Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Villain Retrospect - Hun-Dred

Since finishing up Venger's villain retrospective last week, I asked for your help finding more cartoon villains to showcase here at Old School Evil. I received a few suggestions, mostly on Reddit's 80s Cartoons Subreddit, and through my own search, I was able to find an additional 17(!) villains to watch and learn about.  Since I can't say I'm looking back at them, they won't be technically be retrospectives, but they'll fall under the same banner.  To start things off with the introductions, we're taking a look at Hun-Dred: The Conqueror from Robo Force.

There are a few villains I just feel bad for - they're not fleshed out, the heroes they're fighting are just pathetic, but they still have no hope of winning. Hun-Dred here takes that up to 11.  From the very short-lived Robo Force cartoon, Hun-Dred had all of one episode to make his mark and be defeated without even a hint of a return.

Robo Force told the story of Dr. Fury, a guy that built robots - what a surprise. An army of similar robots called the Cult of Dred (what a cool name!) attacked his lab and kidnapped him. Ten years later, his son, Mark Fury, builds his own army of robots to rescue his father. Hun-Dred here wanted to resurrect Nazgar, a dictator that lived 2000 years ago. Hun-Dred finds the three messenger crystals Nazgar left behind and returns him to life, forcing Dr. Fury to build Nazgar a robot body.  Mark Fury and his Robo Force infiltrate Nazgar's fortress and practically kill everyone.

It's not much of a story, but it really doesn't need to be. It was one episode, what can you really expect?  One thing I didn't expect to see is Hun-Dred's gruesome death though.

That's a finality that you hardly ever saw in cartoons (outside of the Transformers movie, I suppose). Was it really necessary to kill Hun-Dred off?  And this was right after seeing his weapon shatter as soon as it touched his nemesis, Maxx Steel. I haven't seen a villain's competency plummet so fast in a cartoon ever.  Hun-Dred totally got the shaft here and I don't think he deserved it. Sure he was a goofy looking robot, but compared to the others that had rotors on their head or pop-up scanners, I think mouth lasers is pretty cool. And he was voiced by Ron Feinberg, the same guy who voiced Doc Terror from the Centurions, and his voice fit Hun-Dred so much better.  Should the cartoon go on, I could have seen Hun-Dred being a competent villain. He just never had the chance.

So let's get to the ratings!
Coolness - 4. You might think that's pretty high considering he's a garbage can with arms, but let's be realistic here - they're all garbage cans with arms, but Hun-dred is the coolest of the bunch. He's got decent firepower (a blast from his lasers almost killed the whole Robo Force), a color scheme that matched Megatron, and a wicked voice. I wish his weaponry was a little more varied, but he does have one thing on his side - his toy description says he can "sense fear in any being."  One problem with the toy though is that they all had "crushing arms" which looked like a bear hug, but how do you demonstrate that in a cartoon? 
Effectiveness - 4. Yes, it's true that he died like a bitch, but in the context of one episode, what do you expect?  Ignoring that though, Hun-Dred was pretty damned capable. He kidnapped Dr. Fury, he collected all three messenger crystals, he trapped Robo Force in boiling bubblegum, and he resurrected Nazgar. All without having legs. 
Hun-Dred pales in comparison to the real villain of the show, though. See that picture?  That's one of the robots sticking his gun in some dude's mouth!  Who does it belong to?  Blazer, one of the good guys!  Is it any wonder this show didn't make it past one episode?!

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