Man-At-Arms

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This article is about the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe character. For the medieval term for a soldier, see man-at-arms.
Man-At-Arms
Masters of the Universe character
Created by Mattel
Portrayed by Alan Oppenheimer - 1983
Jon Cypher - (Live action film) 1987
& Gary Chalk - 2002
Information
Aliases Duncan
Gender Male
Children Teela (foster daughter)[1]
Relatives Fisto (Brother)

Man-At-Arms is the primary title of Duncan,[2] a fictional character in the Masters of the Universe franchise.[3] The figure's tag-line is "Heroic Master of Weapons".

Character history[edit]

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)[edit]

In Filmation's animated series, Man-At-Arms - given the "real name" of Duncan - despite being a soldier and a master of weapons is primarily peaceful and prefers alternatives to fighting. Though his stature suggests a warrior his character is primarily patterned after skilled mechanics and he likes to pass the time working on all the kingdom's vehicles. He is also Teela's foster father (something already mentioned in a couple of pre-Filmation stories), as well as mentor to Prince Adam. The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull asked Man-At-Arms to adopt Teela because she felt that she could not raise her daughter and protect Castle Grayskull at the same time, and believing that if others knew of Teela's true destiny, it would make her daughter a target.[4]

Man-At-Arms wears armor which is slightly different from that of the standard uniform of the royal guards. His moustache was not present on the original figure, having been added by Filmation to make him look older, wiser and more fatherly - although original prototype sketches for the Man-At-Arms figure gave him a goatee beard. He is often pestered by court jester Orko, as Orko's magic tricks often backfire directly at him. Duncan is also one of the three people who know He-Man's secret identity, as explained in the introductory sequence of the original cartoon.[5]

Along with Adam / He-Man and Teela, Duncan is one of the cartoon series' most central and most often seen characters.

Masters of the Universe (1987 film)[edit]

In the 1987 live action film Masters of the Universe, Man-At-Arms is portrayed by Jon Cypher. The character is shown as a veteran soldier who is still father of Teela.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)[edit]

The 2002 cartoon portrays Duncan as a much more serious and darker character, with more of a connection to the Sorceress than was previously shown. As in the Filmation series, Man-At-Arms is Teela's adoptive father (and is implied to be either her biological father or her uncle as well, although the series was canceled before this plot point was definitively resolved), but he is also depicted as an officer with the definite rank of General instead of the undefined, but still high-echelon position he holds in the Filmation cartoon. Likewise, Man-At-Arms has a close mentor/student relationship with Adam in addition to aiding He-Man and leading the Masters (as the Heroic Warriors are called in the 2002 version), and is close friends with Adam's father King Randor. It is also revealed that he is the brother of Fisto, whom the series creators confirmed would have been revealed to be Teela's true father had the series not been cancelled after its second season. It also revealed Duncan's mentor, Dekker. In this series, Man-At-Arms was voiced by Gary Chalk, who also voiced He-Man in The New Adventures of He-Man.

Toys[edit]

Original figure[edit]

Man-At-Arms was one of the very first figures created for Mattel's Masters of the Universe line in 1981, the others being He-Man. Skeletor and Beast Man.

The figure uses the same basic body as He-Man, with a different head sculpt, and orange chest armor, left arm and leg armor, and mace.

The earliest mini-comics establish Man-At-Arms as one of He-Man's original and most trusted companions.

Unlike some other earlier figures, which were dropped in successive releases as new characters came along, Man-At-Arms figures were produced prominently throughout the line's run.

Masters of the Universe Classics toy line[edit]

A new version of Man-At-Arms was released in 2009 as part of Mattel's on-line Masters of the Universe Classics adult toyline. As with other releases in the series, this figure was heavily influenced by the original 1980s version. To note is that this new version gave Man-At-Arms changeable heads (with and without moustache), as well as additional weapons - a sword and small laser pistol, similar in design to those which came with the original 1980s Castle Grayskull playset.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Owen, Rob (2002-08-16). "On the Tube: Cartoon Network brings He-Man, the Masters back for 20th anniversary". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  2. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  3. ^ Hart, Hugh (2002-08-11). "Who da man? 'He-Man'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  4. ^ "The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  5. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Season One, Volume One". IGN. Retrieved 2009-10-16.