BY MATT TUCK
The trailer for Masters of the Universe: Revelation has landed, and that is going to drive collectors to eBay for those He-Man keys.
Netflix is stirring up the comic collecting world once again. From Locke and Key to Jupiter’s Legacy and most recently Sweet Tooth, the streaming service has been spurring the secondary market. Now we can add He-Man to that list. This week, Netflix dropped the first official look at the animated reboot, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, ahead of next month’s series premiere.
King of the Nerds himself, Kevin Smith, is directing Revelation, and that gives it instant geek credibility. This series deviates from the 1980s script as Teela appears to be the main character, though Prince Adam and Skeletor are still part of the show.
Prior to the show’s premiere, Dark Horse is publishing a tie-in comic series of the same name that will hit shops on July 7.
All of this news will propel those ‘80s MOTU keys to new heights in the coming weeks. Of course, the He-Man keys have been lighting up for the past year. Along with the Netflix cartoon, there is a new live-action reboot in development, though the new movie is still searching for its Prince Adam after actor Noah Centineo backed out of the role.
Suffice to say, we will be getting our fill of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe in the coming months and years, and it will inevitably cause a He-Man comic uproar. Let’s take a closer look at the current state of those MOTU comics that should be on your agendas.
DC COMICS PRESENTS #47
This is the major key that He-fans have at the top of their collecting wish lists. While Marvel Comics was putting its stock into Transformers, DC picked up the publishing rights to the He-Man toy line. To jumpstart the franchise’s comics, He-Man was pitted against Superman in the first MOTU crossover. Decades later, the two would reunite in a toy line featuring both the DC superheroes and He-Man’s crew.
Following a year in which the 9.8 averaged $866, that grade has generally sold in the $2k range, but there was an outlier of a sale for over $5k earlier this year. The highest grade sold so far in 2021 has been the 9.6, and it came within $10 of its record high when a copy brought $940 on June 1. For fans who just want a piece of the action, you may want to look at the 7.5, which earned $250 in March.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1-3 (1982)
After the DC crossover, the publisher unleashed its full marketing force on Eternia, and Masters of the Universe had its first self-titled series. Just this month, a 9.8 sold for a record-high $870 on June 6. A 9.6 has a much cheaper price tag, but the prices are breaking records this year as well. In May, one sold for an impressive $350.
If you happen to have the other two issues from the 1982 series in a high grade, you could be in for some profits. Often overlooked in favor of the glorious first appearance of the toy line, MOTU #2 fetches $245 graded at a 9.8. So far this year, a 9.8 MOTU #3 has sold for as much as $140 after it earned a record-breaking $300 in 2020.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1 (2013)
Back before the He-Man nostalgia craze fully took hold in the comic and toy collecting world, the little-known MV Creations grabbed the publishing rights to the classic franchise. Being an independent publisher, the print runs were understandably limited. As far as collectors are concerned, that only makes them more fun to find.
During its MOTU run, MV published a series of variant covers that were sold exclusively on the He-Man website, and they can bring sizable prices because of their rarity. The variant for MOTU #1 saw a 9.6 earn $425 in March, and a 9.8 last sold for $700 in 2018.
MOTU IS BACK
From the toys to the comics, anything He-Man from the ‘80s is on fire at the moment. I’m hoping the MOTU rage will usher in a whole new wave of Laughing Adam memes and another round of his disco rendition of “What’s Going on?” Now that I think about it, if 4 Non Blondes aren’t on the soundtrack for either Revelation or the upcoming movie, it will be a travesty.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.