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Submitted on
March 1, 2013
Image Size
1.6 MB


104 (who?)
He-Man by DarkZoneGraphics He-Man by DarkZoneGraphics

:bulletblue: Wiki Grayskull Bio
:bulletblue: Released: 1982
:bulletblue: Available for sale on Etsy

There were 3 major cartoon/toy series from the early 1980's that still have followings to this very day, each depicting the struggles between good and bad. While each side had countless characters, each one has a stand-out that everyone identifies with each franchise: TRANSFORMERS had Optimus Prime, G.I.*JOE had Snake Eyes and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE had He-Man.

Like any good idea the creation of He-Man is pretty much left to rumor and myth as no one knows the exact truth and everyone involved is called a liar. The most prevalent rumor (and one that ended in a lawsuit) was that Mattel wanted to create a toyline to combat STAR WARS and wanted to base it on the CONAN property. They declined and Mattel went ahead anyways with a fantasy series featuring a muscled 'barbarian'. Mattel, in the end, won, but that whole idea is what inspired my redesign of the character.

The original sketch I wasn't too thrilled with, but a lot of it was going to stay so I wasn't about to scrap it. The face changed, turning more leaner and sterner, also the legs shrunk just a bit. Originally I was going to include his axe (He-Man came with three accessories: a shield, an axe and his iconic sword) but come the coloring stage I decided to scrap it due to A: original placement and B: I wasn't going to insert it on his back. Besides, unless you had him as a figure, you really only ever associate He-Man with his sword. Also I was adamant about keeping the iron cross design on his chest despite the negative connotations that a super strong, blonde-hair, blue-eyed character bearing that symbol carries with it.

On that note, as children playing in the 1980's we never thought about such things as kids. So long as the figure didn't fall apart after hours of heavy play, we didn't care about those types of things. Whether it was 9intentional (I seriously doubt it) or not, the controversy that arose when the line was relaunched in 2002 was completely unfounded and steeped in pure PC bullshit.

Speaking of that series I never liked the anime-esque take on the entire line. It just didn't fit the franchise, and a lot of the changes I didn't go along with, but chose to include them in this redesign. The sword was updated, but not like that abomination from the 2002 series. For his belt-drape (I have no idea if that has an actual name, so lay off) I incorporated the 'H' that was used to replace the iron-cross as a small tribute to what new fans know most. Also I was not going to include the animal hair underwear and boots, instead putting him in pants and boots more recently inspired by the King He-Man figure from the MOTU: CLASSICS series.

Also, in a slight nod to the movie that pretty much killed the franchise, his classic straps include a shoulder-pad piece as well. I still wish I could have gotten my theater money back for that.

:pointr: others in this series:
Evil-Lyn [link]
He-Man [link]
Hordak [link]
Leech [link]
Moss Man [link]
Skeletor [link]
Spikor [link]
Teela [link]
Add a Comment:
superjulian0000 Jun 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow. Bold, strong, and intense!
ThePhantomComics Apr 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yea looks like he going to put a foot in some one
DarkZoneGraphics Apr 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
The one thing I always wished they'd done in the old cartoons, let the heroes just drop the hammer and bust some heads.
ThePhantomComics Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
now during that time
Emerson-Fialho Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artist
Very cool!
DarkZoneGraphics Mar 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you :D
Emerson-Fialho Mar 22, 2013  Professional Artist
You're welcome, my friend! :)
Dualmask Mar 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's a seriously badass looking He-Man.
DarkZoneGraphics Mar 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
No Prince Valiant hair-cut here :D
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