Two-Bad is a two-headed Evil Warrior who is basically two different beings sharing the same body. In some ways he is like siamese twins, although both halves of his body are very different-looking creatures who appear to be from entirely different species. His right half is a blue creature, while his left half is a purple, scaly creature with an eyebrow-like yellow band on his forehead. His two heads have the habit of continuously arguing with one another.
The character's name is a play on "Too Bad".
Two-Bad is introduced into the Masters of the Universe toy line in 1985. Originally marketed as the "double-headed evil strategist" it is implied he is a master of strategy due to being two warriors in one, but his main trait in all story media is that his two heads have a habit of endlessly arguing with each other, meaning he has always generally been used for comic relief.
According to the toy line's creator Roger Sweet, the concept of Two-Bad originated from the idea for a character who is two beings in one: one good, and the other bad. However, due to the marketing strategy of packaging each character as being part of one particular side, it was not possible to package a character as both good and evil so he was made a fully-fledged evil warrior instead. The idea of his heads not getting along prevailed however, and this idea seems to influence the design of his action figure, which had two spring-action arms aimed horizontally at one another. The figure's arms could be sprung back and forth to create the impression of the heads fighting among themselves. The design was "officially" to let Two-Bad "bear hug" enemies; it has never really been clear whether the character was designed to hit the opposing head or if this was just a coincidence of design. The original figure had a very thick upper body making him top heavy and hard to fit into vehicles. Later versions had a flat back, making the character lighter and easier to sit in vehicles.
Two-Bad makes his debut in the Mattel mini-comic "The Battle of Roboto" which showcases his heads' habit of constantly arguing with one another, both endlessly blaming the other for their mistakes while claiming sole credit for all their strengths.
Two-Bad is introduced into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series shortly after his action figure was released. Given that the cartoon was drawing to a close at the time his character was introduced, he receives only minimal exposure on the show, generally limited to cameos. The episode "Visitors from Earth" portrays him as a comical character whose heads frequently argue, as well as playing betting games with one another while on guard duty.
The character's biggest role, however, in the cartoon is in the episode Capture the Comet Keeper. In this episode, he is Skeletor's main accomplice in his mission to control the comets over Eternia. However, the episode portrays him as a largely generic bumbling villain with no particularly distinctive qualities aside from his two heads, and even the heads' habit of arguing is not heavily showcased in this episode. The reason for this is largely because his role in the episode was originally written for the characters of Beast Man and Trap Jaw, but the show's creative consultant Arthur H. Nadel asked the episode's writer, Robert Lamb, to replace them with Two-Bad to satisfy Mattel's demands for exposure for their newest toy releases. The dialogue between the original two characters was not heavily changed, and thus Two-Bad is given no distinctive personality of his own within the episode. He objects to a captive calling him Skeletor's "friend," and Skeletor explains that he knows he can trust people like Two-Bad who hate and fear him, but this exchange would be even more descriptive of Skeletor's relationship with the browbeaten Beast-Man. Two-Bad later receives a further cameo in He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special, which gives further exposure to his heads' constant arguing.
Two-Bad is one of the only Filmation characters not to be designed symmetrically, the only other notable example being Trap Jaw. Characters were typically designed to be symmetrical so the animation cels could be easily flipped over and used in reverse, saving on production time and money. In the second season episode "Visitors From Earth", there is a brief animation error as Two-Bad's blue and purple sides are seen reversed.
2002 TV series
Two-Bad is re-used in the 2002 relaunch of the Masters of the Universe toy line and cartoon. The cartoon series, by Mike Young Productions, becomes the first medium to provide him with an origin. The episode, The Monster Within tells the story of two rival bounty hunters, Tuvar (blue) and Baddrah (purple), who were hired by Skeletor to lure He-Man into his clutches, but were highly reluctant to work together given their long-standing rivalry. After they failed in their attempt to work together, Skeletor punished them by actually binding them together into one body, with his magic. Skeletor declares with his usual macabre humour, "So refuse to work together as I commanded. Don't like each other. (hmmm) Well then, TOO BAD!"
Although in this series the heads are still portrayed as arguing between themselves, each one has qualities that the other does not, since Tuvar is technophilic and smarter, but Baddrah is outdoorsy and more reflexive about dangerous things. After Two-Bad's origin episode he is consigned mainly to cameos, but receives another major role in the episode "Separation", in which he goes in search of the spell of separation, to divide himself back into two separate beings. This episode shows a hint of bitterness about his character at the cruel fate that had befallen both heads, but continues to play him largely for comedy value with his heads' constant fighting among themselves.
Masters of the Universe Revelation
- Main article: Two Bad (Revelation)
Two-Bad features prominently in the UK comic series by London Editions. This comic series adds an extra dimension to his character by making him an inventor and technician, who has a workshop of his own near Snake Mountain, in which he frequently comes up with new inventions to impress Skeletor. While his heads frequently argue as in other media, they are shown to be effective assistants for Skeletor when they manage to work together. The heads are also given names of their own, the blue head being "Blue-Head", or occasionally "Blue-Face", and the purple head being "Yellow Band". Many of the early issues of the comic feature stories focusing on Two-Bad's newest inventions, such as the "Buzz-Wheel of Destruction" (issue #19) and the "Crawl Bomb". Often these inventions at first seem effective and impress Skeletor, but then a fatal flaw emerges that the heads had overlooked, which results in everything going wrong and both heads blaming one another. Two-Bad is showcased, therefore, as a comedy character, and is even occasionally given short comedy strips of his own featuring his heads in more trivial situations such as playing chess (issue #28) and arguing over which of them is to have the last slice of cake.
Behind the Scenes
Two-Bad was originally going to feature in the 2002 series right from the beginning, and was part of the original scripts for the earlier episodes. However, when one of the writing team suggested the possible origin for him as two rival bounty hunters, story editor Dean Stefan liked the idea and decided to base a whole episode around it, omitting Two-Bad from the early scripts to be introduced in "The Monster Within".