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|“||Time to die, Chosen One!||„|
Skullmaster is the main antagonist of the cartoon series Mighty Max, which was based on the toyline of the same name. In spite of his unimpressive and rather simple name, he was easily one of the most terrifying villains ever across 90s cartoons.
He was voiced by Tim Curry, who has portrayed villains like Drake, Maestro Forte, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Hexxus, Lord Dragaunus, Kilokahn, Long John Silver, Pennywise, Captain Hook (Peter Pan and the Pirates), and Doviculus.
|“||Five thousand years ago there was a great and noble people that lived in a city hidden beneath the waves. But rumours began: the end was nigh, their doom was at hand. There was one among them who played upon the people's fears, claiming that he and he alone could save them from catastrophe. But that one, was Skullmaster. Diabolically, he convinced the king that if all his people yielded up their souls to the crystal, they would survive-for where the souls go, the bodies can safely follow. The king ordered his people to transfer their souls to the stone. But the people hesitated, so Skullmaster used his dark powers to topple the very walls of the city, and the people quickly conceded their souls to the stone. But Skullmaster killed the king, and escaped with the crystal. And never released the souls inside, condemning them to the torment of being neither alive nor dead. With the power of the crystal, Skullmaster ruled the Earth for centuries-until the original cap-bearer arose to lead the last of the free people against him. But the Souless Ones were the hero's downfall, and he was trapped. In the end, the hero tricked Skullmaster into falling through the main portal to the center of the Earth. He left his cap behind, so that he and Skullmaster, would never return...||„|
|~ Virgil tells the tale of Skullmaster's destruction of Atlantis and his imprisonment in the underworld|
The archenemy of the "Mighty One", Skullmaster is an ancient fusion of warrior and sorcerer whose lust for power has driven him to destroy at least two civilizations - the Lemurians and the Atlanteans.
He destroyed the Lemurians out of wrath when they wouldn't give him the secrets of the key, and he used the souls of Atlantis to power his Crystal of Souls. At some point, he was imprisoned deep within the earth, where he sealed the reigning king, Lava Lord, into solid rock and took control of his minions. During the second season, Skullmaster was free to roam the earth and proceeded to cause all kinds of trouble until he was defeated once more by the new "Mighty One" - Max. Unfortunately, in the process Max has to rewind the timeline back to the beginning of the series. But this time, with his newfound knowledge, Max then goes on to defeat Skullmaster once and for all.
|“||There it is, Warmonger. Zero Island, the earth's geographic center. Zero degrees latitude, zero degrees longitude. Where, since the beginning of time, Hydra, last of the Titans, has maintained the balance between the positive and negative forces, in nature. Do you realize the significance of this balance, Warmonger? No, of course you don't. And by the time your feeble mind can comprehend it, it shall not exist, since, with the power of the Lemurian Arcana, I shall shatter that balance, forever!||„|
Skullmaster is an extremely power-hungry and ruthless creature, the latter of these two aspects being what has made him so recognizable among 90s animated villains, especially ones as obscure as him and that come from cartoons aimed to advertise and sell toys. He fully embraces his evil thoughts (not that there's any good in him to begin with) and makes gruesome threats to the main character of the series, who is just a child, and consistently kills and destroys all who stand in his way (or in his quest for more power) in a variety of ways, from simply erasing them into nothing to dropping them from a high altitude and letting gravity do the job for him. His old friend and teacher Virgil considers him to be the greatest evil the world has ever known.
As a warrior with thousands of years of experience, Skullmaster is also somewhat honorable and enjoys physical confrontation, and given his intelligence, he will consider an alliance with the enemy if it benefits him.
|“||Lava Lord: Skullmaster, you thief, 5000 years ago, you stole my kingdom! But now I'm back, to take my revenge!
Skullmaster: Lava Lord, only a mewling coward hides behind machinery. A true warrior would meet me sword to sword!
Powers and Abilities
|“||Warmonger: I lost this round to the Mighty-One, but now that I've gotten rid of Skullmaster, the world is still mine to conquer!
Skullmaster: Really? And what makes you think, I'm gone?
Warmonger: (cowers in terror) Skullmaster! I, it was all a mistake, I, I never meant to...
Skullmaster: Kill me? I know. Everything that happened was according to my plan, not yours. The Lemurian sun-symbol, was the one power I feared, and so I forced the Cap-Bearer to waste it battling Hydra, so he would be unable to use it on me!
Warmonger: But I saw you die!
Skullmaster: The pages of the Arcana grant many powers, illusion is one of them. Once again, Warmonger, you have proved yourself an excellent servant. But we must prepare for the final triumph-for now there is nothing on earth that can stop me!
|~ Skullmaster reveals himself to be alive after Warmonger thought he had killed him|
Skullmaster was a fearsome warrior and strategist, commanding legions of rock monsters, skeletal turtle creatures, giant crab-like creatures and lava beasts before Lava Lord escaped his captivity and the lava beasts returned to his rule. After escaping from the center of the Earth he also freed another of his servants, a giant dragon that served as his primary mode of transport. It may also have been the source of the "blood of the dragon," a potion Skullmaster forced his human minions to drink to turn them into "Zilards," evil reptilian creatures. Skullmaster himself was also fairly strong, as his appearance would suggest. He defeated the Monkey King off-screen and smashed his metal helmet with apparent ease.
His most powerful weapon was the Crystal of Souls, a magic gem energized by captive souls. He could use it to see events from afar, command the soulless husks of those whose souls it contained to do his bidding, and entomb an enemy alive in rock (which the victim might well have only survived thanks to being living rock already). Its powers were so great he was able to use it to sink Atlantis and to resurrect many of Mighty Max's other enemies during the series finale. In the end he intended to use it as part of a ritual (along with Max's magic hat) to gain control over the flow of time itself. For unknown reasons he could not use it to free himself from the center of the Earth.
Probably's Skullmaster's greatest asset was his cunning mind, having thousands of years worth of experience and knowledge. In one instance he anticipated the treachery of his servant Warmonger, who appeared to use a stolen magical rune to kill him but which Skullmaster had built a plan around him doing so. This plan succeeded in forcing Mighty Max to use up a powerful magic spell that might've stopped Skullmaster himself to prevent another disaster of Skullmaster's own creation.
- In the episode "The Magnificent Seven", when Max destroyed his Crystal of Souls he threatens to put Max's corpse at "His Master's table" suggesting he might work for someone else or referring to Virgil. If he does as another master he was working for this whole time then we might never know who his master might be due to the show ending in it's series's finale.
The Adventures of Mighty Max