Masters of the Universe: Revelation-Part 2 continues the Netflix Original Animated Series developed by Kevin Smith and produced by Mattel Television and Powerhouse Animation Studios. Picking up after the shocking cliffhanger ending of the series’ first half, Skeletor (Mark Hamill) has gravely wounded Prince Adam (Chris Wood) and taken the Sword of Power for himself, becoming a godlike figure. As Skeletor plans to fully harness the power of the universe, Adam along with Teela (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the rest of his companions rallies the people of Eternia to go to war against Skeletor’s forces.
The first half of Revelation drew controversy with its debut, as many accused Smith of killing off He-Man (twice) and Skeletor in order to make Teela the main focus of the series. Not only does this show a fundamental misunderstanding of how a narrative is constructed, but it’s also fundamentally untrue as Adam plays a large role in this series, both in and out of his He-Man persona. Mattel vice president Rob David, who helped develop Revelation, said that his original pitch for the series explored what would happen if Adam was stripped of his power and had to build himself back up to his former glory. Part 2’s premiere, “Cleaved In Twain,” explores this: even without his sword, Adam can call upon the power of Greyskull-but in the process he turns into a hulking, savage version of He-Man who leaves destruction in his path.
In fact, what characters choose to do with this power is a major component of the series. Smith, along with returning writers Eric Carrasco, Tim Sheridan, and Diya Mishra, explore how Skeletor and Adam approach power. For Skeletor, power is to be hoarded; he makes Evil-Lyn (Lena Headey) the new Sorceress of Castle Greyskull, but she is forever trapped within its walls. He also obsesses over the fact that Adam is able to call on the power without his sword, and is still dedicated to killing the hero. Adam, on the other hand, is horrified after learning what he did as Savage He-Man and refuses to become He-Man again until he gets his sword back. The best rivalries in fiction often have the hero and villain serving as opposites of each other; in exploring Adam and Skeletor’s use of the power of Greyskull, the writers add much-needed depth to their characters.
Teela also continues to receive character development, especially with the revelation that the Sorceress (Susan Eisenberg) is her mother. I love that Teela comes to terms with the power within her, which leads to one of the series’ most emotional scenes where she reunites with Man-at-Arms (Liam Cunningham) during a raid on Castle Greyskull. In contrast, Evil-Lyn levels up as the new Sorceress but is still subject to Skeletor’s wrath and insults. Both women ultimately make a choice that ends up reshaping the narrative, with Gellar and Headey pouring a wealth of emotion into those choices and how they affect the characters. Fans who read the Revelation comic book written by Sheridan will see how it plays a role in the series and how it shapes Evil-Lyn’s perspective on life.
Animation-wise, the series features amazing work from directors Adam Conarroe and Patrick Stannard. The battle between Savage He-Man and Skelegod feels ripped from Dragon Ball Z, as the two send each other flying with bare-knuckled blows and eldritch fire. A fight between two characters crosses multiple planes of existence. And the finale, “Comes With Everything You See Here,” literally brings the idea of every Masters of the Universe action figure you ever had engaging in a massive battle to life. He-Man’s fellow Masters of the Universe Clamp Champ (Method Man) and Ram-Man (Danny Trejo) get in on the action; He-Man even fights a dragon! Powerhouse only continues to push itself with each project, and I look forward to what it does with the upcoming Skull Island anime.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation-Part 2 closes out the series in style, featuring an upheaval of the He-Man mythos along with some of the best-animated sequences that Powerhouse has put to the screen. Between this series and the He-Man & the Masters of the Universe reboot that launched earlier this year, Netflix is making sure fans old and new can enjoy the power of Greyskull.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation-Part 2 will be available to stream on Netflix now.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation-Part 2
Masters of the Universe: Revelation-Part 2 closes out the series in style, featuring an upheaval of the He-Man mythos along with some of the best-animated sequences that Powerhouse has put to the screen.