Does it surprise any of you by now that I lean towards the action shows over the comedies? Granted, I do enjoy Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids and I liked the “Quackula” segment of The New Adventures Of Mighty Mouse. (Quackula was a vampire duck who enjoyed scaring the daylights out of his upstairs neighbor every night. He was less interested in blood than Count Duckula.) Heckle & Jeckle I wasn’t a fan of in the original Terrytoons and that wasn’t going to change here.
Blackstar was one of my first major Saturday Morning cartoon shows and I stand by most of that. Kid logic may not cover the episode where Spring was kept in a box on one of the character’s mantlepieces in a story where the box is stolen. So yeah, the show got ridiculous at times. On the other hand, it could also be as cool as the intro suggests. Sadly, there’s no legal stream of it, but I really want to show you this show since I want to focus on the ones you may not be aware of. In this installment, Blackstar’s girlfriend has been trying to find him…and she’s about to find him!
You can both see some of the influences, and reasons for changes to, He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe. In the original Masters Of The Universe mini-comic (as I’ve reviewed) the Power Sword was split in half and unlocked a great power when combined. In Blackstar the PowerStar is split into the Power Sword and the Star Sword, but could unlock a great power when combined. This may explain the change in the nature of the Power Sword in He-Man–not wanting to repeat themselves.
One thing they both have in common is having Earth astronauts crash on Sagar/Eternia, but while Blackstar became the hero of the planet, Marlena only gave birth to him…and a daughter who would defend another world as well. I like to pretend they’re in the same universe and that NASA has a lot to answer for, with two astronauts disappearing and two more coming back claiming they found the lost astronaut on a planet where magic ruled and science was an afterthought. It wouldn’t be hard to believe that Katrina had a hard time getting a force to go back and take the fight to Overlord.
Although I wouldn’t mind seeing that story. Imagine reinforcements coming from Earth to back Blackstar and the rebels (shades of She-Ra, if you think about it) defeat Overlord once and for all. That would have made a good second season or series finale.
The final interesting thing about the show is John Blackstar himself. Although Filmation did produce a Lone Ranger cartoon (which I haven’t seen but is on Hulu along with the various live-action series) this is the first time a Native American was the main hero of the series, at least in a kids show if not altogether. We would later get the similarly names Bravestarr a few years down the road. Outside of Apache Chief on Super Friends, which was a bit more of a stereotype than even Bravestarr (with his various animal powers and being raised by a shaman), how many Native American main characters can you name, much less being the title hero?
The DVD collection is out of print thanks to BCI closing down, but if you come across it for a decent price, just be warned that some things are only going to be accepted if you’re a kid and even that’s a bit of a stretch. Still, there’s a decent show here and worth watching only to see what his Eternain counterpart would borrow later on.