My, my, my... the Masters of the Universe sure have come a long way since the early 80's. He-Man is still strong, Skeletor is still blue and evil, and Orko is still an annoying little shit whom we'd all love to see destroyed. Ok, so maybe things haven't changed very much for the MOTU over the years, but that's generally a good thing. Any time I hear about a new release of some toy or cartoon from the 80's, I cringe with fear when I think about how they'll most likely bastardize what was once an ingenious creation. Megatron as a two-headed dragon!? I don't think so. Fortunately, I think the Four Horsemen did a damned good job on the He-Man remakes. Sure, there's a few things that I don't think hold up to the originals (Castle Grayskull for example, I can't stand the new one!), and I won't even get started on the whole "samurai" series. Still, there's plenty of great new stuff. I mean, look at TRAPJAW for example. He was always my favorite character and now he looks even more evil and menacing with his ϋber-arm.
But what about the new cartoon series? Again, they've done a pretty good job at staying true to the original series from what I've seen. Sure, most of them have somehow become martial arts masters who can jump insanely high like anime characters, but I can overlook little changes like that. Even better, if you go to places like Wal-Mart or Target, they've been bundling episodes of the cartoon together with the figures! I got a figure and an episode of the new cartoon for 7 measly bux. Quite a good deal if I do say so myself. So now let's look at the video that came with my figure, "The Courage of Adam", which is the first episode that came out after the initial 3-episode "movie" for the new series. After all, this is the only way I can justify my purchase of yet another action figure even though I have no money to spare.
Our old pal Skeletor has cleverly deduced that He-Man got his powers from the elders. So to access that power, all Skeletor has to do is capture He-Man. He then sends out Beastman and company to find He-Man by tracking his scent. I guess along with being "the most powerful man in the universe" one must also be "the most stinky man in the universe". Eh, I've heard of worse trade-offs. Hell, look at the Backstreet Boys.
Cut to He-Man walking in a barren wasteland of rock and lava, he happens to step on the one twig in the treeless area (you do the logic on that one). Of course, the twig makes a large enough cracking sound under his mighty boot to alert some of Skeletor's thugs. They all surround He-Man and Orko becomes worried. Man-At-Arms tries to tell him that He-Man will be fine, but Orko rolls up his sleeves and goes to help out in the battle. Tri-Klops then blasts Orko directly in the chest. YES!!!!! He's dead! I'm even more glad it's the NEW Orko that's dead, because his voice is twice as annoying as the original. While the original Orko sounded like a Smurf, the new one sounds more like a hyperactive teenager going through puberty... voice cracks and all.
Wait a minute, what's that you say Man-At-Arms? Orko's not dead? What!? Why!?
Yep, Man-At-Arms built a bunch of training exercise robots that look like Skeletor's minions to help He-Man enhance his skills. Pfft... some robots. They couldn't even kill off Orko. Nice work there Man-At-Arms...
Back in Snake Mountain, Beast Man reports that his hounds picked up He-Mans scent, but all they found was a garment bearing the royal crest (obviously it belonged to Prince Adam). Skeletor and Evil-Lyn laugh about how Beast Man's hounds can't tell a 16-year old boy from the strongest man in the universe. With enemies this bright, it's no big surprise that He-Man has survived all these years.
Since they were unable to track him down, Skeletor decides to draw out He-Man by capturing Prince Adam (in case you live under a rock, Prince Adam IS He-Man). Surely He-Man wouldn't let the son of King Randor die. And this time Skeletor exclaims that he will be ready for him while unveiling his plans for "the ultimate weapon". He doesn't exactly say what the ultimate weapon is, but it looks like a skull tank of some sort. Maybe he just calls it "ultimate" to boost the morale of his underlings. After all, it's Tri-Klops who has to build the damned thing. A wonderfully evil plan Skeletor. Hope you're prepared for a loooong wait, pal.
Back in Eternia, Teela teases Prince Adam about how he's always been scared of Skeletor and constantly runs away from him in battle. Adam gets pissed off and goes to talk to Man-At-Arms about it. He can't stand how He-Man gets all the glory while everybody else thinks he's a coward. Even though Man-At-Arms tries to talk him out of it, Adam has already convinced himself that if he "really steps up" in battle, maybe they won't even need the help of He-Man anymore. That'd be the equivalent of replacing Sylvester Stallone with Dustin Diamond for the role of Rambo.
Anyway, soon after Stratos explains to King Randor that he needs to journey to his homeland Avion to help settle a dispute, Prince Adam volunteers to join him. King Randor is proud of his son and gives him permission to accompany Stratos. I should note that Stratos must have some Scottish heritage, because he sounds almost exactly like Sean Connery. Just try picturing Sean Connery in Stratos' outfit for a minute. Ok, now stop. It's probably not healthy to picture such things for too long.
So it's gonna be the two of them flying alone... gee, I wonder if Skeletor will capture Prince Adam or not? GASP! Sure enough, they get ambushed right after Adam finishes talking some shit about how they could handle anybody that would dare to attack them. As Stratos gets tackled by Clawful, he tells Adam to flee back to Eternia. Having far too much (dumb) pride, Adam decides to stay and fight. So how did the lad do in battle against Skeletor's thugs?
Adam gets hauled off to Snake Mountain where Skeletor chains him up in a cell that is resting on a bed of molten lava. Why they couldn't just kill Adam now and wait for He-Man to come is beyond me. It's always the bad guys who make sure the good guys have plenty of time to escape. So much time that...
... even Orko and Cringer could get Adam out? Ok, I've heard of some crazy plans, but if Man-At-Arms is really sending Orko and Cringer to bust out Adam from his cell, then he must really want the kid to die. Orko tries to disguise Cringer as Skeletor's cat, Panthor, so he can move freely inside Snake Mountain. As fun as it would be to see Adam's flesh melt off, it turns out that Orko and Cringer were just a distraction... along with He-Man? Wait a minute, I thought Adam was in jail, how the hell can He-Man be here to save him? Adam IS He-Man! This is madness! MADNESS I SAY!
Along with Orko and Cringer, it turns out that this robotic He-Man was just another diversion so that Man-At-Arms, Teela, and Ram-Man could bust Adam out of jail without being seen.
They quickly free Adam, but Skeletor's thugs show up to stop them. Now even though Cringer has the Power Sword, Adam decides (again) to not change into He-Man and take on the bad guys in his normal human form. Wanna guess what happens? Yep...
Once again, Adam proves to all of his friends that he is 100% pure unfiltered wimp. Luckily, Man-At-Arms blasts the ceiling and the rocks cave in on the bad guys so they can escape. Welp, I guess all is well. It's time to go back to Eternia.
They emerge from the mountain and Skeletor's "ultimate weapon" rolls up and transforms into some giant bone beast. It's made up of nothing but bones, hence the reason I call it "bone beast". If you have a better name for it, more power to ya, but for my purposes, it's bone beast. So what does bone beast do to Adam's pals?
I still don't see how they're even alive after a bone beast that is 50 times their size just slashed them along with a few large chunks of the mountain. Lucky for Adam, he was standing behind his pals and the bone beast just missed him. Ok Adam, now are you going to finally wise up and become He-Man or are you so insanely cock-sure that you believe you can defeat the bone beast on your own?
Now that everybody is unconscious and they can't see him transform, Adam runs into the cave and turns into He-Man. It's about friggin' time, you little dipshit. Well he tries duking it out with the bone beast, but even He-Man can't beat this thing one-on-one. So instead of fighting the bone beast, he decides to outsmart it.
He-Man and Battle Cat run away from bone beast towards the molten lava land. Skeletor yells for the bone beast to stop, but it's already too late. The massive weight of bone beast makes it stomp right through the ground and sink into the fiery lava pit. Oh well, I guess bone beast wasn't really the "ultimate weapon" that Skeletor had envisioned. At least Adam has learned a valuable lesson.
You had better listen to Man-At-Arms next time, Adam. It's going to take every bit of He-Mans powers to defeat Skeletor's next "ultimate weapon". Don't believe me? Just look at the evil plans that he's already got sketched out...
Evil, thy name is Skeletor.
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