Masters of the Universe (commonly abbreviated to MOTU; and sometimes informally referred to as He-Man, after the lead hero) is a media franchise created by Mattel.
Among others, it features the character of He-Man and Skeletor on planet Eternia. Since its initial launch in 1982, the franchise has spawned a variety of products, including six lines of action figures, four animated television series, countless comic series and a film. Designer Roger Sweet claims to be the chief creator of He-Man and MOTU, although this is not officially acknowledged by Mattel. The earliest storybooks and much of the original backstory were written by Donald F. Glut.
As with many toy franchises which have been transferred to several different media there are a number of story differences between the various versions of Masters of the Universe. Complicating matters further, several media have made implicit attempts to change details to realign with other versions, with the result that internal discontinuities arise.
All of the original action figures came with minicomics that told stories involving the characters. In the earliest comics, He-Man is a wandering barbarian on Eternia, a world dealing with the aftermath of a Great War that has devastated the civilizations that once reigned, but has left behind fantastical machinery and weapons. The events of the Great War opened a rift between dimensions, which allows the evil warlord Skeletor to travel to Eternia, and he has now set his sights on the ancient Castle Grayskull, the 'fortress of mystery and power'. Whoever attains control of Grayskull will gain the power to become Master of the Universe. To prevent Skeletor from achieving his goal, He-Man has been given special powers and weapons by The Sorceress (referred to as 'The Goddess' in early stories, except in her debut appearance in which she is shown, the one and only time, to have green skin) and sets out to defend the castle from Skeletor. He-Man is supported by several heroic allies, such as Man-At-Arms, the Eternian master of weapons, and Teela, the adopted daughter of Man-At-Arms. Skeletor manages to find one half of the Power Sword, a great weapon which is itself the key to Castle Grayskull. He-Man has been given the other half by The Sorceress, and must prevent Skeletor from linking the two halves to gain access to the castle. To distinguish these stories from the TV cartoon-influenced minicomics that were released to tie-in with the TV series, fans dubbed this first version of Eternia as 'mini-Eternia', and the two words were fused into 'Mineternia' in 2003, by a minicomics fansite, called Eternia Minor (now, He-Man Tales).
Read more about Masters Of The Universe at Wikipedia ...
Official Site: Mattel
Links: Masters wikipedia entry Masters Cartoon Podcast Masters Toy Archive