Monday, August 29, 2016

Villain Retrospect - Mon*Star

I'm trying something new today.  I don't ever remember watching Silverhawks.  I know the show was about guys wearing metal suits and flying through space, but I always dismissed the show as a Thundercats rip-off (I didn't know the production company Rankin-Bass made both shows).  I don't know the heroes, their powers, or their villains, lead by Mon*Star, whoever that was. 

So today, instead of a real retrospective, I'll be doing some research into who Mon*Star was and what he can do.  I'm watching a few episodes of the show - the first story arc, since we all know villains are much more menacing and competent when a show starts, and then two episodes from later in the series, when villains generally lose their bite and the writing team struggle to come up with cohesive storylines.  I'll also be reading up on their abilities and history on whatever wikia I can find.  So let's start with Episode 01 - The Origin Story.  What a creative name...

First a slight intro to the cartoon.  The Silverhawks are a military-like group of space police with really lame powers and flat personalities.  They fight against Mon*star - a space mobster - and his equally goofy cronies.  His powers include a star-shaped beam from his eye, shapeshifting into an even uglier version of himself, and riding in a space squid.  I couldn't make up anything this stupid if I tried.  Let's tackle him one thing at a time.

1. His original form looks like it was stolen from a character in Thundercats with the giant red mane.  It's a little extreme, but I can live with that, but then you see that ugly face with the star eye-patch.  He's got the same grating voice as Mumm-ra.

Admittedly kinda cool.
2.  He gets his powers from the Moon Star.  What the hell is a Moon Star?  It looks like a moon, but somehow it's a star too?  It's like calling Earth the Planet Star.  For some reason he always needs a transformation chamber to change, but in the first episode, he does it in a jail cell, so what's the point of the chamber?  The light just needs to hit him and he changes, so he moves his entire base through space to aim the Moon Star's light in at him.

3. Mon*star's other form, which doesn't have a name as far as I could tell, looks even worse than his original form.  I mean, my god, that thing is ugly.  Spikes all over your face don't make you look scarier, it makes you look like a cactus.  He's got rockets on his elbows, but in the three episodes I've seen, he's been sent tumbling through space for at least a few minutes before he remembered them in two of those episodes.  In the third one, he just forgot he had them.

Right before it got shot down by a bird.
4. He rides around on a squid.  For a show about hawks, you'd think he'd have a vulture or something.  But no, a squid is okay.  It flies around space just fine in the first episode, but then Mon*Star gives it some rocket stuff anyway.

5.  He also shoots his star beam out of his eye, but all I've seen it do it hit the squid and make the armor appear on it.  In the second episode, the beam chased Quicksilver around for a while, but then it disappeared without hitting him.  I have yet to see it successfully do something against the heroes.

6. He got defeated so easily in every episode I saw.  Well, he wasn't defeated in the first episode, but he sure looked defeated.  In the second episode, he ran away after Quicksilver used a smoke cloud (you'd think that would be his squid's power to help retreat).  The other episode, he got hit by an asteroid and went tumbling away through space again.  I don't even think he did anything in that episode besides plan a race.

I can safely say that this is the saddest villain I've seen so far. In an attempt to make him look imposing, they made him just disappointingly goofy. 
In both coolness and effectiveness, Mon*Star gets a 0.  I feel for you, Mon*Star.  You could have been cool, but without any definable powers, a mish-mash of dopey henchmen, and a generic space mobster role, you'll never be more than a second-rate Hordak.  Third-rate Hordak.  That's better.

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