When it comes to the classic Filmation television series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, it’s not much of a stretch to find homoerotic subtext in its ham-fisted dialogue and hyper-masculine, brutish-ness. However, there are times in the sci-fi hero’s quest to fight the forces of evil with his “fabulous secret powers” that it seems to move beyond mere inadvertent sexual suggestion and right into “oh, that’s just gay” territory. Here are five of He-Man’s gayest moments.
1. “The Cosmic Comet”
In the very first episode of He-Man: MOTU, titled “The Cosmic Comet”, the evil Skeletor harnesses the power of a wandering comet that, ever since its mate was accidentally destroyed, has grown bitter and evil. Under the sorcerer’s control, the comet attempts to stop a self-deprecating old wizard called The Comet Keeper from rebuilding its destroyed lover by attacking him with genital-less, ‘roided out rock men. He-Man wrestles with the evil comet long enough for his friends to fill the new one with their love, defeating Skeletor and enabling the happy couple to once again travel the galaxy in harmony. And just when you think this storyline couldn’t be more of a head-scratcher, you discover that both of the comets are actually male.
2. “Quest for He-Man”
In the “Quest For He-Man”, our hero falls through a rainbow colored time corridor and into the environmentally devastated world of Trannis where he encounters Plundor the Spoiler. A lisping, rabbit-headed captain of industry with an unexplained penchant for polluting the seas and killing off his planet’s wildlife, Plundor is immediately enamored by the “powerful looking brute” and offers to make “great use of his muscles”. He-Man politely turns him down in a way that only he can: by straddling Plundor’s “liquid filled” rocket and riding it into the stratosphere. Literally.
3. Any appearance of Duncan, Man-at-Arms
Ok, this is example is pretty general, but we’re including the overall presence of Duncan, aka Man-At-Arms, the royal family’s master of weapons. A middle-aged man with bare midriff armor, a Seventies ‘stache and nothing better to do than go on long trips with Prince Adam and keep his secrets? The whole thing reeks of human growth hormone, a secret past and late night slap-and-tickle in the darkened corridors of Castle Grayskull.
4. “The Laughing Dragon”
In He-Man: MOTU’s sister series, She-Ra: Princess of Power, She-Ra, in an episode titled “The Laughing Dragon”, encounters a socially put upon Dragon named Sorrowful. With hopes of recruiting his help against the Horde army, the show’s token male, Bow tries to intimidate the tormented reptile into finding its courage. However, even the bullied beast can’t help but mock the archer, who has inexplicably chosen to wear a belted pink frock, with limp-wristed jabs at Bow’s masculinity. An anti-bullying episode, where even the bullied bullies someone else for being different? As you can see, Bow’s catty companion, Kowl is not impressed.
5. “Fisto’s Forest”
And lastly, I draw your attention to an episode called “Fisto’s Forest”. He-Man & Co. is called to help some forest people whose diminutive leader, the Elf Lord, has been imprisoned by a bushy bearded bully named Fisto. Fisto, whose name can’t help but bring to mind vats of aqueous cream and neoprene gloves, is killing off their crops by using his over-sized metal fist to create a blockage in the river. The whole situation is only made more vivid by Fisto’s choice to douse his opponents with a sticky white goo as a means to subdue them.