Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Masters of the Universe: Revelation
Masters of the Universe: Revelation received mostly positive reviews from critics, including this one. But not everyone feels that way. A highly vocal contingent mobilized online and appear in every article’s comments section, with two key complaints. One, that they wanted and expected the show to focus on He-Man, and so far, it has sidelined him completely in favor of Teela. Two, that showrunner Kevin Smith contradicts himself regarding whether he is or isn’t a fan, and should never have claimed the show is about He-Man. And that’s putting it politely.
In an interview with Variety, Smith, along with Mattel TV’s Rob David and He-Man voice actor Chris Wood, address those complaints. Regarding the ’80s Filmation cartoon, Smith now says he “almost hate-watched it,” noting “They have one of the baddest-ass villains in history, Skeletor, visually incredible, and all they did was somersault and not really fight. Nobody ever got stabbed. But it was the ’80s, so you watched everything that was on.”
That was a common dilemma among ’80s fans who dug the visual appeal of the toys, but not the fact that the cartoon was bound by so many restrictions on what it could show.
“I know what a fan base reacts like when they don’t get the thing they grew up watching,” added Smith. “You think I’m gonna be the fall guy for that? If I’m involved in a thing, it’s going to be true to what it is. It’s gonna be true to the franchise.”
Smith also anticipated some of the backlash that was already building online.
“I know there’s some people that are like, ‘Hey, man, this show’s woke.’ I’m like, all right, great, then so was the original cartoon we’re f***ing sequel-izing. Go watch it again. There are girls in every episode. Deal with it…Anybody that’s like, ‘Oh, man, there’s not enough He-Man’ or something like that, doesn’t understand the show that we based it on. There were episodes where he lost the sword and he never became He-Man. It wasn’t like He-Man always saved the day. His friends helped him. That was the f***ing point of the show.”
David notes that it helps to think of part one as akin to The Empire Strikes Back.
“The hero gets really hit hard, and then the story becomes about how the hero gets back up again and better and stronger than ever. In basically stripping away all the comforts the hero took for granted, the hero reveals to him or herself what truly makes them strong inside and then have to rebuild.”
Wood adds that Prince Adam does not die from that wound in episode 5, and will become the focus of the second half. “What they’ve done is they’ve found really interesting ways to turn the dynamics of the show on its head,” he says. “And raise the stakes to a point that the original never saw.”
And in the end, chances are He-Man wise rise again will defeat Skeletor once more. Just like in every other incarnation of the franchise. The ending of episode five is just a cliffhanger to build momentum for Part 2.
What do you think of the remarks by Smith, David, and Wood? Let us know in comments!
Recommended Reading: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection
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