I looked up the Lost Generation and clicked on your Harvey Heroes link, but if you say that incorporating them into the universe wouldn't affect that much, then I guess it could work.
Do to Marvel's sliding timeline the Lost Generation storyline was set in between Marvel's golden age and the first appearance of the Fantastic Four, which is almost always about ten to fifteen years before the then current era.
Could ABC buy a comic company too? That would be great.
The only candidate I can think of if Malibu Comics. It is worth noting that Malibu bought out Aircel Comics whose most famous property is Men in Black so that would be an interesting twist.
The only candidate I can think of if Malibu Comics. It is worth noting that Malibu bought out Aircel Comics whose most famous property is Men in Black so that would be an interesting twist.
Men in Black: The Series as a DIC Entertainment cartoon? It could be more likely than you think.
I am He Man!
Disclaimer: the following post is very politically incorrect. It indulges in the use of stereotypes for comedic purposes in the vein of Mel Brooks or South Park. In this case it plays with the irony of how often the hyper-masculine and homo-sexual can overlap, be it intentionally on the creator's part or not. And while I sincerely hope that I've established my bona fides as an LGBTQ Ally by this point, I can understand how someone could misinterpret the intent of this post. I can see how someone might be offended by the text as presented. I can also see how He Man fans could misinterpret what I' going for here too and think that I'm trying to insult the beloved '80s franchise. Neither is my intent.

So to be clear, the intent of today's post is a celebration of the way in which the same art can be beloved by different people in different communities for different reasons, and how that's a good thing. It's intended as a celebration of both He Man and gay culture and a celebration of the fact that in recent years adults are increasingly empowered to express their love for things once considered taboo or looked down upon, be it their entertainment or their sexuality.

So with that in mind, I hope that you enjoy today's post. For the record, I would love to see this movie.

He Man (1987), Manly or Gay?
From the Manly or Gay? With Dirk and Donny Netcast, June 1st, 1997

[Theme Music for Manly or Gay plays, an instrumental disco-like song quite similar to (but legally distinct from) “Macho Man” by The Village People.]

Dirk: Welcome everybody, to the inaugural post of the Manly or Gay? With Dirk and Donny Netcast! My name is Dirk Bigler, and I’m manly, but not gay. I like guns, sports, weightlifting, fast cars, hanging with men and “being with” women.

Donny: And I’m Donny Majors, and I’m gay, but not particularly manly. I like music, art, a properly made espresso, a Broadway show, hanging with women and “being with” men.

Dirk: And if there’s one thing that we can both agree on, it’s that we love playing with manly things…

Donny: …ah, phrasing…

Dirk: …and the manlier the better! As best friends growing up, we both loved the big macho things like Rocky, Conan, and today’s subject, He Man. It just seems that what originally attracted us to these franchises was…something slightly different.

Donny: You see, the ironic thing about manliness is that the farther you plunge into it…

Dirk: …phrasing…

Donny: …the gayer it becomes. Take bodybuilding: you get so big and strong and masculine that you sometimes come full circle into gay. Cowboys? Yea, sorry, Mr. John Wayne, totally gay.

Dirk: Big, tough, hairy chested, leather-clad biker? Manly. Magnum PI? Manly.

Donny: Big, tough, hairy chested, leather-clad biker with a Magnum PI mustache? Totally gay.

Dirk: So, this brings us to today’s subject, He Man, specifically the 1987 Fox Pictures live action film. Even the name “He Man” is one of those things that walks that manly/gay line.

Donny: I guess it’s bi-curious?

Dirk: But before we start, let’s define what “manliness” is. Specifically, let’s grade it by five associations: things that are big are manly. Things that are fast are manly. Things that are loud are manly. Things that are sharp are manly. And fire is manly. This all goes back to the original caveman days when a good fire and a big, sharp spear quickly thrust…

Donny: …phrasing…

Dirk: …was the difference between life and death for the tribe. And things that mix these five things are the manliest of all. Swords? Big and sharp…

Donny: …and phallic…

Dirk: Motorcycles? Fast and loud and run on fire. Assault rifles? A big, loud thing that launches sharp objects quickly using fire. Pure manly.

Donny: …and also very phallic.

Dirk: So, in the case of He Man, the hyper-masculine, sword-wielding, tiger-riding, sky-cycle flying, laser shooting icon of all things manly…

Donny: …and his alter-ego, the effeminate, pink-clad Prince Adam…

Dirk: …you have the perfect mix of the gay and the manly.

Donny: And Prince Adam only gains his manly powers by grasping a big, long sword, thrusting it in the air, and declaring he “has the power”. Seriously, only Lion-O with his sword-that-literally-grows-longer-before-he-fights-other-burly-half-naked-men can pack this much homoerotic inuendo into a single sweaty package.

Dirk: So, with that said…phrasing, by the way…is 1987’s He Man live action movie manly, or is it gay?

Donny: So, to start, let’s look at the film itself, which was groundbreaking in that it took a popular toy line and made it into a movie instead of vice versa, which had been the norm since Star Wars. It was produced by Triad Entertainment under the Fox Pictures label. Rumor has it a Fox exec’s son loved the toys, so it got picked up. Produced by Walter F. Parkes and directed by John G. Avildsen of Rocky and Karate Kid fame and based on a screenplay by Jack Epps Jr. and Jim Cash, the movie was mostly filmed on location or soundstages in Australia and New Zealand, which was a new thing at the time. It had a $29 million budget and had special effects by Industrial Light and Magic and ultimately made a cool $51 million at the box office. Frank Langella was selected as Skeletor, a role he fought for given that his son was a huge Skeletor fan, and after a long and exhausting search that included such names as Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Roarke, and Lorenzo Llamas, little-known character actor and professional bodybuilder Brian Thompson was chosen as He Man-slash-Prince Adam. It also starred Hulk Hogan as Man-at-Arms, Linda Fiorentino as Evil-Lyn, Mr. T as Beast Man, Elisabeth Shue as Teela, and Billy Barty as the voice of Orko.

Dirk: And the story sees the athletic but underachieving Prince Adam living in luxury, surrounded by hot girls, while his parents attempt to get him to grow up and learn how to lead. But when Skeletor’s armies start ravaging the land, the Sorceress, played by Eartha Kitt, challenges him to stand up and meet his destiny. He is given the Sword of Power, transforming him into He Man, and is tasked with capturing Castle Greyskull from Skeletor. He sets out with his companions Teela, Man-at-Arms, and Orko and they battle Skeletor’s armies and his minions Beast Man and Evil-Lyn, along with cameo appearances by other popular characters from the toy line, and Adam-slash-He Man must learn to be a leader and take responsibility for his decisions. They eventually end up in the final showdown at Castle Greyskull where He Man’s newfound sense of responsibility and humility allows him to defeat Skeletor and win the day. It was just the right mix of action, humor, scary, and child-friendly. And while it was clearly the manliest thing in the universe when I first saw it as a kid, looking at it today even I can see the screaming camp.

Donny: Seriously, the scene where Hogan-as-Man-at-Arms is face to face with Mr. T-as-Beast-Man exchanging masculine quips is so charged with manly tension that whether they intended it or not it’s like pure UST, with a capital “L”.

[audio clip starts]

Man-at-Arms: Listen here, Beast Man, you messed with the wrong warrior today! I’m about to take…you…down! Ya’ hear me?

Beast Man: You can try it, chump! I’m gonna’ rip your ugly face off.

Man-at-Arms: (grunts) Oh yea?

Beast Man: Yeeeaaaaaahhhh… (growls)

Teela: Put your blades away, you two! We’re here to negotiate!

Beast Man: This ain’t over, Man-at-Arms. When this is over, your butt is mine

[audio clip ends]

Dirk: Well, one point for “gay.”

[“Ca-ching” sound effect plays]

Donny: Oh, yea…definitely. Seriously, are we sure Joel Schumacher didn’t ghostwrite this?

Dirk: But what about He Man himself? Brian Thompson played the part with all the red-blooded manliness of American ‘80s action stars. Even as Prince Adam he played the part as more “lazy, entitled underachiever” than borderline camp gay like in the cartoon. He was the street-smart everyman of Bruce Willis with all the muscle-bound manliness of Schwarzenegger.

[audio clip starts]

He Man: Warriors of Eternia, hear me! For too long Skeletor’s evil has plagued this land! For too long our children have lived in fear! By the power of Greyskull, the tyranny of Skeletor ends now!

[audio clip ends]

Donny: So arousing…

Dirk: You mean “rousing,” right?

Donny: That too.

Dirk: Sure, you can look for unintentional homoeroticism, but it’s harder to find.

Donny: If you’re not looking deep enough…

Dirk: …phrasing. Sure, some have made a joke about Cringer-slash-Battle Cat and gay men with felines, but seriously, he literally rides a freakin’ green tiger into battle, with awesome effects by ILM. And picking up and throwing Trap Jaw across the room really never struck me as anything more than what it was: He Man throwing Trap Jaw across the room. And sure, there’s the standard Freudian jokes about “crossing swords” with Skeletor. But in general, these try to push it too hard…

Donny: …phrasing…

Dirk: …meaning that any perceived gayness is largely a matter of selective interpretation.

Donny: (sighs) Yea, score one for “manly”.

[“Ca-ching” sound effect plays]

Dirk: And then there’s the ladies of the film. They’re both super-hot, as revealingly dressed as a PG rating will allow, and helped many of us straight boys navigate our way into puberty. “Cat fight” scenes were a must. In fact, “Teela or Evil-Lyn” became the “Betty or Veronica” of the late ‘80s.

Donny: They’re also rather manly gals and I can assure you many a young lesbian was asking the same “Teela or Evil-Lyn” question.

[audio clip starts]

[sound of magic zapping, Teela screams while Evil-Lyn laughs]

Evil-Lyn: Having a hard time? My, my…you’ve really let yourself go, girl!

[more magical zapping, no screams]

Teela: Your foul magic has no power over me, Evil-Lyn! Prepare to taste the power of the Light!

[music rises, sound of magical effects, Teela and Evil-Lynn both scream and groan]

[audio clip ends]

Dirk & Donny Together: Draw.

Dirk: And what about our – quote – “Comic Relief” – unquote – Orko?

Donny: Ah yes. The great Billy Barty voicing the ILM puppet, ILM clearly having learned a few tricks from the Disney Creatureworks by that point, and having even enlisted some ex-Henson performers like Toby Philpott. The effects were just delightful in ’87, but they show their age like a Disco Diva at a Grunge fest.

[audio clip starts]

Orko: You don’t scare me, Beast Man! Prepare to face the might of my sorcery!

[sound of rising, crackling lightning, music crescendos…sound of a little static zap, music stops]

Beast Man: That all you got, little troll?

Orko: Ah, well, um, perhaps a bit of my mighty…

[sound of a roar like from some ogre-bear mix, followed by sound of Orko’s screams fading into the distance]

[audio clip ends]

Donny: (sighs) Not even manly enough to be gay.

[“wah-waah” sound effect plays]

Dirk: Which finally brings us to the Bonehead himself: Skeletor.

Donny: Oh, yes, this one’s a challenge. Frank Langella is a respected man from both stage and screen, and brings a bit of the West End thespianism to the role of Skeletor, both in the drama and the melodrama, but mostly he brings the camp. He delights in devouring the scenery at every opportunity, like he was the only one who really got what kind of film that they were making.

Dirk: And yet clearly his athleticism and projection of power made him an honest foe and a credible threat.

Donny: Frank Langella was clearly having the time of his life, and unlike the muscle-bound, sweaty and oiled He Man, he maintains a level of sophisticated Old World masculinity, even as he sweeps across the set like a diva.

[audio clip begins]

Skeletor: He Man, you fool! I am the master of Castle Grey Skull now! Soon my armies shall crush your pitiful soldiers, and all of Eternia shall be MINE! (laughs maniacally)

He Man: Not if I have anything to do with it, Bonehead!

Skeletor: Oooo…such insolence! I shall have such joy tearing you apart!

[dramatic music plays]

[audio clip ends]

Donny: Ooooh…manly!

[“Ka-ching!” sound effect]

Dirk: And gay!

[double “ka-ching!”]

Donny: So, what’s the consensus? Is the He Man movie manly…or gay?

Dirk: Well, I guess that I’d have to say…

Dirk & Donny Together: Manly and gay!!

[celebratory music plays; cheering crowd sound effect]

Dirk: Yes, 1987’s He Man is one of the most unabashedly manly and gay movies of the 1980s. It has all the over-the-top testosterone-driven machismo of Commando, and all of the queer camp of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Donny: Oh, yes. It’s a film that pairs well with both Rambo II and Mommie Dearest. Have it with a glass of French pinot noir or Budweiser straight out of the can.

Dirk: Sweat pants or ascot, this film is a fun and nostalgic way to waste 110 perfectly good minutes.

Donny: And with that, here’s some bonus trivia facts…yaaayyyy! Number one, Frank Langella absolutely loved playing Skeletor and Linda Fiorentino said she had a fun time hamming it up as Evil-Lyn. But Mr. T hated his role as Beast Man and regretted taking it. The prosthetics were uncomfortable and time-consuming to put on, and it made it hard for him to see or speak. Worse yet, after the premier, his character received backlash from the Reverend Al Sharpton, who famously called it – quote – “a black man reduced to a half-beast simpleton like some throwback to Jim Crow stereotypes” – unquote.

Dirk: Yeouch!

Donny: Number two, on the good guy side, Elisabeth Shue and Billy Barty both treated the role as a simple job. Shue was annoyed with the dialog and costume, but was glad for the paycheck while Barty at least appreciated not having to put on makeup or prosthetics!

Dirk: But as to Brian Thompson, well, the poor bastard really believed that this would be his big breakout role, and had it come five years earlier it might have been. Unfortunately for him, Lethal Weapon had premiered that same year, and introduced the world to a grittier, more relatable hero in Bruce Willis and Nothing Can Last would follow the next year. Alas the hyper-masculine man-as-Greek-God bodybuilder look was already on the way out. Thompson would go on to play a few more roles including reprising He Man in the direct-to-video sequel He Man and She Ra: The Curse of Skeletor, in 1989, and would play The Cockroach in The Sword of Cerebus in 1991, but Stallone and Schwarzenegger level success was not coming for him.

Donny: And number three, the film was a modest success. It made back its budget plus ten million in the states and made a good twenty million in profit overseas. Thus, it was a disappointment, but did well enough for Paramount to greenlight Conan the Conqueror the next year, which had been languishing in production hell since Conan the Destroyer underperformed and Red Sonja bombed.

Dirk: Not to mention it led to Cerebus!

Donny: Oh, gods, who can forget that?

Dirk: So, until next time, thank you for tuning in to Manly or Gay? I’m Dirk Bigler…

Donny: …and I’m Donny Majors…

Dirk: …and we’re hoping that you’ll come with us again next week…

Donny: Um…phrasing!

Dirk: …on a journey into the two faces of manliness.

[audio clip begins]

Skeletor: I’ll see you next time, He Man! (laughs maniacally)

[audio clip ends]

[Theme Music plays, fades out; netcast ends]
1) Did Hogan have to drop the WWF Championship in order to film He-Man?
2) I hope to God Superman IV is out of the hands of Menachem and Yoran.
3) Good to know Langella is still Skeletor (IMHO his second-best performance behind Frost∕Nixon).
4) Also good to know a He-Man movie is still super gay.
Disclaimer: [snip]

He Man (1987), Manly or Gay?
From the Manly or Gay? With Dirk and Donny Netcast, June 1st, 1997
that gave me a pretty good laugh, well done, and well written!

btw there is another movie who i think who flirted with this - Flash Gordon
not so much the main character, but some of the supporting roles (but then again the whole movie was a sort of parody)
Okay, my headcanon is this: Dirk and Donny do their netcast while drunk. The exaggerated personas they display were a conscious decision in their part, and they felt the only way to properly do the bit was to do some shots prior to recording.
NGL, Manly or Gay? reminded me of the Men On... from In Living Color.

Nice that the He-Man movie is actually a He-Man movie.

This film's director did the film Happy New Year in OTL, so I presume he didn't do it here?

NGL, I feel that Thompson is now destined to star in bargain-bin action and thriller movies come the 2000's and 2010's, like many of the action stars of both this TL and ours.

Yeah, I'm going to have to agree casting Mr. T as Beast Man was the move of a.... moron and a little racist... FOOL!

I'm actually a bit curious to see what The Sword of Cerebus is.

and Nothing Can Last would follow the next year. Alas the hyper-masculine man-as-Greek-God bodybuilder look was already on the way out.
1, how poetic Bruce Willis' everyman film that marked the end of the Masculine Greek-God era was called Nothing Can Last, and 2, I wonder if the title being closer to Roderick Thorpe's book means we'll get a more faithful adaptation (terrorists are genuine, anti-capitalism themes with "John" realising he's the bad guy here).

Also, i'm qyuite sure where there's success, theirs mockbusters, those flies of the film world... but that's for another day.
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Awesome review, and fantastic way of telling us about the He-Man movie @Geekhis Khan

Dirk Bigler? That us such a porn name...

It sounds better than the OTL movie by quite a long way, but still a cheesy, campy, manly, gay mess. Got a sequel which is more than OTL’s movie got! Poor Brain Thompson though- timing sucks.

Slightly surprised Hulk Hogan was prepared to by Beta to Thompson‘s He-Man, but he does fit the Man-At-Arms role well.

Good that proper Orko was in it, I liked the sound effects on his Beastman fight. ILM puppets getting better bodes well for the Star Wars movies.
'm actually a bit curious to see what The Sword of Cerebus and Cerberus are,
Maybe we see a Dave Sim who doesn't go off the rails.
Disneyland Valencia:
  • Main Street, U.S.A.
    • Standard theming around a 1910s/1920s American town
  • Fantasyland
    • Themed either as a Basque village or a more standard European setting (A Bavarian one like in Disneyland or maybe a Venetian one with canals?)
      • Sleeping Beauty Castle (inspired by Spanish/Andalusi alcazars like the Alcazar of Segovia)
      • Curse of the Dark Crystal
  • Adventureland
    • Themed around China / Japan, Africa, and the Caribbean
      • Indiana Jones and the Mask of the Monkey King
      • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Frontierland
    • Standard theming around the Wild West
      • Big Thunder Mountain
      • Phantom Manor
  • Discoveryland / Tomorrowland
    • Either a Discoveryland inspired by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and other notable European sci-fi writers (including Spanish ones!) or a direct copy of Tomorrowland
      • Space Mountain from the Earth to the Moon / Space Mountain
      • Journey to the Center of the Earth / Star Tours (if butterflied then Journey into Inner Space)
      • Horizons / Autopia
      • The Timekeeper / Carousel of Progress
      • Club Cyclia Theater
      • Nautilus Restaurant / Tomorrowland Terrace
      • Orbitron / Astro Orbiter
  • Muppetland / Mickey's Toontown / Hollywoodland (optional sixth lands)
    • Either a land inspired by the Muppets, the other Disney animated characters like Mickey Mouse, or ones inspired by Hollywood and their numerous movie IPs
What do you guys think of this plan?

EDIT #1: Added theming + ride suggestions
  1. Always a classic choice.
  2. I like the Venetian idea. It'd certainly make for an interesting layout for the land.
  3. Both Adventureland and Frontierland seem like good ideas.
  4. I personally like the Discoveryland option better as going the Verne-style steampunk route seems like the best way to avoid the Tommorrowland problem
  5. You know I have to go for the Muppetland option. Maybe it's themed as a local theme park the Muppets have taken over. Some nice fun old-timey carnival stuff.
My choice for the Riddler is Tim Curry.

My choice for Joker is Jack Nicholson.

My choice for Scarecrow is Robin Williams.
I think that Tim Curry would be better suited playing the Jonathan Crane/the Scarecrow than the Riddler.
the Sorceress, played by Eartha Kitt
Aww, yiss!
This version of He-Man sounds like a much better movie than the one we got OTL, nicely done!
I wonder if they got Hogan to dye his moustache for the role.

You know, after that disclaimer I was expecting something actually questionable, at least for our 'modern sensibilities' if not for alternate 1997, but other than an over-reliance on the 'phrasing' joke, that wasn't any more cringy than any number of YouTube videos I've seen.

Great work as usual, oh great Khan!

Is it weird that I spent most of yesterday thinking about that animated 1988 Godzilla movie that was only mentioned in passing and Geekhis openly admitted didn't put any thought into?
Is it weird that I spent most of yesterday thinking about that animated 1988 Godzilla movie that was only mentioned in passing and Geekhis openly admitted didn't put any thought into?
Me too. Like i'm sure at best we could get some crazy stuff the live-action series wasn't capable of.