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Masters of the Universe: Revelation

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Masters of the Universe: Revelation
MOTU Revelation .jpg
"By the power of Grayskull... this show has no power!!!"
Genre: Action Adventure
Science Fantasy
Sword and Sorcery
Superhero
Country: United States
Release Date: July 23, 2021 (Part 1)
November 23, 2021 (Part 2)
TBA (Revolutions)
Network(s): Netflix
Created by: Adam Conarroe
Patrick Stannard
Distributed by: Mattel Television
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar
Tiffany Smith
Griffin Newman
Liam Cunningham
Alan Openheimer
Chris Wood
Mark Hamill
Kevin Conroy
Episodes: 10 (Currently)


"If you don't like something kids, don't fucking talk about it."
Kevin Smith's awful response to the show's criticism.
"The show is not a continuation, it is an abomination!"
Shanieology roleplaying as Skeletor.

"It's a show that desperately wants to be seen as mature and progressive, tackling on big ideas and heavy themes, but it also got green space tigers and guys with giant claw arms fighting undead zombies. It tries every dirty trick in the book to make you empathize with its abrasive and unlikable protagonist because it's afraid to do the real work of actually putting her through hardship and adversity. It's a He-Man show without He-Man. A show that's so in love with its new protagonist that it tramples and abandons everything that people actually wanted to see. Kevin Smith might be rejoicing the lack of criticism for the second part of this debacle, but I think he's confusing acceptance with apathy. People don't have enough interest in Masters of the Universe to sum up any kind of emotion now, they've moved beyond anger and entered to the final phase of "Fuck it. I just don't care anymore.", and frankly, that pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter as well."
Critical Drinker

Masters of the Universe: Revelation is an American animated superhero fantasy television series developed by Kevin Smith and produced for Netflix by Powerhouse Animation Studios. A sequel to the 1983–1985 Filmation series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, ignoring the events of The New Adventures of He-Man, Revelation focuses on the unresolved storylines of the original 1983 TV series, picking up many of the characters' journeys where they left off.

Synopsis

The war for Eternia begins again in what may be the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor.

Why It's A Disgrace Among Eternia

  1. False Advertising: the original trailers had shown the titular character He-Man/Adam and the main antagonist Skeletor were having a final battle in Castle Greyskull, are instead treated as minor characters killed off in the first episode, and appearances of the two consist of almost their entire screentime in the trailer.
    • It didn't help much when both He-Man and Skeletor were both shown in more promotional material (posters, toys, cereal) than Teela (Which will be shown below.).
      • Speaking of Skeletor, his Skele-God action figure was released in the first wave, meaning that the toys already spoiled the ending for part 1.
    • A few of the marketing stated that this would be finale to the He-Man franchise where He-Man defeats Skeletor once and for all sadly turned out to be nothing but lies when it was revealed to be a Teela side story. Unless if this were intentional, then it shouldn't be a problem from the start to advertise it as a Teela side story rather than a continuation.
    • Even Part 2's marketing with Savage He-Man battling against Skele-God wasn't any better, now that's confirmed with Evil-Lyn being the main antagonist and the main focus of the season.
    • Also, the term "Revelation" means an unknown fact that is revealed in a dramatic way didn't work here when Teela didn't do anything to find the secrets of herself other than complain about how she was lied to. So why was this show titled: Revelation again?
  2. Creator Kevin Smith himself claimed Revelation is a sequel that was "for the fans", but the execution itself doesn't know if it wanted to be a sequel to the original series, a spinoff, or a reboot.
    • This isn't like Red Dead Redemption's structure where you don't have to play the first game to understand/enjoy the second (yet you can play both games in any order you want and still get the same enjoyable experience), and it was actually rewarding for both newcomers and longtime fans of RDR by getting them to know who the characters were, the gang's fall into villainy, and rise of the first game's protagonist John Marston. Revelation on the other hand assumes or requires newcomers to be familiar with He-Man, the lore and characters, or you would be confused on who anyone is or why you should care otherwise the impact of the characters' deaths would not take affect, which sadly didn't. Because not everyone knows nor understand any of these characters or lore unlike the people who watched the original show due to their presence and impact being too short.
    • Not to mention, while Smith claimed it was "for the fans", the only person he asked for their perspective was Ted Biaselli, whose vision did NOT reflect what everybody wanted.
    • It is also made worse is Smith himself confessed that he hated the original He-Man as a kid and would often hate-watch it every time he would go home after school. While not everyone has to like the He-Man franchise, Smith's action of rebooting a series that he never liked in the first place seemed self-defeating. Similar to Gene Deitch for Tom and Jerry, what was the point of Smith working on this show if he did not like the original He-Man in the first place?
    • To add salt to the wound, similar to Larry Doyle's crew for Looney Tunes (2003) and Deitch's crew for Tom and Jerry (1961-1962), most of Smith's crew, like the writers of various episodes, have never seen the original He-Man or even other He-Man shows, explaining why there are so many changes that is unfaithful to the source material.
  3. It doesn't know what target audience it wants to entertain, because first of all, it's not for children due to the mild swearing, excessive violence, and sexual innuendos. Second, it's not especially for adults either with its childish tone, humor and the bad lessons that will be explained below.
    • For a show that's meant to be for adults, it does teach the audience plenty of bad morals. Like abandoning your duties and responsibilities just for being kept in the dark, even when those secrets are meant to be hidden, or people will forgive under any circumstances, especially you when you did something very horrible like mass murder.
      • Oh, the major irony of the show's themes and morals is "do not lie", when Smith mislead long-time fans of the original with false advertising.
      • There's a weird message said by King Greyskull himself that "death is just the beginning of your journey" when it's actually the other way around. Doesn't seem exciting now, does it?...
    • Unnecessary shock value just for simply showing audiences that it has violence. While it's normal for other movies/shows like Invincible, Drive, The Boys, Hot Fuzz or Attack on Titan to have violence in order to show how cruel the world was in those specific media, but using too much of it only made it unearned and unnecessarily edgy:
      • Skeletor stabbing Adam while he was transforming, and also doing the same to the Sorceress.
      • Tri-Clops and his cult performing a ritual to welcome their new members.
      • Fisto and Clamp Champ turning into zombies.
    • Poor and awkward attempts at humor that wants to be adult instead went to being childish and juvenile:
      • Andra saying "No glove, no love.", which was a condom joke.
      • He-Man joking about "Skeletor being wet" when he hasn't even come close to being in contact with water.
      • Fisto's only characterization is making jokes about his fists, like thinking out loud for wanting to challenge Skele-God by planning to "fist him".
  4. The characters are portrayed very poorly stereotyped and/or unlikable:
    • Teela has now changed into a selfish person who was more concerned about her feelings alone, mostly complains that Adam has been lying by keeping the fact that he was He-Man in secret (which wasn't her concern, to begin with), while not caring about the sacrifice that Adam had done to save Eternia or Orko's to bring them to the Pre-ternia.
      • The idea of Teela being the new protagonist after the death of Adam isn't bad, but the way she was written makes it even harder to for audiences feel invested in her journey and character.
      • Teela is so unlikable that she created a response so ungrateful to Adam after he said he died to save Eternia; "And the rest of us had to live with it."
      • It doesn't help at all that Teela's character arc in part 2 has been retconned. Her hatred towards magic and anger for being lied to is now gone for no reason.
    • The new character Andra is a useless addition and doesn't do much in the show except she's Teela's partner.
    • Adam, along with Skeletor, while not as butchered, both became retooled in a bad way.
      • Adam became the donkey to his previous champions'.
        • He-Man wasn't supposed to stab Skeletor, because it goes against He-Man's code of valuing others' lives, including his arch-nemesis.
        • Adam's also stupid enough to share the power of Greyskull to Skeletor without knowing he will stab Adam in the back soon.
      • Skeletor's plan is convoluted and nonsensical. He explains why he was evil because no one would love him as a romantic partner, and oftentimes sounds like a ripoff of the Joker. Not to mention, he is now reduced to an incompetent buffoon and an incel that got duped by Evil-Lyn.
        • His introduction (or reintroduction if you're familiar with the character) was pathetic too.
        • Him betraying He-Man by the time Teela and Evil-Lyn started battling was just too early. Yes, Skeletor is supposed to be the villain of the franchise, but this was evidence that the writers didn't know what purpose to give him and this is an attempt to make him do something for this season.
    • Evil-Lyn isn't characterized any better, as she was supposed to be seen as the sympathetic tormented victim when she destroyed the afterlife to let out her hatred for Skeletor. Not to mention, her redemption after she destroyed Pre-ternia along with the souls, obtaining the Sword of Power for herself, and attempting to deconstruct the Universe seems questionable, because she never apologized nor realized her mistakes, and now is pardoned and exiled.
      • Her shift from being a magic user into a genocidal maniac only made her a copycat of Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan, if you were to remove the feeling of tragedy and betrayal from the latter that made him interesting.
      • The writing with Evil-Lyn being the tragic victim is made worse when her abusive and condescending personality ruins all sympathy from the audience and is all the more emotionally manipulative.
      • She's romantically attracted to Skeletor, whereas in the original cartoons she never cared once about Skeletor, and the reason why she joined him is she wanted more power.
    • Beast Man is treated very harshly and didn't do anything to deserve it.
  5. Fan favorite characters like Stratos, or Ram Man, while not flandarized unlike the main cast, only appear as background characters.
  6. Mark Hamill (depending on your view) was miscast as Skeletor and ended up using his performances of the Joker from various Batman cartoons or even Skips/Walks from Regular Show, except Hamill did a much better job voicing the former two than he did as Skeletor.
    • It was also a missed opportunity for Alan Openheimer to reprise his role as Skeletor like in the original, but was chosen to voice Moss Man instead.
  7. The pacing can feel either too slow or too rushed, with the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor in the first episode leaving an underwhelming impression to audiences.
  8. As for the show's awful pacing, the amount of dialogue, exposition, humor or filler used here made it rather tedious and unbearable to sit through. The episodes; The Land of the Dead and The Gutter Rat being the worst offenders of making episodes without progressing the story even further.
  9. Almost no substance are found here. It can't decide who the main protagonist (Teela may be the main protagonist in the first half, but her development is limited due to Evil-Lyn's in the second half), nor the main antagonist (Skeletor was hardly even a threat) really is.
  10. The dialogue is just pretty bad. It changes from heavy exposition to something you'd see in a drama, and not He-Man.
  11. Most of the deaths felt pretty underwhelmingly lame, like Moss Man (who's had one line of dialogue until he was killed by Skeletor), He-Man, Skeletor (both first time), Roboto, Orko, the Sorceress, Panthor, Fisto, and Clamp Champ. The show expects the audience to feel sad about He-Man's death, but it happened in a rushed way that didn't feel impactful. Old fans were very annoyed how the death of their childhood hero was executed, while newcomers don't care about his death because He-Man wasn't fleshed out and developed enough.
    • What made Clamp Champ's death so nasty is the fact that he just made his first animated appearance and was killed off in the first 5-10 minutes.
  12. Even the deaths of He-Man, Orko, and the Sorceress don't mean anything to justify and answer the moronic plot twists below and only happen for convenience:
    • He-Man's/Adam's sacrifice was supposed to save the universe from the ongoing destruction only for it to be resulted in the opposite by the magic of Eternia drained?
    • Why would King Randor banish Duncan, The Man at Arms away from the kingdom if he hadn't got anything to do with Adam's death?
    • The Sorceress was already wise enough to know the captured villains were part of Skeletor's plan, but somehow she's not able to tell that the He-Man imposter is involved in the plan?
    • Why wasn't Teela banished from the kingdom after talking back at the king and queen about Adam's secret about being He-Man?
    • Why didn't the Sorceress contact the other Masters of the Universe (Fisto, Ram Man, Adora/She-Ra, or Clamp Champ) to help save Eternia?
    • Teela conquering her fear to surpass Scareglow by gaining the first half of the Power Sword only for her to panic by the time the rest of the cast were escaping Pre-ternia.
      • Furthermore, Orko would have been alive if everyone just had a chance to run away from Scareglow or maybe at least, attack/stun him.
    • Adam turning into Savage He-Man without the Power Sword opened many cracks:
      • Him not needing the sword made the journey of Teela bringing it back together redundant.
      • He should've called on the power against Skeletor while being injured. Which could've let the Sorceress remain alive.
    • Skeletor still wanting to summon the power of Greyskull without the sword to kill Adam, forgetting the fact he's already a god. Meaning Skeletor can kill him off that easily but was too stupid to not figure it out.
    • Adam chose not to call the Power without the sword for being too unstable, yet he chose to share it with Skeletor? Even without realizing he'd stab him in the back soon?
    • How is Orko still in his physical form after being in Subternia while Fisto and Clamp Champ had theirs gone?
  13. No rules regarding how the afterlife would function:
    • Both Pre-ternia and Sub-ternia are considered heaven and hell for the He-Man universe, except it's also very accessible to anyone who's alive and well to travel on foot? How does that work?
    • There's no indications whether if you die in any of these realms, your soul is gone permanently.
    • Pre-ternia is paradise for anyone who's died, yet somehow animals are still being hunted by their predators.
    • It's also treated as another land rather than heaven, since it got destroyed by Evil-Lyn, and everyone who are alive actually got to see it.
  14. Many inconsistencies that contradict the He-Man lore, and even sometimes Revelation's:
    • He-Man was weaker in terms of power compared to his iteration from the original cartoon.
    • It was once never hinted that Skeletor (formerly known as Keldor) was once a full-fleshed human until his face was melted into the bone, and also the uncle of Adam.
      • As said in the previous pointers, Skeletor stated that no one would take him as a romantic partner, when in the Revelation prequel comic shown that Skeletor already had a wife and child that were later killed.
    • Merman acts as an independent general instead of Skeletor's minion.
    • The Sword of Power can turn anyone turning into gods just by simply welding it. Yes, it's established that He-Man is the most powerful man in the universe, but not to an extent where he can summon armies of the undead.
      • Skele-God's/Evil-Lyn's powers are stupidly overpowered that he can manage to turn people into zombies and banish souls to Subternia, and/or destroy the afterlife, whereas He-Man nor the Sorceress (at their most powerful) couldn't even do.
    • Teela can leave the castle whenever she wants after becoming the new Sorceress while her mother can't even step one foot out of the pool after becoming one.
  15. The flashbacks with He-Man don't do anything with the plot and it's only meant to be an excuse for Kevin Smith justifying himself that the titular main protagonist was in the show and dismissing those said criticisms.
  16. The sex scene with Skeletor and Evil-Lyn is very awkward and out of place in a show that's made to sell children's toys.
  17. It happens to steal ideas from other media:
    • The "liar revealed" conflict has been used a lot in plenty of movies. Not to mention, an overused cliche.
    • Savage He-Man acts more of The Incredible Hulk from Marvel Comics than a peace-making warrior.
      • Even the final battle seemed very similar to what Avengers: Endgame did minus the buildup, payoff, or connection with the audience.
    • The scene with Teela battling against visions of the evil He-Man/Teela is a carbon copy of Luke fighting a Darth Vader vision only to be seeing himself in Vader's suit from The Empire Strikes Back.
      • Current day Snake Mountain also looks like it is the Death Star.
    • The "facing your own fear" episode is used a lot in other stories.
    • Skeletor being launched into the sky like Team Rocket from Pokēmon.
    • Scareglow seems to be a copy of Pennywise from the It franchise. Powers, personality and goals just made it too similar.
    • Skele-God's ability to collect souls is pretty much the same as how Griffith used the Abyss from Berserk.
    • As the name and resurrection suggests, Orko the White is just Gandalf the White from Lord of the Rings .
  18. As good as the fight scenes' choreography are, they can sometimes be slow and sluggish.
    • At times, the animation in part 2 has somehow gotten worse as the rubble in the background during the battle between Savage He-Man and Skele-God looked dull and ugly.
  19. Laughable dialogue:
    • Your worst nightmare.
    • I'll let you hit him with your fist if you hit me with my fist!
    • Time for some new blood!
    • Looks like Man at Arms is feeling MAN-y emotions!
    • Despite our differences, Mer-man and I share one thing in common: our hatred for He-Man!
    • Let this be our final battle!
  20. It suffers through sequel baiting, presumably if there is one at all:
    • For part 1, after Adam was brought back from the afterlife, Teela gives him the Sword of Power to transform into He-Man and bring back the magic to Eternia. But during the transformation, Skeletor comes out from Evil-Lyn's staff, stabs Adam, takes the sword from the dying young lad, transforms into his ultimate form Skele-God, and became the Master of the Universe. And as a result, Teela's journey and accomplishments, the sacrifices of Orko and Roboto, and the resurrection of Adam have now been nothing but a waste of time and lead to Skeletor winning. Not to mention, the heroes are brought back to square one.
    • For part 2, following up through Skeletor's humiliating defeat and destroying technology in a fit of rage, Skeletor was cornered up and surrounded by Tri-Clops and his cult members and being turned into a cyborg in favor of becoming a member of Hordak.
  21. While it's nice for He-Man/Adam and Skeletor to have much larger roles in Part 2, they still feel like secondary characters compared to Teela and Evil-Lyn.
  22. It wastes a great concept of Adam's/He-Man's sacrifice of saving Eternia leading to consequences of keeping a secret from almost everyone he knows since now just treated as a subplot.
  23. If it weren't for the CGI reboot that came out not too long after this show, and brought the He-Man franchise back on track, Revelation would've left the franchise in a sour note. Much more so than the 1987 Live-action film or The New Adventures of He-Man ever could.
    • It also damaged Kevin Smith's career too as well, knowing that he refused to learn from his mistakes and apologize for lying to everyone that were looking forward to this show.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The animation, the fight scenes (for the most part), are a major step-up from the previous iterations of many He-Man shows (due to how the animation from the many He-Man shows are weak due to being animated by Filmation). This is mainly due to hiring Powerhouse Animation Studios, which are known for animating high-quality shows like Castlevania and OK KO: Let's Be Heroes.
  2. Voice acting is great, except for Mark Hamill (depending on your view).
  3. He-Man/Adam, Skeletor (fact that Mark Hamill is a bit miscast), Duncan, Orko, Roboto, Evil-Lyn (part 1), Beast Man, Tri-Clops, and Cringer still retain most of their old personalities.
    • As for Evil-Lyn, she was almost able to accomplish what she wanted to do since the original: gain more power to best Skeletor.
  4. While it was out of character of Teela to become selfish in the sequel, her characterization was understandable with her best friend dying without knowing what he truly was on the inside.
  5. The art style is also very detailed, and well-drawn. Also very similar with Ben 10 or the pre-Superman: Red Son DC Animated Universe.
  6. Depending on your view, Skeletor gaining the upper hand at the end of Part 1 may feel like a nice change of pace for the franchise. It's just too bad it didn't last very long.
  7. The animation and choreography of Adam and Skeletor fighting Evil-Lyn were pretty cool. But more importantly, this fight scene of He-Man joining the battlefield was badass!
  8. Some scenes contain redeeming value:
    • It was only brief, but Adam's iconic line: "By the power of Greyskull, I have the power!" and transformation into He-Man was awesome.
    • Skele-God laughing as he cornered the main heroes, Adam too laughs along with him, leaving the main villain confused thus asking a question: "What are we laughing at?"
    • King Randor and the queen hugging their long-lost son Adam after he was dead for years is emotional.
    • He-Man saying hi to his mom during the final battle is pretty cute.
  9. The badass line: "See, the sword is just a conduit. But the spark? That was always me. BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!"

Reception

Masters of the Universe: Revelation's first trailer has received positive reception, leaving over 255k likes on YouTube, but after the first episode premiered, it had received backlash, leaving a 5.2/10 on IMDb. Despite the backlash, the show has received a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Creator Kevin Smith had responded to the show's criticism poorly, telling fans to grow up, and stated that he wouldn't care about the responses as long as "Netflix collects their monthly subscriptions." Ironically, Revelations bombed, to the point where it disappeared from Netflix's top 10, and season 2 was originally in doubt.

It is possible that even Netflix were unsatisfied with how Revelations turned out, since they were quick to announce the new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series not long after this series bombed, possibly in an attempt to undo the damage caused by Revelations and to also win back fans who were let down by this show.

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