Inspired by He-Man.org’s Roast Gooble Dinner podcast, welcome to PGPoA’s latest MOTUC Bio Discussion!
Real Name: Teela®
The adoptive daughter of Duncan™, the current Man-At-Arms®, Teela® grew up in the palace of King Randor™. Trained from an early age in the ways of battle, at age 18 she became Captain of the Guard, leading the troops of King Randor™ and acting as a de facto member of the Masters of the Universe®. She is yet to become aware of her true heritage as the magically cloned daughter of, and heir to, the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull®. She carries the Staff of Ka, which was once used by the Snake Men™ in their epic battles against the Horde and King Grayskull™ during the Great Wars. Teela® uses her magical staff to track her foes’ every move!
Portrait art source: “He-Man and the Power Sword” minicomic
First off, it’s important to note that the bizarre notion of Teela being a clone of the Sorceress comes straight out of the 1980s comic “The Tale of Teela.” While as far as I know there’s no extant evidence for it, I suspect the reason behind this comic was to explain to young fans why the Goddess in the earliest minicomics looked like their Teela figure, and why Teela then looked like the figure herself later on. The real reason, of course, is that Mattel’s original plan was for two figures, one Teela and one Goddess/Sorceress, and that’s what was given to the early comic creators. But somewhere in the production process, the official “Teela” was cancelled and the figure that was supposed to be the Goddess became Teela.
Now, all that said, most fans are far more familiar with the Filmation cartoon’s version of the story, in which Teela is simply the daughter of the Sorceress, as depicted in “Teela’s Quest.” The same concept was expanded in the Millennium cartoon, where Teela was given a father as well (the plan was to reveal her father to be Fisto, though the show was cancelled before this came about). Technically, only the Millennium version directly contradicts the minicomic; the Filmation Teela could still be a clone of the Sorceress.
Now, of the two versions, I prefer the idea of Teela being a normal daughter and not a clone. It’s a weird, unecessary concept whose ostensible original purpose–explaining some confusion resulting from the toyline’s early development process–is not present in MOTU Classics. Furthermore, the bio doesn’t even mention the involvement of Skeletor, leading one to wonder who (or what) cloned Teela from the Sorceress and why. And I reserve the right to change my mind on the cloning thing if we eventually get a good story about it.
I want to point out another thing about these bios–the inchoate sense of time and place. The bio states Teela is “yet to become aware of her true heritage.” That’s been true for both the cartoons and comics of all incarnations, so I guess we should assume that the “now” of MOTUC is taking place around the same time in He-Man’s life that the cartoons did. King Grayskull, the Goddess and Wun-Dar are in the past, and Optikk, I guess, is in the future?
The idea of Teela becoming captain of the guard at age 18 doesn’t work for me. No matter how good she is, no one should be a captain at that age unless all the other potential candidates turned it down or are dead. Even Captain Kirk was 34 when he got his own ship, and he was famed as the youngest starship captain ever. More to the point, though, neither the original Teela, nor her Filmation version, nor the Classics figure looks much like they’re 18–they look more like they’re in their mid-to-late twenties, an age where being a captain of the guard seems a bit less unlikely.
Naming the Staff of Ka and connecting it to the Snake Men is a cool idea whose time has come, but I worry we’ll never hear anything else about it. I’m less interested in who Ka is and whether the staff was wielded by, say, King Hssss–something we might learn in Hssss’s bio–as I am interested in finding out how Teela got the staff, and what it can do.
In the end, I’m not in favor of this bio. It draws on some obsolete ideas, and opens up some plot holes that might have been better left closed. The Staff of Ka stuff is interesting, though.