Who Has the Power in Hasbro & Netflix’s He-Man & The Masters of the Universe?

20 Sep

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

Hasbro & Netflix’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe may not appeal to all longtime fans. It’s been redesigned, and the new power of Grayskull is a trans-dimensional force of nature to perhaps contain and explain why these retellings over the years exist. Thankfully, this latest version stays true to the first series where it tries to teach young viewers the value of friendship, trust and teamwork. 

Rob David, the showrunner, is drawing from a cleaned up series bible. Hasbro and Funimation never made one during their development of the 1983 show. After so many retellings on different fronts, namely three televised series and the comic books–this latest takes the best of and explains the complex relationships that exists in this world. The motives are much clearer. It’s also completely different from what Kevin Smith is doing in his continuation, MotU: Revelation.

I’m particularly fond of this new Skeletor. He was Keldor, younger brother to King Randor, and a person jealous of his elder sibling’s prowess (“We Have The Power”). This former royal belives might and domination is the best way to rule a kingdom. Personality wise, he’s like Cobra Commander and The Joker from the DCAU combined! His claim to the throne requires being able to hold the right totem.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Trailer Reveals Netflix's Animated  Reboot

In this realm, that individual holding that symbol of power can also become a protector of Castle Grayskull and the secrets it contains within. Keldor wants to master the magic located here and use it to rule the universe. Or should I say multiverse? He even argues this point in the third episode, “In what world is this boy [in reference to Adam/He-Man] a champion?”

Between this series and Kevin Smith’s continuation, new fans and old are likely aware they don’t jive. They aren’t meant to be part of the same continuity. The latter takes a dark spin and seemingly kills a certain character off. The other heros will have to clean up the mess, and they may well travel back in time to a nexus point, and change it much like a certain Marvel’s What If episode featuring the Dark Doctor Strange. But some things can’t be undone. This reboot may well be a result of an altered history so it is indeed a continuation of Smith’s set up to exploding a black hole inside Castle Grayskull.

If there can only be one universe, I’d say Filmation’s take hits all the marks. Orko is a robot (“Orko The Great”) in this update. This character is trying to live up to the original’s–perhaps the version from the Filmation series–legacy. If this is the case, then I feel this series is not a reboot. This new universe exploded into existence after the events of Kevin Smith’s tale, and everyone doesn’t remember their past life. 

He-Man-and-the-Masters-of-the-Universe-Netflix

Here, we find Teela turn rebel (“The Sword Of Grayskull”). Her story gets quite complex as she’ll one day be the next guardian of Castle Grayskull (much like the past series)  and she doesn’t want to have her future determined.

Kringer is hardly the cowardly cat we recall. He’s Adam’s travelling companion and protector, who doesn’t need to transform to save the young prince from harm. This feline’s relationship with Beastmaster (“He-Man, The Hunted”) is key to who he is.

Duncan’s role is the least defined. Other Man-at-Arms existed (“The Calm Before The Storm”), and this fact only confirms my suspicions that others can take on the pivotal role of various namesakes who were once The Sorceress, He-Man and Man-at-Arms. This version is hardly able to MacGuyver up workable tech for the team. He hardly mans up with usable tech.

Ram Ma’am is a comrade-in-arms who can. She’s the best friend to Adam. While he’s trying to figure his life out, she and the rest of the team are able to at least save their village from Kandor’s pillaging as he tries to find the lost prince.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Trailer Showcases a Kid-Friendly  Alternative to Revelation - Den of Geek

These teens are Eternia’s answer to Power Rangers, or should that be Shazam? That is, He-Man can share the power and transform his friends into fellow warriors. I’m okay with that idea, as the foes he faces are created along the same lines. The stats rebalance makes sense since the normal humans wouldn’t stand a chance at surviving.

With only half the toys out and no signs of a video game, I may well have to reskin Final Fantasy VII since that sword is crazy huge for a reason.

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