Revelations About Eternia
There has been a lot of talk about the new Masters of the Universe cartoon for a while. People had a problem that a lot more of the show looked like it was going to be about Teela than He-Man from the trailers. The new show was created by Kevin Smith who is best known for the series of movies starting with Clerks and has even written comics like Green Arrow. I had faith that it would be a good series. The one thing that did disappoint me that it was only 5 issues though Netflix lists it as “Part 1” so I guess we’ll have to wait for the second part to see the rest unfold. The story has its good and bad points but I’ll get to them below.
I honestly didn’t check out the trailers before watching the show. I knew I wanted to see it and heard enough about the complaints that I wanted to go in without any preconceived notions. The artwork is great for the most part. The one visual problem I had was that Adam looks way too young and scrawny given he would have grown up with Teela. If this is a continuation from the original series, I’d like to know what happened to him. Too many cartoons lately have gone the road of the goofy artwork that seems to be for little kids. I’m glad we’re not seeing He-Man the way that She-Ra was recently redesigned. One thing that I’ve heard others say and have to agree with is that with Sarah Michelle Gellar voicing Teela, I can’t help but hear Buffy the Vampire Slayer in there. Skeletor ran into similar problems. Although it’s not as bad, there were a few lines where Mark Hamill sounded more like the Joker than Skeletor. (The “You did good, Lynny.” line was the worst one.) I have to say the worst voice though in the show was Cringer though. It was totally wrong for the character.
As for the story itself, we start off bouncing between two different storylines. The first taking place at Castle Greyskull where the Sorceress is tricked by Skeletor (along with Evil-Lyn and Faker) and he gets into the castle despite his grandstanding when he reveals himself. (There are a few times in the show where characters just stand there for no apparent reason and let stuff happen. This annoyed me when I couldn’t understand why people didn’t react.) The second storyline is Teela becoming the new Man-at-Arms. It’s weird thinking of anyone but Duncan having that title. The two parts merge when the Sorceress calls for help from He-Man and everyone heads to Castle Greyskull. Adam is the last to head out, of course, because he needs to change into He-Man. The animation is totally different as the power seems to knock all his clothes off before he bulks up and the little that makes up his costume appears. (It sorta reminds me of the old Sailor Moon transformations.) We even get to see a bit of He-Man butt before the loin cloth covers it.
Jumping to the battle, we get cameos by a few characters like Tri-Klops, Trapjaw, Beast Man, Fisto, and Clamp Champ. The bad guys appear throughout the rest of the story but Fisto and Clamp Champ are never seen again. It would have been nice to see characters like Stratos, Ram Man, and other heroes that used to appear in the original series. Maybe we’ll see them and other of Skeletor’s henchmen in the second half of the story. The rest of the battle we see takes place in the castle. Things move into the basement of the castle (where Skeletor somehow knew there was a trap door) where there’s a battle that leads to the release of the magic stored in the castle and the death of both He-Man and Skeletor. During this Teela finally learns that Adam is He-Man as he and Cringer revert back to their normal forms, something the king learns soon after. (Somehow, the queen already knew.) Teela yells at everyone who knew and leaves the castle, feeling lied to and betrayed.
The next episode taken place an unannounced amount of time later where we find out that Teela has not only become a mercenary teaming up with new character Andra, but she has also chopped her hair way down. There is a connection between Teela and Andra which may extend past just partners, but it’s never really explored. It seems that what happened in Castle Greyskull has removed magic from the world for the most part. Teela and Andra get pulled into a quest to get it back which means reforming the Sword of Power. This leads to them teaming up with Evil-Lyn, Orko, Roboto, Duncan, and Beast Man. We also learn that Tri-Klops has started a technology based cult in Snake Mountain. The sword was split in two and sent to Eternia’s version of heaven and hell. They start off in Subternia (Hell) where they face off against Scare Glow and their fears. This leads to some great scenes with Orko and Evil-Lyn who actually forge a nice connection. We also learn that Orko’s real name is Oracle (named after what his parents wanted him to be) but he could never pronounce it right when he was young. We start seeing the good side of Lyn as if she might be someone who could actually do some good. Teela is able to get the sword and she seems to use power she might have from being the daughter of the Sorceress. (Duncan tried to reveal this earlier, but he is cut off before he can.)
Next, they are off to Preternia (Heaven) but Scare Glow makes one last attack. Orko finds the strength to actually use his magic properly to hold him off while the others escape. He appears to have died in the battle as a part of his scarf floats into Preternia before the portal closes. They set up a gravestone for him in Preternia after they meet up with Adam. We’re introduced to some of the previous wielders of the sword including Greyskull and He-Ro. Roboto is able to reforge the sword (I know he’s supposed to be good at this stuff, but how does anyone really know how they get combined?) but he doesn’t survive the process. Adam returns with the members that are left to Eternia, giving up his place in Preternia. He uses the Sword of Power to pull the magic back to Castle Greyskull, but we find out that Skeletor didn’t actually die but was hiding in Evil-Lyn’s staff. Upon escaping her staff, he stabs Adam with his own steff (even though he’s still re-forming at the time) and takes the sword for himself. For some reason, no one tries to stop him or take the sword back. Evil-Lyn and Beast Man return to his side which is disappointing after Lyn’s growth throughout the show. He then uses the sword to get the power for himself. This is the cliffhanger we’re left at.
So, does this mean that anyone could have used the Sword of Power at any time during the original cartoon? I mean, I can’t see Skeletor as worthy of the power so that’s not a requirement. I wonder if that point will be explained in part two. I’m hoping Evil-Lyn will have a change of heart and double cross Skeletor in the second part as well. Assuming he survives (The stab was off center so may not have been enough to kill him.), I wonder how his father will react to him now that he knows the secret. I also wonder if Teela will learn that the Sorceress is her mother. That could lead to power she needs to help defeat Skeletor later in the story. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.