Friday Fights #4: Mumm-Ra vs. Emperor Palpatine

I was looking at the Mumm-Ra in his cloaked mummy form action figure that my brother gave me for my birthday this year. Incidentally I think he gave me a Mumm-Ra for my birthday back in 1986, too. Anyway a light bulb went off in my head–Mumm-Ra looks a lot like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars fame!

I wonder if there was a direct influence on the Thundercats villain from the dark lord of the Sith, who debuted four years prior. Anyway, this week’s fantasy battle royal pits Mumm-Ra against Palpatine

SIZE AND STRENGTH: Mumm-Ra is usually shown as being at least 7′ tall and Superman-level strength. Palpatine, although a hunched over and much smaller, can throw things around with his telekinetic abilities. ADVANTAGE: Mumm-Ra, mostly due to stature.

WEAPONRY: Palpatine wields the standard lightsaber at a master’s level. Mumm-Ra may not wield an energy weapon, but his Sword of Plun-Darr is essentially an enchanted, evil version of He-Man’s power sword. It’s so evil that removing it from its tomb caused the destruction of Thundera. He always carries some sort of  knife, but I’m sure that Palpatine carries a blaster of some sort. ADVANTAGE: Neither.

MAGICS: Palpatine is a master of the Force allowing him to do the following:

  • Forcibly choke people.
  • Shoot electricity
  • Levitation
  • Mind control
  • Energy explosions

Mumm-Ra is no slouch either; he can:

  • Fly
  • Shoot energy blasts
  • Mind control
  • Shape/reality augmentation
  • Master sorcerer

So pretty much, we’re looking at equals. ADVANTAGE: Neither.

THE WINNER: The emperor, although very deadly, is super frail and vulnerable if you can land a punch on him. Don’t believe me? Darth Vader was able to tackle him at the end of Return of the Jedi, effectively rendering him useless. Mumm-Ra’s power is immense, but if he exerts himself too much he will revert back to his mummy form and is equally as vulnerable. Mumm-Ra also has body image issues; if Palpatine is able to force Mumm-Ra to see his reflection, the immortal wizard will runaway screaming. WINNERPalpatine, who will just barely survive and be beaten badly. However, Mumm-Ra will retreat back to his temple to recover and will win the rematch.

About that new Thundercats series

It’s a pretty well-known fact that I’m a sucker for 1980s cartoons. Many an evening with my girlfriend have devolved into us watching Transformers or GI Joe, sometimes even Jem. As much as I love these characters and concepts, sometimes I find myself not enjoying the updated versions. When I heard that Cartoon Network was relaunching Thundercats, I didn’t know what to expect.

When I saw last week’s two-part debut, I was hooked.

This new version of Thundercats is very faithful to the original concepts, but is telling a new story. Most noticeable is that its set on their home planet Thundera as opposed to Third Earth. Oh, and the fact that Lion-O is a young adult as opposed to a full-fledged man. This gives them a lot more room to explore his character. Will Friedle is the voice of the character, and at times reminded me a bit of his earlier role of Eric Matthews.

Larry Kenney, who was Lion-O in the original series, lends his voice to Claudus, the king of the Thundercats that dies at the hands of Mumm-Ra. This leads to Lion-O, Tygra and Cheetara fleeing to find the Book of Omens in an effort to stop the evil mummy and gives the framework of the show’s story.

The animation has grown on me, as I’m not usually a fan of the more anime stylized cartoons. I will say that it looks nothing like any of the other modern cartoons. I like the new character designs, but Lion-O’s hair seems a little too Dragonball Z for my liking.

One of the things that fans of the original series like to reminisce and joke about was how they forced social themes into the episodes. We did see a bit in this, when Lion-O pleaded to his father to not kill their enemy Lizards, preaching peacefulness and tolerance of those who are different. This scene played out very well.

Consider me hooked. I can’t wait for the next episode.