He-Man is back! Kevin Smith’s continuation of the original series picks up some years later but initially remains the Eternia we all remember. Soon though it becomes clear that the classic storyline resets of old are a thing of the past as events unfold that change the face of Masters of the Universe forever!
Smith’s love of the franchise is clear with nods to the original mini-comics and packaging artwork as well as the range of characters and details he sprinkles in through the first episode. He has taken all the positives of the original series and removed all the more embarrassing aspects that were cringy at the time and grew worse with age. Instead of He-Man moral message being the driving force we are instead opened up to the entire folklore of Eternia, something that was touched on in the original series but not fully explored.
Bringing the Masters of the Universe back to life was not just in Smith’s hands though. The voice cast assembled here make every word mean something. From Chris Wood as Prince Adam/He-Man, Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Liam Cunningham as Man-At-Arms, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela, Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn, Stephen Root as Cringer, Griffin Newman as Orko, Susan Eisenberg as The Sorceress, Diedrich Bader as King Randor and Trap Jaw, and Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena. Silverstone especially adds some interesting depth and revelations to Marlena’s character.
As much as a joy as it was to see all the Masters and Villains back again it is Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela who steals the episode and drives the story forward. Her journey (to become Sorceress?) takes a huge turn in Episode 1 when she realises all the people she has trusted her entire life have been lying to her!
Verdict: 8/10. A welcome return that builds on the original series and takes it to places we only dreamed about all those years ago!