There’s a reason why He-Man Meets Ram-Man is one of my two favorite Masters of the Universe mini-comics and it’s all personal. Oh, the story is good and of all of them it’s had the best Friday Night Fight fodder. But there’s a more personal connection to this one and the one that came with Man-E-Faces. I received both figures, and naturally the comics that came with them, from my grandparents the same Christmas that my grandmother was in the hospital. Now she lived through a few more Christmases but in some way they help connect me to her.
As for the story itself, I seem to recall the events actually showed up later in the show but I don’t remember the episode and all attempts to find it met with a dead end so maybe I dreamed it. And before anyone asks, yes I know “The Dragon’s Gift” was adapted into the mini-comics but that’s not what I’m thinking of. I think Ram-Man was telling the story to someone as an example or parable or something. Well, you’ve seen the fights from this tale but now you get to see the full story itself.
Masters Of The Universe: “He-Man Meets Ram-Man”
DC Comics/Mattel (1982)PACKAGED WITH: Ram-Man WRITER: Gary Cohn PENCILER: Mark Texeri INKER: Tod Smith COLORIST: Anthony Tolin no credits given for letter or editor
As Skeletor and Beast Man play peeping toms, they observe He-Man traveling into Ram-Man’s domain, and Ram-Man isn’t one for visitors.
He-Man, although not wanting to fight but urgently having to get somewhere, is forced to knock Ram-Man into next Tuesday (or whatever they call days on Eternia) and head off, Ram-Man swearing revenge on the “villain”. Naturally the real villains take the opportunity and convince Ram-Man that He-Man is Eternia’s greatest villain, naturally making Skeletor its greatest hero, then teleporting them to Castle Greyskull. Skeletor convinces Ram-Man that He-Man is inside the castle laughing at him and Ram-Man, in his anger, agrees to batter down the jawbridge. (It’s like a drawbridge, but a jaw, you see.) I’m going to also assume that anger is keeping Ram-Man from realizing “wait, how could He-Man get here so fast”? Remember, the magic teleporing Battle Ram, even if Rammy knew about it, is from the first comic, which is in a different continuity. Yes, Mattel had at least three mini-comic continuities. Wrap your head around that.
Well in this one, He-Man is fighting a monster called a Glorm that’s terrorizing a small village. According to my records I haven’t used that one in a Friday Night Fight, so guess what my next entry is going to be. 😀 Then the Sorceress, who still has the snake armor, so if you want her and Teela you’ll have to buy both figures–okay wait. I need to divert here to ask about the choices here. The source of all magic is in a skull-shaped castle because Mattel didn’t want to give the villains a base or something. It gave the Heroic and Evil Warriors something to fight over. Snake Mountain wasn’t introduced until the cartoon and when we finally had one it looked nothing like the one on the show. But I can understand making your castle look scary, even if you’re a good guy, to protect all the big magic secrets. It would scare a lot of people away unless they already HAD a skull for a head.
But who, I ask you, decided that the heroic sorceress (who is sometimes called “The Goddess”, depending on how Cohen felt that issue) or that the heroic fighting woman (whether you’re talking the comic or the toy) should have snake armor? Snakes aren’t usually thought of as being a good thing, thus making another species Satan worked over back in the Garden of Eden. He’s kind of a jerk that way. That means that on someone’s toy shelf a woman with snake armor lives in a skull-shaped castle with all of her friends while the skull-headed man lives in a mountain with a snake face embedded in it along with all of his friends. Something seems amiss here. Of course Teela got the armor all to herself when they released a Sorceress figure based on the bird motif of the cartoon, which must confuse poor Zoar who used to be his own bird but is now the bird form of a female Sorceress whenever she wants to get out of the house. Or whatever the heck she’s wearing here.
All I’m saying is that I like this franchise…but man is Eternia a weird place.
OK, back to the story. Snake Sorceress sends He-Man to Grayskull to stop the bad guys. Back at Grayskull, Ram-Man is getting tired (and not wondering why He-Man hasn’t at least leaned out the window to complain all his records are being knocked off of the shelves) and wants to rest. Skeletor, who is more than willing to tell OSHA to kiss his bony butt, uses his magic to force Ram-Man to continue, and then He-Man arrives.
What I didn’t get to show you in this fight, because the theme at the time was villains winning, is that by using his mystic power here he cut of the spell being used on Ram-Man. (Maybe shouldn’t have used ALL your power here, Skeley.) So Ram-Man launches himself into Skeletor, thus saving He-Man. As the bad guys head for the hills, the two new friends shake hands.
My personal links aside (grandma, this being one of my first mini-comics in general and one of my first MOTU mini-comics specifically), this is a good story, on par with the bigger comics from the store shelves. This is why I enjoy these pack-in mini-comics; they tell a good story while promoting the toy they came with. This and The Ordeal of Man-E-Faces, which I’m sure I’ll review in the future, are my standard-bearers for how these comics should be done and why they deserve as much respect as the bigger, off the rack comics. If you see this at a convention, pick it up. You won’t be disappointed.