Season 2 of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe may have made a massive statement in favor of equality and representation by making a major character gay.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Season 2, now streaming on Netflix.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Netflix She-Ra and the Princesses of Power This is how the show embraced the LGBTQ+ movement. It wasn’t just with She-Ra and Catra falling in love and getting a happy ending, though; this also happened with Bow’s fathers and even Netossa and Spinnerella.
It was handled so well, it made the Masters of the Universe: Revelation the return of Teela liking Andra and heading towards Prince Adam stands out as a really bad move that made the show feel scared of bigoted backlash. Interestingly, season 2 of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe may have taken a stand for equality and representation by making a major character gay.
There seemed to be a tease in the season finale, “The Fifth Nemesis,” after the heroes defeated Skeletor. They combined their powers, shattered his Havoc Staff, and disintegrated the villain to save Eternia. This led to a parade in Eternos, with Duncan/Man-at-Arms as shy and awkward as ever. Along with the cheering crowd, a few young women passed out and gaped at the handsome boy, but Duncan didn’t seem fazed. However, when the camera focused on another guy next to the ladies, Duncan blushed as his smile grew more anxious.
He quickly closed his visor before the camera shifted back to the parade, making it a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. Certainly, if Duncan is indeed gay, the series should have looked into it. Still, if this foreshadows a queer arc, it would be a huge step towards diversity in another He-Man show filled with testosterone, macho jerks, and a whole lot of overcompensation.
This would fit Duncan’s arc perfectly, explaining why he hid himself from the world, delving into mechanics, engineering, and contraptions. He could have seen science as his outlet, which is why he didn’t mind trying to find a family with Kronis in Season 1 before Skeletor converted the latter into Trap-Jaw. What also hints that Duncan is LGBTQ+ is when he got stuck with the notorious Castle Grayskull in cosmic purgatory. Skeletor also got tricked, but rather than fight or use a wishing stone to kill the villain, Duncan tried to embrace him and make him feel welcome.
He kept mentioning acceptance and family, showing empathy and compassion for the mage formerly known as Keldor. Duncan seemed to think Skeletor was a tragic and sympathetic figure, made an outsider just as Duncan himself was the black sheep for most of his life. Thus, he didn’t want “Skellie” to feel alienated or misunderstood, which is why he baked a cake and threw a party.
Basically, it was a peace offering for eventual redemption, showing that the tyrant’s toxic masculinity wasn’t in his character before they parted ways. This further explains why Duncan was adamant about keeping the Masters together when Krass fell out with Adam, as he had finally found a sense of belonging with this tribe after feeling alone for so long. Ultimately, it remains to be seen if the show will pull that trigger in a possible third season, but it should. Given how iconic he is in pop culture, Man-at-Arms identifying as LGBTQ+ would make him an even more inspirational hero to new and existing fans alike.
Discover the clues to Duncan’s sexuality in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, out now on Netflix.
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