Warning! The following contains spoilers for Masters Of The Universe: Revelation. Read at your own risk!
Many He-Man fans were excited when the notable filmmaker and celebrity geek Kevin Smith announced he was developing a Masters Of The Universe series for Netflix, and had full faith that the comic writer and podcaster would give the toy-friendly franchise the boost it needed in modern pop culture. Well, now that the animated streaming series has released its first five episodes, some of those fans have soured hard on those initial opinions, and Smith unleashed a flurry of F-bombs at the viewers who are angry with the direction he took the series before even learning how the first season plays out.
For those out of the loop, a lot of emotionally impulsive He-Man fans are upset with Masters of the Universe: Revelation because they feel betrayed both by Kevin Smith and by Netflix's marketing for the series. The Revelation arc was touted to be a spiritual successor to the He-Man series, but Part 1 doesn't have a whole lot of Prince Adam or He-Man in it, and instead mainly follows a female character named Teela. While there will no doubt be a lot more story to come, with He-Man almost definitely playing into it, social media has been full of criticisms saying the series was a "bait and switch" or an attempt to make He-Man "woke." Smith spoke to Variety ahead of the actual release after only seeing some of the hateful online chatter, and didn't hold back (as he rarely does) in responding.
I know there’s some people that are like, ‘Hey, man, this show’s woke.' I’m like, all right, great, then so was the original cartoon we’re fucking sequel-izing. Go watch it again. There are girls in every episode. Deal with it. It’s been interesting, seeing who truly is a hardcore fan because anybody that’s like, ‘Oh, man, there’s not enough He-Man’ or something like that, doesn’t understand the show that we based it on. There were episodes where he lost the sword and he never became He-Man. It wasn’t like He-Man always saved the day. His friends helped him. That was the fucking point of the show.
Kevin Smith obviously doesn't believe Masters of the Universe: Revelation is a betrayal to the original adventures. And he challenges anyone who doesn't feel the same to go back and take in the original animated series with their current mindset to see just how different, or the same, the two projects really are.
Of course, Kevin Smith didn't necessarily directly speak to the complaint that He-Man or Prince Adam isn't in the bulk of the first part, just that it was dumb to gripe about a female character leading the series' early episodes. A lot of fans paying attention to trailers and early reports probably already expected that going in, and while the first half of Season 1 ended in what looked like a tragic death, it takes a massive suspension of disbelief to think that He-Man is has been killed off for good. Smith implied the character's imminent return by chiding anyone who truly believed that he created a MOTU series that fully ditches its signature hero.
I see people online go, ‘Hey man, they’re getting rid of He-Man!' Like, you really fucking think Mattel Television, who hired me and paid me money, wants to do a fucking Masters of the Universe show without He-Man? Grow the fuck up, man. Like, that blew my mind, bunch of people being like, ‘Oh, I smell it. This is a bait and switch.'
No, Kevin Smith didn't permanently kill off He-Man or Prince Adam and Rob David, vice president of content creative at Mattel Television, further explained/spoiled that Part 2 will see Adam recover from Skeletor's gruesome blow, and presumably not in a way that forces him to settle down at a nice retirement community. Ultimately, the goal will be to explore who Adam is as a character, and what made him worthy of the He-power, while not shying away from Teela's She-power. Whether fans will be receptive to all that remains to be seen, but I'd expect more F-bombs coming from Smith's direction.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation's first five episodes are currently streaming on Netflix. Those scorned by Kevin Smith's version may take solace in knowing there's another He-Man series in development, though it will also make some changes from the source material.