He-Man and The Masters of The Universe is back with more episodes. The 3D animated series kicks off right where part one left off, with our heroes split up and Skeletor victorious.
This story follows the divided Masters of the Universe on their respective missions to defeat Skeletor. Adam travels along with, Krass, Duncan, Cringer. Newcomer Stratos (Zeno Robinson) joins them on a search for the sigils of Hiss. Dangerous artifacts related to Skeletor’s newest scheme. Meanwhile, Teela, Ork-O, and King Randor search for allies in the under city of Eteronos. Their goal is to free the city from the forces of Havoc.
In my last review, I made a minor complaint that I felt the plot took a little while to really get going. However that definitely isn’t the case with this installment. Each episode uses its runtime wisely. They don’t just progress the treasure hunt themed plot. They also managed to give certain characters some much-needed development. For instance, when Teela and her team journey into the under city, we get to meet Man-E-Faces. The thespian King of thieves who turns out to have been Teela’s mentor before she joined the others. She manages to not only reconcile with her father figure. She also shows King Randor how his privilege as a King kept him from seeing the plight of the under city denizens.
One thing I still love about this show is the stylistic choices. The updated He-Man looks are exciting. ade when updating the looks of classic He-Man characters. This time around, a personal favorite of mine ended up being Man-E. His look was simple but unique enough to immediately stand out in a show already full of bombastic, colorful characters. I also liked Stratos’ streamlined design. It makes him look like a Himbo version of Silverstone from The Famous Jett Jackson. Between his endearing showboating attitude and Zeno’s stellar performance, Stratos ended up being another of my favorite new additions to the cast. Here he serves a similar purpose to Adam in the first set of episodes. A young, kind of brash kid, trying their best to learn to be a leader.
On the villainous side of things, Skeletor continues to be a stand out character as well. With Ben Disken continuing to do a fantastic performance. Especially in the episode Meanwhile, where Skeletor spends the run time lamenting over not being able to have his ideal Birthday Party. A wonderfully comedic premise that perfectly captures the silliness of the original series and drops it right into this modern take.
Adam ends up being utilized well, especially in his interactions with Stratos, but outside of major plot progression, he mostly takes a back seat to other characters being given time to shine. I did end up wishing Cringer had more to do, but his character does work equally well as a mostly supportive role this time around. Duncan ends up being a lot of fun here. He even ends up being a comedic foil for Skeletor in Meanwhile. His empathy and optimism play incredibly well off of Skeletor’s own selfish pessimism.
The character I was pleasantly surprised to see focused on the most ended up being Krass. Throughout each episode, Ram-Ma’am wonders about her place on the team. She realizes she doesn’t even have a nemesis, let alone anything for herself outside of being a Master of the Universe. In addition to her feelings of inadequacy, an exchange during a battle with Skeletor leads to Krass going on a personal journey to discover more about her past.
He-Man and The Masters of The Universe still manages to be an exciting update, even among the other recent shows from the franchise. Just like before, things end of a cliffhanger that sets up the stakes for future episodes. I was pleasantly surprised with how well things were wrapped up before moving on to the next big conflict, with a new antagonist added to the mix. With the implications that the next string of episodes may be the last (or at least the end of the current saga), I’m looking forward to how the next batch of episodes tie everything together. All episodes He-Man and The Masters of The Universe are currently available on Netflix. It’s continues to be a great show for kids, teens, and any fans of He-Man in general.