While Gen X and millennials were growing up, every generation had its own ‘He-Man’ adaptation to cherish. From the first glimpse of the ‘the power’ in 1983, to the 2002 television reboot, the iconic character has changed leaps and bounds.
The latest adaptation, Netflix’s ‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation’ is almost an anime-like version, with the same animation studio that created the Castlevania series. But how many times and when has the champion returned to screens exactly?
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) – TV series
Of course, the original series. Perhaps the most popular version to date, the sword-swinging hero first came to screens four decades ago. Prince Adam was granted his powers by the sorceress at the castle of Grayskull.
He channelled this power by raising the Sword of Power and belting out: “By the power of Grayskull,” transforming him into He-Man. This version had minimal difference between Prince Adam and He-Man. The transformation only made his skin and hair a bit darker.
He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword (1985) – Animated film
During the spin-off series ‘She-Ra: Princess of Power’, it was revealed that Prince Adam had a long-lost twin sister named Adora, who had a sword that she used to transform into She-Ra. He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword builds on this and brings the two together.
The film reveals that Adora’s arch-nemesis ‘Hardok’ had abducted Adora when she was an infant and raised her to be a warrior. It is also divulged that Skeletor is Hardok’s form right-hand man.
Masters of the Universe (1987) – Film
A live-action film, ‘Masters of the Universe’ features Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV) as He-Man. This version doesn’t even have Prince Adam, he’s He-Man throughout. It concludes with a final battle between He-Man and Skeleton, which sees Skeletor get flung into a pit of steaming liquid, but survives again.
The New Adventures of He-Man (1990) – TV series
The 1990 TV series follows He-Man as he is summoned to a new planet named ‘Primus’, to help defend it from the assaults of mutants that belong to the neighbouring planet Denebria. However, his arch-nemesis Skeletor follows him to the planet and aligns himself with the mutants in an attempt to take over the universe.
He-Man teams up with the Galactic Guardians to protect the planet from Skeletor and the mutants.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) – TV series
A reboot of the 1983 series, this adaptation didn’t change the setting like the 1990 show, but revisited the original storyline and attempted to explore it further with revelations that weren’t a part of the original series.
For example, Skeletor is hinted to be King Randor’s brother and Prince Adam’s uncle in the version. The origins of Evil-Lyn, Skeletor, Snake Mountain and the Castle of Grayskull are also explored.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation part 1 and 2 (2021) – Web TV series
The latest adaptation began streaming on Netflix from July 23. Unlike any other version, it actually focuses more on Teela in the absence of He-Man, detaching the character from what was usually identified as secondary to He-Man.
Part 2 for the series is yet to be released, but has already been announced. It will follow the ending of part 1 where Skeletor got his hands on the Sword of Power and transformed into a He-Man-like figure.