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