Masters of the Universe Revelation season 1 Review
Here’s my Masters of the Universe Revelation season 1 review which is now streaming on Netflix featuring the voices of Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, Sarah Michelle Gellar and more.
So here we are with my own review for the first season of Masters of the Universe: Revelation season 1. Prior to the release there were some negative and some positive thoughts about the series which was much hyped thanks to Kevin Smith producing and writing the series. Check out the trailer below:
Breaking the Universe
Smith was hyping up the project as something to be a direct continuation for the story they did with the animated series back in the 80s and he’s apparently adding some new twists which is considered canon of the story. And he actually does so with a really interesting pilot where we find good ol’ Skeletor doing what he loves best and trying to take over Castle Grayskull. There’s a big twist here which “kills” both He-Man and Skeletor and pushes the narrative and the main protagonist role towards He-Man/ Adam’s bestfriend Teela who also takes over her father’s role as the new Man-At-Arms.
The death of He-Man and Skeletor also causes the decimation of magic in Eternia and after an undefined timeskip, we find that technology is slowly rising, people are dying, Teela has become a scavenger/mercenary and the world is dying. Now it’s up to a handful of characters, both good and bad to come together to save Eternia.
He-Man: All Star Weekend
One of the really nice things about Masters of the Universe: Revelation is that throughout the season we get an introduction or reintroduction to the more famous members of both the good guys and the bad guys without cramming all of them in various episodes. Its like the greatest hits of He-Man which kids and adults can enjoy. There’s an entire episode for Man-at-Arms which I thoroughly enjoyed too, giving the grizzled and mustachioed warrior some deserved spotlight.
Most of the episodes for season 1 also go back to past adventures involving the important characters for the episode like in Episode 3 where we get to see Man-At-Arms and how bad-ass he can be and why Evil-Lyn calls him “The Most Dangerous Man in Eternia”.
Fight and Flight
There’s a lot of great action scenes in “Revelation” and whether its those one on one fights that also doubles as character growth or those big epic scenes. The camera work is intense and dynamic especially the ones in episode 1. All the fight scenes are good and I have to hand it to production team for the eye-candy they dished out. The camera work is impressive for fights whether its big or small.
I definitely loved the new designs for the various characters in this series its so different and yet so familiar. The biggest redesign that I have to note and one that’s been controversial among MOTU fans would have to Teela’s new cut. She went from this…
… to this…
Honestly though, I thought it was OK. Initially felt strong and capable but then the actual series rolled by and it felt, off. We’ll have more on Teela later. Other designs look great like the grizzled Duncan/ former Man-at-Arms. He even has a man-bun.
The Big Problem
For me the big problem that the series may have with most fans is the choice of what they do with He-Man. Kevin Smith has shot down rumors that there will be a big “changing of guard” in the first part. This was done by writing He-Man out of the story and thrusting a relcutant Teela into the role. As the series progresses, all of Teela’s hang-ups from her father to Adam to her former role gets “fixed”. This really should have been the end of this and the baton is returned to Adam (which I will not spoil how).
Also Teela’s journey as a character and her new central conflict for the series is the fact that everybody lied to her. She’s so fed-up right there and then that she figuratively says “fuck it” and leaves leaving the fate of the Eternia up in smoke.
There are also a number of characters here that seems to have been badly written or fucked up in the writing room case in point King Randor, Adam’s father. In the brief appearance, he not only shows a scumbag side by throwing a bitch fit after He-Man / Adam’s death blaming everything on Duncan. Earlier, he also shows another scummy writing for the noble and good-hearted king when it totally reads like he wants He-Man to be his son more than Adam. Totally a far cry from what fans grew up watching and remembering.
Also Evil-Lyn goes through this great journey of rediscovering herself after Skeletor and the moment that maniacal “Lord of Destruction” rears his bony skull, she’s back to where she started; Whether they were pulling a Game of Thrones here at the endgame or they just forgot how “character development” works.
I’m giving this a try for a second season and hopefully the writing gets good and the people running the show actually takes all the canon and the mythos for the franchise and spin a solid plot. The ending is shocking but I really felt this was half-assed. It really made me ask how much they loathe Prince Adam; It sucks that the toy for the final scene in the series also got leaked early.