General Spoiler Free Review Ahead…..But There Are MAJOR Spoilers Later In This Post. I’ll Warn You When They Arrive.
I watched all five episodes of executive producer/writer Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation this weekend. I watched the first episode, the only one written by Smith, and knew immediately that it would put a sour taste in the mouths of many fans of the original series. I’ll touch on the actual episode in a bit, but just know that if you can make it through that first episode, the rest of the series is very good. It manages to capture the essence of the original series, including cheesy puns and jokes, while “adulting” it up a little bit. That means that some people might die.
For the most part the series is very well done, but I really don’t like the way that two characters behave in the first episode. King Randor and Teela have out-of-character reactions to a revelation in the first episode. I just don’t buy that either of these characters would do what they do at this particular moment. The rest of the series is basically derived from Teela’s actions in that moment but, thankfully, the rest of the show’s writers seem to have a better handle on the personalities of all of the characters, especially Evil-Lyn and Beast Man, who, to me, are two of the best characters in the series. These writers save the series in my opinion.
The first part of the series ends in a cliffhanger and gives fans of the classic series hope that what was wronged in the first episode will be righted in part two….unless Kevin Smith wants to see how many gut-punches he can toss at old fans of the show.
Is it worth watching? Absolutely. Almost all of the cast is brilliant. Lena Headey, Henry Rollins, Mark Hamill, Kevin Michael Richardson, Tiffany Smith, and Stephen Root are just a few of the amazing voice actors in the show. The biggest disappointment, however, was Sarah Michelle Gellar. She portrays Teela and comes off entirely too bubbly at moments to be a true warrior like the one that Teela was portrayed as in the original series. Considering the fact that Teela is the focus of most of the series, it’s a bit annoying to hear Gellar chew her way through lines while other actors are dominating their roles.
I really like the way this story develops with each episode. At just under thirty minutes each, you can blaze through part one in a little over two hours. It’s nice to see these classic characters back in action and I’m looking forward to part two.
Everything Below This Photo Of The Mighty Skeletor Is A Spoiler! You’ve Been Warned! Nyaaaahhhh!!!!!
This series has so much going for it that I hate to be too critical with my review. The fact of the matter, though, is that Kevin Smith and Netflix sold this series as a show about He-Man and Skeletor and immediately took them out of the equation. As anybody that is part of any fandom knows, you never pull the bait-and-switch on hardcore fans without warning them a little bit. That’s unfortunate in my opinion, because the killing of the two titans in the first episode actually sets up a brilliant storyline that many classic fans will never watch because their childhood feelings were bruised.
Thankfully I managed to check my childhood at the door and was able to enjoy the rest of the series. I like the fact that Teela sets out to save Eternia but I really, really dislike her reaction to the revelation that Prince Adam and He-Man are one and the same. I also found it absolutely ridiculous that King Randor banished pretty much everybody that ever put their life on the line for him, his family, and Eternia. While the adventure is excellent, the initial motivation is bunk. I understand being hurt after finding out such a massive secret, but none of the heroes in the original series ever showed animosity to one another. Perhaps it happened in the comics, but I never read those.
Now I’ll break my spoilers down in bullet form:
- Pro: The overall plot of the series was excellent.
- Con: Sarah Michelle Gellar’s voice acting. Teela shouldn’t sound like an excited cheerleader going into battle.
- Pro: Every single villain. From Scare Glow to Stinkor and Tri-Klops to Beast Man, the villains were awesome.
- Con: The lack of more heroes. I’d really love to see characters like Stratos, Ram-Man, and Sy-Klone make appearances. Maybe they’ll show up in the second part.
- Pro: Orko finally gets to shine. Being the bumbling idiot most of the time in the old series, it was nice to see Orko take charge. I don’t believe that we’ve seen the last of him. I expect him to escape from Subternia.
- Con: The “shocking” death of Moss-Man. It felt forced and came across as more of a “look what Kevin can do in this universe” move instead of an actual plot device. I would have been just fine with only the deaths of He-Man and Skeletor in the first episode.
- Pro: Wun-Dar. Seeing all of the champions was awesome, but this guy is just cool. As a tie-in figure for Wonder Bread, he’s one of the most wonderfully cheesy things in the MOTU universe.
- Pro: The growth of Evil-Lyn as an individual and her ultimate downfall. She found freedom with Skeletor gone but she and Beast Man (who is loyal to a fault in my opinion) quickly fell back in line when he returned.
- Pro: Beast Man isn’t a moron anymore. While he chuckles at a goofy joke by Evil-Lyn, there’s very little of the original screw-up in the new series. Beast Man is a protector and he does that to perfection in this series.
- Con: I wanted more Mer-Man. This version of the character comes across as more sinister and I hope that I get to see more of him.
- Pro: The opening sequence of the first episode. The wonderful classic artwork used to catch up new fans and to remind old fans of the past was simply amazing. It was the best part of the first episode.
- Pro: Something tells me that Hordak will eventually make an appearance thanks to the MOTU Revelation Revelations Aftershow. You can see a figure of him in the background of many scenes. Will he show up at the end of part two? What about She-Ra? I’d love to see the Fright Zone explored in this new series.
- Pro: All of the nods to all things MOTU that weren’t part of the original series. From characters such as Andra from the comics to a nod to the flying discs used in the live action film with Dolph Lundgren, these little winks made me smile.
I could go on, but I believe that I’ll stop for now. If you’ve made it this far, I assume that you’ve watched the series. Let me know what you think in the comments section. Did you enjoy the series? What were your pros and cons? I really want to know so please leave a comment. Thanks for checking out my post. I’ve got one more MOTU post planned for later this week and a special announcement coming on Wednesday! See you soon!