Fisto is a fictional character in the popular Masters of the Universe franchise.
Fisto is a large and muscular warrior with reddish-brown hair and a beard, distinguishable mainly by his right hand, which is a large metal fist. In the original continuity of the character it is ambiguous as to whether Fisto's metal hand is some kind of removable gauntlet, or if it is a prosthetic attachment. In the 2002 continuity, Fisto's hand is much larger and unambiguously cybernetic. In both versions his fist is able to smash through rock and other hard surfaces, as well as packing more than a punch with the enemy.
Fisto was introduced into the Masters of the Universe toy line in 1984, packaged as the 'Heroic Master of hand-to-hand combat'.
He appears in the second season of the line's accompanying cartoon series by Filmation, featuring in four episodes: "Fisto's Forest", "The Rarest Gift of All", "To Save Skeletor" and "The Games". In "Fisto's Forest", his origin is told, detailing how he was originally a villain who terrorized the forest in servitude to Skeletor, before being convinced to change his ways by He-Man, now living in peace with the peasants of the forest. However, Fisto receives little in the way of character development, simply transferring from a villain to a hero in the space of one episode without any real character depth. He is presented as a gruff outdoor type, who does not really like the confines of the Royal Palace, but his appearances in subsequent episodes are generally little more than cameos. His only other significant role is in "The Games", in which he is selected to represent the side of good in a series of games set by an alien race observing Eternia.
In the toy line, the evil character of Jitsu was marketed as an adversary to Fisto, his design being an Asian equivalent of Fisto, with a large golden right hand enhanced for performing karate chops. But the apparent rivalry between these two characters is never sufficiently developed by any media and there is no official background story detailing any kind of history between them. They fight hand-to-hand in the Mattel mini-comic "The Clash of Arms", packaged with both their figures, but no backstory between them is mentioned, they are only used in the story due to their figures being released at the same time. Neither does the cartoon ever cover this plotline given that Jitsu only appears in one episode of the cartoon series, the early episode "The Dragon Invasion", long before Fisto's introduction into the series.
Marketing also linked Fisto to the Heroic Warriors' war horse Stridor. There was a boxed set of the pair widely available, and toy commercials, storybooks and comics frequently features Fisto riding atop Stridor, implying he belongs exclusively to Fisto, although Stridor is listed as He-Man's steed on his package. In actuality, the figure and horse are only linked due to them being released at the same time. Likewise, Jitsu has a similar link with Night Stalker, Stridor's evil counterpart. The link between Fisto and Stridor is apparent in practically every medium other than the cartoon, which makes no connection between the two.
Fisto is included in the 2002 revival of the Masters of the Universe toy line and cartoon series. Due to trademark reasons his action figure was packaged under the name 'Battle Fist' rather than his original name. But the cartoon rights to the name were still clear, so he is still referred to as Fisto in his cartoon incarnation. The figure was originally to have been released earlier in the revamped toy-line's run, but was held back until later in the line, where the character is given ties with being a sworn enemy of the Snake Men, a link that does not appear in the original line, with Fisto and the Snake Men being released some time apart. The prototype of the new figure also had a sword, reflecting the vintage figure's weapon, but this was dropped from the final released version.
Fisto is introduced in the last four episodes of the 2002-3 cartoon series. A new dimension is added to his character by making him the brother of Duncan, estranged from him after being accused of deserting his comrades in the Great Unrest, a war that took place sixteen years before the events of the show in which a team of warlords attempted to take over Eternia. Although he insists he did not desert his companions, Fisto has a gap in his memory from the time which he claims is the result of a battle injury, and therefore has trouble remembering exactly what happened. Given that he has never been able to prove his innocence, Fisto has been bitter and disgraced ever since the Great Unrest, spending most of his time in seedy bars where he frequently runs into fights with other punters.
Fisto is introduced in the episode "Web of Evil", in which his gigantic right hand is initially shown to be natural flesh, though it is never explained if he was born that way. After family bonds bring him to save his brother from the Evil Warriors, shattering his hand in the process, Fisto is recruited into the ranks of the Masters. Man-At-Arms repairs his hand by modifying it into a mechanical metal fist in the following episode "Rattle of the Snake", but tensions remain between the two brothers over the events of the Great Unrest. Despite the negative reputation following him, his foster niece, Teela, gets along well with him. According to Fisto, he left home at an early age when Man-At-Arms "was just a kid", implying that Fisto is the older brother and Man-At-Arms the younger brother. It is never revealed as to whether or not he has a name other than Fisto, as Man-At-Arms' real name is Duncan.
Portrayed as bad-tempered and fiery, yet well-meaning at heart, it is also arguably hinted that Fisto may be the biological father of Man-At-Arms' adopted daughter Teela, which would have made Man-At-Arms' her uncle. The episode "Out of the Past", which comes before Fisto's introduction, reveals that Teela's mother, the Sorceress, fell in love with a wounded soldier during the Great Unrest, who was suffering from amnesia. Given that the soldier vanished mysteriously and she never saw him again, it is possible that he may have been Fisto, given his aforementioned memory loss. It is not as yet known exactly what was planned for the development of this storyline or Fisto's history in the Great Unrest. This could have also added another layer to the tension between Fisto and Man-At-Arms, with Man-At-Arms knowing that Fisto is Teela's father and believing, incorrectly, that Fisto abandoned Teela and the Sorceress. However, the idea of Fisto as Teela's father has proved generally controversial among fans, with many preferring to believe Man-At-Arms is her true father, which "Out of the Past" seems to subtly hint. Writer Dean Stefan later claimed in a podcast interview that the show's writers never made up their minds whether Man-At-Arms or Fisto was the father, and the writing staff years later stated on a Power-Con panel that the hint that Fisto was the father would most likely have been revealed as a red herring.
- Masks of Power
- The Clash of Arms
- Skeletor's Dragon
- Hordak: The Ruthless Leader's Revenge!
- Mantenna and the Menace of the Evil Horde!
- The Treachery of Modulok
- Leech: The Master of Power Suction Unleashed!
- Mattel's trademark on the name "Fisto" lapsed after the original toy line. Lucasfilm now has the trademark through Kit Fisto, a Star Wars character.