Poster Image for Masters of the Universe Revolution

Masters of The Universe: Revolution – Review

Kevin Smith returns as writer in Masters of the Universe: Revolution, the sequel to the 2021 series MOTU: Revelation, now released in full on Netflix.

We pick up some time after the prior season with the heroes going to Subternia to rescue the souls sent there by Skeletor during his attack on Eternos. Meanwhile, Skeletor has been fully converted to serve the new character Motherboard which is all a pretense to an invasion by Hordak and his horde.

He-man and Orko in Subternia

Prince Adam has fully embraced his dual role as the champion He-man but must decide whether to give up the power or the throne. Not wanting his soul or other heroes’ souls to fade from existence Teela, the new sorceress, tries to rebuild Preternia but needs to find more sources of magic other than the secrets of Grayskull.

Skeletek prepares to fire an energy blast from the Havok Staff cannon

Although we were given a stinger at the end of Revelation, I wasn’t expecting any more adventures in this iteration of Masters of the Universe so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it pop up in my list. I grew up in the eighties and the cartoon series are some of my first memories. I loved the care and attention the 2021 series did and while I’m happy the same level of detail was put into references and minor characters, the plot fell a little short this time.

Adam and Teela in a romantic embrace while swirling blue magic surrounds them

Animation and continuity do take a hit for this season, but not much. There are definite dips in quality for some scenes and I’m not fond of some of the “tek” redesigns (Skeletek in particular looks particularly daft), but there are scenes like the final transformation which look beautiful.

The music is recycled from the previous series for the most part and most of the voice cast did return. Notable absences are Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela and Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena. In their place, we get Star Trek’s Gates McFadden for the Queen and for Teela, it’s CW’s Supergirl Melissa Benoist, both of them do a fine job but Teela’s change of voice was a bit distracting. William Shatner, Kieth David and John de Lancie also join the cast this time around.

Profile of Hordak grinning to camera

Unfortunately, the plot moves too fast for its own good. It’s like it’s trying to cram too much into too little screen time so characters feel like they are always rushing which leaves little time for characterization. When revelations do appear we’re not given time to reflect and one character in particular (not saying for spoilers’ sake) gets a massive character-changing/defining moment which should shake their core, but is back to normal the next time we see them. It distracted me so much that I didn’t even pay attention to the scene.

Orko and Gwildor charge into battle

Hordak is criminally underused as well. Keith David does a fine job portraying him and flashbacks do flesh out the teacher/student dynamic between him and Skeletor but he seems like a hollow generic bad guy compared to the other portrayal of him we got in the recent She-Ra series.

As for fan service (not that kind), we get that in spades. Remember that “c” class hero or baddy you had the toy to but didn’t appear in Revelation? It may be in this one. I was most surprised when they brought in Gwildor, a character only used in the 1987 Dolph Lungren movie and never referenced again. Ted Biaslli the voice actor even did a commendable job replicating Billy Barty’s iconic voice for the role. Another nod exists in the voice actress for Motherboard being Meg Foster, who played Evil-Lyn in the live-action movie.

He-Man's new design, a mixture of previous designs from alternate series

Although I had fun watching I had trouble pinpointing why. Was it just my nostalgia and my knowledge of the lore? Could I actually recommend this to non-fans? The lack of character and agency made it feel like a standard episode of the classic series at best or just Kevin Smith playing with his toys at worst.

We are left with a couple of stingers again after the dust has settled, maybe hinting at another series but I think the nostalgia effect may be wearing off by now and more thought should be made into characterization and plot structure if it does return.

7/10 star rating






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