With Spider-Man: No Way Home & Hawkeye recaps out of the way, I can delve back into blogs that’ve been on the backburner. This post contains big SPOILERS for the second half of Masters Of The Universe Revelation season one. (This also presumes you’ve seen the first half.) Even the title may be too revealing. I don’t know statute of limitations or what your viewing schedule is, so I’m saving images until after the break. I thought it was a very worthwhile surprise, so I’m trying to be conscientious. Of course, you’ll be seeing these images anyway if you follow me on social media. (This is a call to action for you to do so.) If you weren’t planning on streaming MOTUR, however, maybe seeing what I’m talking about will change you mind? Let me know in the comments. So without further ado, here’s another diatribe about cartoons & action figures!
If MOTU cartoons are glorified toy commercials, why can’t I buy a God-Lyn action figure? You can’t accurately recreate MOTUR’s existensial nihilism without God-Lyn. Not getting her or SkeleSorceress Evil-Lyn under the tree was the biggest disappointment of Christmas. Creating demand for something Mattel won’t supply is bad capitalism. Is this how everybody watching The Mandalorian in real time felt when they couldn’t instantly get Grogu merch? This better not turn out to be like how I still can’t get a Beebo doll from Legends Of Tomorrow!
It’s been over a month since MOTUR part 2 debuted, yet Mattel has yet to announce a deluxe God-Lyn action figure. What’s the hold up? (The dull answer is they’re probably waiting on Toy Fair or Power Con.) I’m most worried about God-Lyn being snubbed. She’s the Big Bad of the series, but the 7″ Masterverse toyline is branching out into other MOTU areas rather than finishing the cast. They’re even making Malibu He-Man & Skeletor with new hats! While it’s good that they want an expansive series, it implies Mattel is finished with MOTUR.
MOTUR kept God-Lyn out of the marketing so she was a completely delightful surprise. They masterfully checked all my boxes better than most media that uses prurient interest as a selling point. It combined Lena Headey’s voice, muscular women, sorcery, & glamorous gothic costumes into the ultimate thirst trap. Who knew Evil-Lyn could get even better? Had they actually been reading my blog? I didn’t even have to bribe them!
I was pleasantly shocked by how Lyn’s upgrade was portrayed. In the rare mainstream depictions of female muscle growth, supervillainesses are often depicted as what’s supposed to be unattractive. This reinforces that baddies are ugly & muscles aren’t feminine. (She-Hulk is the outlier as a superheroine.) Here Lyn becomes even more glamorous than before. This fits the Power Of Grayskull enhancing each Champion into their idealized self. (Prince Adam emulates his barrel chested heroes boringly, whereas Skeletor unleashes his inner teen edgelord.) While the transformation make her outfit skimpier, it’s not an invitation to catcalls from other characters. Prominently showcasing her enhanced musculature is an intimidation move that supplements her magical superiority. Skeletor, who had viewed her as a sexual plaything earlier, instantly realizes this outfit change is his cue to skedaddle. Whereas Skeletor put her in sheer bat lingerie to objectify her, this transformation is Lyn being sexy for herself. (As much as can be said for a fictional character without genuine wardrobe agency.) God-Lyn exemplifies the Dr. Manhattan principle for women.
The Powerhouse Animation team juiced up Suicide Squad’s Enchantress. Expanding Evil-Lyn’s iconic helm spikes was an obviously great upgrade. Transposing them to a collar is a more innovative move that evokes a Byzantine saint rather than than The Statue Of Liberty. This allows her to have another crown on her head, since God-Lyn is both Eternia’s Sorceress & Champion. Her forehead diamond symbolizes her third eye opening upon seeing the universe’s secrets, & the fragmented coronet around it reflects her resulting psychotic break. The glam eye makeup reflects the era when MOTU was born. Her short hair prevents these details from being obstructed, & its spikiness adds a frisson of danger. It’s closer to the style she sported in the original & 2002 series, so she should never have had long locks to begin with. Going barefoot gives her the primal vibe of someone who’s not worried about stepping on anything, unlike He-Man & Skelegod with their craven boots. The enormous curled pauldrons amplify her already enlarged shoulders. (Or do they obscure her diamond deltoids too much?) The accesories floating around her hints at arcane power she exudes. She has a unique H-emblem, which probably stands for Champion on Planet Crossfit. This Mistress Of The Universe’s colors are bolder to reflect her increased agency. Give this redesign all the awards!
If the credits bill her as God-Lyn, why does Scare Glow call ascended her “Dark-Lyn?” Fools that skip the credits might not even realize what her official ascended name is. Dark-Lyn doesn’t even make sense since her her colors are brighter & cape is radiant with stars. It’s a literal glow-up! Powerhouse Animation’s character sheet officially labels this design as “God-Lyn“, so Scare Glow is wrong! (As cool as the stars are, part of me wishes they left the cape lining lime.) It makes it harder for fans to show support for something when they can’t agree on a name. MOTUR could’ve avoided confusion by just going the punny route of officially naming her Swole-Lyn. Dark-Lyn is the less sacrilegious name to use on toy packaging. Unless Mattel wants to stir up publicity when outraged conservatives insist children are being indoctrinated into worshiping her.
Female figures have a harder time getting produced (see movie Cheetah & Ratcatcher 2), which would be compounded by God-Lyn being both deluxe (if she follows Skelegod’s & Savage He-Man’s example) & unusually yoked. Not only would she require all new tooling without reuse potential, they’d have to convince retailers to stock her. Mattel could probably make her a regular figure since the deluxe ones have so much empty space in their boxes, but then they’d probably skimp on her gains. What’s the point if she’s not Swole-Lyn? Regular physique Lyn with less clothes would be underwhelming. She needs to be at least as jacked as Skeletor, whom seems to be the standard Adam bulks up to up also, but I’d prefer a bit larger for emphasis. Getting her halo & pauldrons to look like they’re floating around her without impeding articulation would be an engineering hassle. Would her skirt & cosmic cape be rubber or fabric? While they could probably squeeze her into a regular box, I’d rather spend a few extra bucks to reduce the odds of Mattel bungling her.
SkeleSorceress & classic Evil-Lyns would be easier sells since they can be included within a regular assortment, reuse parts, & not trigger people disgusted by mogged women. (They were even mad about Captain Carter destroying feminity.) It could be a wait since so far they’re only making one woman per assortment. Maybe they can release all three in a boxed set to get my money all at once? Perhaps a God-Lyn vs. Sorceress Teela two-pack could move things along? (Queen Marlena & King Randor in battlefield attire would be keen too.)
Dark-Lyn could come with risen Orko to make her more enticing like Savage He-Man. Orko the White looks like a Guardian Of Oa in inverted colors plus Agela’s ribbons. Many people who watched the original MOTU said the hated Orko but MOTUR made them like him. I always thought Orc-Zero was cool because he had that spooky eyes without a face thing going on between his wizard hat & bandit bandanna. Apparently not watching the old cartoon helped. (He even looks rad as a robot.) Seeing as how most of the deluxe figures just spread out a few extra accessories or softgoods in an excessively wide box, however, maybe an Orko would break the budget.
Making her an online exclusive could be a more cost effective way to produce her if retailers are reticent. (It’s making $75 vinyl figures of Street Sharks concept art. I guarantee you that no customers were clamoring for these before. That crazy price tag means they probably aren’t clamoring for them now either. Mattel isn’t even making Roxie, everyone’s favorite character whom never existed. I don’t understand why this Orko necklace is so pricey either. The Monster High Greta & Gizmo feels like a better deal comparatively.) I just prefer Ultimate Evil-Lyn not to be an exclusive with an inflated price tag that sells out before I decide if it’s worth it like “SDCC” Scare Glow. It kind of defeats the purpose of getting MOTU toys back to mass market after the MattyCollector.com era. At least they wouldn’t need to resort to crowdfunding. (Did I just jinx it?)
MOTUR turned out to be more divisive than Mattel, Netflix, or Kevin Smith expected. (Maybe they should’ve though, given the reaction to the She-Ra reboot. Did corporate instruct them not to make it overtly gay, only to get review bombed anyway?) Although I have no idea what effect the outcry has had on its ratings & renewal potential, I get why Mattel might be reticent to make more Masterverse toys for it. While there’s plenty of people badmouthing it, there’s also a ton of people praising it. I’m not even the only weirdo demanding a God-Lyn action figure! The folks that adamantly hate the new cartoon won’t buy any MOTUR products regardless of whether God-Lyn is made, so don’t bother catering to them. Fans of her from the show, completionists that buy every MOTU product, & people who never saw the show but like her design could all be persuaded to purchase God-Lyn if Mattel put effort into it. This works best if the product is available when MOTUR is still relatively fresh.
Mattel’s action figure output, however, has been a mixed bag. If they half-ass God-Lyn now, there’s not likely to be an improved version made later. Her design seems like it’ll be limited to just MOTUR rather than carried forward to future iterations. It’s not like there will be other options from other companies either. (Unless Mondo makes a 1:6 scale edition like Skeletor? The odds of a Nendoroid edition just went up too.) Mega Construx & Eternia Minis aren’t out of the question despite being unappealing. If she pegwarms because they don’t do her justice, that disincentivizes manufactures from producing fan requests.
Of course I’d rather they risk producing a subpar God-Lyn than none at all. She’d be a lot of work to make from scratch, & I can’t customize every cheesteak from Chyna. I know Mattel’s offering is going to fall short of my exacting standards. It’s just a matter of whether it’ll be in the right ballpark for me to bother improving. It’d also help if they didn’t wait until all my shelf space fills up & the cost of mass market toys skyrockets to get her into production. (I wouldn’t be as grouchy about price hikes if the quality remained consistent & I knew that it was going towards factory workers & other employees rather than corporate profit margins.)
MOTU Classics were the pinnacle of MOTU toys, but Mattel made the Masterverse series taller so die-hard collectors would have to buy the same characters again even when the designs & articulation aren’t that different. Being able to get MOTUC-equivalent Stinkor & Scare Glow at reasonable prices is great, but it’s enabling the fandom’s nostalgia obsession. (This is compounded by the MOTU Origins line that reproduces the vintage figures with slightly more more joints at the expense of action features.) Fans are most vocal about getting classic versions of any character in this scale rather than championing new additions like Andra. Mattel’s choice to do variants of characters they’ve already made in this scale inspired by unused concept art furthers my concern that it’s going to become inbred. Plans for She-Ra & Catra appear to be based on the safer originals not the popular yet under-merchandized reboot. (Is that a weird cartoon rights issue?) Pegs in my area are still stocked with series one, so I’m concerned with retail distribution for successive assortments & overall longevity.
Will Mattel cater exclusively to the most myopic fans & run Masterverse into the ground before they get around to God-Lyn? If they’d just confirm one’s on the way, I could stop badgering them for the time being! If retired Lyn gets made first, however, Mattel must be destroyed.
She-Ra & The Princesses Of Power has better writing whereas Masters Of The Universe Revelation has better animation. SPOP does better characterization than MOTUR because it started from scratch & had more episodes to develop them. Smith shoulders the credit & blame as showrunner, but his writers room also featured Diya Mishra, Eric Carrasco, Tim Sheridan, & Marc Bernardin. This was the moral of their series, in case you missed it. God-Lyn was foreshadowed in the tie-in comic.
There are valid reasons for disliking MOTUR. (Many viewers wanted He-Man to be alive throughout the first half, while the other end of the spectrum wanted He-Man to be dead throughout the back half.) It’s distressing that the most passionate complaints tend to be peppered with homophobic slurs. Homoeroticism in MOTU is an intended feature not a bug. It’s even more bizarre considering that nobody is explicitly LGBTQIA in MOTUR, so they’re outraged that they thing they didn’t want to happen didn’t happen. All the canon ships are straight. (Meanwhile disappointed fans that felt queerbaited by Teelandra aren’t frothing at the mouth.) How can views of heterosexuality be so narrow & fragile that even a mere haircut elicits a conniption fit? While Adam & Teela become a heteronormative couple, however, the series does feel like it’d be an ally to Noelle Stevenson’s bolder reimagining of She-Ra. After all, Prince Adam’s alter ego looks less lazy if he picked it to express his preferred pronoun & gender.
Some fans have said that making Lyn’s backstory cannibal Aladdin isn’t canon. (The placement of this flashback right before her transformation is awkward but necessary since they didn’t have multiple seasons to add depth.) Did she have a backstory in the original cartoon? If not, it’s fair game for them to invent her one that’s not shared by the other iterations. (Apparently the story bible had her as Dr. Evelyn Powers, fellow astronaut to the future Queen Marlena. It never made it into any of the stories because apparently story bibles aren’t sacrosanct.) Much like HBO’s Watchmen, it’s probably simpler for everyone to just agree that MOTUR is set in a separate continuity from the series it’s ostensibly a sequel to. Otherwise my headcanon that it’s in continuity with the She-Ra reboot is already torpedoed.
I somewhat agree that that Evil-Lyn is more interesting if she chooses evil without having been ensnared in an abusive relationship akin to Joker & Harley or Shadow King & Storm if Xavier hadn’t intervened. I understand giving her psychological scars was the only way the writers could conceivably engineer her not instantly succeeding though. God-Lyn is bipolar depression incarnate.
One major complaint is that Evil-Lyn is absolved of her crimes just because she’s an abused woman. I don’t think she is held to a different standard than Skeletor though. (He isn’t brought to justice either & may be getting a tragic backstory with Hordak next.) Aside from halting her cosmic genocide & keeping Orko alive, she doesn’t do anything to redeem herself. She certainly doesn’t rebuild Preternia or un-obliterate its former inhabitants. It looks like she just leaves to become a hermit because nobody is powerful enough to punish her. Lyn abandoning her scepter may show her forgoing magic as penance, although she may not need it anymore after becoming both Eternia’s Sorceress & Champion. If she tries to help the heroes in season two without anybody calling out her atrocities, that’s when it’d be time to call shenanigans. #JusticeForPanthor
tired: How does Evil-Lyn kiss Skeletor if he’s got no lips?
wired: How does God-Lyn strangle Skeletor if he’s got no neck?
Teela gets significantly beefier after the timeskip. It looks like Evil-Lyn did too. So that means Mattel made both of their arms too scrawny! Some stills make Evil-Lyn look just as jacked while others make her look punier than Teela. Without a comparison chart it’s hard to be certain. It kind of undermines Teela’s arc if she & Evil-Lyn continued to have the identical physique. The real test will be whether Andra’s arms are appropriately slimmer than both. Even
Ka-Zar Savage He-Man is insufficiently hulked out, so maybe it’s not entirely a sexism issue.
Lena Headey is typecast on TV as emotionally stunted yet haughty control freaks who ruin everything upon usurping power.
Why is there no AMV of Lyn set to Halsey’s “I am not a woman, I’m a god?” Why must I be cursed to think of all the great audiovisual combos that YouTubers never follow through on?
God-Lyn is a murderess of cats & already deceased bio-mechanoid dinosaurs! Skeletor found a replacement for the late Panthor. Unlike Cringer & Panthor, poor Beast-Man never gets ridden by his Master Of The Universe. If Mattel ever makes Battle Beast, this can be remedied.
The wildest thing about MOTUR is they snuck in a Decepticon. Motherboard is a Screech reference.
Why couldn’t the MOTU movie give Meg Foster a more accurate costume? (Not that most of the other costumes were spot-on.) A Boy Called Christmas gave Sally Hawkins a better Evil-Lyn hat.
“God-Lyn isn’t real. She can’t hurt you.”
“Well that’s the problem in a nutshell, doctor.”
This rant concludes our 2021 programming schedule. I hope to see you again next year!