When people think of 1980s animated shows, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe automatically comes to mind. This cartoon was based on Mattel’s influential toy line, Masters of the Universe. The show debuted in 1983 and ran until 1985, but its impacts lasted for much, much longer. It was a big hit in the ‘80s, and many even regard it as a cultural phenomenon.
Nowadays, He-Man still remains a fan favourite among retro enthusiasts and vintage action figure collectors worldwide. In 2021, Netflix released two reboots of the series, bringing new life into everyone’s beloved ‘80s icon. With this, let’s take a look at the essential facts about our favourite He-Man characters.
1 - Prince Adam or He-Man
The titular character and main protagonist of the series, He-Man, is the alter ego of Prince Adam, heir-apparent to the throne of Eternia. Prince Adam is generally seen as lazy, laid-back, and cowardly, but it’s all an act to hide his identity as He-Man. The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull gave him the Sword of Power which allows him to magically transform into his heroic self.
Armed with a strength-enhancing harness, the Sword of Power, a shield, and a battle-axe, He-Man is the most powerful man in the universe. The blond, bronze-skinned hero is blessed with superhuman strength that lets him break solid rocks with his fists and even lift buildings and boulders. He fights against the forces of evil not just with brute strength but also with his wits, charisma, and leadership.
2 - Skeletor
What’s a hero without a menacing foe? Skeletor is the main antagonist of the series and the archenemy of He-Man. In the original series, he is an evil demon whose primary goal is to seize the powers of Castle Grayskull and rule the universe. He is a blue-skinned humanoid who wears a purple hood over his bare skull. This powerful sorcerer has a vast range of dark magical powers, and he has a ferocious pet panther named Panthor who fights alongside him. However, his incompetent henchmen always seem to foil his plans.
3 - Cringer or Battle Cat
Cringer is Prince Adam’s large feline companion whom he rescued as a cub. He’s a green, tiger-like animal who talks. This green, tiger-like beast often appears dim-witted and cowardly, often cringing at the most insignificant inconveniences. However, when Adam transforms into He-Man by the power of Grayskull, Cringer becomes the ferocious and powerful Battle Cat.
4 - Clamp Champ
Clamp Champ is the only black character in the original Masters of the Universe toy line, and he is a part of the Heroic Warriors who defend Eternia against evil forces. He wields a powerful clamp weapon that can capture and grapple any opponent. He is a guardsman at the Royal Palace, and his abilities include enhanced hearing and sight along with immense physical strength.
5 - Evil-Lyn
Although Skeletor has comically incompetent allies, Evil-Lyn is one of the few exceptions. She is a fiercely ambitious and powerful sorcerer who has access to dark spells. Although Skeletor trusts Evil-Lyn, she only teams up with him because she plans to seize his powers and rule over Eternia herself.
Decades after the show’s first release, He-Man remains a favourite among retro toy collectors and avid animation fans worldwide. Everyone’s beloved ‘80s icon remains influential to this day, even earning two reboots in a year. However, sometimes the classics are too good to pass up.
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