He-Man is back and in 2021, he returns stronger than ever before, for in the Masters of the Universe: Revelation series, he is up against not one, but many rivals.
Released on Netflix in two instalments, it was developed by director/producer Kevin Smith, who did a commendable job with the story and animation. The series explores unresolved storylines from the original series and tries to take Prince Adam’s story forward.
How would Adam turn into He-Man if the sword is not there? Would Teela ever come to know that Sorceress is her mother? Would Skeletor ever manage to capture Castle Grayskull? And what if Evil-Lyn was not ‘evil’?
These questions always hounded those who watched and followed the original series that was aired back in the 1980s. Forty years later, the answers are explained superbly in Masters of the Universe: Revelation.
The ten episodes of Masters of the Universe, turn the clock back. The iconic characters are back and this time, each one of them is a bit mature. What makes this He-Man reincarnation successful is that the makers went for the basics, whereas others, who tried to revive the most powerful man in the universe, tried to upgrade the story without success.
Here, the story is presented in two parts; while in the first part, He-Man and Skeletor have a lengthy fight at the end of which both are presumably killed and the Sword of Power is broken into two.
Teela turns rogue after she finds out that Prince Adam was He-Man and along with Andra (her new partner), Evil-Lyn, Orko, Roboto and Beast-Man, go on a journey to resurrect Prince Adam so that they can restore magic to Eternia. However, Skeletor stabs Prince Adam before he could turn into He-Man, and ends the first part uttering the iconic ‘I have the Power’ line.
Thankfully, in the second part, Adam survives and stages a comeback like always. Will he win back the trust of his dear friend Teela, will he be able to save the planet without his sword; will Skeletor be defeated once again? The next five episodes revolve around these questions that are answered in an excellent manner in the grand finale.
Masters of the Universe has an ensemble voice cast that has performed well; Chris Wood plays both Prince Adam and He-Man, Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame is Skeletor, Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey breathes life in Evil-Lyn, the eternal Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar is Teela and Duncan / Man-at-Arms is voiced by Liam Cunningham.
At times, Mark Hamill’s voice resembles the Batman villain Joker more than Skeletor, and that’s understandable for he has voiced the iconic character in many animated movies. Some of the newer viewers to He-Man might easily identify his voice, as, most of the time, he tries to infuse the ‘Batsy Batsy’ element in the Skeletor character.
Hardly would there be a parent today, who has not watched and followed He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series in the 1980s. Rarely would you meet a father in his late 30s who has never dreamt of owning a Sword of Power and seldom you would find a curious adult, who has not memorised the intro of the famous TV series, that was based on Mattel’s toy line Masters of the Universe (MotU). This series revives all that, and hopefully kicks off a chain of events that strengthens He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!
Published in Dawn, Young World, January 1st, 2022