The new Netflix animated follow on series from Kevin Smith is here, does it have the power?
As a thirty-something year old male, it would come as no surprise that He-Man was a staple point of my childhood.
For my fourth birthday, I was gifted a He-Man figure and his horse from my folks and I actually got years of play out of them.
I still have home video footage of myself running around my childhood home with a green plastic cricket bat as my sword yelling “By the power of Grayskull, I have the POWER!”.
I can also say confidently that having visited Turkey on holiday with my family when I was just six years old, I still remember the Turkish dialogue of that same line some 30 odd years later, even though I cannot actually speak Turkish, so yes, He-Man was my thing.
This brings us to this modern rendition from the brain of Kevin Smith.
This series was already on my radar, but it really caught my attention once the first trailer dropped, it played heavily on those nostaligia strings and I couldn’t help but be captivated by what I saw. So naturally once the series was available to stream, I was onto it.
The new series pretty much picks up from the end of the original series (which I cannot recall anymore with the exception of the He-Man & She-Ra team up film).
The first episode surprisingly plays out almost like a finale, giving us a huge amount of action, story and consequences, and without giving too much away, splits the sword of power, (seemingly) eliminates a number of key characters, as well as setting the stage for a significant impact within the world of Eternia.
The main focus of this story is rebuilding the sword of power in an effort to restore magic to Eternia.
We get re-introduced to familiar characters and although there is a heavy focus on Sarah Michelle-Gellar’s portrayal of Teela, every one of them is given a chance to shine. In fact, if I described the series as anything, I would say it is balanced.
Throughout the five episode first part of this new series, we witness the aftermath of the events in episode 1 as heroes and villians come together to try and undo some of the damage that has been wrought.
I really liked that instead of the formulaiic black and white good vs. bad scenario that was commonplace back when the original series aired, Smith has instead given us a solid blend of grey.
The casting is nothing short of fantastic, with Lena Headey as Evil Lyn a particular favourite, along with Liam Cunningham as Man-at-Arms and Justin Long gives us a heartfelt performance as Roboto as does Griffin Newman as Orko.
Animation is top notch too, with some outstanding battles taking place throughout the series’ relatively short run.
If I had any gripes, it was that I wish there was more of it! It’s a good problem to have though.
I truly loved Kevin Smith’s take on He-Man, he has brought the character and storyline forward and is unapologetic in how he has done it. After the cliffhanger finale, I am enthusiastically awaiting what comes next.