Top 10 Masters of the Universe Vicious Yet Hilarious Villains

Tags: #He-Man ,   #MastersOftheUniverse ,   #Skeletor ,   #Cartoon

Hannah White

Hannah White

Last updated:  2023-05-12 18:00:06

Strange as it may sound, one of the most iconic cartoons from the '80s was created in need of giving a toy line a back story. Toymaker Mattel originally wanted to create products based on the movie "Conan the Barbarian" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Still, the problem arose when they discovered that the film would have an adult rating. The solution was to create a brand new muscular hero character inspired by Conan, so He-Man was born. Expanding further, Mattel hired comic-book writers and artists to produce additional characters. They made posters, box art, package inlays, and mini-comics, distributing them along with the figures. In this fictional world of mystery and magic, we get to know some vicious villains, so let's check this top ten list together, shall we? 

10. Stinkor 

Stinkor's backstory & toy review

Stinkor is probably the most bizarre villain in the whole He-Man franchise. His superpower is the ability to release toxic smells from his body. The released stench is so powerful that it makes the enemy immobile, impressing even Skeletor. We learn more about his origin in the 2002 version of the He-Man cartoon.

Before becoming Stinkor, he was initially a common thief named Odiphus and resembled a large house cat. Strange as it may sound, Stinkor can't stand his own stench either. That's why he must wear an oxygen mask at all times. Despite having very few fans, he even got his own toy. The rumor is that the plastic used for making Stinkor's toy was mixed with Patchouli oil for the "stink" effect. 

9. Evil-Lyn

Evil-Lyn Turns Mer-Man into stone

Evil-Lyn is a fictional, villainous female character who can generate dark magic without any instruments. Skeletor's second in command often secretly harbored plans to overthrow him. Although her origin was never really made clear, we get a hint that she used to be a scientist from Earth. Lyn's spacecraft crash-landed on Eternia, and her scientific knowledge slowly evolved into understanding sorcery.

Furthermore, Evil-Lyn's popularity caused Mattel to introduce her figurine in 1983 into the Masters of the Universe toy line. The toy had bright yellow skin and a pretty appearance. Speaking of pretty appearance, Meg Foster as Evil-Lyn left some jaws dropped in the 1987 movie adaptation of Masters of the Universe.

8. Beast Man

Beastman Filmation toy version review

As we know, there are all kinds of dreaded monsters and creatures across Eternia. The ability to control them at will can come in handy. This unique power makes Beast Man a formidable enemy. There are various versions of this character, from comics to cartoons to live-action movies. He is portrayed as a deadly antagonist in comics and movies, while in the cartoon, he is more like a comical persona adapted for a younger audience.

Furthermore, in all his versions, his primary role is summoning the most ferocious animals to aid his master Skeletor. One of Beast Man's most iconic moments was when he almost succeeded in capturing King Randor. His toy version comes with removable armor and a string whip, and it was very popular back in the '80s. 

7. Faker

Skeletor awakens the Faker

Faker is a Skeletor's evil robotic replica of He-Man. The idea behind Faker is to duplicate He-Man's powers and mislead Eternia's people. Faker had a relatively small amount of screen time in the show. Not falling for Faker's deception, King Randor impales him with his spear, signaling his end, at least in the cartoon. Faker is one of the first characters manufactured for a toy line.

The toy came in blue skin with a sticker to show his inner robotic workings. The action figures from the second release (1987) are now extreme rarities. On eBay, the mint condition version of Faker can reach a ridiculously high price. The idea of having a He-Man evil replica worked wonders with the audience!

6. Trap Jaw

Trap Jaw fighting against He-Man and Orko

Trap Jaw is a deadly cyborg villain and Skeletor's loyal warrior. He has a lethal bite and a robotic arm used to launch various weapons. His vast array of weapons included a saw blade, hook, laser, flame thrower, claw, and many others. The mini-comic series portrayed him as a maniacal mass murderer. Naturally, he was toned down for cartoons because of the younger audience. 

Other storylines described in comics depict him as a thief named Cronus. Banished for his protest against Skeletor, he raises a rebellion against him. Furthermore, after his defeat, Skeletor had him repaired and used him as a powerful weapon against his opponents. Trap Jaw action figure was the first new addition to the original toy line, which included only seven figures.

5. Mer-Man

Mer Man toy figure based on his appearance in the Filmation animated series

Mer-Man is a king of strange amphibian beings that inhabits the oceans of Eternia. Skeletor's trusted warrior is constantly fighting He-Man and other Masters of the Universe. Mer-Man has a bizarre physical appearance as the texture of his green skin with fish scales and his bulbous eyes suggest the fish origin. His webbed feet, hands, and fins on his head add to his unusual look. But don't let this grotesque appearance fool you.

Combined with his unnatural strength comes the ability to telepathically control all life forms in the sea. He also wields a magic yellow sword, which emits freeze rays and traps his enemies in ice. Mer-Man is a muscular humanoid villain who often was more than the worthy opponent to almighty He-Man.

4. King Hiss

King Hiss shows Skeletor and his army superior powers

King Hiss appears in the 2002 relaunch of He-Man. He is one of the most important antagonists of the show and a ruler of snake man. King Hiss returns from his exile to conquer Eternia alongside his legions of followers. After numerous attempts, he escaped from the timeless dimension Void and defeated Skeletor and his mighty forces.

His appearance is human, but his frame is only a disguise for his grotesque form. What's more, Hiss's upper body consists of five intertwined serpents. In an attempt to restate snake people as Eternia's master race, he almost defeated even He-Man with powerful hypnotic skills. King Hiss's trusted generals are also two vicious villains - Cobra Khan and Rattler.

3. Shadow Weaver

Shadow Weaver vintage style toy review

Before becoming Shadow Weaver, she was a second-rate sorceress from the magical Kingdom of Mystacor. In exchange for greater power, she betrayed her sorcery teacher Norwyn. Thus, she revealed the secret location of the Etherian Council of Kings to Hordak. Yet, Hodak's reward came with a price. While Power Gem greatly increases her powers, it's also responsible for devastating and unforeseen physical transformation. The newest addition to mighty Horde is born - The Shadow Weaver.

She wears a red hood and robe, covering all but her yellow eyes and pale green hands. Hordak's second in command-uses a large cauldron to spy on and communicate with other worlds. She demonstrates numerous powers, such as stealing others' shadows and Shape-shifting. Moreover, she can summon a battalion of skeletal Dark Riders and create shadow coils.

2. Skeletor

Skeletor invades Castle Grayskull and seals the entrance with a force field

Skeletor is Eternia's most important and powerful villain and He-Man's arch-enemy. His main objective is to obtain the secret of Castle Grayscale and become a Master of the Universe. Skeletor is a muscular blue skin brute with an exposed skull, usually wearing a loincloth and a purple hood. Furthermore, this evil overlord wields a magical weapon called the Havoc Staff. This is a long pole with a small ram's skull and a crystal ball embedded within it. 

In the 2012 DC Comic - The Origin of Skeletor, we get to know how he becomes what he is now. As King Randor's brother named Keldor, he was initially heir to the throne. Because Keldor was a half-blood, King Miro decided to make Randor a king. Keldor became bitter and led the Evil Warriors in the assault on the Hall of Wisdom. In a desperate attempt to overthrow his brother, Keldor throws a vial of acid on him but ends up with the corrosive substance on his face instead. His last chance for survival was another villain - Hordak. He magically removed the damaged flesh and altered his body into a demonic form with a skeletal appearance.

1. Hordak 

Hordak always had a hot and cold relationship with Skeletor

Hordak is an evil ruler of planet Etheria and leader of the Horde. Hordak's appearance resembles a bat-like creature with a grotesque white face and sharp red eyes. He wears black armor over his chest, decorated with the Horde red bat symbol. Hordak combines science and sorcery but generally favors technology. He demonstrates a variety of powers, such as transforming his arm into an energy cannon. He can transport over great distances by becoming a rocket. In addition, he can even transform into a large tank. 

Hordak kidnapped He-Man's twin sister Adora and escaped to Etheria with her. With the help of mind-controlling magic, he raised Adora as Force Captain of the Horde. Finally, Sorceress uses a jewel in the Sword of Protection to break Hordak's spell and help Adora become a mighty heroine, She-Ra. He is also known as Skeletor's former mentor.

If you were a kid back in the '80s, we bet you enjoyed all episodes filled with various villains. Hard to imagine that all those fascinating characters came up from a desire to give the toy line a suitable backstory. Raise your hand if you were most impressed by a strange amphibian villain, Mer-Man, or maybe you prefer Skeletor's cyber warrior Trap Jaw?

We all agree that Stinkor must be the most bizarre villain on our top ten list. But who do you think is stronger, Skeletor or Hordak? By the power of Grayskull, we would love to hear your thoughts about our list in the comments section. See you all there. 

Cover photo: YouTube Screenshot



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