Man-At-Arms

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Man-At-Arms
Masters of the Universe character
Created by Mattel
Portrayed by Jon Cypher (1987)
Voiced by Alan Oppenheimer (1983–1985)
Garry Chalk (2002–2004)
Information
Aliases Duncan
Species Human
Gender Male
Title Master of Weapons
Children Teela (foster daughter)[1]
Relatives Fisto (Brother)
Nationality Eternian

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 character and more of a warrior, with a deeper 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 her biological father as well). 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 Fisto is his brother. Duncan's mentor, Dekker, also appears in the series. Man-At-Arms was voiced by Garry Chalk, who also voiced He-Man in The New Adventures of He-Man.

Live Action He-Man movie[edit]

Duncan will appear in the Live Action He-Man movie. In the film, he's King Randor’s loyal weaponeer and is the knowledgeable of all things weapon-related, but will also serve as a main source of exposition due to his knowledge of Eternia’s history.[6]

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.[7]

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. However, Mattel never modified the figure to give him his trademark mustache from the cartoon.

2002 Series[edit]

Man-At-Arms was given a new figure as part of the Mattel 2002 Masters of the Universe series. This was the first figure to feature the character with his mustache. Several variants were made of the figure, over the course of the series including a "Snake Catcher" version as part of the He Man vs the Snake Men subline.

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 collectors toyline. As with other releases in the series, this figure was heavily influenced by the original 1980s line. The look of the character was based upon his vintage toy packaging artwork. This new version of Man-At-Arms came with interchangeable 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.

Several other versions of Man-At-Arms have since been released in MOTU Classics. These include Snake Man-At-Arms (based on his appearance in the 200X cartoon episode "Second Skin"), and a Battle Ram version (which includes his 200X helmetless head).

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. 
  6. ^ Charles Murphy (May 1, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: He-Man: Masters of the Universe Character Breakdowns Revealed". That Hastag Show. 
  7. ^ battleram (2015-12-28). "Man-At-Arms – Master of Weapons! (1982) | Battle Ram". Battleram.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.