Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Monday, January 12, 2009

Skeletor VERSUS Ming the Merciless!

It's the clash of 80's cinematic intergalactic despots: Skeletor from the 1987 live-action Masters of the Universe, versus Ming the Merciless from the 1980 film, Flash Gordon!

Both tyrannical titans are probably the best things about their respective films (both flicks are favorites of mine, nonetheless) – as both Frank Langella and Max Von Sydow rise above their scripted dialogue with classy, sublimely sinister performances. Langella, in particular, shines, working through a thick, nearly immobile rubber mask.

But in a battle between ultimate evils, who would win?

Skeletor, with his army of Darth Vader-esque stormtroopers and the stolen power of Castle Grayskull, or the self-styled Emperor of the Universe, with his ability to control the weather of distant planets, brainwashing rays and fleet of art deco rocketships?

Place your bets, folks!

(Note – we're only taking about these particular versions of the characters.)


Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Skeletor would be dead meat - Ming would tear this guy to piecS. The skeletor dude is even camper than the Flash who faced this Mind.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ming is the more merciless of the two.

Cap'n Perkins said...

Man, I was about to say Ming until you added that final caveat about "these particular versions".

The Langella Skeletor has many advantages over Ming:
1)skilled in hand to hand combat
2)minor magical seeming offensive powers (could just be tech though)
3)he's also clearly the more unstable and violent of the two giving him an edge in one on one combat.

He might be bested by Ming in comparisons as a tyrant and destroyer of worlds, but is the better bad guy in a fight.

Andy said...

It's Ming all the way - no doubt about it. I mean, really - the man has art deco rocketships for chrissakes. Ming wins on style alone.

Britt Reid said...

Considering the same actor (Alan Oppenheimer) voiced the Filmation versions of both characters, I'd call it a draw!

And, for the record, there was no Ming more merciless than Charles Middleton!
Anyone who could keep Buster Crabbe at bay for 15 weeks at a time with nothing but a dozen soldiers and toy rockets with fireworks up their butts deserves our admiration!

Drop by MY blog at Atomic Kommie Comics...

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Its no competition. Langela's Skeletor just chews the scenery up and spits it back out only to chew it up again. You get more emotion from behind that rubber face mask that we have any right to expect and when we see the magic he has done since this film (including his awesome role in Cutthroat Island) I gotta go with Frank on this one.