According to legend, the original He-Man toyline was birthed from a failed attempt to make action figures for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan The Barbarian film — although, Mattel’s official history states otherwise. As such, the world-building and mythology are more slapdash than Science Fantasy. A cartoon was made to advertise the He-Man toyline and decades later we’re treated to a direct continuation with Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Executive producer Kevin Smith and some of the voice cast assembled for a Comic-Con@Home Panel to preview the new series.
But as someone who has no nostalgia for the original cartoon it’s hard to take the intrinsically campy elements seriously. The ludicrous characters with ridiculous names spout magic-techno-babble with a sincerity that’s cringeworthy. These campier elements could be excused if they were played for laughs. Yet, we’re treated to banter that falls flat from characters that are built for slapstick.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation introduces some plot twists that are sure to intrigue some viewers and irk others. The greatest twist (that should surprise no one) is that Masters of the Universe: Revelation succeeds at being a good toy advertisement. The stop-motion mini-ads featuring the action figures are brilliant. The quality of Powerhouse Animation Studios continues to shine with lush visuals and fast-paced fight scenes but the show itself is a mixed bag.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation is currently streaming on Netflix.