Powers and abilities
He-Man is characterized by his immense strength. In the intro sequence of the 1980s cartoon series he claims to be "The Most Powerful Man in the Universe". Similar wording is also used in early packaging of He-Man toys. He-Man's strength is an issue rarely tackled and seems to vary depending on the adaptation. In his first DC comics appearance he was able to trade punches with Superman. Typical of most adaptations is that He-Man is often shown successfully attempting feats deemed impossible by other characters. Episodes of the original cartoon also depict him as being able to swim at a far faster rate than is humanly possible. It is unknown if there is a limit to how long He-Man can remain He-Man before he reverts back to his original form of Adam, but in the 2002 series, He-Man is shown enduring the brunt of at least two large explosions, which he survives, but reverts back to Adam in the process, suggesting that even He-Man has a limit as to how much abuse he can endure before his superhuman strength and stamina is exhausted.
His physical prowess is not limited to strength, however, and he is also depicted as being extremely fast and acrobatic. These traits do not show themselves in He-Man's movie appearance, but this may have been due to budgetary reasons, as well as the fact that Dolph Lundgren, in the absence of a fitting stunt double, was forced to perform all his own stunts.
On the other hand, He-Man as a character is largely non-violent and usually only resorts to combat as a last resort, usually preferring to outsmart his adversaries, his most violent actions usually consist of picking up an enemy and tossing him away like a rag doll, though the 1987 film and 2002 series show him fighting more aggressively. He-Man is also depicted as a leader, most noticeably in the movie adaptation where he is referred to as the leader of the resistance. Sometimes He-Man's intellect appears to cross a point not within his character, but this usually happened in the original 80s cartoon.
He-Man's primary weapon is his sword, but he also uses other weapons, such as a laser-gun in the film, and equipment while battling his foes. His sword is able to deflect bolts of energy both magical and technological. Originally He-Man's primary weapon was an axe. His chest harness is made of an Etherian mineral called Korodite that helps add to his physical strength.
Due to his costume he can rarely carry large items with him. The 1980s cartoon depicts He-Man sometimes carrying items in his chest-plate and in some cases in his belt. This has caused some irritation with fans who consider the latter cases as embarrassing to the character. The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon by Filmation also gives He-Man a number of powers many fans considered silly or over-cartoonish and which in result have not appeared in other versions. Such powers include:
He-Man being able to blow, using the full-capacity of his lungs, a gust of wind powerful enough to knock over most opponents (similar to Superman's "super-breath"
Able to transform himself into a human tornado (sometimes with the aid of spinning his sword) to divert objects, or even fly short distances on rare occasions ("Evilseed" and "The Shadow of Skeletor" being two such examples).
Able to run at high speed, creating a vacuum ("The Once and Future Duke"
Able to rub his hands together fast enough to turn sand into glass (as seen in "Temple of the Sun"
Punch a falling moon (on a collision course with Eternia) and shatter it to a billion pieces with his bare fist.
Maybe I should have put him up against All Star Superman.