Karg is a character in the 1987 movie Masters of the Universe by Cannon Films. The movie was based upon Mattel's best-selling toy line of the same name, although Karg was a brand new character created by the film's writers, who never had an accompanying action figure.
Played by Robert Towers, Karg was a minion of the film's main villain Skeletor (Frank Langella), and the head of Skeletor's bounty hunters who commanded Skeletor's militia. He was designed as being half man and half bat, although this is not immediately apparent from his appearance. He is a strange, grotesque creature with high and long white hair, pointed ears and a tight bodysuit, his torso covered by shining black armor. A long, black cape adorns his back, his shoulders covered by a fur stole, and he has a hook in place of his left hand. His overall appearance, with his elegantly-combed hair and carefully-fitted clothing, is almost regal and resembles a mediaeval monarch, suggesting an element of respectability and even vanity about his character, contrasting strikingly with his undoubtedly ugly, gruesome visage.
Karg was portrayed in the movie as a commander who seemed to hold a high rank in Skeletor's army. Designer Bill Stout said of the character:
"Karg is one of those great little evil creatures... I saw him from the beginning as a half-human, half-bat creature with strange dental tools to do his dirty work."
He was introduced early on in the movie, leading a team of storm troopers into the home of Gwildor to steal the Cosmic Key. He was later placed in charge of Skeletor's team of bounty hunters in their mission to Earth to retrieve the key and capture He-Man. He was depicted as a harsh and stern commander, with fierce authority over the other warriors, although his subservience to Skeletor showed through in the scene following the minions' failure on Earth, in which he apologetically grovelled at Skeletor's feet pleading for another chance, stating "We live only to serve you". His loyalty to Skeletor was questionable, however, for in the second half of the movie he played second fiddle to Evil-Lyn in the evil warriors' return to Earth, and at the movie's end, accompanied Evil-Lyn in her desertion of Skeletor as Skeletor prepared to face He-Man in their final battle. Overall he was portrayed as a harsh and savage minion, but also well-spoken and of a higher status than most other minions, somewhat matching his well-groomed attire and regal appearance.
Although most of the new characters introduced in the movie were incorporated into the Masters of the Universe toy line (Gwildor, Blade, Saurod), Karg never appeared in action figure form, for reasons as yet unknown.
In the comic book adaptation of the film, although Karg's personality and dialogue were largely the same, he was depicted with green skin, blonde hair and red eyes, versus the film where he has grey skin, white hair and yellow eyes.
When Karg finally got an action figure in the Masters of the Universe Classics toyline in 2018, his bio stated that he works as Skeletor's interrogator and is served by the Mintoran cyborg Minox while also taking an unwholesome liking to Lieutenant Andra. Karg is depicted with a twisted personality who welcomes his "guests" with leering delight for their interrogations in Snake Moutnain's Doom Room. This depiction of the character was very likely inspired by designer William Stout's comment about Karg's, "strange dental tools to do his dirty work." Karg was eventually defeated by Lt. Andra and sent to Prison Starr.
MOTU Classics Bio
Karg loyally served Skeletor as Snake Mountain’s cruel interrogator, inspiring countless nightmares with his ghoulish countenance and razor-sharp hook. Karg’s keen intelligence served him well in concocting all manner of creative methods to extract information from his “guests.” Hapless captives were dragged into Snake Mountain’s Doom Room by the Mintoran cyborg, Minox. There, Karg welcomed his victims with leering delight as he showcased his many tools. In addition to his duties as an interrogator, Karg was also a highly skilled bounty hunter, renowned for tracking down his quarry with a relentless determination that bordered on obsession. Notably, Karg once developed a disturbing fascination with Lieutenant Andra of the Eternian Royal Guard. Professing his ardor for her in a variety twisted ways, Karg was eventually defeated by an enraged Andra at the Siege of Zot and sent to Prison Starr, where he remains. Karg’s origins are shrouded in mystery, though it is rumored that he is of noble descent.
There is also a bio for the Commander Karg Masters of the Universe Classics figure, which is a re-release of the figure in his movie deco. In his tagline, he is called "Evil Master of Cruelty."
Rumored to be the hideous descendant of an inbred Spelean archduke and a mad human baroness, Karg was raised in secrecy until his sadistic “ingenuity” attracted the attention of Skeletor. Named grand inquisitor of Snake Mountain, Karg mercilessly extracted information from captives. Sometimes tasked with command of important missions, such as leading a group of Evil Warriors to Earth in search of the Cosmic Key, the twisted fiend was finally apprehended by Lieutenant Andra, object of his warped fixations. He was sent to Prison Starr and kept in solitary confinement, where the ravages of age and isolation turned his hair white and his skin a ghastly ashen color. Eventually freed in the notorious Evil Warrior breakout, Karg returned to Eternia and, at a resurrected Skeletor’s behest, purposely infected scores of unsuspecting Speleans with a long-forgotten contagion called “The Horror-Koth Plague.” The plague spread among the Speleans, turning their skin blood-red and driving them to commit heinous acts of violence until they were saved by the legendary healing powers of She-Ra. Fearful of Skeletor’s fury, Karg lied about his defeat and begged for his miserable life.
- Some fans have speculated that Karg may have been designed as a movie version of Trap-Jaw, due to both characters having modified right arms.