A warning. This review does discuss Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Part 1, so read no further if you haven’t already seen the series so far.
When the first part of Masters of the Universe: Revelation came out, there was much kvetching from the usual suspects about how Kevin Smith had deceived the populace yearning for the continuing battles of He-Man and Skeletor. Instead, the Smith had presented a story focused on Teela and her leading a party of heroes and villains to reassemble the Sword of Power and save the universe. Yet the story was also about the consequences of Prince Adam hiding his secret identity from his friends and family. Kevin Smith defended the story, saying that he was building the way towards an epic battle to end all epic battles.
I am happy to report that the Smith has delivered.
The story of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Part 2 focuses on the resurrected Prince Adam and his coping with the problems his little white lies caused. Beyond the strain on his parents, there is also the matter of Skeletor claiming the Power of Grayskull for himself and a new threat to all reality arising from the fact that, despite being more powerful than ever, Skeletor still can’t take the win and be satisfied with what he has.
Doubtlessly the show’s haters will see Skeletor’s behavior as a personal attack on them, as Skeletor’s obsession with fighting He-Man and only fighting He-Man seems to be a mirror of their beliefs that no Masters of the Universe series should examine any part of the setting or characters apart from He-Man fighting Skeletor. It spoils little to reveal we do eventually get that fight, but there is more focus on just how deeply dysfunctional the Royal Family of Eternos is and why Teela feels betrayed by everyone she ever loved.
There is action along with this self-examination, however, and indeed the final two episodes are almost nothing but escalating action, with things going over the top and then destroying the top completely. There are numerous “I can’t believe they did this” moments, including the obvious joke about Fisto’s name. Because we all knew it was coming. This IS a Kevin Smith production, after all. There is also a reference to Clueless, because Alicia Silverstone provides the voice of Queen Marlena. (Trigger Warning for He-Man-Woman-Haters – as in the original cartoon, the Queen is a fighter pilot/astronaut and she joins in the battle for Castle Grayskull.)
The animation continues to impress, with many moments in the season finale showing an overt anime influence. The voice acting is solid across the board, with Part 2 introducing some surprise voice actors. (I’m not saying who. It’s a surprise.) All in all, everything is an improvement on the first half of the season and there is a cliffhanger hinting at what is to come in Season 2.
All in all, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Part 2 is more of the same. If you liked Part 1, you’ll love it. If you didn’t like it, this probably won’t win you over either. But for those He-Man fans who have the power to look at everything the setting has to offer, this is something special.