MOTUC Bio Discussion #40 > Shadow Beast

Inspired by He-Man.org’s Roast Gooble Dinner podcast, welcome to PGPoA’s latest MOTUC Bio Discussion!

Shadow Beast Bio

Real Name: Varies

Great ape-like beasts who live in tribes throughout the dark hemisphere, Shadow Beasts can only come out in the absence of light. Originally created by Count Marzo as a weapon to use against his enemies, the beasts were driven back by Princes Keldor and Randor and forced to reside in the shadows of Mount Barathrum. There they developed a long standing hatred of both the Human and Gar race. Easily manipulated, the ever growing colony of Beasts was later controlled by Beast Man in the service of Skeletor to take down Eternos Palace. With their great strength and stealth-like appearance, Shadow Beasts are more than a match for most heroic warriors!

Portrait Art Source: Cartoon model sheet

First off, again, thanks to Abuddah for the scan of this bio–I lost my figure’s packaging in the most recent apartment flood.

You know, until this moment I don’t think I’d actually read this bio. Funny how that happens. I used to obsess over these things the moment the packaging pics were released, now I can hardly keep up.

Why even bother with the “real name”? By using “varies,” we’re left to wonder if the Shadow Beasts are actually smart enough to have names (and make spiked clubs). Seriously, I’m really curious about how sentient Shadow Beasts are in the Classicsverse.

The detail about the Shadow Beasts having been created by Count Marzo is brand-new, I believe; I don’t recall it from either the Filmation or the 200X cartoon. The idea of Beast Man using the Shadow Beasts to attack Eternos Palace is directly from the 200X cartoon ep “Night of the Shadowbeasts” (yet another case of hyphen-or-no-hyphen in MOTU). Mount Barathrum is from the same episode, as Skeletor causes it to erupt, creating the ash clouds that blot out the sun and allow the Shadow Beasts to attack.

Why do the Shadow Beasts specifically hate the Gar race–simply because Keldor happened to be one? Being animals, I assume they have a decent sense of smell–did they have no idea Skeletor, who used them to attack Eternos Palace, was the same guy who defeated them and whom they’d hated for decades? There’s not a lot of room in these bios–each sentence is a valuable piece of literary real estate–and this sentence doesn’t really serve any purpose. At the very least, they could have told a bit more of a story, i.e., “when the heroes broke Beast Man’s control, the Shadow Beasts turned on their old enemy Skeletor.”

I enjoy the bios that give us at least one piece of intriguing new information–preferably one that isn’t too weird, mysterious, or destructive to established MOTU tropes. In this one, it’s the fact that Count Marzo created the Shadow Beasts, but I would have liked a little more than that. How did Marzo make them? Were they magically mutated from other animal stock, summoned from some other realm, or conjured out of thin air? And exactly how smart are they?

Comments now closed (9)

  • I appreciate the fact that they created a bio for the Shadow Beast, but I'll be happy to just ignore it. They're non-sentient, primal beasts and native to Eternia, not created by Count Marzo and incapable of fashioning themselves weapons. Unless they have some purpose for that detail later on, its kinda pointless other than trying to be an example of Marzo's powers/badassery.

  • I like to think Marzo bred them, in much the same way we've bred mules and other hybrids.

  • i'd love to know how many there are supposed to be… the dark hemisphere is only so big, after all, and they apparently hate everyone in it.

  • Question (possibly a stupid one)…are both Trap-Jaw and Sy-Klone also members of the Gar race?

  • "…in the shadows of Mount BATHROOM?"

    That's what I read when I first skimmed it.

  • Maybe Marzo named his Shadowbeasts…

    I had a Mental Picture of Marzo in his lair checking out his SBeasts before going to bed in his well lit room… "Look at Mr. Fluffykins! He's making a club out of that tree! Who's a nasty shadowbeast? Oh yes you are!"

    Why the Hatred against humans? We are to believe that after Keldor and Randor banished the Sbeasts to the dark Hemisphere they stayed there and avoided contact with humans, especially after the whole Mystic Wall thing.

  • I am not crazy about Marzo creating them personally. I do like the idea of Marzo telling people he created them. That seems like something he would do.

    I don't like the idea of them being too intelligent. They were never too intelligent in Filmation or MYP.

    I'm also not crazy about the idea of them specifically hating humans and Gars. Not because I hate the idea, but because it really just makes no sense to me given what we know of the Eternian humans and Gars.

    Poe wrote:

    “when the heroes broke Beast Man’s control, the Shadow Beasts turned on their old enemy Skeletor.”

    I would imaging the Skeletor is far enough removed from an actual Gar now that the SBs wouldn't identify him as one.

    Also I view Skeletor like Sauron from LOTR. I think he's so powerful that when he summons the various evil denizens of the Dark Hemisphere that are just intelligent enough, they obey the Lord of Snake Mountain.

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