“I see people online go, ‘Hey man, they’re getting rid of He-Man!’” says Kevin Smith, in a July 2021 interview with Variety, “Like, you really f**king think Mattel Television, who hired me and paid me money, wants to do a f**king ‘Masters of the Universe’ show without He-Man?” The response came as a result of angry virgins…uh, I mean angry fans, complaining about He-Man’s apparent death in the fifth episode of Part 1. The Netflix revival has also been accused of being ‘woke’, focusing on Teela, nostalgic entertainment once again ruined by ‘SJW’s.
However, David Wood, who voices the titular hero, confirmed in the same article that “Adam’s not dead; he’s very wounded”. And now, upon watching Part 2 of this Netflix He-Man show, we can confirm this predictable revelation. Adam is alive, well, and ready to kick ass. But as the show’s title implies, other ‘Masters’ get their chance to shine, too.
Upping the Ante
The action picks up immediately after Part 1’s cliffhanger. Adam is mortally wounded after being impaled mid-transformation by Mark Hamill’s Skeletor. Now, it is ol’Bone-Face who has the power. He’s not alone, either – Evil-Lyn plots beside him as the new Sorceress of Greyskull.
From here on in, it’s evident Revelation Part 2 is a slightly different He-Man-sized beast from the previous five episodes released on Netflix. Not only is Adam 100% present, but there’s villainous tension, dueling philosophies and parental reveals in the mix. People dismissed the first part as ‘The Teela Show’. And while Teela’s arc is prominent here, we also get an in-depth look at Evil-Lyn. While it appears her loyalty lies with Skeletor at first, it isn’t long before she shows shades of rebellion. Not only is she more sympathetic than before, but Lena Headley relishes her turn as this dramatic sorceress.
As expected, Hamill continues to thrive as Skeletor. Amusingly, the skull-faced baddie receives the least development of the show’s characters, apart from a predictable turn halfway through the run. However, the narrative cleverly deconstructs Skeletor and his rather one-dimensional aspirations of killing He-Man and ruling the world. Heck, even Evil-Lyn herself derides her master’s limited ambitions. One wonders whether she is merely a mouthpiece for the show’s creators to critique the one-dimensionality of 80’s cartoon villains. Regardless of intent, the results are fascinating.
Epic Battles of Greyskull
Masters of the Universe Revelation has always been top-tier in regards to fight scenes. However, as this arc draws to a close, the show’s bosses bring out the action goodies with all the trimmings. The Masters and their fellow Eternians do battle with Skeletor and Evil-Lyn’s dark forces in an epic multi-episode LOTR-esque battle before Greyskull. And yes, He-Man gets his chance to shine, too – and I cannot justifiably describe the beautiful anime-style animation that occurs when he single-handedly defeats waves of foes. It’s perhaps fortunate he waited until the end – the series might only have lasted a few episodes else.
However, long before we reunite with the muscle-bound champion, we see his alternative form. You see, Adam reveals that the power of Eternia lies inside him all the time. The Power Sword is only the conduit. What he doesn’t foresee is that calling upon Greyskull’s power without his weapon transforms him into the Incredible He-Hulk.
Of course, I’m joking regarding this form’s name. However, they may as well have called him that. In this large, unattractive form, Adam is powerful, but he also goes nuts. He has all the chaos of power, without the order to keep it in check. Not only does it make for entertaining action, but it’s a creative and intriguing addition to He-Man mythology.
Nietzsche Comes to Eternia
But when Masters of the Universe Revelation Part 2 isn’t expanding its mythology, it’s musing on philosophy. Having attained Greyskull’s Power, Skeletor and Lyn conclude that the universe has no inherent meaning with no grand order to guide it. Wow. Heavy stuff, man.
Their philosophy contrasts heavily with that of He-Man and his comrades. This is mostly explored through Teela, who discovers something special about her heritage that many already suspected at Part 1’s conclusion. Teela’s counteracting philosophy is the Power of Friendship. Now, that’s hardly original or innovative, but Sarah Michelle Gellar delivers her lines with such powerful conviction that it at least makes the cliche bearable. That said, the rather simplistic binary opposites (nihilism vs faith/the power of friendship) don’t make for interesting philosophical introspection. If you’re looking for depth in this discussion, you won’t find it here.
Not only is the philosophic exploration surface-level, but also are some of the characters. In the first part of Masters of the Universe Revelations, Andra’s relevance faded almost as soon as she was introduced. I’m sad to say things don’t change in the second. Now granted, she kicks some butt in the final battle – but for the most part, she stays in the background. Her underused nature is even more criminal when you realize she was created exclusively for this series and wasn’t present in the 1980’s original.
He-Man-aged to Succeed
That said, the finale leaves room open for a continuation. Indeed, if it becomes reality, it promises to give us a whole new villain entirely. Therefore, given the possible sequel, there is still a chance for Kevin Smith and his Merry Men to flesh out the cast that didn’t get their due this time around. Yet, the finale’s cliffhanger is unexpected since we thought the revival would only exist in two parts.
That said, Masters of the Universe Revelation Part 2 “sticks the landing” as Smith wanted. As already discussed, it ain’t perfect. Not only do some characters get overlooked, but some are merely shoehorned in as cameos. And the plot is pretty cliché if you’ve been a voyeur of high fantasy for some time. That said, its wealth of decently-developed characters, its gorgeous animation, its epic soundtrack, and slick voice acting ensures that Netflix’s Revelation Part 2 is a He-Man show worth watching.
Verdict: Masters of the Universe Revelation Part 2 finishes off the story set up in Part 1 – and successfully makes the landing as a love letter to old-time fans. It has its flaws but regardless, Netflix’s He-Man show is truly a revelation with the Power of Greyskull.
- Well-developed, compelling characters
- Some really slick animation
- Quality voice acting
- Epic soundtrack
- Its philosophic content is overly simplistic
- Some of the twists are easily foreseen
- Some characters aren't developed as well as others