I grew up watching the original Masters of the Universe in the early 80’s because I didn’t know any better, but still… I have such great affection for these characters. I still have my Castle Grayskull even though it is just a shell now as all the accessories have long since gone AWOL. I love He-Man and his friends and foes and I always will. I’ve loved them through a terrible live action movie, through a tragically short-lived reboot, and my patience, it seems, has been rewarded with what is, hands down, the greatest adaptation of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe I have ever seen.
Spoilers ahead! Don’t read if you haven’t watched this yet.
Revelation asks the question: What would happen if He-Man died? Yes, friends, in the first episode, He-Man dies and the rest of the series is about the fallout.
A bait and switch? Possibly. But it’s one of the best bait and switches I’ve ever seen.
This new series focuses on Teela who, upon learning the truth about Prince Adam and He-Man after their deaths, leaves the palace in anger to forge a new life for herself. Years later, she is tasked by the Sorceress and Evil-Lynn of all people, to go on a quest for, you see, when He-Man (and Skeletor) died, magic began to die with him and, if magic dies, Eternia dies and, if Eternia dies, the universe will be next.
While some will no doubt be royally honked off that this new series disposes of its title character so quickly, Revelation contains some of the best (and only) characterization of some of Masters of the Universe’s side characters. In particular, Teela, Orko, Cringer, and Roboto, all of whom are fleshed out and developed into having their own personalities beyond simple gags to appeal to children. Orko, for example, is heartbreaking in this series. A being of magic himself, he must come to terms with not only the end of his own life, but his lifetime of magical failures.
Even characters like Evil-Lynn, known for merely laughing and following Skeletor around but now, without her master, she finds herself becoming more in her regret and, yes… even hope.
Some of the voice casting is a little jarring as, since this is supposed to be a continuation of the 80’s cartoon, the incredibly impressive voice cast just doesn’t fit, but I soon accepted them.
Revelation is the mature, dark, and emotional Masters of the Universe tale I’ve been waiting for since I was eight and my heart raced upon seeing that Filmation logo. I loved every episode, every minute, and every frame of this series and can’t wait until the second half of the season.
I mean… that cliffhanger!