DC And Mattel Debuts 'Darker' She-Ra: 'We're Not Playing Things Safe'

She-Ra "reimagined" by artist Drew Edward Johnson: "I...divided her face down the middle with the panel borders to show her split nature."

Everybody knows She-Ra as the female counterpart to beloved 1980s icon He-Man -- but according to DC Comics writer Mike Costa, you don't really know She-Ra. The sword-wielding heroine's origin is headed for a "dramatic retelling"  in a self-named digital one-shot, according to CNN.

Some might be surprised to learn that She-Ra -- a.k.a. Princess Adora -- started out as basically an agent/assassin for the evil Hordak. It's those darker early years of the character's life that the comic will focus on. Says Costa:

"Sure she's a powerful character working for evil, but that only makes her journey all the more heroic and interesting. The messages of strength, capability and redemption, those are some really empowering and sophisticated ideas for a princess character aimed at girls from 30 years ago."

The Way We Were: 1980s She-Ra with Swifty

But would making She-Ra somewhat more of a gritty, badass warrior woman rankle the old-school Masters of the Universe crowd? Mattel exec Rob David insists that the Masters of the Universe universe has to grow and evolve with the times:

"'The line is diverse, but every title shares one thing in common: We're not playing things safe. 'Masters of the Universe' isn't just part of our cultural past; it's alive and constantly growing."

Perhaps it's time to do that "Jem" reboot?

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