In Defense of He-Man
It’s not just the insult….it’s the ignorance behind it, and the tenuious reasoning that brings one to that conclusion.
The thing is, there’s a whole generation that has a very different idea of what fantasy is than what it used to be. Tolkin and Dungeons and Dragons really laid the groundwork for when Dragonlance would come in and change everything (tell me I’m wrong. Go on, tell me.) He-Man doesn’t come from that school, and it’s one of the reasons he been so hard to update. He-Man’s look and a lot of the premise is grounded in an older heroic Fantasy arch type. He comes from the same linage as Conan and Tarzan. Wagnerian in nature, the same kind of strapping hero as Doc Savage or Captain Kirk, neither of which could keep their shirts on for more than half an hour.
It’s a kind of fantasy that isn’t created much anymore because it’s been labeled too “homoerotic” (there’s a scene in Family Guy where Stewie plays with Lion-O and He-man and makes that comment…and I just wanted to punch him in the face)
“But he wears Purple!”
(for those of you without historical context, let me assure you that you will NEVER have more women than Don Johnson did)
The remarkable thing about He-Man is that despite the barbarian exterior…there’s something gentle, kind about him. It’s the same quality Superman has – you look at him and something in his demeanor just makes you trust him.
He really is Superman in so many ways, in his morality, his ethics, in the way he doesn’t need to show off his power. It’s just there when he needs it. This is a good hero, one we need more of really.
Check out the DC comic series that started last year. Maybe you’ll see what I mean.