I was very suspicious of Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation for two reasons. Most importantly, Smith kept calling him a “continuation“from the original 1983 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon, which seemed impossible because the original was completely episodic, meaning there was never a story to go on. The second reason is that Netflix was originally called it’s an animated series, which would have been even less of a continuation (Netflix has since stopped). But looking at this very, very good first trailer for the series, I think I finally understood it.
Yeah, that means I got a revelation on Revelation. Shut up and watch:
From that opening shot of Castle Grayskull, which is pretty much perfect with the original series, everything looks exactly like it was in the ’80s series, but much better. The characters use the same design and (reasonably) simple palettes, but they are more detailed, cooler, and more accurate representations of the original figures – they weren’t update, just improved. Well, with a few exceptions which are for the best; it appears Prince Adam is now visible younger and smaller than He-Man, making his transformation much more impressive and meaningful, while He-Man has his more recent “H” symbol on his chest instead of an iron cross, which has always been a great idea for several reasons. Certainly I’m not sure about the new He-Man, Sailor moon-esque transformation sequence.
But it’s hard to worry too much when Revelation has all the action that the original cartoon lacked, and more. Back then, children’s animation really couldn’t show graphic violence – I don’t mean gore, I mean He-Man literally never used a sword or hit another living being in it. entirety of the original ’80s series. The worst he would do was pick up a bad guy and throw him in a barrel or puddle.
As you can see, this is no longer the case. He-Man, Skeletor, and the others no longer have a problem trying to fight with fists, weapons, and in Skeletor’s case, some really badass sorcery. Damn, even Orko is doing something cool! Of course, Beast-Man always jumps off the Land Shark a second before a laser detonates him, just like a classic cartoon, but it’s okay! We ’80s kids never needed the Masters of the Universe to kill each other, we just wanted He-Man to hit Skeletor in the face… and it looks like we’re going to get it in spades.
In a piece of news that didn’t send me to paroxysms of joy, Netflix also announced the existence of Revelations: Masters of the Universe Revelation Aftershow, what appears to be a single 25 minute special that will happen alongside Revelationthe first five episodes. It will be hosted by Smith, “executive producer and vice president, Content Creative, Mattel Television Rob David,” and actor Tiffany Smith, who plays Andra (a new character on the show. It’s a long story). They will be joined by actors Mark Hamill (Skeletor), Chris Wood (He-Man), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Teela), Lena Headey (Evil-Lyn), Henry Rollins (Tri-Klops), Griffin Newman (Orko), and more.
The first half of Masters of the Universe: Revelation will premiere on Netflix on July 23. Suddenly it seems far, far away.
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