Masters of the Universe: Revelation Part 2

I spoke about the first part of Revelation back in July and had plenty of choice comments for the ‘Fox News’ style commentators on YouTube who decided, before they saw a frame of footage, that they would hate it and exactly what all the angles would be. You know the types; they are so predictable, you can guess what they will say about any new piece of pop culture before it even releases.

I even got into a few heated discussions on Facebook where disciples of said YouTubers would parrot the lines from their masters, almost word for word, in lieu of having an opinion of their own. One thing I kept saying to them throughout all of this was that as this is a two-part series He-Man was clearly going to return because, aside from the fact that you can’t have that arc of him leaving, without him coming back, more obvious was, ‘You don’t kill off the lead character of your toy line…’. I even bet them that when it happened, they would say Kevin Smith course-corrected the series based on what they said. You know, without taking into account how long it takes to actually create this sort of stuff.

Well, I didn’t have to wait long after the second part of the series dropped, recently, for my prediction to come gloriously true. In response to a Den of Geek post on Facebook, talking about how the story turns in the second part of the series, a bright spark commented (spelling errors their own):

The only reason they changfed the narative is becouse of everyone absolutely hating the whole girl power crap.

And there it was, in black and white. This dude genuinely thinks that because he – and others – bitched and moaned in July, Kevin Smith went re-wrote (and presumably reanimated?), the second half of the series, for release in late November. Yeah, animation’s just so easy to make that quickly.

So, just call me Nostradamus. But more seriously, it’s not hard to read these kinds of people. You can tell they’re not the brightest tools in the shed by the kind of YouTube channels they watch, let alone anything more complex like being able to understand narratives and story arcs in a TV series.

Anyway, I had to get that off my chest. What did I actually think of the second part? To be completely honest – which I always try to be in what I write on this blog, otherwise, what’s the point of writing it at all? – I was a little underwhelmed by it. I’ll bullet point some of the reasons below:

  • Characters I felt were awesome in the first half – especially Lena Headey’s take on Evil-Lynn and Henry Rollins’ take on Tri-Klops – didn’t seem to work here. Rollins’ character is barely in it at all; just a wee cameo near the end of the final episode if I recall correctly. And Headey’s character goes on a complete power trip which seemed to greatly undercut the vibe of the first part where she was shown to have a much softer and more compassionate side, hiding beneath the ‘evil’ persona. I don’t understand why we went into that character development and didn’t use it?
  • The storyline didn’t seem anywhere near as grand as the first part. In the first five episodes we seemed to cover a ton of ground. We met loads of characters and went to heaps of places. In the second part, we seem to spend a lot of time at Castle Grayskull and Point Dread, with a bit of the royal palace, maybe? So basically, we hardly see a bunch of characters we’d already met, have some new characters cameo for a comedy line or two, and just hang around a few locations. The five episodes whizz by, and feel nowhere near as epic as the first half. To me at least.
  • Evil-Lynn’s take down of Skeletor by basically saying, “Let’s have sex, but you’ll need to power down on all the Grayskull powers you’ve inherited first…” felt icky, even in a cartoon that’s designed for adults and has had deaths, bodies cleaved in two, and all sorts of things. The sex thing just didn’t feel right. I know that must sound so prude-like, but it’s how I felt watching it.
  • One aspect of the story annoyed me a great deal and it involves Teela, who I defended quite a bit in my first review of this series so I trust people can see this doesn’t come from any sort of YouTube-style hate for the character, but is an honest reaction to the story. See, in this second part, we’re shown that Teela’s mother, the Sorceress, had to give up her ‘real’ life to take on that role. That included leaving Teela behind when she was still a baby. Teela learns what a sacrifice it was to be the Sorceress (basically, you get amazing powers, but you can’t leave Grayskull), and so when the time came for Teela to embrace being the new Sorceress I thought,  wow, she’s being shown how to take responsibility after the first part painted a very clear picture that she was a bit wayward. Cool – this is character development. Upon getting her Sorceress powers, however, Teela is like, “Nuh! I’ll be the Sorceress AND leave Grayskull!” Which, sure, means she remains on the table as a character they can use more easily in future episodes, however, it seemed to really undercut any lessons she (and the audience), had actually learned about responsibility or sacrifice and meant that the character is just as wayward as ever. That really didn’t land well for me.

Outside of that, the second part brought us the return of He-Man, via a version of He-Man that I felt was based on the more ‘cave man’ style He-Man who used to be in the early mini-comics that came with the action figures. I have no proof of that, but I’d be highly surprised if that wasn’t the inspiration, at least visually. We also got Prince Adam back in a good place with his parents, and a set-up with Hordak and the Horde if they choose to make more episodes. So that could be quite interesting.

All told, however, I was less impressed with the second part of Revelation than the first part. I was entertained, yes, and the episodes moved by at a rapid pace. No complaints in some areas but, in others, I just felt it was mis-firing and not quite being what it could be. A wee bit disappointing.

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