Masters of the Universe: Revelation
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Masters of the Universe: Revelation Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew

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Masters of the Universe: Revelation Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew

Creator: Kevin Smith

Stars: Adam Gifford, Dennis Haysbert, Jay Tavare

As a sequel to Filmation’s classic cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, from He-Man superfan Kevin Smith, is a bonafide blast.

Developed and designed to be a follow up for like-minded Eternia stans, this new series might not play the same for those with little knowledge of the original, but for those familiar with these characters (and the old action figures and play sets), Masters of the Universe: Revelation superbly spins the story on its head and approaches the lore in a fun and satisfyingly modern way — even expanding parts of it that weren’t previously explained.

Revelation is chock full of twists, turns, and bold new takes on a few of the characters, but it also makes a point to honor the past. Nothing new presented here negates the previous series, which was born of a massively successful Mattel toy line and ran for 130 episodes in the mid-’80s. It only drives the saga forward in a more mature and serialized fashion — in ways more aligned with both modern animation and Golden Era TV.

This is definitely a more adult-oriented spotlight for He-Man and company, but it’s not full-tilt rated-R fare like Amazon’s Invincible. This is still a solid family-friendly adventure, but it shows characters dealing with more serious problems and making harder choices. The first episode, “The Power of Grayskull,” drops fans into the ongoing battle between good and evil — between He-Man and Skeletor — that served as the spine for the entire original series. Then, after making sure the original recipe formula was being honored and acknowledged, it blows everything up quite spectacularly. What then follows is an exciting and giddily rewarding journey that makes new and wonderful use of the ensemble.

The voice cast for Revelation is top-notch, but the real star is the story and what the series does with the characters. Sure, it’s awesome to hear Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela, Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey and Liam Cunningham as Evil-Lyn and Man-At-Arms, respectively, and many more big name talents, but the surprising draw here is the fact that He-Man, more or less, is secondary to this tale, at least for these first five episodes.

Prince Adam and He-Man (voiced by Supergirl’s Chris Wood) are important, but they really serve as backdrop. In a manner similar to how Max acts as a lesser lead to Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, Revelation draws upon the might and majesty of He-Man to facilitate others’ arcs. Basically, this is Teela’s show. In taking this approach, Revelation can act both as a stunning sequel and also a wondrous “What If?”-type spinoff for those viewers unwilling to accept some choices as pure canon.

After Revelation opens the show by taking us beyond where we thought the He-Man mythos could go — while also making fun callbacks to both the original series and the 1987 Masters of the Universe movie — it becomes an epic odyssey about loss, redemption, and sacrifice. A new ragtag team of champions, formed of both heroes and villains, is tasked with returning magic to Eternia and saving the entire universe. Lifelong enemies learn to work together, while still operating under different sets of priorities and motivations, and it all culminates in a wicked game-changing cliffhanger that nicely sets up the back half of the season, which will be released at a later date.

Revelation takes some big swings, but still spares time for smaller moments of sentiment. It also makes fun use of He-Man’s insane rogue’s gallery of villains, with some (like Mer-Man, Tri-Klops, Stinkor) appearing prominently and others (like Clawful, Spikor, and — da hell? — Blast-Attak?) making for formidable background fodder. Again, long-time fans will know who these folks are, but for the uninitiated, they might just feel like random craziness.

Executive producer/showrunner Kevin Smith and his writers have very much created a niche product here, but it’s a beautiful and engrossing one that infuses Masters of the Universe nostalgia — which is filled with after-school special morals for a younger set — with heartfelt storytelling that contains actual consequences. It takes all the incongruous elements of the old story, with its wild mix of magic and tech, and silly characters who seemed like they were Mad Libs’d together, and makes it all feel connected and worthy of being part of the same mosaic. In an era of sequels we never thought we’d get, Revelation is a dazzling and exciting continuation that adds maturity and layers to a somewhat silly saga from the past, while never robbing the original of its goofy glory.

Masters of the Universe: Revelation Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew