He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was a cartoon about a useless dipshit with a terrible haircut…
who transformed into a shirtless version of himself by hollering.
It was basically Tallahassee Drunk and Disorderly Arrest: The Cartoon. You don’t need me to explain what He-Man is, because you’re here, and it’s part of the 🌭1-900-HOT-DOG KIDS CLUB!🌭 Foundational Reading Program.
And also because they try to reboot it every five years. Studio executives across the decades live in utter disbelief that they can’t pull off a successful relaunch of this hasty cartoon based on toy remainders. And in every one of those reboots, they insist on including Fisto, and every time somebody new finds out about Fisto, everyone makes a bunch of tired jokes about fisting. That’s fine, I’m not above it, watch:
The original He-Man toy came with a Power Sword, the original Man-At-Arms toy came with a mace, and the original Fisto toy came with a moist towelette for leakage.
But here’s the thing: We make these naughty little jokes like He-Man wasn’t in on it. Like the cartoon was some naive young pixie blinking up at the ribald double-entendres with a placid smile that said “I don’t get it, but I’m just glad everybody’s having fun.” That is not the case. I can prove it. Here’s Fisto’s actual origin story:
Fisto’s Forest is a loaded term that begs a terrible question. Never ask it. The smile that comes over Fisto’s face whenever a busload of soon-to-be-missing Mormons asks “w-what’s Fisto’s Forest?” is terrible in its purity. Fisto’s Forest is a Ukrainian slang term for the abandoned lot behind a truck stop where they don’t even pick up bodies anymore. It’s the name of the hidden porno your wife discovered that made her leave you. That very name promises untold perversion and the cartoon absolutely delivers: Within thirty seconds Fisto is grabbing a strange child and carrying him away.
You’re right, I am taking that out of context. But in my defense, it’s impossible not to – Fisto destroys context just by existing. It is impossible to take any screen grab where Fisto doesn’t look like a sex offender doing his legally required introduction.
Fuck. I’m going to scan ahead randomly and try again:
He’s a bearded man in fur panties with one giant hand; even if you didn’t know his name you would instinctively utter the word “Fisto” as he pushes you into the dumpster where you die.
Here’s Fisto just a few minutes into his own origin story, hiding behind a bush…
…and promising that, actual quotes here, “I’ll give [He-Man and friends] a sticky welcome.”
THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.
Again, this is taken out of context for a cheap joke… but is it still out of context if every single moment of the show is like this? It’s a twenty minute episode that requires constant explanation and if you stop breathlessly justifying what’s on screen for even for a second you’ll wind up with no alibi for watching this:
Now for legal purposes he’s supposed to have an evil spider and those are supposed to be webs, but you might recognize that this stream of goo is in no way web-shaped, and is instead a puddle of sticky white liquid that Fisto shoots at feet:
Nobody has ever made unfortunate eye contact with a man named Fisto, had starchy pale sauce splattered all over their sassy red high-heeled boots, and thought “oh no, a spider web! I’m stuck!”
In fact, the running gag in the show is that people keep stepping on, running into, or grabbing various things and then grimly staring off into the distance as they realize Fisto has already coated it with his “webbing.”
There’s not even really any justification for these hijinks — we get some brief fantasy bullshit about Skeletor casting a magic spell on the forest and imprisoning the elf lord, but this takes up maybe two minutes of Fisto’s episode:
And the other twenty three are dedicated to lovingly-rendered spider bukakke.
Here’s the thing: The term “fisting” not only existed long before He-Man, it was especially present in the mid-80s lexicon. He-Man ran at the height of the AIDS epidemic, when fisting was being held up as the flagship deviant practice by those darned homosexuals, recklessly spreading the virus due to the small tears the act caused in the anus. And I promise you that Baron Douglas Booth, writer of this episode and actual fucking Baron — that is a real title that you seriously had to call the guy who wrote Fisto and you still think I’m kidding — knew what fisting was when he wrote this shit. Douglas Booth inherited his British shipping family’s baronetcy and, presumably bored with the idle perversions of the aristocracy, used it to pursue a passion for American cartoon-writing. The dude was like the Davy Crockett of western hentai: he didn’t discover the frontier, but he sure plunged into it headfirst when everybody else was like “no, gross.”
Here’s another of those “out of context” grabs from Fisto’s Forest:
Fisto’s whole arc is that he started out as a bad guy, but reformed when somebody finally treated him like “a real person.” Seeing a path back to normal society, he changed his ways and earned a pardon from the king. You can read into that story what you will. I don’t live in Baron Douglas Booth’s head and you can tell because I’m not currently being raped by trees and ejaculated on by spiders. So I’m not here to tell you what he really meant with Fisto’s tale. I’m not even here to tell you to stop making Fisto jokes — I’m just here to tell you that Fisto was a sex criminal named after a then-culturally villified gay practice by the actual fucking aristocrat who created Scooby Doo. I’m here to tell you that because some facts pollute your brain and the only way to alleviate the damage is to spread that poison out nice and thin. Thanks for taking some of my brain-poison, guys. Sorry I got it all over your sassy red high-heeled boots.
Oh, also here’s Evil-Lyn standing with Jitsu, Fisto’s villainous counterpart:
This article was brought to you by our fine patron and Hot Dog Supreme, Cale Block: who only now, this sentence, realizes he is being hunted by a Showtime Pizza robot band.