SPOILERS?!? Not quite. With the big news from Power-Con 2019 getting every MOTU fan excited, the next question on our minds is "what would the story be about"? We've been given a glimpse of what prolific director/ pop culture figure Kevin Smith (Jay & Silent Bob), and writer/ Mattel TV VP Rob Davis have in store for us: a continuation of the original 80s cartoon, extending broken story lines from various notable characters, and a revelation of the key secrets of Castle Grayskull which could lead to the closure of the 35-year conflict between the Masters of the Universe & Skeletor and his minions. What do these mean?
PLOT(?) CONTINUATION & BACKSTORIES
A possible issue one may have with this is the missing plot from the series that ran from 1983-1985. There is no real story arc to build on, apart from a vague patchwork of colorful adventures and life lessons. But, we have to take into consideration that Mattel had intended the 131 episodes to be an advertising platform primarily, an industry first, which of course Hasbro successfully employed to corner the 3.75" toy market for over a decade. And so for both the MOTU & GI Joe cartoons, continuity & a solid narrative were hugely amiss. This will be something the new Revelation Netflix series will surely fix, given the recent trend in relatively more profound cartoon diegesis. Taking on cues, it will take care of a million plot holes, and character back stories from main characters. Given that this does't follow the story-line from 200x, we would most likely have a new and clearer history behind the roots of Grayskull. Central characters we might expect deeper stories on could be:
* the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull
* a possible revival of the Keldor-Skeletor story line
* Evil Lynn & Skeletor's legion of villains
* Teela's connection with Adam, and her bigger role in the quest to find the Power Sword, as Kevin Smith had revealed yesterday.
* Randor's Line
This is a pilot series with a few numbered episodes, which would mean a focus on limited but more central characters. In the end, the primary hook would probably revolve around the story of the Power Sword giving way to a more defined conflict between He-Man & Skeletor. Teela plays a major part in this quest to unravel the secrets of the sword, a move very much in line with Mattel's woman-empowerment thrust, so it would be interesting to see how this works to evolve Adam/He-Man's character in this light, as well.
THE ANIMATION STYLE
I remember people having concerns with She-Ra's animation style and overall design when it came out. I'm quite sure purists are having the same consternations with the news on Revelation made in anime format by Powerhouse Animation Studios --- the guys behind one of Netflix's recent anime wins, Castlevania. This is a bold, but smart move by Mattel, to capture and extend the MOTU fan-base to younger generations who are definitely into the Japanese style. I've always wondered how the interest for MOTU can be extended to the next line of Masters, for we can only carry the torch for so long. This, however, isn't a sure formula for success. In 2011 Cartoon Network released the Thundercats reboot in anime format, to the initial frustration, then gradual admiration of old and new fans alike. Similar to Masters of the Universe Revelation, it promised a more defined plot and story-line, which it delivered... but sadly Bandai sales didn't, which left us with one of the most frustrating cliffhangers of recent. Perhaps it was the retelling of the story, which Mattel isn't doing (again). Or, perhaps the bottomline simply is Thundercats doesn't have enough grip on its claws to grab the attention of people, something Mattel's MOTU can safely say it has due to 3 decades of continuous marketing and its strong following.
WHERE WOULD SHE-RA FIT IN
This has definitely gotten us looking forward to the next couple of years, despite no solid date of roll-out. However, there is one thing I'm kind of iffy about. Netflix's She-Ra is probably in a different universe simultaneously running with the new MOTU series. The anime execution of the new cartoon is a dead giveaway, which is a bit of a disappointment... or is it? Fans would want a cohesive universe. The seamless connection of the 80s story line which started with the TV movie "The Secret of the Sword," was a great juxtaposition between the stories of the twins. Take note however, the new setting of She-Ra's Etheria isn't in the same local solar neighborhood of Eternia. In fact, it's in Hordak's other-worldly prison dimension of Despondos. These two universes could give canonical justification as to why both TV series look so different, and at some point, might actually cross-over. That certainly would be an excellent cherry-topper, wouldn't it?
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