Today on Threat Quality

Posted: August 28, 2009 in Threat Quality

I lied and told Holland that I’d have something to put up today.  I DO NOT.

So.  Here is the Hulu link to Masters of the Universe.

Jeanine and I were watching this and She Ra the other day.  Have you ever noticed how much more Hordak had his shit together than Skeletor?  Hordak had armies of goons, and spaceships and things, and had basically conquered that whole planet that She Ra lived on.  Skeletor just had, like, his five guys, and constantly had to beat the crap out of them to keep them in line.  I feel like Skeletor was more personally powerful than Hordak, but Hordak was better in terms of organization.

  1. Jeff Holland says:

    Plus he had that snazzy collar.

  2. Moff says:

    I think if you dig far enough into the mythos (at least, the mythos at the time of the original cartoon; I know they were going to do some things with Hordak in the 2003 reboot, but I’m not sure they got around to it), Hordak was actually Skeletor’s mentor.

    Anyway, I watched a couple of episodes of the old Filmation show on Hulu, and I have to say I was more impressed than I thought I’d be. I mean, it was must-see TV for me as a child, but as an adult, mostly I remembered just the never-ending recycled animation. It’s a lot more fleshed-out than I gave it credit for, though.

    And the reboot was just television genius. It’s a bitter irony that so many fucking io9ers and the like bitch about no one doing justice to their childhood entertainment, and yet the show only lasted three seasons. It was not quite Justice League or Samurai Jack, but it was up there.

  3. Erin says:

    I never liked He-Man as a kid, but I thought the reboot was awesome.

  4. Carl says:

    Here’s a thread I can get INTO.

    I swear I had this very same thought as a kid. You’re absolutely right that Skeletor feels like a Hordite who struck out on his own and opened up a franchise on Eternia.

    It may just be a result of order in which the shows aired, but it was always my understanding that the ultimate source of power, and so the true center of the drama in the Eternia/Etheria universe, was on Eternia in Greyskull. I never really got what exactly was happening with the Crystal Castle. I think I sort of composed a little plot-bridge for myself that has no foundation in the source material about the ‘First Ones’ of Etheria building their castle at the top of the mountain there because it was in the corresponding geographic location to Greyskull on Eternia— that the whole thing was ultimately about the Eternian drama. Hordak never assaults the Crystal Castle like Skeletor did Greyskull, leading the viewer to presume that there isn’t anything to be had within it that would justify the resources necessary to take it. The light-thing-whatever that lives inside never seemed to feature very prominently in the show in the way that the Sorceress did on MOTU.

    This notion of Hordak as Skeletor’s better kind of rubs me the wrong way. The primary adversary should be engaged in his nefarious doings wherever the primary drama is unfolding— and that’s wherever Greyskull is. On the other hand, this might explain the contrasting plot premises of the two shows. If Adam and company have the home-court advantage of the Sorceress and Greyskull on Eternia and are pitted against a second-rate adversary in Skeletor, it makes perfect sense that the pattern that would emerge from their encounters would repeatedly be to He-Man’s advantage and make possible the undisturbed continuation of the Randorian status-quo. We expect that Skeletor to fail over and over again under these conditions. On Etheria, we’d expect the opposite; a first rate adversary pitted against a second-rate hero without the benefit of the Power-source at her disposal could ONLY be a part of a limited insurgency that cannot ever overthrow the Hordite status-quo.

    I hate to even mention that I am familiar enough with this travesty to reference it, but didn’t the MOTU Christmas Special establish that Hordak and Skeletor both answered to a single greater evil agent?

  5. Moff says:

    @Carl: Yep, Horde Prime.

    The Christmas special is pretty bad, but endearing, too.

  6. Carl says:

    Yep, Horde Prime. Its all coming back now.

  7. Moff says:

    Now I have to go to sleep with a heart full of tears. Sigh.

  8. Carl says:

    THIS on the other hand, not half bad. Guess we wait and see.

  9. braak says:

    Carl: Yeah, I think the thing that ends up being interesting is that Skeletor, unlike Hordak, is constantly obsessed with his quest for personal power. All of his plans revolve around him getting some awesome thing, that will finally enable him to seize control of Grayskull and get at the secrets there. His is a introspective obsession, while Hordak is willing to forgo specifically taking control of Grayskull (or the Crystal Castle, or whatever) in order to obtain his larger goal of political domination. The drama in Masters of the Universe is specifically a struggle between He-Man and Skeletor (really, Skeletor and Grayskull, with He-Man as Grayskull’s agent) in which other elements incidentally become involved; the drama on She-Ra is a political struggle between the dominant empire and the insurgency, in which She-Ra is simply the primary representative.

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