in here and there. I intended the film to be a “motion picture comic book,” though it was a tough proposition to sell to the studio at the time. 'Comics are just for kids,' they thought. They would not allow me to hire Jack Kirby who I desperately wanted to be the conceptual artist for the picture…

I grew up with Kirby's comics (I’ve still got all my Marvels from the first issue of Fantastic Four and Spider-Man through the time Kirby left) and I had great pleasure meeting him when he first moved to California. Since that time I enjoyed the friendship of Jack and Roz and was lucky enough to spend many hours with Jack, hearing how he created this character and that one, why a villain has to be even more powerful than a hero, and on and on. Jack was a great communicator, and listening to him was always an education. You might be interested to know that I tried to dedicate Masters of Universe to Jack Kirby in the closing credits, but the studio took the credit out."


Brian Cronin, author of the "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed" column, concludes that "the film itself was not intended to be literally a reworked Fourth World, although the intent WAS to make the film a tribute to Jack Kirby - just a tribute to ALL of his work, not just the Fourth World."[2]


And this, from mania.com....

http://www.mania.com/5-movies-ripped...le_116998.html



4. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1987) / JACK KIRBY'S NEW GODS (1971)

The plotline of Masters of the Universe isn't necessarily similar to that of New Gods, although both feature a monstrous warlord (Skeletor and Darkseid) who seeks to obtain godlike powers. But...

Similarities: Masters of the Universe, while based on the toy line and cartoon series, bear many remarkable similarities. Leave it to comics creator John Byrne to first point out these similarities to fans. In the letter column for his 1994 comic, John Byrne's Next Men' #22, Byrne writes that he counts only three "really great comic-book movies."

He's not wrong. If you watch the movie with New Gods in mind, it's easy to recast the show. Skeletor is villainous Darkseid. He-Man is heroic son Orion. Evil-Lyn is Darkseid's toady DeSaade. The Sorceress plays the role of the Kibry's benevolent Highfather. The tech-wiz dwarf Gwildor is the New God's scientist Metron. Byrne points out that the gruff detective Lubic in the movie seems directly related to Kirby's "Terrible" Turpin. And there's more: check out the Boom Tubes, Flying Thrones, Flying Heroes and Omega Beams (not to mention a swell Kirby helmet)...

Corroborating Evidence: So, were the makers of Masters of the Universe trying to make a New Gods movie on the sly? Well... a little bit.

Director Gary Goddard replied to John Byrne's letter and his response was published in John Byrne's Next Men #26. He denies making a New Gods movie but owns up to a whole lot of Kirby love:

"As the director of Masters of the Universe, it was a pleasure to see that someone got it. Your comparison of the film to Kirby’s New Gods was not far off. In fact, the storyline was greatly inspired by the classic Fantastic Four/Doctor Doom epics, The New Gods and a bit of Thor thrown in here and there. I intended the film to be a “motion picture comic book,” though it was a tough proposition to sell to the studio at the time. “Comics are just for kids,” they thought. They would not allow me to hire Jack Kirby who I desperately wanted to be the conceptual artist for the picture...

"I grew up with Kirby’s comics (I’ve still got all my Marvels from the first issue of Fantastic Four and Spider-Man through the time Kirby left) and I had great pleasure meeting him when he first moved to California. Since that time I enjoyed the friendship of Jack and Roz and was lucky enough to spend many hours with Jack, hearing how he created this character and that one, why a villain has to be even more powerful than a hero, and on and on. Jack was a great communicator, and listening to him was always an education. You might be interested to know that I tried to dedicate Masters of Universe to Jack Kirby in the closing credits, but the studio took the credit out."

Rip-o-meter: 3. Loving homage.

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There is no Marvel/DC rivalry. Most of the great comic creators worked for both; Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Walt Simonsen, Gil Kane, Steve Ditko, John Byrne, Steve Englehart, Mark Waid...even Stan Lee.
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