Welcome to the Powet Top 5, where we explore the top (and bottom) 5 items we think are relevant to any of a variety of topics that span the imagination. Sit back, read, and respond
Starting at the end of 2008, Mattel started the collector line known as Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC). The line was meant to be a modern interpretation of the vintage figures. It was intended to celebrate all iterations of the franchise including the vintage MOTU series, Princess of Power (PoP), New Adventures of He-Man (NA), and the modern 200x Mike Young Productions interpretation of the series. A lengthy all-inclusive story was plotted out to give the line a cohesive story to tell in the bios for each figure. The subsequent story told thus far has had a some twists that really threw us for a loop. Here is my top 5 list of revalations for the MOTU Classics bios.
I am including each of the relevant bios for each point, but I tried not to overwhelm you all with too much reading.
5. Existence of prejudice and racism in Eternia
Heroic Fist-Flying Tornado
Real Name: Sy-Klone Son of Dy-Lex
Protector of the Legacy Stones and the Last Defender of Anwat Gar, Sy-Klone joined the Masters of the Universe after the Stones were destroyed and his mission completed. He wear the last remaining TECH vest armor created by his Gar ancestors to terrorize Eternia after the Great Wars. Its build-in wind rockets allow the user to create powerful vortexes of spinning energy as a defensive weapon or to fly through the air. Sy-Klone has upgraded his armor to also include cosmic radar which lets him sense the physical presence of evil long before others. Sy-Klone’s wind powers are radar chest make his combat ready!
Apprentice of Hordak
Real name: Keldor of the house of Miro
Banished from the royal palace, in part due to distrust for the rare blue-skinned Gar race, Prince Keldor became an outcast. He travelled Eternia seeking knowledge and guidance, eventually discovering the ancient Spirit of Hordak. From him, Keldor learned of the dark arts and came to realize that to truly unite Eternia he would need to take command of the planet himself. He gathered an army of fellow outcasts and led them into battle against his brother, Captain Randor. Eventually defeated and near death, Keldor once again turned to Hordak who, in exchange for his own freedom, agreed to save Keldor’s life by merging him with Demo-Man, twisting Keldor into Skeletor – Lord of Destruction!
Thunder Punch He-Man
Heroic Leader with a Power Punch
Real Name: Adam of the House of Randor
When Skeletor banished Randor to Despondos, he used Faker to convince the royal court that He-Man was not only a Gar but also responsible for the King’s “death”. This ruse turned the people of Eternia against He-Man and he and the Masters soon became renegades in their own land. Driven to the underground caves of Tundaria, the Masters reformed as an elite attack squad. They returned to the surface and found not only Skeletor ruling Eternia, but King Hsss and a newly returned Hordak also challenging for control. To enhance his strength for these new battles ahead, He-Man used the Powers of Grayskull to energize his weapons giving them a new Thunder Punch to combat evil.
These three bios give us some insight into the racism and prejudice of Eternians against the Gar race. First, we learn that Anwat Gar was, at one time, at odds with Eternia after the Great Wars, using their TECH vests to terrorize Eternians. Then we see that prejudice and distrust acted out upon a younger Keldor, starting him on his path toward evil. Finally we see it again, acted out upon He-Man after Faker convinces what remains of the Eternian royalty that he is a Gar. For soemthing that started as a children’s property, these are very adult themes being played out. Since the MOTU Classics line is aimed at collectors, these bios are not limited by the need to appeal to children. This is most evident by the events of the number one choice in this list. Keep reading…
4. Skeletor defeats Hordak setting the plot for the New Adventures of He-Man storyline
Space Mutant Spy for Skeletor
Real Name: (Pronounced through a series of blinks)
A Space Mutant from the foggy polar region of the planet Denebria, Optikk’s spyeye eyeball is specially adapted to see through the dense Denebrian fog of his homeworld, making him an ideal spy. He carries a Photon Neutralizer which has made him one of the most feared of the Space Mutants in the Tri-Solar System. Optikk allied himself with Skeletor shortly after the Lord of Destruction defeated Hordak and turned his ambition to the Horde Empire, forming a coalition of mutants and outcasts to conquer the universe. Optikk serves Skeletor by keeping an eye on He-Man and all the Galactic Protectors of the planet Primus.
Daring Space Ace
Real Name: TC Icarius Kaz
A great pilot from the cloud city of Levitan on planet Primus, Icarius is equiped and ready to “flip” into battle at a moment’s notice. After his 18th birthday, he left home to join the Galactic Protectors. Rising to the rank of Lieutenant, Icarius traveled with Captain Hydron on his quest to find the legendary twin warriors prophesied to defeat the Horde Empire. Arriving on the distant planet Eternia shortly after the end of the Second Ultimate Battleground, they recuited not only He-Man and She-Ra, but several other members of the Masters of the Universe who were eager to pursue Skeletor to the stars. Nicknamed “Flipshot”, Icarius utilizes a battle helmet, back-mounted jet pack and concussion grenade wrist rockets in battle against Skeletor and his new Space Mutant army.
Most of this speaks for itself, but it was no less surprising when it was first revealed. After the reveal, it was discovered that the 200x Mike Young Productions MOTU show had intended to follow the formula that the first two seasons focused on the Masters and Skeletor, while Season 2 would focus on the Snake-Men, Season 3 on Hordak and the Horde. The surprise was that Season 4 was roughly planning to focus on the storyline from the New Adventures of He-Man. I think it is particularly interesting how the story in the bios transitions from fighting the space mutants in the original show, to fighting the rest of the Horde Empire. The Space Mutants are outcasts and become Skeletor’s army to fight for dominance over the Horde Empire. He-Man AND She-Ra are both recruited to the planet Primus where I am sure we will meet Mara, Master Cebrian and all the rest. I thought this was a great plot twist and really raises the stakes with the added elements in the story.
3. Teela’s origin
Heroic Guardian of Castle Grayskull
Real Name: Teela’na
Growing up in a small Eternian village, Teela’na helped defend her people from a Horde Scout ship that had discovered her planet on a magic locating mission. Recognized for her loyalty, courage and wisdom, the current aging Sorceress chose Teela’na to take up her title and defend Castle Grayskull’s secrets for the next generation. During her reign as Sorceress, Teela’na not only cast the spell to clone the Sword of He, she was also cloned herself by Skeletor who desired a magic-wielding bride to pass on his legacy. With the help of Man-At-Arms, Teela’na saved the cloned child. And it was through her undying love and devotion to this baby girl that Teela’na gave her up to Man-At-Arms, awaiting the day when her daughter would become the new Sorceress and Guardian of Castle Grayskull’s secrets.
This origin runs counter to previous versions of Teela’s background. In the original series, it wasn’t terribly clear who her father was, but it was established that the Sorceress was her mother. In the 200x Mike Young Productions series, the Sorceress had a relationship with a lost soldier suffering from injuries and amnesia. It would later be revealed after the series ended abruptly that the intended father was Fisto, brother of Duncan, Man-At-Arms, after he deserted the Eternian army. In retrospect, this causes some amusement since she called Duncan her father and Fisto her uncle toward the end of the series when it was really the opposite. This new origin removes most of those familial ties and seemingly a great deal of character development. I’m not sure this was a change for the better.
2. Evil-Lyn’s fate
Evil Witch of Eternia
Real Name: Evelyn Morgan Powers
Cast aside by her secret husband after his transformation, Evil-Lyn sent their infant son into the future and plotted to overthrow Skeletor by releasing his enemies from their dimensional prisons. In a series of miscalculations, she helped free the Snake Men, Hordak and Gygor – increasing her adversaries threefold! After Randor and Miro returned from Despondos, the Three Towers rose and Evil-Lyn found herself again allied with Skeletor during the Second Ultimate Battleground. At the end, defeated and stripped of her powers by the new Sorceress of Grayskull, Evil-Lyn used the Cosmic Key and the power of the Central Tower to return to the future to find a new life with her long lost child – the son of Skeletor!
There is a lot going on in this bio. The revelation that Evil-Lyn had an infant son with Keldor/Skeletor is by far the biggest. Unfortunately, it is not clear if she had the child with Keldor or Skeletor. It stands to reason that it was before the transformation, after which, she sent the child to the future. This explains quite a bit about her scheming nature among Skeletor’s followers. It is a little strange, though, that Skeletor still went to the trouble of cloning the Sorceress for a magic-wielding bride, when he had Evil-Lyn all along. Being stripped of her powers could explain the skin tone change from yellow to green. If her powers somehow influenced the pigment of her skin, it might stand to reason that the color would return to the green of the Faceless One, her father, when powerless. Her flight into the future holds great promise for future stories.
Comparison image from blogdoale.net
1. The Demise of Duncan
Transformed Master of Weapons
Real Name: Duncan of the Viper Clan
Duncan heroically served King Randor throughout their battles with Skeletor and the Snake Men as Eternia’s chief war strategist and weapons maker. Exposed to the Serpent’s Ring, Duncan was magically transformed by King Hsss into a Snake Man permanently. Under this evil spell, he used his genius to create great and horrific machines of war for the Snake Men as they battled for control of Eternia. Eventually Duncan was forced to battle against Clamp Champ, who had since replaced him as Royal Man-At-Arms. In their epic final duel during the Second Ultimate Battleground, Duncan was mortally wounded, but not before momentarily recovering his humanity thanks to a spell cast by his daughter, Teela, the new Sorceress of Grayskull.
I had to completely rewrite this list when Snake Man-At-Arms’ bio and packaging was revealed. I was dumbfounded by the events from his transformation being permanent to Clamp Champ taking over as Man-At-Arms to Duncan’s final fate. It is rare for such a central character in any mythos to succumb to such a fate as being turned by the enemy and then, even worse, meeting your end by your former friends and family who were given no other choice.
Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree!