Thursday, January 6, 2022

Mastery of the Universe

Yes, the new season of The Witcher dropped, and was awesome. But there was another second part of a Netflix fantasy series I watched first.

I went from "Vaguely interested in the new version of a franchise I never followed, and watched only because I stepped on a bee's nest and didn't want to write that night."
"I gotta see what happens in Part II as soon as it comes out!"
For Kevin Smith and company's Masters of the Universe: Revelations.

It did not disappoint.

Considering I thought they couldn't get crazier than Part I already did, BOY was I wrong.

I keep seeing this referred to as a deconstruction, but that's not quite right.

Instead its an experiment in letting the Status Quo shift in a franchise that came from a time where the Status Quo of ALL afternoon cartoons was set in stone.

It bears repeating that He-Man is already a hero, and this version not only doesn't skimp on that, but actually goes out of its way to analyze what makes him a hero. 
(Hint- much like a certain Big Blue Boy Scout, it isn't his powers.)

Therefore Adam doesn't need a Hero's Journey arc, and focusing on Teela completing one continued to be the best way to keep the story intriguing and surprising.

The Status-Quo changes came fast and furious. 

What happens if Skeletor finally achieves victory?

What happens if Evil-Lynn steps out from under Skeletor's abusive treatment, and demonstrates the obvious fact that she's a better, more dangerous, and ridiculously awesome adversary?

What is the result of  Man at Arms, Teela, the Sorceress and other characters progressing and moving on.

And can Adam summon the Power of Grayskull without the sword?

The voice acting continued to be amazing, with multiple stand outs. I really want to mention everyone.  However, I NEED to mention Mark Hamill again. Some reviews said it was basically the Joker voice, but it isn't. It's different and really embodied the obsessive, generally self defeating villainy of Eighties cartoon foes.

Bear McCreary's score was more epic than last time around, if that is possible. 

And the conclusion gave impressive heroic moments for He-man as the most powerful hero of the franchise, plus epic moments for Teela and Andra showing new blood and new ways of victory.

It also allowed nearly every member of the hugely populated franchise to show up in the final fracas.

Even little Orko got his moment of awesome.

It's new, it's fresh and it's fun, but it also is filled with references to earlier versions of the franchise (Such as a nod to the axe wielding, cave man, barbarian version of He-man in a fantastic tribute to the original mini-comics that came with the figures.)

But it was also a satisfying continuation to what came before, not negating it, but building on it and pointing out what makes He-man and company heroic and Skeletor and his band evil, if entertaining foes.

I can't wait to see where it goes next.

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