In a nutshell, Skeletor is one of the most iconic villains in the history of fiction. He-Man's arch nemesis first appeared in 1981, part of the mini-comics that accompanied the classic 1981-1983 line of Masters of the Universe toys. Since then he's appeared in television shows, comic books, movies, video games, memes and on countless forms of merchandise (clothing, lunch boxes, key chains, stationery, etc.).
Along with his extremely versatile and eccentric band of evil warriors - including, most prominently, the fur-brained orange dolt that is Beast Man - Skeletor has persistently terrorised He-Man and his allies with the sole intention of gaining the secrets of Castle Grayskull.
Being such a well-known character means that a lot is known about him, but there's quite a lot that isn't actually common knowledge. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the lesser-known facts about the blue-skinned, skull-faced and sharp-tongued rogue. Here are 10 things you didn't know about Skeletor...
10 He Was Originally From Another Dimension
Every mainstream depiction of Skeletor has him as a native of Eternia - the planet on which He-Man and his allies reside. The villain's origins differ from source to source, but he's always Eternian by birth. However, in his very first appearance in the Mattel mini-comics that came with the classic Masters of the Universe action figures, he came from another dimension.
That dimension was populated with more individuals of "his kind" (a species that went otherwise unreferenced), and he ended up being thrown to Eternia when a hole was opened in the dimensional wall during the "Great Wars" (an ambiguous concept which was barely ever touched upon and was ignored entirely in later continuities).
9 He Possessed The Other Half Of He-Man's Power Sword
He-Man's famous weapon is the Power Sword - it's the sword held aloft by Prince Adam in order for him to transform in to He-Man and it holds an immense amount of power. In the classic cartoon, Skeletor wants to get his hands on it, but what is less well-known is the fact that, in the original mini-comics, he actually possessed one just like it.
The idea was that if any one character was to get their hands on both halves of the sword, they would be able to access the secret powers of Castle Grayskull. As a result, Skeletor needed to get the one possessed by He-Man to add to his own.
8 He's Referenced In Loads Of Other Media
Skeletor is such a popular character that he has transcended the Masters of the Universe franchise to find himself getting mentions and references in countless other media.
He's referenced in Doctor Who when the Doctor compares his arch-nemesis the Master to Skeletor, he's been parodied in Robot Chicken a hell of a lot, and a character in Neal Stephenson's novel Reamde was given Skeletor as a nickname. There's also been a "Skeletor reads angry tweets" segment on SyFy's The Wil Wheaton Project and British comedian Stewart Lee regularly uses Skeletor as the benchmark for all things evil.
7 He Has A Building Named After Him
A 92-metre high-rise building in Kraków, Poland, which was originally intended to become the regional office of the Main Technical Organization (Naczelna Organizacja Techniczna, aka NOT) and be named the NOT Tower, ended up being named after Skeletor.
Construction of the building was started in 1975, but was permanently brought to a halt in 1981 because of economic constraints, political unrest and the imposition of martial law in Poland. Because the unfinished building resembled a skeleton, it became known as "Szkieletor" (the Polish name for Skeletor) in the following years, as Masters of the Universe was popular in Poland at the time.
6 He's The Subject Of A VERY NSFW Song
Gnarkill were a parody rock band whose members were Jackass stars Brandon DiCamillo (vocals) and Bam Margera (keyboard), as well as Jess Margera (drums), Rich Vose (guitars) and Matt Cole (mixer). They produced extremely not-suitable-for-work material, including a song about Skeletor and his most infamous henchman Beast Man, simply called "Skeletor/Beastman!" (sic)
The song was on their self-titled 2003 album and was the opening track. At three minutes long, it was extremely rude! We'd rather not go into details, so have a listen yourself if you want to know more (we do warn you again, however, that it's totally NSFW).
5 He Has His Own Twitter Accounts
Such is Skeletor's long-lasting popularity that he is even the subject of a number of hilarious parody Twitter accounts. The likes of @Skeletor and @GrumpySkeletor are Twitter users pretending to be the skull-faced villain - and the results are priceless.
Often using images from the original Filmation cartoon, as well as pictures of Masters of the Universe toys, the accounts tell stories of Skeletor's day-to-day activities and they regularly mock his arch-enemy He-Man. If you enjoy having a giggle, you could definitely do worse than giving both accounts a follow.
4 His Own Ghost Was His Servant
Skeletor has an army of weird and wonderful evil warriors at his disposal, but one of the more curious examples of them is definitely Scare Glow. One of the last toys released in the original Masters of the Universe toy line, Scare Glow was described as the "evil ghost of Skeletor."
Fans believe this should be taken literally, given the fact that Scare Glow is a skeleton ghost and given that the accompanying mini-comic that came with the toy - "The Search for Keldor" - said that Skeletor had summoned Scare Glow and Ninjor "from time and space" (meaning that he has seemingly summoned his own ghost from the future).
3 He Was Played By An Oscar-Nominated Actor
1987's Masters of the Universe movie was horrific. Dolph Lundgren took on the role of He-Man and was joined by a young Courtney Cox as human character Julie Winston - and neither of them particularly excelled in their roles. But one character who was actually pretty decent was Skeletor.
But that shouldn't come as a surprise. Behind the make-up and prosthetics of the skull-faced villain was the brilliant Oscar-nominated actor Frank Langella. Langella - whose nomination came in the Best Actor in a Leading role category for 2008's Frost/Nixon - put in a great performance as Skeletor, but the less said about the rest of the movie the better.
2 He's He-Man's Uncle
That's right, one of the most recent iterations of Skeletor, as well as being He-Man's arch enemy, is also the hero's uncle! It was a fact that was hinted at in some of the original source material, but it only became officially canon in the 2002 He-Man cartoon.
He was Keldor - the brother of He-Man's father King Randor - and he attempted to throw acid in his brother's face because he was jealous of the fact he was on the Eternian throne. Randor reacted quickly to the attack and, as a result, the acid deflected back at Keldor, burning off his flesh and making his skull visible. He only survived the injury because of Hordak's magical intervention, which only occurred because he promised to serve the Horde's leader. He became Skeletor as a result.
1 He's A Victim Of Racism
As previously mentioned, in the most recent Masters of the Universe stories, Skeletor (aka Keldor) was Randor's brother. However, Randor was the son their father chose to be the king. And what was the reason for that? The colour of Keldor's skin!
That's right, Keldor was put on the dark path towards becoming Skeletor because of the fact that his father was racist towards him! His blue skin wasn't considered suitable for someone sitting on the throne of Eternia - although it does make you wonder how the hell Keldor was actually blue in the first place?!
Did you enjoy this article? Do you know any interesting facts about Skeletor? Have your say in the comments section below!