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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Masters of the Universe: Revelation – Kevin Smith Brings Ultimate He-Man Story to Netflix


Of course, that old Filmation series was aimed at the youngest of viewers, and it hasn’t aged particularly well even when viewed with the most nostalgic of eyes. Which makes the fact that Masters of the Universe: Revelation is so great a remarkable achievement.

Masters of the Universe: Revelation picks up shortly after (it’s never specified) the conclusion of that original cartoon series. Of course, continuity (or logic) were never much of a concern there, so if you know the basics of the He-Man legend (planet Eternia, magic and high technology coexist, Prince Adam is secretly He-Man, evil Skeletor with cool looking henchmen, etc) you know everything you need to know from the first moment. 

But while this may indeed be a sequel to that original series, it’s more of a spiritual sequel to the entirety of MoTU lore, something evident from the opening credits, which pay tribute not to the old cartoon but rather the lush painted artwork that adorned classic Masters of the Universe toy packaging. Sure, every character you would expect from the old show is here (plus some surprises) but so are countless other characters from the toys, vehicles, structures…and deep cuts you might never expect.

Interestingly, Smith didn’t have much experience with the toys themselves.

“It was just weird to not be able to interact with [the franchise] like everybody else [as a child], because it was made to sell toys,” he says. “And that was the one effect that it wasn’t going to have on me, based on my finances. We were not a rich family by any stretch of the imagination. So to be able to, years later, grow up and then ‘play with the toys’ so to speak, making this show felt super special. In a world where I didn’t get to play with them as a kid, it was worth it to wait for this long.” 

While primarily known as an indie film director with a penchant for comedy, Smith has a history of blending the best elements of complicated mythologies together when he plays in other sandboxes, nodding to different elements of continuity, dropping obscure Easter eggs for serious fans, while telling easily accessible stories. His comic book runs on Daredevil and Green Arrow helped redefine those characters and position them for the A-list status they later achieved, and his infamous but better-than-you’ve-heard, unfilmed Superman Lives screenplay from the late 1990s hinted at elements of a wider DC Universe, long before that sort of thing was fashionable. 

Source: Den of Geek

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