|The Masters of the Universe Classics version of Hordak. |
Image by MWCToys.com.
I first came across the character through television ads introducing a whole new wave of villains to the Masters of the Universe toyline. The Evil Horde were villains even Skeletor feared. Heck, voiceover Optimus Prime was even warning us to be wary of these fiends. (An aside: it is fun with his current fame just waiting for Peter Cullen to pop up in odd roles in just about every 80s cartoon.)
|Hordak re-designed by Stjepan |
Sejic. Click for larger view.
I later learned that Hordak and the Horde did have their own animated series. She-Ra: Princess of Power needed more villains so they were moved over to menace Adora in a much more tightly written series than He-Man ever got. Hordak actually ruled the world of Etheria, a dark dictator with magical powers and deadly allies.
Of course, much like Skeletor, he would eventually be turned into a joke before the figure and toyline died. Still, I could not get over how visually cool he was. I was disappointed when He-Man was revived in the early 2000s without a new Hordak ever appearing, but the recent Masters of the Universe Classics line finally fixed that with new versions of Hordak, Hurricane Hordak and Buzzsaw Hordak figures.
|Hordak promotional art by Alvin Lee. |
Click for larger view.
But something about that little plastic man always did. Hordak is a dangerous threat, the leader of a powerful universe spanning evil. It doesn’t hurt that he looks like a million bucks doing it.
In the end, I suspect my vision of Hordak as a child (as opposed to the more bumbling version from She-Ra) really did frame my mindset on what a cosmic scale villain should be like. He seemed like true evil personified, far more than his bright blue, skull-faced counterpart. That image of a galactic level threat certainly played an inspiration to me when I started to frame the Grand Magister in the pages of Lightweight: Beyond, though I'm certain even he won't be as massive a foe as the Hordak of my eight year old imagination.
For more on the modern version of Hordak check out the excellent He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Vol. 2: Origins of Eternia from DC Comics.
|Keith Giffen's cover for the breathtaking Masters of the Universe: The Origin of Hordak |
collected in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 2.)