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The Sorceress

Masters of the Universe
by yo go re

The original Masters of the Universe cartoon, like many 1980s cartoons, did its part to strike a blow for women's lib: not only did He-Man fight side by side with a woman, but his boss was one, too. The Sorceress may not have been the star of the show, but she gave He-Man his marching orders - without her, he'd still be sitting at home in his velour chemise while Man-At-Arms was "getting Matteled" by Skeletor.

The Sorceress Guardian of Castle Grayskull and all its secrets, the Sorceress is the most powerful magician on Eternia. She was once Teelana, a young woman whose village was attacked by the Evil Horde and the sorceror Morgoth. She journeyed to Grayskull seeking help, but was named the successor of the current guardian. Her old life was finished, her family gone. When Skeletor returned to plague Eternia, the Sorceress imbued royal Prince Adam with the power to stand up and fight this evil: the power of Grayskull.

When the Sorceress first appeared in the minicomics, she was known as the Goddess, and looked exactly like Teela, except wearing a serpentine headdress - you ever wonder why the old Teela figure had armor she never wore in the cartoon? That's why. Because you could turn her into a second character. Eventually she evolved into the blue, white and orange bird-woman we remember, but her general backstory and role in the mythology remained the same.

A lot of MotU characters blossomed under the hand of the Four Horsemen's redesign, but few so much as Teelana, here (that's pronounced tee-LON-uh). No longer a feathery disco queen, the Sorceress now has a really impressive Egyptian motif, what with the folded skirt and the head drape. While many of the new MotU figures find their strength in the throwback references to their '80s counterparts, the Sorceress has only the most superficial connections: otherwise, she's all-new.

goodbye disco, hello Nile Sorceress is wearing a golden helmet that looks like a bird's head. A blue khat tucked underneath falls down to her shoulders down over her neck. She's wearing squarish Egyptian earrings, and has blue face paint below her eyes. Her bodice appears to be armored, and is mostly blue with golden elements running all over. Her arms are bare, but she's wearing thick leather bracers that are, again, detailed with blue and gold. Her schenti is detailed with pleated folds and a loin cloth hanging from a winged belt (thanks to a skipped paint app, she's going commando). There are bird symbols on her kneepads and, in keeping with Eternian fashion trends, a bit of fur trim at the top of her boots. Finally, the boots are designed really well, with straps and buckles keeping them in place.

swoosh! Due to the terms of NECA's license, they can only produce statues, not action figures, so the Sorceress has no articulation. She's based on the large-scale statue, so at least we know her pose is nice. She's hovering above the ground thanks to a sweeping stand that plugs into her... well, it plugs into her. Her right arm is extended forward to hold her staff, but it's balanced by the wings on her back.

One odd thing about the sculpt is her left hand - stumpy the fingers are all stubby. Take a look at your own hand: your fingers are approximately the same length as your palm, but Sorceress looks like she's missing a joint on each finger. The right hand is fine, since it's got to wrap around the staff, but the empty left is just a little bit off. You probably won't notice if you view her head on, but from the side it stands out.

Though she's pretty much the most powerful magic-user on Eternia, Zoar the Sorceress is somewhat hamstrung by the fact that she can't leave Castle Grayskull. In fact, in a sort of Ladyhawke move, she has to turn into a bird to do so. Her avian form, Zoar, got a toy in the old line, and is also included as an accessory with this statue. Zoar is sculpted well, and looks a bit more exotic than your average hawk, which makes sense. The color scheme fits with the Sorceress, but it actually looks more like her 1980s colors. And hey, speaking of which!

Exclusive Sorceress Online retailer Action Figure Xpress has an exclusive variant statue of the Sorceress available, and she's painted in colors that more closely reflect her '80s origins. Reportedly, the Sorceress we saw on the cartoon, in the comics and in the standard edition of this ministatue isn't what the Horsemen originally had in mind - they planned for her to be white, orange and blue, but Mattel or the producers changed it. So now we can get a version of the character the way the designers intended, and she's got retro references, as well? Score!

The variant is wearing blue boots, a white outfit and has orange wings. Her head dress is white with orange eyes and a blue beak. In a nice move, the art on the blister has even been recolored to match her repainted appearance. Zoar is the same colors, as is the swoosh base, but it all still looks good. Her staff is a bit more orange than golden, and her nails are red rather than blue.

heroic base Each of the Masters of the Universe figure-scale statues comes with a hexagonal display base. Actually, they all come with the same display base: a generic technological thing that's color-coded to the character's allegience. He-Man's pals pose on a dark blue base.

We learned much more of the Sorceress' backstory in the new cartoon than in any previous source, but it was all built upon what little was known before. It's a crying shame that Mattel didn't make her as an action figure before their mismanagement screwed up the relaunch, but face it: it never would have been as nice as this mini statue. Whichever color you prefer, the Sorceress will look impressive commanding the Masters of the Universe.

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