I know online there will be those opposed to all of the new character designs, especially old guys such as myself. However, as I wrote back in June, no one has been able to create a sustainable Legion title for decades now. And the "Brian Bendis Ultimate Spider-Man Approach" to the franchise may well be the only thing that can get a new generation of kids interested in the Legion.
No one can say that Bendis doesn't have the right attitude. In a Gamespot interview, Bendis is quoted as follows:
"I know there's a lot of people right now, feel very frustrated with the world's energy and stuff. People who've been reading comics, you can see them online just enjoying their time in a fictional world of hope, where good guys win and bad guys lose. And it's been just a joy to tell stories to people who are desperately in need of them. And so if you're looking for that, come join us. That's what comics are all about."
A couple of months ago, I wrote how anyone who wants to do a revival of He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe today would have to update the franchise to appeal to modern audiences (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy - Non-Toxic"). It would have to be similar to what showrunner and executive producer Noelle Stevenson has done with Netflix's She-Ra and The Princesses of Power, who I’ve quoted as saying that it would be "a challenge... to bring He-Man to life in the present day." Well, Monday morning I discovered that I was once again wrong when I read that Netflix and Mattel TV are making as new He-Man animated series (see "Kevin Smith Unveils 'He-Man' Animated Series").
Although I will just go ahead and assume that Masters Of The Universe: Revelation will have a more serious approach similar to DC's MOTU comics. Like their upcoming six-issue He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse mini-series, which will basically be Crisis On Infinite Earths for the MOTU characters (see "DC Reveals 'He-Man and the Masters of hte Multiverse'"). The new animated series will definitely have a more modern look; in a press release Smith promises "the most metal character designs" that Powerhouse Animation "can contain in the frame".
Everything we know about Masters of the Universe: Revelation, especially the involvement of Kevin Smith, seems to signal the show is chiefly intended for older viewers (particularly He-Man fans) and not kids. I also think it's significant Netflix is calling this an "anime series," even though Powerhouse Animation is an Austin, Texas-based animation studio. It might mean the show will have an anime style, or that they're using the term as a label, as another way of signaling it's not "kid stuff." So far Netflix hasn't revealed what the parental rating on Masters of the Universe: Revelation will be. And while it's hard to imagine Mattel allowing any of their family-friendly franchises getting too edgy, it's possible they might allow Masters of the Universe: Revelation to go beyond the limits of a TV-Y7-FV rating.
It's encouraging knowing John Derderian doesn't seem to have forgotten about kids. He's been quoted as saying "He-Man has inspired children--and the child inside of us all--for decades, with his feats of heroism and courage in the face of evil," Hopefully this means that they'll be making a series that can be enjoyed by everyone.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.