Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Masters of the Universe Revelation

Netflix dropped Masters of the Universe Revelations last week and like nearly anything in the 21st century, there is some outrage about it.

I encountered the Masters of the Universe toyline from Mattel when my buddy Barry (maybe the only kid more spoiled than I was) and I played with his He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor, and Beast-Man. I was hooked from the moment I saw their crazy proportions and I made my Mom drag me to Kay-Bee Toys to get all four. What Barry hadn't shown me were the enclosed mini-comics which were awesome.

Before the Filmation series, He-Man was the star of the Masters of the Universe but I found all the characters pretty darn cool and the cartoon's lore didn't really jive with the early mini-comics. I enjoyed the Filmation series but the introduction of Prince Adam and Orko was a little odd to my 10-year-old self. Due to some Marvel Comic 3-Packs of Conan the Barbarian and DC Comic 3-Packs of Tarzan I was already starting to dig pulp adventurers and I always preferred the story featuring a barbarian who finds a magic harness & cool weapons to Shazam-like transformation, but I watched the cartoon anyway and I consumed Masters of the Universe.

And obviously, I love Masters of the Universe since I've made so many posts about it.

Let me add something right here and now though, I'm not a Kevin Smith fan and his movies just aren't something I really dig. Maybe he was talked up to much before I saw Clerks or Mallrats or Chasing Amy or Dogma? In case you don't know Kevin Smith is Revelations showrunner and he says Revelation is a direct sequel to the Filmation series.

Also let me add that last year, largely due to the new Masters of the Universe Origins toy line, I got back into action figures. There has been "concern" among that community that Kevin isn't really a He-Man fan and that his series is supposed to subvert the character.

I went in pretty open-minded.

I've seen three of the first five episodes and I really love this show Kevin Smith and all. I won't lie to you that by the end of Episode 1 something major happens and the story goes off in a direction I didn't foresee. Also, this IS a direct sequel to the Filmation series but because of what happens it took me a few minutes to process where the story was going and I think some people might get turned off and miss out on a great story, but that's their loss.

The story, in my opinion, makes a lot of sense and really lets Masters of the Universe be about more than He-Man and Skeletor and I love that. I love it a lot. 

Orko isn't annoying and there are moments of real emotion from the nostalgia these characters experience after the events of the first episode. The status quo has changed dramatically and many of these characters, even the "bad guys" -- especially the "bad guys" are really going through something.

The one issue that might crop up is Teela's reaction to what happens and if you didn't watch the Filmation movie or know the lore you might not fully get her strong emotions. Is the show about Teela? Yes, and it's about Duncan, Orko, Evil-Lyn, Tri-Klops, Beast-Man, Whiplash, Trap Jaw, and Mer-Man through three episodes. But it is also okay that it is about Teela because this store isn't a Skeletor scheme-of-the-episode and there are real stakes involved because the people who loved it are now making it.

And I really, really love that.

Let me add that the voice cast is outstanding on every level but Lena Headey's Evil-Lyn is transcendent and her castmates include the Onion Knight, Luke Skywalker, and Batman.

I totally love this series and I hope it rises above the outrage. I do understand feeling a bit puzzled about Smith's "direct sequel" and the direction the story takes, but the property is better for it and I hope it makes a lot of people love Masters of the Universe. It certainly gave me everything I wanted in a MotU show as well as everything I didn't know that I wanted if that makes sense.


Timothy S. Brannan said...

"Lena Headey's Evil-Lyn is transcendent."

This. 1000% this.

Let's not forget Sarah Michelle Gellar's "Buffy channeling Xena" turn as Teela. Or HENRY FREAKING ROLLINS as Tri-klops?? That's insane.

I can't wait for Part 2!

Doctor Futurity said...

In the eighties I was totally in a Transformers/G.I. Joe camp and missed out on He Man entirely, but admit your discussion makes me tempted to check this out.

Unknown said...

Totally agree with what you said, I was dubious as I was expecting it to be as woke as anything (even though I love Kevin Smiths works), but I was pleasantly surprised and look forward to more of this. Have you seen the other Masters being shown I would love to know your opinion on this one as well, as I see somethings that could be easily mined from here.

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