Monday, February 13, 2017

Villain Retrospect - Queen of the Crown

The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers was a joint venture by American and Japanese studios to create an original space opera cartoon in the vein of adaptations like Voltron and Robotech. After watching a couple of issues, it's apparent they succeeded in a lot of aspects and not so much in a few others.  The cartoon's production quality is pretty astounding compared to its peers, with high-quality animation in almost all aspects (including osme of the earliest 3D animation I've ever seen in a cartoon, even if it's relegated to the ships' computer AIs.  The characters are a good mix of American and Japanese sensibilities, with a focus on western gun-slinging and horse-riding heroes each with their own super-powers, like cybernetics or telepathic powers.  It's got an overarcing story with a number of side characters and recurring villains.

Of course, that brings us to the main bad guy of the show - the Queen of the Crown.  She's the leader of the Crown Empire and rules a large portion of the galaxy as an evil tyrant.  She captures alien races and steal their life force to create Psychocrystals.  The crystal manifest Slaver Lords, which she can control remotely and see what they see, allowing her to be almost everywhere.  The power she gets from each race differs, but she soon discovers humans supply her with much more than any other race.
Image via the Loony Archivist
Unfortunately, since I've only started watching this cartoon now, I don't have much of an impression of the Queen.  I've watched six episodes now and while the Queen is mentioned in all of them so far, she's only made an appearance in two of them.  What I have seen of her though is pretty brutal - stealing the Ranger Foxx's wife and creating a Slaver Lord from her.  Though he's able to retrieve her body, he isn't able to wake her from the coma the Psychocrystal process puts her in.  Not to mention that she can see everything the Rangers do since she's connected to the other half of the Psychocrystal still attached to her chest, so he has to put her in deep freeze to keep them from the Queen's sight.  It's dark as heck if you think about it, and I read that by the end of the 65-episode series, he's still not able to restore her.  Some of these cartoons end on a severely dark slant.

The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is a much different cartoon than the ones I generally watched.  I'm used to the 30-minute toy commercials, with the good guys winning over the same bad guys every episode.  Optimus Prime constantly kicking Megatron's ass and the like. Galaxy Rangers does something completely different, with a huge cast of characters and stories that sometimes take multiple episodes to resolve.  I'm not even sure how to rate her since I haven't been able to see much of her.

Let's rate her anyway.
Coolness - 5. She takes a lot of her visual cues from more popular queens: just like how Lady Diabolyn looks similar to Maleficent, the Queen of the Crown shares her look with Snow White's step-mother.  It's different enough that I don't mind the similarities, especially when she's speaking through a Slaver Lord and her face is super-imposed over it.  Her voice is just as similar as her look to the typical evil queen and is provided by Corinne Orr, whose other main role was Trixie in Speed Racer.  In fact, there's not a lot of voice actors on here that have appeared on other 80s shows, like Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, or Chris Latta.  The only actor I did recognize was Captain Kidd's Earl Hammond, who voiced both Mumm-ra and Mon*Star.
Effectiveness - 8. Yes that's a huge number.  And maybe if I'd been able to see more episodes it would be lower.  But I've seen her capture a ranger's wife, make a Slaver Lord out of her, and keep her life force even after the body was recovered.  I can't really call that a loss at all.  She's proven to be a resourceful and evil ruler.  Her powers with the Psychocrystal are impressive as well, though she needs to use a machine to create them from someone's life force.  I've only ever seen three Slaver Lords at a time so I don't have an idea of how many she has or can control at once.  I just wish I had seen more of her in the beginning to get a better impression or her powers and intentions.  Screw the little bad guys, like Macross or Captain Kidd, give me the Queen!

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