Tuesday, December 4, 2012

French BLACKSTAR (1981) Comic Book

Apparently, Filmation's 1981 animated series, Blackstar, had a lot more merchandising than most of their (pre-He-Man) shows - and certainly considerably more stuff than I was aware of. Much of it appears to have been European, with a wide variety of action figures and other toys. As far as I know, there weren't any English language Blackstar comic books, but there was at least one French one, as the scan above illustrates!

I still have a lot of affection for this show, despite those annoying "kid friendly" Trobbits. I think it's pretty much the only American sci-fi television show - cartoon or live action - that actually represented the "sword & planet" subgenre, and I've always dug that kind of story. Sure, it owed a debt to Flash Gordon, but it also owed quite a lot to the interplanetary swashbucklers of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his imitators.


  1. Blackstar was a personal favorite of mine as well and I never missed an episode. I especially took note of the "two divided swords" coming together as one powerful weapon (something that would be repeated in the He-Man series and action figures).

    1. Yeah - there's no question that Filmation cannibalized a lot of Blackstar elements when they developed the Masters Of The Universe series for Mattel.

  2. I really looked forward to it as I was a huge Filmation fan but in the end, the trobbits drove me away. It was one of those "You're getting too old for this" moments.

  3. As a kid I not only loved Blackstar in toys and cartoon form, I also had the chance to read the comics as well.

    As a French-Canadian kid (I'm from the suburbs of Montreal, Quebec) I got to read "Pif Gadget", a French magazine (the gadget part being a toy/prize in each issue) that would publish for some time Blackstar comic book. I would much later find it bound in a beautiful album. Each short stories was self-contained, as usual for stories pblished by Pif, but stood well side by side in book form. Abeit the author visibly saw the cartoon, much visual cue were taken by the toys, which was pretty to find as a kid who had them.

    Europe (France at least) had a lasting tradition of doing cheap weekly / frequent comics to surf on a TV craze. Most, if all, popular S-F cartoon (many of which Japanese) of the late 1970's / 1980's had one; Albator (Captain Harlock), Goldorak (Grendizer), etc.

    I remember one magazine named "Les héros de la télé" that would present Marvel Star Wars comics reprinted alongside Euro-made Wild Wild West and 6 Million Dollars Man comics.