While the two younger generations grew up when anime was gaining a foothold in North America, those pesky Generation Xers grew up with a batch of cartoons that created a cult legacy of their own.
One of those classics from the 1980s was He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which continues to be a fan favorite. The cartoon debuted in 1983 due to a joint effort from toy giant Mattel and the studio Filmation -- the characters were originally only scheduled to be a toy line.
Decades later, we continue to discuss the series and the characters that allowed He-Man to stand the test of time. Skeletor himself has become a beloved villain and pop culture icon. In the customary fashion of '80s animation, Skeletor was almost never successful in carrying out his devious plans.
Regardless, his exploits brought many fans to the series, as he was the perfect foil to the ultimate good-guy protagonist, He-Man. However, when looking back, there are a number of aspects of Skeletor that fans have either gotten wrong or were simply unaware of.
Here are the 15 Dark Secrets You Had No Idea About He-Man's Skeletor.
15 He Once Controlled Superman's Mind
The world of comics is full of interesting non-canon storylines, mostly to provide great visuals over deeply intricate storytelling. The worlds of DC and the Masters of the Universe came together for an extremely interesting crossover.
In DC Comics Presents #46, Skeletor is able to gain control of Superman's mind and forces him to fight He-Man. The storyline was repeated for a second time, leading to He-Man defeating Superman with the magical Power Sword, ultimately killing the Man of Steel.
While this is a fun storyline, in the grand scheme of the lore, it never happened. How annoying must it have been for non-canon Skeletor that not even Superman could defeat his nemesis? It's safe to say that most people wouldn't have expected this outcome.
14 Skeletor Lives In A State Of Lonlieness
The live-action movie adaptation explored Skeletor as an extremely lonely and tortured soul. This could have been the motivation behind Skeletor's backstory for the 2002 animated series.
In the movie, Skeletor places himself above his subordinates, naturally isolating himself from even those who see him as a leader. This in itself provides commentary on the general dive into despair that Skeletor suffered after being transformed from Keldor.
There is even a point in the movie when Skeletor asks He-Man if he is lonely as well. Skeletor's penchant for pushing away all of those who wish to get close to him helps paint him as a tragic villain, as it implies that he wouldn't have turned evil if certain events in his life had happened differently.
13 Skeletor Is He-Man's Uncle
It's far from uncommon to see the main villain have some sort of familial relation to the main protagonist, especially when talking about the genre of epics. In fact, it's a trope that has almost come to be expected. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe follows this tried and true pattern.
Skeletor's relationship to Prince Adam (He-Man) and King Randor was hinted at in the old minicomics. It would later be revealed in the canon that Skeletor was formally known as Keldor and that he is, in fact, the Uncle of Prince Adam.
Let's just say he and Randor had a major falling out. At the very least, many fans can always take comfort in knowing that family feuds happen in every family, real or fictional.
12 He Was Denied The Throne Because of His Skin Color
For once, things are about to get a bit real in Eternia. In the most recent Masters of the Universe story, it was revealed that Skeletor was indeed Keldor, the brother of King Randor. Keldor was supposed to be the heir to his father's throne, but he was passed over because of his blue skin.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of racial undertones in the world of Eternia that were directed towards those who had blue skin. This provides quite a bit of insight as to why Keldor developed a deep bitterness against Prince Adam and Randor.
Admittedly, there isn't any excuse for his cruel actions, yet it does paint a bleak background of his that fans might not be aware of. The character is extremely three-dimensional, which only adds to his appeal.
11 He Is Allergic To Pollen
He-man has some plot lines that are great examples of 1980s camp storytelling. For instance, Skeletor's strong magical prowess is constantly a thorn in the side of He-Man, as the villain often comes within a whisker of defeating the prince. This is in order to gain control of Eternia, the planet on which the cartoon is set.
However, there was once a plot which exposed Skeletor as having a weakness to pollen-- not some type of magic, just regular pollen. During one of Skeletor's battles against He-Man, the hero uses a transformation power to turn Skeletor's monsters into flowers.
This caused Skeletor to go into an allergy fit and led to his defeat. In some ways, this makes Skeletor far more relatable to us mere mortals. It looks like the writers ran out of ideas and decided to run with the most campy thing they could possibly think of.
10 The Conspiracy Of Neck or No-Neck
Neck or no neck? That is the question. While the controversy surrounding the neck of Skeletor (or his lack of one) isn't the most important aspect of the He-Man lore, it is one of the most interesting.
More often than not, Skeletor has been depicted in a way that makes it seem as if his head is floating above his shoulders. However, there are other times when he is depicted as having some yellowish flesh that connects his head to the rest of his body.
While this lack of continuity has never been fully explained, it is something that the He-Man community enjoys debating. He may look cooler without a neck, but it makes more sense for him to have one. Will we ever know the truth? Does the truth even matter in this case?
9 He Once Had A Power Sword In Comic Lore
The line "By the power of Grayskull, I have the power!" has become an iconic and popular line that fans of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe have repeated for several decades. The quote is in reference to Prince Adam calling upon the appropriately named Power Sword, which turns him into the densely muscled He-Man.
However, before changes to the lore, the first edition of He-Man toys revealed that there were two halves of the Power Sword and Skeletor held the other.
This story has been used in the minicomics as well, yet hasn't ever been shown in a cartoon or movie adaptation of the property. Perhaps this is something we could see in the future? It sounds like the perfect plot for the inevitable reboot.
8 Critics In The 1980s Claimed He Was Satanic
Skeletor quickly became one of the most beloved pop culture villains during the 1980s. However, just like anything that didn't fit into puritan values at the time, the character was deemed to be a nod to devil worship.
The Filmation studio received a number of letters claiming that the show was attempting to teach children about satan. Evidently, Skeletor's Havoc Staff gave some individuals the illusion that he was truly diabolical. In retrospect, it wouldn't have been the 1980s without there being complaints about a fictional world that isn't even based on anything in reality.
There is also the fact that Skeletor has the literal face of an evil skull, which wasn't helping the network's case. However, Skeletor wouldn't be as interesting of a character if not for his iconic look and creepy accessories.
7 Skeletor was hit in the face with acid
We finally learned why Skeletor is, well, Skeletor. In the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe reboot, the story was finally told. When Skeletor was still known as Keldor, he attacked the Hall of Wisdom. His brother Randor, when he was still a Captain and not the King, had to stop Keldor's attack.
During the ensuing battle, Randor deflected a vial of acid that Keldor had thrown at his brother's face. The vial ended up rebounding onto Keldor's face gave and he nearly lost his life. The witch Evil-Lyn then took Keldor's body to the altar of Hordak, which was where Skeletor was born and where he became truly unhinged.
This 2002 reboot was extremely dark and used more mature themes that truly added to the character's backstory. This is the type of storytelling that any future reboots should use, as most fans find it incredibly fascinating.
6 Scare Glow Isn't Skeletor
There was a lot of confusion surrounding the Scare Glow character when Mattel first released this toy. There wasn't much of a backstory for the character and the minicomic didn't answer many questions either. This had fans speculating that Scare Glow was the ghost of Skeletor and that he had summoned his own ghost to serve him.
While this would have been a rather fascinating story arc, it was only speculation and didn't have any hard evidence. Years later, Mattel stated that Scare Glow is the ghost of Karak Nul and not Skeletor.
While the fan theory would have made an interesting plot line, Mattel decided to go in a completely different direction. It's hard to argue with the mindset there, however, as we still don't know whether or not Skeletor can die in his current form.
5 The True Powers Of The Havoc Staff
Instead of the Power Sword, Skeletor has a powerful magical weapon that is called the Havoc Staff. The staff seems to be the source for all of his magical power and is often used to conjure a spell or two while he is facing foes.
While the staff isn't believed to be on par with the Power Sword, it can shoot beams of energy towards Skeletor's opponents and it is an iconic piece of 1980s cartoon pop culture. It definitely shouldn't be taken lightly and is used as a conduit of Skeletor's magic.
This has led fans to wonder what other powers the Havoc Staff yields. The staff could also be used as a plot device in many untold stories concerning Skeletor.
4 His Relationship With His Mentor Is Incredibly Rocky
Hordak is largely responsible for Skeletor's power and the general reign of terror that he brings upon Eternia. Not only did Hordak mentor Skeletor in the ways of magic, but he also turned Skeletor's mind into a chaotic mess full of thoughts of conquest.
However, Skeletor didn't always remain loyal to his mentor. When Skeletor had the opportunity to free Hordak from another dimension, Skeletor wasn't too quick to lend a helping hand. This led to a storyline that saw Hordak use science and magic to terrorize Eternia, as well as Skeletor.
The ensuing situation became so dire that He-Man and Skeletor worked together to fight against the immensely powerful Hordak. That had to bruise both of their egos, as who really wants to team up with an arch enemy who they had been fighting against for so long?
3 Skeletor Had An Intimate Relationship With Evil-Lyn
The live-action movie introduced an added layer to the Skeletor and Evil-Lyn relationship. This was done by teasing a romantic interest between the two. However, the relationship was born out of convenience and for mutual benefit rather than as a symbol of their love for one another.
The 2002 animated series decided to dip into this new portion of the lore, adding a great deal of depth and history for fans to enjoy. In the series, Evil-Lyn fell in love with Skeletor when he was still Keldor and she was driven away by his descent into madness.
The same series told fascinating and dark concepts that the original never even tried to touch upon. The change of tone between the two series is drastic and there were countless improvements.
2 The Origin Of Snake Mountain
Snake Mountain is one of the most fascinating structures in the series. Not only does it look as if it would fit perfectly in The Lord of the Rings lore, but it also suits the general demeanor of Skeletor. However, there remains a lot of confusion around the true origins of the awe-inspiring structure due to several continuity discrepancies.
In the 2002 series, the creation of Snake Mountain is attributed to the snake god, Serpos, who would eventually play a key role in the series. However, the original Filmation series has Skeletor create the structure himself. In this adaptation, Skeletor used magic to build the gigantic fortress.
This begs the question of which origin is accurate. They both are rather interesting and this could be cleared up in the future when the next project is released.
1 In One Backstory He Is Half Gar
The Gar is an ancient blue-skinned race that is held responsible for the assassination of the original King Grayskull. The 2002 series and attached toy line created a darker and more convoluted backstory than the one that was previously introduced.
Due to their connection to the assassination, Eternia held severe grudges against anyone with blue skin. The story also shows the hypocrisy of King Miro, the father of Skeletor, and Randor. He makes Randor heir instead of Keldor due to his blue skin, ignoring the fact that Keldor's mother was a Gar as well.
While this doesn't excuse the actions of Skeletor, it definitely provides a story rich background for fans to enjoy. It would have been difficult to predict that the showrunners would have gone in such a mature direction, yet the character of Skeletor is better for it.
Did we miss any secrets behind Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe? Let us know in the comments!