Last month Netflix debuted the first five episodes of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, a dark and dramatic take on the franchise that asked the brilliant question “what if this was all going somewhere?” Skeletor finally discovered the secret of Castle Greyskull, and his attempt to reap the benefits nearly destroyed Eternia. He and He-Man both perished in a climactic battle and Teela had to find the two halves of Adam’s sword to restore things. Then it got worse, but I won’t spoil how.
Coming off something like that, the long-in-development CG remake of Masters of the Universe, which is just now arriving, comes off as a shock. While Smith preferred to play with the tools he had, this show completely reinvents them. Eternia is no longer a fairy tale wasteland that resembles Space Arizona, it’s a technology-based metropolis heavy on the sci-fi. Orko is a robot now!
Magic certainly still exists — there’s still a Sorceress, or at least a Sorceress equivalent — but it’s unclear how much of it fits in with all the Transformer-like machinery. All of Adam’s friends can transform into more powerful forms now, not just him and his cat. Skeletor is Adam’s….UNCLE? Everyone has gigantic eyeballs the size of Battle Angel Alita’s, and they constantly crack awkward jokes in the middle of important situations. There have been several incarnations of MOTU at this point, but none of them have done a take like this. It’s jarring.
The real question: is it GOOD? From the trailer, I would say it’s too early to tell. The attempts at humor weren’t very funny, but the battle scenes and the fact that everyone can power up had potential. We’re in uncharted territory here…results may vary.
The new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe boasts a veteran voice cast including Yuri Lowenthal as He-Man, David Kaye as Cringer/Battle Cat, Grey Griffin as Evil-Lyn, Antony Del Rio as Duncan/Man-at-Arms, Kimberly Brooks as Teela (who is also the Sorceress this time), Trevor Devall as Beast Man, Judy Alice Lee as Ram Maâ€™am (oh, like his original name was any better), Roger Craig Smith as Trap-Jaw, Fred Tatasciore as King Randor, Ben Diskin as Skeletor, and Tom Kenny as Ork-0. The show begins streaming September 16.