MOTUC Bio Discussion #48 > Queen Marlena

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

Queen Marlena

Real Name: Marlena Glenn

An explorer from planet Earth, Marlena traveled with two companions in an experimental warp ship through a dimensional rift. Crash landing on Eternia, Marlena was the ship’s only survivor, rescued from certain death by a young Captain Randor. Falling in love with him, Marlena chose to remain on Eternia as Randor’s wife and eventually served as Queen after the end of the Great Unrest. Although her children do not suspect it, she is well aware of both Adam and Adora’s dual identities and is proud of her warrior twins. Often assigned diplomatic duties, Marlena has been trained by Duncan and Clamp Champ and has lead Randor’s armies into battle in times of need. Queen Marlena helps rule the free people of Eternia with her wisdom and strength.

Poe’s Note: I’ll cover the “Captain Glenn” bio in a separate discussion.

The first thing that jumps out at me here is the mysterious “two companions.” In the original, pre-cartoon MOTU bible by Michael Halperin (which is also the source of Marlena’s surname, an obvious tribute to John Glenn), Marlena has three companions: Evelyn Powers, Biff Beastman, and T.E. Skope. None of those characters’ MOTUC bios give an Earth origin, so these two companions must be someone we haven’t heard of yet. It’s an oddly specific point to make, though (they could have just said she flew solo), so the Bio Writer must have some characters in mind.*

This is easily one of the best bios in the series. It makes Marlena, who was relegated to the background in the cartoon series, into an adventurer of the Star Trek mold. For some fans the inclusion of her Earth origin is disappointing, but this has been an aspect of MOTU since the very beginning (see the aforementioned bible) and I’m glad they went with it.

We’re also told that Marlena actually knows of Adam and Adora’s true identities, something that was often hinted at in the cartoons — a mother knows, and all that — and again, I think it’s a nice touch.

Finally we get another mention of Clamp Champ as an important member of the royal court. As I recall, it’s been more or less confirmed that Clamp Champ becomes the new Man-At-Arms after Duncan is changed into a Snake Man, so this is more evidence for Champ’s future ascension to that role.

* Someone on He-Man.org suggested Blade and Saurod, and for some reason — perhaps because they were actually played by humans in the live-action movie, and are somewhat of anomalies in the toy line — that works for me. It would also allow them to pay tribute to Halperin’s concept of Marlena’s colleagues ending up as bad guys.

Comments now closed (10)

  • HATE the earth connection. Not every original concept is a good one. It begs all of those annoying questions like "why are there people who are exactly like earth humans on this far away planet, and white are they disproportionately white, like the US?" I think Star Wars did it right by never even hinting at anything to do with earth.

  • I like the Earth connection, and I will tell you why:

    It seems to have been largely accepted that Keldor is Randor's half-brother and became Skeletor. The problem I have with this is twofold: If you assume He-Man is descended from King Grayskull on the paternal side, then Keldor is also a descendent of this man whose strength of character, honor and purity was so powerful it manifested physically to defeat The Evil Horde, and continues to do so to empower both Adam and Adora to this day. That's…hard for me to accept. For that matter, good as they are, it is hard for me to accept that even Miro and Randor are Grayskull's descendents-none of these guys jive with that degree of heroic ideal.

    Besides the Sorceress or He-Man himself, who embodies this silent strength, tolerance and forebearance? How does He-Man descend from Grayskull? Through the maternal line. The child that Veena sent across space and time to be adopted and raised by the earth family Glenn (whose own illustrious history Veena no doubt could discern) – Marlena.

    • Growing up, Marlena was guided by an inner voice that was Veena, her true mother, utilizing the strength, skill and bravery that were her birthright to first become an ace pilot, then a top astronaut, and finally, the leader of the experimental mission that would carry her back to where it all began…

      …and no, I am not advocating that her sole duty was the pop out the magical twins. Rather, Marlena is the iron hand in the velvet glove. She is a natural stoic, and does not seek glory for herself; she guides and advises her husband when appropriate, and leaves the constant, naggng plots of Skeletor for her son to deal with, but when her family or kingdom are threatened, that Grayskull blood boils, and she will rain hell on your ass.

  • Not sure where you're getting the Veena stuff–personal canon I presume, which isn't really relevant to official canon.

    At any rate, I don't get hung up on Randor and Miro not living up to their great-great-great-great-ad infinitum-grandfather's legacy. I mean, what are George Washington's direct descendants up to these days? It's just one of those mythical prophecies, where out of a certain bloodline a great hero will arise, yadda, yadda, yadda.

  • Veena was Grayskull's wife and the first custodian of Castle Grayskull – at least in MYP/200X, which seems to be a core part of the bio canon, even if the designs are no longer acceptable for whatever reason they are not acceptable this week.

    I'm just offering a reasoning that I think is better than "He-Man's mom is from Earth…because we want her to be!" – at least IMO. You certainly aren't obligated to to give a single damn :-)

  • This half of her bio I have no problems with… When we get to the Capn' Glenn Bio… there I will complain.

  • "…has lead Randor's armies…."

    *led. Unless Randor has a bunch of little metal army men, in which case the sentence makes even less sense than it makes now.

    • HAW! You are my hero. I missed that entirely. To be honest, everything that Scott Nietlich writes is so rife with spelling and grammar errors I think I have become willfully blind to it as a defense mechanism. Otherwise, I would have a stroke trying to get through even the shortest of his missives.

      (However, this is Eternia, land of absurdity, so a lead soldier army is not out of the question…)