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Kevin Smith Will ‘Finish’ He-Man’s Story After More Than 30 Years | The Big Picture


Okay, both of last week’s episodes were kind of
a downer, so I promised on Thursday that I’d start this week off on an upbeat note – which
I thought would be kinda hard of a vow to keep because of everything… but for a change the weekend decided to take a day off from making my life difficult and we got this late-breaking announcement
that the incomprehensible eldritch godhead that is The Netflix Algorithm had cast it’s
cyclopean gaze on the numbers for Noelle Stevenson’s She-Ra reboot, tabulated the infernal calculations
in the ancient and terrible numeric glyphs known only to It and bade forth… “Yeah that seemed to work do another one.” So now Kevin Smith is making a new He-Man
show which means I’m making a version of this face. “Stop it right now or I take it all back.” “I’m not saying anything.” [singing] “…and I say, ‘Hey, yay, yay, yay, yay…” Now, since I already did a whole-ass episode
about how I was …very not-correct about Kevin Smith having “peaked” years ago
I hope I don’t have to rehash that at any great length and I can jump right
into clearing up that I was really big into He-Man when I was a much younger Bob and I
still have a soft spot for the exceptionally silly but delightfully so “Masters of the
Universe” franchise in general: Here’s me at San Diego Comic-Con this past year, here’s that
clip from the Godzilla 2 review with the action figure! So am I psyched for this? You bet your ass I am! Especially with the additional (though still
light on details) confirmation that the project – currently titled “Masters of the Universe:
Revelations” – okay, will be a limited series that Netflix is calling an “Anime” with
animation from the same studio that worked on Castlevania which will continue the continuity
(such as it was…) where it left off from the original 1980s “He-Man and The Masters
of the Universe” cartoon from Filmmation. Which, to me, feels like the right decision. Yes, I’m biased because it’s the one I
grew up with and feel best (if not perfectly) reflects the general Edgar Rice Burroughs meets Conan
meets Flash Gordon by way of Moebius, Metal Hurlant and Jack Kirby aesthetic of the first
toys that the franchise can’t help but keep reverting back to. I know the 2002 version had fans, I thought
it was… fine? But, I dunno – I generally feel like He-Man
is one of those wonderfully nonsensical bizarrely thrown-together “How the hell did this become
so popular and why did it last???” properties where unless you’re going to
retool it from the ground up into something new and unironically good like they let Noelle
Stevenson and her people do with She-Ra? …it’s best to just play the ball from the organically
“bad, yet somehow also awesome” place that it naturally lands. “By the power of grayskull.” “I have the power.” And yeah, I am very Much an admirer of the
retooled She-Ra – I’m obviously not it’s targeted audience (which I think is a big
mark in its favor) but I’m not exactly sure why it was as “divisive” among Masters
of the Universe fans as it was when it first showed up outside of general aesthetic-preference
stuff (which I basically “get”) i.e. why it was at all controversial to revive a cartoon
aimed at the sensibilities of 8 year-old girls in the 80s as a cartoon aimed at the sensibilities
of 8 year-old girls now? I mean I mostly get the logic behind “mature
audience reboots” like G.I. Joe resolute because it was always just a
little bit askew that G.I. Joe is a cartoon about like actual military
soldiers fighting a terrorist organization with tanks and rifles and knives and such
but sanded-down for a kids cartoon so going “Okay, here’s what this would look like
if they let us draw bullets!” makes a certain amount of sense but… She-Ra rides a rainbow pegasus and has a mermaid
friend and a peacock-lady friend and a …Bo? So yeah, no – this was not meant to every be turned into pastel Game of Thrones or whatever people think they wanted. Besides, remember when they redid Transformers as big angry douchey army movies trying to be all gritty and grown-up and it sucked and
the fans especially hated it for like a decade and then they changed course and rebooted
their movies based on a kids cartoon about toy robot cars into a movie about kids with
a robot-car friend and it was f—– great and everyone was like “Why weren’t the Transformers
movies always like this? This is good? How hard was that?” And while I’m sure Smith’s He-Man will
likely skew a bit more “mature” (there’s a heavier nostalgia component, why else would
you hire Smith, etc) for now I kind of hope the angle is a little more “Batman the Animated
Series” than “Adult Swim.” Either way, it’s gonna come down to whether
or not the writing is any good – and I don’t just by comparison. Because, yes, I do agree that Stevenson’s
She-Ra is well written and probably the best written Masters of the Universe-adjacent “thing”
ever produced for film or television… but it’s not like the bar is that high. “ Actually Good He-Man Writing” outside
of Nu-She-Ra is pretty much just a couple episodes of original She-Ra, thank you Straczynski, literally one episode of He-Man cartoon and this one part of the live action movie. “…and what consequence are you now? This planet, these people. They are nothing to me.” “The universe is power.” “Pure unstoppable, power.” “And I am that force. I am that power.” “Kneel before you Master!” “Fool, you are no longer my equal.” “I am more than man. More than life. I am a god.” But okay, for all anyone can do regarding this is speculate and… the only thing I’m
an easier mark for than He-Man is classic Mario stuff and – He-Man it’s kinda harder
to take seriously somehow so I might actually be more of an easy mark for that. Like even if it does end up just being so
much fanservice I’ll probably still break down like Old Matt Damon at the end of Saving
Private Ryan the first time Battle Cat shows up. But, here’s a question that does interest me,
though: See, the She-Ra reboot has so far elected to be coy about how much (if
at all) they ever planned to show, bring up or even mention He-Man – there’s been conflicting
information about how much they’d be allowed to use, which characters and words are owned
by which company, that kind of thing …although they’ve been able to at least use He-Man
originating “terms” like Grayskull, Eternia and “Despondos” from the 2002 series and
certain big revelations about Hordak and Adora’s true origins from the most recent season seem
to be pointing if not in the same direction as the original continuity then at least a
very similar version so… who knows? “So Skeletor was an originally a member of the Hord.” [Sorceress of Castle Grayskull] “Hordak had just lifted Adora from a cradle and was about to take Adam too.” “We searched for you for many years Adora. But, we could not find the dimension to which Hordak had escaped. To spare Adam the pain of you lost, I cast a spell that wiped all memory of you in the Hord from the people.” In any case, what a lot of people were waiting
for was “Will Netflix do a He-Man reboot too and if so will it be connected in any way like the old cartoons used to be?” so when this being announced as both a Netflix
project and a continuation from the original series would seem to suggest that the answer
was a big hard “No!” on all of that; since if this is jumping off from the 80s Masters
of the Universe timeline… that had it’s own She-Ra already – that’s what the new
one is a reimagining. But the thing is… maybe not? Okay, so this is kind of hard to follow, but…
short version: She-Ra Princess of Power was the spin-off of He-Man and The Masters of
the Universe, but it wasn’t a “concurrent” spin-off; i.e. they weren’t taking place
in side-by-side continuity like Hercules and Xena. Granted, “continuity” doesn’t really mean much in these series because apart from the multi-part She-Ra pilot that was released to theaters
edited together and packaged as a “He-Man and She-Ra Movie” and a few individual two-parters
both shows had mainly stand-alone episodes so that air in whatever order you wanted without any long-running arcs; but in terms
of the relatively few ways there are to “time-stamp” with either one of these, She-Ra’s show generally takes
place after the last He-Man episodes (though neither of them get like an “ending”.) “Sorry to disappoint you, but uh…” Now, a lot of people feel like they remember
these being concurrent because (again) they were made so you could watch them out of order
and it’d play okay, but also because both shows only ran new episodes for about 2 years
each respectively and then went into re-run rotation where they were often aired in blocks
back to back in syndication. But during their original airings there was
only one brief few months in 1985 when both series were running new episodes at the same
time, i.e. while She-Ra was just starting up and Masters of the Universe was burning off it’s last few episodes. But while She-Ra featured semi-regular cameo
turns by characters and locations from He-Man, She-Ra herself and characters originating
on that series never appeared or were mentioned on He-Man’s (save for one glimpse of the
second Sword in the Sorceress’ origin story flashback because they were at least planning
that part of She-Ra at that point.) So my question becomes: When this Kevin Smith
joint says “picking up where the 80s version left off,” what exactly do they mean? “What, what?” Obviously it means that it’s not
adjacent to the 2002 series and one assumes it’ll ignore the 1990s “New Adventures
of He-Man” because… everyone else did, so why rock the boat there? But does “where the 80s left off” means
where the entire 80s Masters of the Universe animated continuity left off, which would
mean post-She-Ra? Or… do they specifically mean to just pick
up from strictly where the original He-Man cartoon left off and head in a wholly-different
direction from when the continuity transitioned to a focus on She-Ra under Filmmation (because
that was the one still doing new episodes)? And if so… are they doing it that way in order
to or to leave open the potential for whatever new continuum this will establish to
cross-over and sync-up with the new She-Ra on the same platform? Since they’re both on Netflix. [He-Man] “By the power of Grayskull.”
[She-Ra] “For the honor of Grayskull.” [He-Man] “I have the power!” [heroic music] I mean ya’ know probably not, if I had to guess? This will probably be leaning in a generally
different direction aesthetically and otherwise but… it was interesting to realize that
it was more plausible than I initially assumed, too. There’s actually a lot of like confusing, offbeat
permutations to the Masters of the Universe brand and it’s deeply confused continuity
that could be a whole show unto itself to me honest, but… that’s gonna have to wait a bit because
I’ve been keeping [publishers] waiting on an episode about The Boys for awhile now, so look forward to that on Thursday. Until then keeping an eye on this one. I’m Bob and that’s The Big Picture.

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100 thoughts on “Kevin Smith Will ‘Finish’ He-Man’s Story After More Than 30 Years | The Big Picture

  1. Knowing the business I imagine a continuity is probably the most attractive ideas from a marketing stand point of view , you know when you have a your one show self promoting it's other half for the complete experience that tends to to work out nowadays.
    And I do see the potential for that but also wouldn't want that if He-man is gonna be more girtty a la castlevania from the Netflix

  2. One run of the comics established that the different continuities existed as a multiverse (like pre-crisis DC), so they've always got that way round things.

  3. They don't need to crossover directly, but the occasional allusion to "events" of the She-Ra series in He-Man and vice versa could be neat, and would build anticipation for if they would ever decide to have characters interact.

  4. I think it'd be a mistake to have old He-Man & new She-Ra share continuity, mostly because the tones are so wildly different.

  5. I’ve only watched the early 00s version. It had the same basic premise as the original so I’d probably still be good to see fbis sequel.

  6. I kinda feel akin to the MovieBob reading of Kevin Smith of old… He's become a different thing from a movie/show maker. And I think this thing is going to suck as well.. I do love Clerks, Dogma and all'a'dat. I doubt I'll like this just like I havn't his past recent stuff.

  7. Mildly excited. As long as S-R:PoP gets itself a proper set of arcs and an ending without being sidelined for the 'more famous' property I think I'm gonna be happy.

  8. Kevin Smith is a horrible, horrible writer IMO. that being said, he might be perfect for a He-Man. The same way Michael Bay would be PERFECT for a Lobo Movie

  9. The New SheRa is campy but HE-MAN must be Homoerotic AF ! But the 2002 version was fine , it had a proper backstory and Adam physically changes from a Teen to a Man, it was good just not very engaging or Toyriffic

  10. Don't blemish the name of the epic S&M man by counting that silly political agenda-infested excuse for a cartoon among his ranks. His motto is "I have the power!" not "I have male privilege!"

  11. Pausing for a moment after the five minute mark to just say that Frank Langella is Skeletor is just fan-flipp’n-tastic! Let’s rewind and watch that again!

  12. All the rights stuff between He-Man and She-Ra seems silly in the same way as shows like Justice League and Batman: the Brave and Bold, which couldn't use certain characters after a certain point despite being owned by the same parent company. I would be on board for an alternate version of He-Man to show up in the new She-Ra show if only to further develop and explore Adora's character and origins, respectively. I'm also somewhat eager to check out Kevin Smith's continuation of original series He-Man only because it's being produced by the same animation studio as the Castlevania series. All I would ask for is a proper catch-up in the pilot, because this 31-year old only had the 2002 series growing up, and I can't recall the old show being syndicated.

  13. She-ra reboot blew donkey @#$!, thunndercats reboot was awsome…. Voltron turned lgbt faster than my downward spiral into depression after two Irish car bomb's an a shot of crown… Kevin smith knows his $#@! tho, not that worried.

  14. I was very hesitant in clicking this, I was waiting for Bob to do some mindless NPC "toxic masculinity" thing on He-Man because he's a big buff manly man who does hero manly stuff with other big buff men and skinny hot women who can't be confused for being anything but hot women… I'm so overly happy he didn't do this it feel more like the old original MovieBob all those years back that I originally liked when he started this show and escape to the Movies before it when he was making real talk and not koolaid dribble.

    When I was a kid I loved both the original He-Man and She-Ra, I even named my cat Cringer… I hate what they did to She-Ra and I wasn't even a fan of 2002 He-Man honestly it was so little of a blip on my radar I didn't know it existed until around 2007 and I hope they don't go that way again, it didn't have as much he-man cheese as he-man needs to exist

  15. I somehow (lets be honest we all know how) get the feeling Kevin Smith doesn't like the new She-Ra and as such will not want to sully his hands with "SJW Propaganda"

  16. I'd heard Smith was in this project, hadn't heard he was picking up where the Filmation series left off, but the original didn't really "leave off" anywhere, other than to establish some characters and a setting. Except for an occasional 2 parter, there was minimal continuity. And even compared to other 80s toy cartoon-mercials, the low stakes slapstick of every episode got resolved . He-Man didn't seem to have any time limit or point of exhaustion.

    If he wants to reimagine it ,ike the 2002 version, one difference this time would be that he wouldn't need to fit it into a network programmer's vision or sponsor's rules, I guess.

  17. I'm a fan of the She-Ra reboot and I personally have zero interest in He-Man crossing over with it. God forbid a ~girl show~ stand on its own!

  18. Love Kevin Smith, love new Netflix she-ra, oh god I hope she-ra gets like 5+ seasons and can get to a few (but not make it the main point of the show) episodes of cross over in like season 4/5 with it I now have high expectations

  19. I enjoy how they both have magical girl transformations. I also didnt realize they were siblings but i had no idea they were siblings then again I only got to watch reruns of He man on Boomrang and the He man remake in late 90s early 2000s.

  20. Why do the female characters from the original series have visible cheek bone? It makes them look older, like they're middle-aged or something. I like the new designs better.

  21. Ah, new She-Ra. Remember when internet neck beards were all up at arms because this 14 year old girl wasn't sexualized enough for them? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

  22. Hear me out, 2002 character designs with the new Netflix series… the 1980's designs do not hold up well. If this does good enough they may do a re-write of the 1980's version with updated animations and I would love to see that especially how they would handle the episode where he-man gets his sword.

  23. Okay, who here is also impressed by the fact that it turns out the Queen took out Skeletor with a judo throw? Sure, Skeletor is a buffoon, but that is still amazing to see.

  24. …considering you think the new She-ra is in any way good or that Kevin Smith is anything less than batshit crazy, I have no idea how this ended up in my recommended feed. Maybe because Yahtzee is also the Escapist and unlike this garbage, he's actually entertaining sometimes.

  25. I freaking love the new She-Ra series, but I honestly wouldn't want Kevin Smith's He-Man series to be a crossover. She-Ra has a very definitive style and I bet that He-Man's "anime" style, with it's likely darker tones would just clash too much. I still can't wait for it though!

  26. Issues with what company owns what rights/character? I just want to see He-man raise his sword aloft and proclaim "I HAVE THE LICENSE!!"

  27. I feel afraid that Netflix is doing this remake , they already destroyed She-Ra ,Thundercats ,Saint Seiya and the brilliant movie about Death Note … I'm not so impress and they didn't put the name of He-Man in the tittle this smells bad

  28. We need an official inbox for fans to suggest stories too !!

    1) does trak know Adams secret identity ?? He always changes in front of trak

    2) how did cringer learn to speak. We see creatures of the tar swamp and battle cat origin episodes. But he didn’t speak !

    3) he mans own mom knows Adams secret. She just plays dumb. She untied Adam first in rainbow warrior.

    4 ) we see merman In the opening credits. I mean come on. Evil lyn was skeletors a second in command and she wasn’t in the opening credits?

    5) that girl in a trip to morania saw Adam change. But no one listened to her because you never listen to girls !

    6) granamyr hates humans. They came asking for help and didn’t appreciate him. Yet she ra went back in time and met the dragon. And the humans really appreciated him and that should of changed his storyline

  29. I remember watching He Man as a kid, but watched so little of it that I didn't develop any sort of real connection to it. My biggest memory of it was the disappointment I'd feel when He Man would end and She Ra was about to begin, and the other kids I was babysat with at the time would change the station because 'it was for girls'. I always wanted to watch She Ra. I enjoyed the 2000's reboot (owned the complete series at one point, wonder what happened to that DVD collection) and am currently thoroughly enjoying this new She Ra on Netflix, having just recently started watching it. I had no idea people were upset about it, though I really shouldn't be surprised as people are always upset about something or other that really doesn't require one to get upset over. Those are the kind of people who'd get upset if we cleaned up the oxygen we breath of all pollutants, saying some bull like: SJW clean air assholes, smog is great and helps me be a man/woman or whatever it is they think that gives their life meaning and validation.

  30. Seriously why don't people like the 2000's version of He-Man, it kept almost everything about the original but changed enough to make sense; Prince Adam became a teenager who physically changed into an adult when he became He-Man instead of just getting a tan, Skeletor, Grayskull, Evil-Lyn, He-Man, the power sword were all given backstories. Almost everything else remained the same. It's pretty much the definitive He-Man and I'm old enough to remember watching the original and owning the toys.

  31. Not sure how i feel about Kevin Smith doing a reboot of He-Man. I want a He-Man that is high camp, queer as fuck, and super fucking gay. Just like the original.

  32. ☼ castlevania looked good. this will be good. smith knows powers and comics. the last film didnt. that was the problem. tho, a film would be harder.

  33. Having watched the new She-Ra, I have to say I'm perfectly fine with it being its own self-contained thing, especially if Smith intends to take He-Man in a darker or more gritty direction.

  34. So, bets on Teela becoming a rape victim? Smith cant help but put his faux "woke" feminist, man clearly writing women badly bs in everything outside his movies that he writes(yes, I'm still pissed about Black Cat)

  35. And already a number of outlets have lost their Shit because SHE-RA. and "How dare Netflix make a series that dares to even cater to an audience we told to fuck off and stop complaining about She-Ra, how dare they actually make something for that audience and not more shows just for the audience of She-RA."

  36. I was born in 84, so I just missed the He-Man bandwagon as a kid. I was big into Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, and a little bit of Transformers, though.

  37. Given that She Ra is part of the mythos of He Man as there is connection between Skeletor and the Horde; won’t that mean we have two She ra’s on Netflix.

  38. No, what we really want is a Skeletor show. Not a origin series, just skeletor being skeletor for 22 minutes long episodes. I’d watch the shit out of that!

  39. The new She-ra is for 8 year olds? It's rated M18 on my Netflix coz Bow has 2 dads. Meanwhile Titans is NC16…

    If the new He-man is meant to inherit the goofball quirkiness of the original, anime and the Castlevania style are completely wrong for that. Adult Swim styles like Venture Bros, Rick & Morty, or hell even Calarts Thundercats would work better.

    That said, hated the Motu toon as a kid (comics spoiled me) and new She-ra is pretty good, as you said, so I hope it's more like the latter.

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