Warning: Major spoilers ahead
With the Twitter factions warring over The Masters of the Universe: Revelation series, I was both skeptical and somewhat apprehensive about wading into the murky waters that the irate fans of the original He-Man and The Masters of the Universe had created. That and the fact that I don’t normally watch anime, which in my mind, are, well, cartoons.
The series is bloody good.
Instead of the episodic series format of the 80’s series, Kevin Smith, Mattel and Netflix went the other way with a continuing story format that will seemingly span over seasons. And these first five episodes are essentially a build-up of what is still to come.
So if more of the same is what you wanted, you will be disappointed. But…it’s better. Believe me.
Touted by fans of the original as a show all about Teela, side lining He-Man and Skeletor, the first five episodes, that has her in the forefront of the action, would have you thinking exactly that. But it turns out, it is all part of the build-up of the premise of the whole story. If people didn’t pick up on that, then I don’t know…
And that is probably what Kevin Smith meant, when he vehemently denied it to be a “Teela Show”.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The first episode showcases an attack on Castle Grayskull by Skeletor and his cronies, with He-Man, as always, swooping in to save the day. But when he “kills” Skeletor, his sword pierces the magical orb of Eternia, where magic originates from and he has to use the sword the absorb all of the magical power, or everyone is doomed. He-Man and Skeletor are seemingly killed and the sword split up and sent to two other dimensions, Subternia and Preternia. Teela, who never knew that Adam was actually He-Man, gets a rude awakening when He-Man reverts back to Adam while absorbing the power, and all the magic in Eternia disappears.
She throws her toys out of the cot, and sets out on her own. She is later convinced by the Sorceress to go look for the damn swords, combine them again and bring magic back to their dying planet, so all may flourish again. But the twist is, Evil-Lyn, is to accompany her on the quest as an ally, because it is in everyone’s interest to bring magic back to Eternia.
That is the very basic premise of the first part of the series, as Kaas understands it.
As the series is ongoing, it would just make sense that it couldn’t be about He-Man and Skeletor barneys the whole time as it tells a story, and that means sacrificing screen time for the hero and his nemesis. It would also get very boring, very quick. More of the same like in the episodic format. Also, there is whole host of characters, and like in every good series, you need character growth and progression, which means screen time for those characters.
The voice cast is stellar, although I’m in two minds about Sarah Michelle Gellar voicing Teela. Her teen-like nasal, petulant voice, doesn’t match the heroine in my opinion. I might get some flak for this….LOL…but, hey, we all have our opinions.
Here is a list of the who is who, where throaty noises are concerned:
- Chris Wood as Prince Adam / He-Man
- Mark Hamill as Skeletor
- Liam Cunningham as Duncan / Man-At-Arms
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela / Man-At-Arms
- Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn “Lyn” / Majestra
- Diedrich Bader as King Randor, Trap Jaw
- Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena
- Stephen Root as Cringer
- Griffin Newman as Orko
- Susan Eisenberg as Sorceress of Castle Grayskull
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Beast Man
- Kevin Conroy as Mer-Man
- Henry Rollins as Tri-Klops
- Jason Mewes as Stinkor
- Alan Oppenheimer as Moss-Man
- Justin Long as Roboto
- Tony Todd as Scare Glow
- Phil LaMarr as He-Ro
- Cree Summer as Priestess, Kuduk
- Harley Quinn Smith as Illena
- Tiffany Smith as Andra
- Dennis Haysbert as King Grayskull
- Adam Gifford as Vikor
- Jay Tavare as Wun-Dar
Lena Headey stands out as Evil-Lyn and her Victorian style accent, does the character justice. I mean, who is better than Lena when it comes to evil characters? She played Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones after all. One of the most evil, vile characters known to mankind. Also…her voice is haaaaawt. And her snarky comments and insults hilarious.
To be honest, Teela comes across as a bit selfish and insensitive, and I can see her character taking a lot of flak by fans. Especially when she throws her toys because she was lied to, instead of taking Adam’s parents grief into account and the fact that her dad, Man at Arms, is being banished. Making it all about her feelings. I struggled to like her, but she does redeem herself a bit, right until she still stays miffed with Adam in the end because he kept his secret from her. Her character is very self centered. And that hair cut…She was gorgeous with her long hair, especially when she took the tiara hair thingy off and let it loose, so I’m not sure why the undercut had to happen.
The script is fun and there are some funny puns, especially when Evil-Lyn calls Mer-man, a “traitorous trout”. When did treacherous become traitorous? Is traitory now the new treachery? Henry Rollins’ character Tri-klops starts a cult, devoting themselves to The Great Sprocket. LOL.
The animation is also very well done. Not that I have a lot of experience about what is good and bad when it concerns animation, having not really watched animated anything in years. There is a moment that I called BS… I mean, how do you build something when you have nothing?
*Sigh* Only in cartoons.
Two of the things that got hard core fans to whip out their pitchforks and torches, actually do take place.
Yes, a beloved character dies. But he dies a hero, saving his friends and allowing them to escape to Preternia. Well, we are led to believe he is dead, anyway. Methinks he will make a comeback.
And King Grayskull, He-Man’s great, great, great….erm…great grandfather is now Black, instead of the Nordic featured hero he was in the comics. But his role is so small, it shouldn’t even really matter and is something stupid to get pissy about.
So, there you have it. Great animation, awesome voice acting that doesn’t seem stinted like in a lot of anime series and a great story.
I really think the review bombers and the angry horde of fans should take this series for what it is, a start to an amazing journey instead of looking for instant gratification. But…that is just my opinion.
Last Updated: July 26, 2021