Last week Dark Horse Comics released a new title that He-Man fans need to make sure they grab. Next Friday Netflix will release the first half of their new animated series He-Man: Revelation 1 from famed writer/director/actor/nerd Kevin Smith. Smith also wrote a limited comic series meant to lead up to the new Netflix series. These new stories are meant to pick up where the original 80s cartoon left off.
For those of you who unlucky enough to not know the 80’s, you do not need to know anything about the original series to understand this first issue. Obviously, it helps to be familiar with the characters, but old plots do not factor in here. In fact those more familiar with deeper, lesser used characters will enjoy this opening issue. Kevin Smith delves deep into Masters of the Universe lore and shows us the early days of Eternia, before the Hall of Wisdom becomes Castle Grayskull. King Grayskull rules the land, and the enemy was not Skeletor but the Snake men and their fortress, Snake Mountain!
Across Space and Time
The story in Revelation 1 begins in modern day Eternia. Peace seems to reign in the absence of Skeletor. Queen Marlena mentions Skeletor is dead, but how or when we are not told. We can assume Smith picks this story up after the events of the 2012 comic series where He-Man tells everyone Skeletor is dead from a fall, but the comic showed us Skeletor did, in fact, survive the fall. Either way, our heroes, save He-Man, believe him to be dead once and for all.
King Randor hears noises and cannot sleep. Contrary to Marlena’s assurances there is indeed a problem. A giant, one-eyed, beholder/squid monster called the Orlax of Primeria infiltrated the palace and attacked the king. He-Man rushes in, but before he can even swing at the creature, it disappears. The Sorceress cannot find a poison disabling the King, but he does not wake. She sends He-Man back in time to find a way to solve this riddle. The adventure that follows gives us some nice backstory on Eternia, Grayskull and the royal lineage.
For a first issue, minus the last page, this story stays quite contained. It would work well as a one-off, but you know we can’t have that. The final page sets up what is to come, but how it ties into the show remains a mystery. Good thing we have three more chapters to go. This story will not conclude before the series launches on Netflix next Friday, but it promises to make a nice tie-in when complete.
Revelation 1 – A Promising Beginning
This first issue shows us one thing. Fans of the Masters of the Universe Franchise need not worry. Kevin Smith is known for being a life long geek/nerd/fanboy. His self-made movie characters, Jay and Silent Bob often use tons of pop culture references. This first issue makes clear – Kevin Smith knows He-Man! He uses the characters sparingly in this issue. There is no great developmental arc or anything, but who he uses and how he uses them demonstrates he knows the lore and history. This bodes extremely well for the Netflix series to come. Prepare for next Friday’s launch, but until then run down to your local comic shop and pick up He-Man Revelation 1.