DC Universe vs. The Masters of the Universe #1 review

Yes, you read the title correctly. This is a DC/He-Man crossover event that’s flying under the radar this month while all eyes are on Forever evil. But let me be upfront about this because it’s the most important advice I can give before you go out and buy this issue: if you’re not confident in your He-Man and Justice League Dark knowledge then you might want to keep walking because this mini-series isn’t exactly new reader friendly.

I know that my own understanding of the Masters of the Universe is pretty limited so I had trouble caring about much of what was happening. So if you’re a huge fan of He-Man then this comic could very well be interesting to you, but I could find very little to latch on to. I had hoped that the DC characters would be enough to anchor me while I acclimated to the goings on of Eternia, but writer Keith Giffen doesn’t pander to the casual reader here and instead only uses the characters that would arise organically in a magic themed story like this so absolutely zero Batman characters show up. Instead the focus is on the Justice League Dark’s Madame Xanadu and John Constantine who each play a large part, as does Black Alice. Basically, if none of these names I’ve mentioned so far ring a bell then you know you should probably skip this title and instead pick up one of the He-Man or Justice League Dark TPBs.

The story itself wasn’t all that captivating. Magic is apparently like any other natural resource and since Earth doesn’t have hardly any mages using up all the magic we actually have a surplus that the invading villain Skeletor would love to steal. Naturally, when He-Man and the Masters of the Universe learn of this they don’t hesitate to cross over into the world of the DC New 52 (it doesn’t say New 52 on the cover, but there are references to many aspects that only existed in the New 52).

The artwork didn’t redeem much of the story either, but it’s not like Dexter Soy was given anything that cool to draw. The bulk of the action scenes are either drowned out in banter-filled speech bubbles or the heroes are battling/running from glowing rats which isn’t all that visually captivating or interesting of a threat. I also didn’t care for the coloring of the book, which I think is a big part of why I didn’t like the artwork.

I don’t imagine I’ll be reviewing the following issues of this series. I definitely feel out of my depth talking about The Masters of the Universe so I gave the whole thing a lukewarm 5/10 even though I feel like this deserves lower.

Recommended If…

  • You’re a fan of The Masters of the Universe
  • You’ve been following the ongoing He-Man comic
  • You love reading Justice League Dark
  • You like seeing heroes who banter with each other


This could’ve been a good opportunity to hook curious DC fans into learning some more about He-Man’s world, but instead this book feels very much like it should’ve came with a sign that reads “For He-Man Fans Only” because if you don’t know your He-Man (or your Justice League Dark) then you’re going to have some trouble keeping up. There’s too much exposition and not enough fun in this crossover.

SCORE: 5/10