Who exactly created He-Man may just be a mystery for the ages. Through the years no less than half a dozen different people have laid claim to being the creator of the mighty Master of the Universe. And now it’s at the center of a lawsuit as a new contender has sought to wrangle Eternia’s greatest hero in the courts. Donald Glut, author of the first few Masters of the Universe mini comics, claims that he is the man responsible for creating He-Man. Glut’s claim have some merit, as he definitely fleshed out some of the early mini comic mythos, that many consider the definitive He-Man.
Of course, Mattel quickly abandoned most of that history in favor of Lou Scheimer’s animated storylines. Currently Mattel’s brand manager Scott Neitlich is rewriting the mythos of He-Man to his own whim. Even if Glut was the sole creator of He-Man (and he most assuredly is not) he likely signed away any rights he ever had by doing “work for hire” in the 1980’s with Mattel. Essentially that means that he was never entitled to the rights to the creative input he had. It was the deal going in and he would have known that.
Glut has made comments in recent years that he deeply regretted ever working for Mattel in that fashion, basically indicating that he felt He-Man was stolen from him. He’s certainly not alone. Roger Sweet vehemently claims he created He-Man. Some within Filmation claim that Carol Lundberg is responsible for He-Man. Mark Taylor also claims to have created He-Man when he was just 11 years old. Then of course there’s plenty of Mattel executives who claim to have been instrumental in the creation. The Toy Masters documentary that may or may not ever see the light of day, was built around the argument between Sweet and Taylor, who most believe share credit in creating the character.
What makes Glut’s most recent lawsuit against Mattel interesting is that it’s taking place now. If Glut truly thought he was owed a stake in He-Man’s monetary reward, he probably should have tried to cash in during the 1980’s… You know, back when He-Man was a license to print money. I’m sure Glut has stewed over this for decades, but letting all that time pass has most assuredly destroyed what little chance he may have had in the first place.
Who’s up for a new MOTUC character named Liti-Gat-Or?