Netflix Has the Power! To Make He-Man Look Good in a Fur Thong

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In a CG animated still from Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Skeletor (left), who wears a purple cloak and hood over his skull, grips his spear in a battle against He-Man (right), a strong shirtless blonde male with a golden armored belt and wrist plates holding a silver sword.
Mattel

The ’80s were a weird time. You had multiple cartoons featuring characters wearing fur thongs with mismatched voices. Suffice to say, you’d think it’d be impossible to keep the feel of the original shows and look good. But oh man, does the new Masters of the Universe: Revelation trailer look good.

Let’s get some bad news out the way to start. Despite Masters of the Universe: Revelation arriving on Netflix, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the excellent She-Ra and the Princesses of Power reboot. Sure, in the original cartoons He-Man and She-Ra were siblings, but that’s not where this is going.

Instead of a complete reimagining as She-Ra did, this new He-man series actually serves as a continuation of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series. Only this time, the voices don’t feel totally out of place, even if Mark Hamill’s Skeletor sounds a bit too much like Mark Hamill’s Joker.

Gone is the echoey voice, the ridiculous sound effects, and the terrible music. But that doesn’t mean the trailer doesn’t feel like the ’80s, with its over-the-top sinewy muscles, and “Holding Out For a Hero” soundtrack. It’s better animation, but a faithful take on the original.

And that’s what Showrunner Kevin Smith is going for with this reboot (restart?) since it’s a continuation of the original show. As he explains it:

Narratively our show is set up as the next episode in the legacy ’80s animated series that aired from 1983-1985. This is a continuation of that story. We’re playing with the original mythology and characters, and revisiting and digging deeper into some of the unresolved storylines.

Visually we also made the conscious decision to lean into the Masters of the Universe line of toys for inspiration as well. Mattel owns this entire vast library of that artwork, so right away we wanted the show to open with classic pieces of that artwork. Mattel has been committed to this look since they first started as a toy line in the ’80s, and now we’re leaning into it and honoring it.

Trailers can be misleading, so the show could turn out to not be everything we hope. But with a trailer this good it’s easy to get excited. Maybe Kevin Smith can bring back all the ’80s greats. Just imagine a modern Silverhawks show. People can dream.



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