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Beast Man is a character in the popular toy line and cartoon series Masters of the Universe, the savage right-hand man of Skeletor, he has control over many wild creatures and has brute strength.

Beast Man was one of the first seven characters to be created for the Masters of the Universe toy line by Mattel in the early 1980s, and one of the first four to be completed and released (the other three being He-Man, Man-At-Arms and Skeletor). When the character was developed by Mattel, the name of Beast Man was reused from a figure in Mattel's earlier Flash Gordon toy line.

History

Mini-comics (1982-1987)

Main article: Beast Man (early minicomics)

Beast Man as he appeared in the early mini comics.

Beast Man was Skeletor's closest and most loyal follower in the then quite small band of Evil Warriors. He was a ferocious man-beast who could summon most of the wild creatures of Eternia to aid in Skeletor's schemes.

DC Comics (1982)

Main article: Beast Man (DC Comics)

In the stories written by Paul Kupperberg for DC Comics, Beast Man, also spelled Beastman and Beast-Man, was presented much the same way as he was in the early Mini-comics. He was very loyal to Skeletor, even offering to pummel Mer-Man, whom he considered a coward. He was also seen commanding an army of Beastmen from the same tribe as himself.

Filmation series (1983-1987)

Beast Man tries to control a Dragon.

Beast Man was the henchman most often at Skeletor's side; he had the power to telepathically control most of the beasts and animals on Eternia. While he did possess a certain cunning, his talents were often unappreciated by Skeletor, who frequently made Beast Man the main object of his wrath; frequently blaming him when a scheme failed. Beast Man resented being bossed around by Skeletor, but lacked the courage to stand up to him. Over time, he became more bumbling and comedic.

One one occasion, Beast Man was banished from Snake Mountain by Skeletor, who had grown weary of his constant failures. A bitter Beast Man, feeling useless without the power of Snake Mountain behind him, set out to prove his worth by capturing King Randor on his own and bringing him to Snake Mountain. Although he succeeded in capturing the king, when He-Man came to the rescue he was subjected to Skeletor's wrath one more time and admitted back into his ranks purely because Skeletor needed someone on which to vent his fury. Despite this, Beast Man admitted it was "nice to be home."[1]

Beast Man used Shadow Beast's as his primary henchmen, as they followed his orders without the need for mind control. His ability to control animals was not absolute, however. For instance, he could not control Cringer, Battle Cat, or Panthor. Beast Man was often teamed up with Trap Jaw, with the two of them occasionally striking out on their own.

Beast Man later encountered She-Ra when he assisted Skeletor in a plan to kidnap Princess Adora, calling her a "pretty princess" as he carried her to her cell[2]. He later used his power to great effect to assist Skeletor in overthrowing the Bee People[3].

Live-action film (1987)

Beast Man in the film.

Referred to as "the Beastman", Beast Man was a savage mercenary in the employ Skeletor, who stated to be one of his finest warriors. He was inarticulate, only able to growl and snarl instead of speaking, which were sometimes translated by Karg. Beast Man and his fellow mercenaries were sent by Skeletor to locate the Cosmic Key on Earth. When they failed, Skeletor incinerated Saurod as punishment, and Beast Man threw himself at Skeletor's leg, clutching it and begging for forgiveness before a disgusted Skeletor threw him aside.

Beast Man later returned to Earth to retrieve the key with Evil Lyn, Karg and Blade. There, he savagely attacked and mauled Kevin Corrigan, and would have killed him if not for Karg's intervention. Later, Beast Man witnessed Skeletor claim the power of Grayskull, and fled with Evil Lyn and Karg when the battle turned against them[1].

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)

Beast Man in the MV Creations Comic.

Beast Man was a savage creature from the Berserker Islands. When Keldor travelled to the islands looking to recruit him, Beast Man initially tried to kill and eat him, using his great strength to best him in combat. Keldor and Beast Man ultimately worked together, and Keldor saved Beast Man's life. Following this, Beast Man swore loyalty to Keldor and became his most devoted warrior[2].

Beast Man accompanied Keldor in his attack on the Hall of Wisdom. When Keldor threw a vial of acid at Captain Randor, Randor deflected it back at him, grievously wounding him. Beast Man, seeing this occur, quickly intervented and saved Keldor before he could be arrested by Randor, swooping in on a Griffin and flying him to safety[4]. Beast Man remained hidden in the Dark Hemisphere for years thereafter, before Skeletor finally found a way to break through the Mystic Wall.

Beast Man gloats.

Beast Man had the power to control all animals except for dragons[3]. He often used Shadow Beasts, Griffins and Serpinataurs as his minions, and even managed to gain control of Man-E-Faces while he was in his beast form[5]. Beast Man frequently clashed with Evil-Lyn, who considered him "vermin". He maintained a bestiary in the caverns beneath Snake Mountain where he kept cages full of monsters and beasts to do his bidding.

Masters of the Universe Revelation

Main article: Beast Man (Revelation)

Beast Man, more savage than ever.

Beast Man was was seen driving a Bashasaurus into battle when Skeletor's army of Skelcons launched a large scale attack on Castle Grayskull. Following Skeletor's supposed death and magic leaving Eternia, Beast Man became much more feral, discarding his usual red armour. He swore to protect Evil-Lyn with his life and followed her everywhere she went, often keeping a fair distance and blending into the background so as not to alert anyone else to his presence[6].

He joined Evil-Lyn when she accompanied Teela, Andra, Roboto and Orko to Subternia and Preternia and later reluctantly returned to Skeletor's side when he revealed himself[7]. He despised Skeletor, but continued in service to act as counsel to Evil-Lyn. When Evil-Lyn took the power of Grayskull for herself, she transformed him into her loyal "Battle Dog" during her final battle with He-Man and Skeletor. He fought with Battle Cat, and was eventually knocked into the chasm surrounding Grayskull[8].

Netflix series

Main article: R'Qazz (Netflix)

R'Qazz, the hunter.

In the Netflix continuity, R'Qazz was a hunter who caught wild animals and forced them to battle in his pits. Many years ago, he captured four tigers from the Tiger Tribe, including Katuna, Prowler, and Bash. When one of them refused to fight for him, R'Qazz removed the tiger's claws and began wearing them as trophies himself. He gave the tiger the mocking name Cringer. R'Qazz referred to himself in third person and acted in a very animalistic manner.[9]

R'Qazz was later recruited by Evelyn and Kronis as part of a plot to overthrow Skeletor. Skeletor then used the dark magic of havoc to transform R'Qazz into Beast Man, the Dark Master of Beasts.[10]

Toys

Beast Man (1982)

Beastman 1982.jpg

Part of the first wave of MOTU figures, Beast Man did not have any action features, other than the line's general waist-twisting action. The figure came with a string-like whip and removable armor in the form of a breastplate and two arm guards. The toy is notable for the blue markings on Beast Man, a design that was reduced to shadows under the eyes in the animated series.


Beastman (2002)

Beastman 2002.jpg

The second figure features more points of articulation, as well as an actual action feature; a button on the back causes his arm to crack up and down, as either a whipcrack or a hammer punch, depending on whether or not he is holding his whip. The weapon, included with the figure, is now thicker and made of plastic. Beastman's armor is removable, with distinctive spikes along the back.

The figure is now noticeably hunched, with the head lower down to give him a more bestial appearance.


Beast Man (MOTU Classics)

Beastman classics.jpg

The newest figure, sculpted by the Four Horseman, is a redesign of the first figure, sharing mostly the same colors and overall design. As before, the figure comes with a whip and removable armor in the form of the classic breastplate/arm guard combo.

Like the other MOTU Classics, the toy now has full articulation at the ankles, knees, hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. The overall sculpt is also far more detailed.

Beast Man's bio on his card back read as follows:

Real Name: Raqquill Rqazz

After being banished from his home in the Vine Jungle, the beast man named Raqquill Rqazz joined up with a young alchemist named Keldor™ during a skirmish in the Berserker Islands. Like others of his race, Rqazz has the ability to control beasts and monsters. He currently uses this particular talent as chief henchmen to Skeletor®, the Overlord of Evil™.

Behind the scenes

  • Mark Taylor’s finalized B-Sheet design for Beast Man.

    Beast Man was included in numerous MOTU storybooks throughout the 1980s. One such range of storybooks is the Ladybird Books, which reveal he was the leader of a tribe of Beast People from the Vine Jungle. Although this background has never been mentioned in any of the more prominent MOTU incarnations (except for the DC Comics, which features the "Beastmen"), it is generally a popular concept amongst fans that he hails from a jungle tribe.
  • In the German audio-book series a character biography was given in the episode "Nacht über Castle Grayskull" (Night over Castle Grayskull). It is said that Beast Man was once an intelligent scientist. He found a powerful magic plate and changed it so that Skeletor could not use it any more. For that Skeletor tortured him and gave him a toxin to destroy his intelligence. This made Beast Man Skeletor's loyal, yet stupid, servant and slave.
  • Beast Man's background was never mentioned in the Filmation cartoon, although the series bible featured a surprising origin for him; explaining he was a thuggish human from Earth called Biff Beastman who owned a farmyard, on which he constantly abused the animals. He was recruited as chief technician on the spacecraft piloted by Marlena Glenn, which crash-landed on Eternia, but he wound up on Skeletor's home world of Infinita, where he was mutated into Beast Man and recruited by Skeletor.[11] This origin story appears in a storybook entitled "New Champions of Eternia" but was unpopular with the show's writers and excluded from the series.
  • When the Four Horsemen originally designed the 2002 version of Beast Man, they had planned for the figure to have a vocal 'roaring' feature, but this was eventually dropped due to production budget restraints.

References

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