The primary evil character in the 1985-87 cartoon She-ra: Princess of Power, which was a spin-off of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Hordak was a poor-man's Skeletor. When the marketing men at Mattel and Hanna Barbera decided to repackage He-Man for girls, Hordak was brewed up as the main bad guy. He has the same bone and skull motif as Skeletor, dresses in similar colors, and acts in a familiar bumbling fashion, and is always foiled at the last minute by the show's heroine. Hordak always seemed a bit more evil than Skeletor, but it was probably because he liked to pick on girls. Voice actor George DiCenzo provided his snarling voice for the entire run of the cartoon.

The sordid life story of a mass marketed villain

As the leader of the Horde on Etheria, Hordak had it pretty good. The Horde, a galaxy spanning army that conquers planets for a living, originally sent Hordak to conquer Eternia, home planet of He-man. He and Skeletor had been allies in that failed venture. Skeletor sold him out to King Randor. As a way of getting revenge, Hordak stole the King's new born daughter Adora and fled to Etheria.

She-ra /Adora , He-man/Adam's twin sister, grew up to be a force captain in the Horde. In a cross-promotion like few others, He-man himself was sent in 'The Secret of The Sword' to find his long lost sister and restore her to her rightful position as a Princess of Eternia. He-Man succeeds and Adora, now She-ra, remains in Etheria to lead the Rebellion against her former master.

Hordak spends most of his time on his throne in Doom Tower in the Fright Zone, a dark and dismal factory-type fortress that the tyrant uses to oversee his army and hatch his fiendish schemes. It also houses Hordak's Slime Pit, used to torture would-be rebels. All of these places where lovingly recreated as playsets by Mattel and sold in the millions. Hordak's fits of rage would usually mean a drop into the watery-depths of the Fright Zone for his minions.

So, Hordak ultimately caused his own worst nightmare by kidnapping Adora. Week after week he sought to crush the Rebellion. Advised by the witch Shadow Weaver, he concocted many bizarre tasks for his minions, all of which invariably fail in comical ways. These failures mean that poor Hordak will have to face Horde Prime, his successful brother and merciless master. The watchful eye of Horde World is always on poor Hordak.

So, what wonderful things can a supervillain world dictator do? Hordak had some weird powers. A handy teleportation ray helped him escape on an almost weekly basis, but not until he was finished cursing the meddling heroes and heroines. He had some handy eye lasers for zapping his foes, but his most effective power was his ability to transform his body parts into other objects. Need to shoot at some one? No problem! Make your arm a laser gun! Hordak tried all sorts of variations, becoming such things as a missile, growing giant scissor hands and transforming into a net. As it goes for Hordak, very few of these transformations worked.

Yes, I did watch too many cartoons as a kid. Even girly ones. No, you can't play with my toys.

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