The very first thing you’ll discover about the brand-new Masters of the Universe program is that “He-Man” isn’t in the title. The initial ‘80s animation was called He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and this brand-new Netflix variation was called Masters of the Universe: Revelation. That’s not since He-Man isn’t in it—obviously, he is—however it speaks with how the Kevin Smith-led series will be more group orientated than it initially was and more inclusive for 2021.
Last month, io9 consulted with Revelation showrunner and executive manufacturer Kevin Smith about his brand-new coffee table book, Secret Stash, and snuck in a couple of Masters of the Universe concerns. We asked him if making a program about, and starring, somebody that’s so hyper-masculine he actually has 2 man-names positioned any difficulties in a more inclusive, comprehending society. “Good news about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” Smith stated. “Yes, obviously, He-Man was [the] primary character, however every episode it was He -Man and the Masters of the Universe. It was a team-oriented program that was not simply He-Man.”
He continued, “You got Teela, you got your Man-at-Arms, you got your Orko, you got your Cringer, your Sorceress. So they were constantly relatively extensively cast in regards to gender. One of your leading bad guys was Evil-Lyn. He-Man is the Sorceress’ champion technically—he serves the Sorceress and the power of Grayskull. Teela existed to safeguard him as Adam and obviously, doesn’t understand that he’s He-Man and whatnot. So we didn’t feel entering like, ‘Oh, male. Now we got to discuss what these felines performed in the ‘80s.’ They really did a respectable task of discussing it themselves or making it a minimum of kid and lady friendly.”
Smith undoubtedly had actually thought of this a lot and understood while the gender representation was really respectable, specifically for the early ‘80s, it wasn’t 100% on the up and up in other locations. “Now the distinction is it was a very white program at that time which’s something we seemed like we required to upgrade a bit,” Smith stated. “Masters of the Universe had one black character in Clamp Champ, who naturally developed in our program too. But we felt like we were able to diversify the world of Masters of the Universe a bit more than the original was.”
One of the main ways they did that, according to Smith, was to give more prominence Andra, a Black character in Revelation. In the larger mythology of Masters of the Universe, Andra wasn’t super famous—she doesn’t even get her own link on the Wiki page. She was also white in the original series, something that’s already causing certain areas of fandom—you know the ones—to cry foul. But Smith and the team have given the character a massive, important role this time around. She’s voiced by Tiffany Smith who is a woman of color and identifies as multiracial, an important distinction with all the discussions in recent years about white actors voicing animated characters of color.
“She’s our way into the program for the people who don’t know the show,” Smith said. “In the show itself, she’s the one that’s kind of outside of the previous folklore a little bit… She represents the wide-eyed wonder of the audience in as much as she’s the character that has not dealt with the mythology of Eternia. She’s never met He-Man or Skeletor or been to Castle Grayskull. She’s just somebody who lives on Planet Eternia outside of Eternos. So, by way of our story, she’s our audience’s eyes into that world. She reacts with the same amount of wonder that we hope our audience reacts with as they watch the show. So, there are moments like that where we get to diversify more than they did in the ‘80s.”
Masters of the Universe: Revelation debuts on Netflix July 23 and we’ll have actually more on it quickly.
For more, make certain you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom