Masters of the Universe is the ultimate Jack Kirby movie

Discussion in 'Marvel Films' started by Kevin Roegele, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Kevin Roegele

    Kevin Roegele Do you mind if I don't?

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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-off-comics_article_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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  2. KangConquers

    KangConquers Purple Kang, Purple Kang

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    This is sort of true, but I think it's more due to the source material being derrivative and overly familiar; Masters of the Universe has elements of the New Gods, Conan The Barbarian, and Thor, with maybe even a little star wars. There's nothing in there that's that original, so you're going to see tons of passing similarities.
     
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  3. TruerToTheCore

    TruerToTheCore Well-Known Member

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    Well, old news and it's kinda obvious that the movie is full of Kirby homages. I mean, look a Super-Skeletor's helmet in the final. That's Galactus.

    The movie is still pretty bad.
     
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  4. Gabe99

    Gabe99 Well-Known Member

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    From CBR: Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #75
    From Newsarama:
    Grant Morrison: Final Crisis Exit Interview, Part 1
     
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  5. Kevin Roegele

    Kevin Roegele Do you mind if I don't?

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    They're not passing similarities. It's all deliberate. You read how the director Gary Goddard, with whom I have actually discussed the movie with, wanted the movie dedicated to Kirby? Masters of the Universe movie is quite a departure from the He-Man cartoon. It takes the basics of it, and turns it into a huge Kirby-fest.
     
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  6. Gabe99

    Gabe99 Well-Known Member

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    From CBR:
    When Words Collide: Tom Scioli Part 1 - He-Men and New Gods


     
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  7. Gabe99

    Gabe99 Well-Known Member

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  8. metaphysician

    metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

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    I'm going to have to disagree. Thor is, now, the ultimate Jack Kirby movie. :)
     
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  9. CoulsonFan

    CoulsonFan Well-Known Member

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    It's true.

    Could they just make Thanos the lead villain in Thor 2 and turn him into even more of a Darkseid knockoff? It's not like Warner's ever going to touch the Fourth World stuff.
     
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  10. Gabe99

    Gabe99 Well-Known Member

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    Movie Legends Revealed: He-Man & Spider-Man Films Became Cyborg?
     
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  11. Mondragon

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    Screw that movie.

    I'd say until an actual New Gods movie comes out, "Apokolips... Now!" parts one and two, episodes of Superman: The Animated Series are for now still the "ultimate Jack Kirby movie".
    Combined with "Tools of the Trade" (which proceeded it and featured Dan Turpin as a direct Kirby Analog, and "Father's Day.
    Followed by "Legacy" parts one and two, all combined to make for the ultimate Kirby movie experience so far.

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  12. Mondragon

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  13. Mondragon

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    #13
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  14. Gabe99

    Gabe99 Well-Known Member

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    #14

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