Powerhouse Animation is not a stanger to adapting large and nostalgia-heavy properties. With Castlevania a huge success and a Kong series and Tomb Raider series in the pipeline, the animation studio based out of Austin, Texas has proven their ability to take on any property. Now, the team at Powerhouse and series showrunner Kevin Smith are tackling the He-Man franchise with Masters of the Universe: Revelation Part 1. And damn do they deliver.
The war for Eternia culminates in Masters of the Universe: Revelation Part 1, an action-packed animated series that picks up where the iconic characters left off decades ago – don’t worry, there is a montage to catch you up if you’re new to the franchise. After a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Eternia is fractured and the Guardians of Grayskull are scattered. And after decades of secrets tore them apart, it’s up to Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes, and solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to restore Eternia and prevent the end of the universe.
So, if you’re debating putting on the 5-episode season (or part, as Netflix likes to call it), here are three reasons you should watch it on day one.
Absurdity that Works
If you’ve seen Netflix’s The Toys that Made Us then you know all about the absurd story of Battlecat and all the other toys that got made by sheer need to well, make a character. All of those pure 80s elements from awkward helmets to rockets and more make an appearance and they somehow deliver both great action and great humor. To be honest, seeing how faithfully the crew at Powerhouse Animation stuck to the toys is amazing. Even the clunkier parts of the character designs are executed to perfection, giving the series a perfect balance that tells a story without taking itself too seriously.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Powerhouse Animation knows how to create female characters that are powerful, have depth, and push the boundaries. In this series, there are multiple women who take center stage in the narrative and drive the series forward. They grieve, they conquer fear, and the kick a whole lot of ass too.
Teela and Evil-Lyn are three-dimensional characters with their own motivations, interests, and sources of power. The bonds they form throughout the story and how the deal with life or death situations is refreshing. They’re more than just cool outfits and sidekicks in this seres.
Top-Notch Voice Acting
When it comes to voice acting, good voice work can make a series and the bad can break it. That said, when you take a series with a strong narrative and gorgeous animation, a great voice acting cast can push it over the edge and make it outstanding. Each voice actor is expertly matched to their character and the cast list is a powerhouse all its own. The series stars Mark Hamill (Skeletor), Lena Headey (Evil-Lyn), Chris Wood (Prince Adam /He-Man), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Teela), Henry Rollins (Tri-Klops), Susan Eisenberg (Sorceress), Justin Long (Roboto), Jason Mewes (Stinkor), Phil LaMarr (He-Ro), Tony Todd (Scare Glow), Cree Summer (Priestess), and even Batman himself Kevin Conroy (Mer-Man). That list speaks for itself honestly.
But while we all knew that Hamill would bring his signature villainous ability to Skeletor, it’s Headey who stands out among the rest of the cast. Maybe it’s because she was born to be an evil sorceress given her other rolls, but she gives it her all and it works. As Evil-lyn, she’s intimidating, sharp, and even a little vulnarable.
All in all, Masters of the Universe: Revelation subverts expectations and because of this, it may not land with everyone. That said, the series is definitely going to bring new He-Man franchise fans into the fold and works for both younger and older audiences—which is something you can’t say for any other Powerhouse Animation show.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation airs exclusively on Netflix July 23, 2021.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.