Netflix viewers got a look at the new vision of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe when it premiered Sept. 16. For fans who have been binging the new show, they may have discovered some secrets in the final images of each episode. Episodes end with a still frame as well as three icons on the screen. It’s up to viewers to figure out what these Easter eggs mean, but executive producer Jeff Matsuda offered some hints.
“We wanted to just give a little extra to all the fans of just what’s coming in the next episode,” Matsuda told Showbiz Cheat Sheet in a Zoom interview on Sept. 9. “We also have those three little boxes which are Easter eggs which I love to look at. So good luck figuring out what those Easter eggs are because I look at them now and I don’t remember what I drew.”
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe creator and Vice President of Content Creative for Mattel Rob David offered some more clues. The images at the end of the episodes are this series’ version of “next on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.”
“Sometimes it’s who the next villain is or what might motivate them,” David said. “Sometimes it’s like a roll of toilet paper. It’s really about trying to have fun but also engage you and try to help you, encourage you to engage and maybe figure stuff out so we don’t want to ruin anything, but it really was just the whole show, making it was just a complete joy. I hope you can feel that joy in little things like that.”
David and Matsuda opened up the opportunity to additional artists. Guest artists would come in just to produce the final images on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episodes.
“Jeff and I are both huge comic book fans,” David said. “We grew up loving comics. Both of us have worked in comics writing and drawing. So any opportunity Jeff and I to derail any meetings about He-Man to talk about Marvel, DC or Image or anything. These codas just gave us an opportunity sometimes to do comic book illustrative re-interpretations of our character. A few of them were done by people Jeff and I idolized from when we were kids.”
Matsuda credited one of their other producers with encouraging them to add codas to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
“This series has honestly been the best I’ve ever worked on and the one I’’m most proud of,” Matsuda said. “Everyone on this, Rob, all of us together, Susan Corbin, a producer on the show, we all just love making the show so much that we want to throw in more love, as much love as possible into what we’re making. So I think Susan came up with the idea. It’s like, ‘What if you guys put a coda at the end of it? You just find the artists that you love, that love He-Man and have them go to town on it.’”
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a Netflix production. However, Matsuda called it a labor of love, and adding codas to the episodes was artistically motivated.
“These things take a while, they take just extra time to think about and everything,” Matsuda said. “The show has this just a feel to it of everyone that made it really loves it and we we all enjoy working with each other so we’ll take the extra time to put in these codas, call up these artists, have all these launching conversations with them as to what the next episode is, but it’s a labor of love.”
David confirmed everyone involved was there for the love of He-Man.
“We all love He-Man and we all love everybody adding their voice to it,” David said. “In the spirit of new fresh tellings of classic stories that we love, these codas let different artists bring their voice to it. Same design, same costumes but now the style is radically different. It’s when you allow for that variation that you get surprises and progress.”