80s cartoon villains revamped in more modern times

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
The 80s has produced some of the most iconic villains in Tv animation (Skeletor, Shredder, Megatron, Cobra Commander, Mumm-Ra, etc), but let's face it in the 80s their personalities are usually just generic evil with some goofy humor thrown in sometimes.

What you think about how these villains are handled in later adaptions. Almost of all, them are more competent of course. Later versions of Skeletor are competent, with a wicked sense of humor, but far more evil than the Filmation one. Utrom Shredder is one of the evilest villains in animation, 2012 Shredder is less evil than Utrom Shredder, but still pretty unsympathetic, both of them are defined as an obsession with revenge, besides the occasional cruel joke from Utrom Shredder, they are both very humorless. 2011 Mumm-Ra is far eviler than his 85 counterpart, same basic personality, but 2011 Mumm-Ra blew up a solar system. Megatron is more competent in later versions, often very evil, though 2013 Megatron redeems himself at the last minute. 2018 Hordak is actually made more sympathetic, being a clone who wants to impress his master while 2018 Horde Prime is far eviler than 80s Horde Prime, a genocidal cult leader. 2018 Catra is far more sympathetic and well-realized than 80s Catra.

A common thread is making these villains more competent. A lot of them may have the same power-hungry personality, but they have far more proactive evil deeds. 2018 Hordak and Catra are the only things I can think of who got more sympathetic in their more recent versions.
 

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
I was usually introduced to these villains in later adaptions, so those tend to be my baseline for those characters moreso than the original.

That's fair, I think for a younger generation, these later versions would be the introduction.

But it's kinda interesting to see how these villains started, Skeletor, in general, has pretty interesting evolution and Shredder in the Mirage comics was meant to be a one-shot villain:

 

JoeMabbon

Triple Changer
Every incarnation of Starscream from Transformers Armada on has had to work to find some reason to justify why Megatron would have him on the team. Armada downplayed his treacherous traits. Other shows kept him as an egomaniacal backstabber (Cybertron, Animated, Prime, and Cyberverse), but had him get kicked out of the Decepticons early on with Megatron only bringing him back into the fold when he was desperately shorthanded. Or not at all. These versions of Starscream also tend to acquire his own subgroup of Decepticon followers.

Meanwhile, Cobra Commander just became more vicious and competent. Both Resolute and Renegades removed all of his bumbling, comical traits until the very end of their stories when the Commander was on the verge of defeat.

There is one '80s villain who hasn't really changed much: Soundwave. He's pretty much always portrayed Megatron's most loyal soldier. His design changes more than he does as a character.
 

khuddle

Active Member
That's fair, I think for a younger generation, these later versions would be the introduction.

But it's kinda interesting to see how these villains started, Skeletor, in general, has pretty interesting evolution and Shredder in the Mirage comics was meant to be a one-shot villain:


The 2002 Skeletor rocks. He is absolutely one of my favorite villains of all time -- witty and a wicked sense of humor. He alone made that series worth watching.
 

Frontier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
The 2002 Skeletor rocks. He is absolutely one of my favorite villains of all time -- witty and a wicked sense of humor. He alone made that series worth watching.
They also managed to keep his nasally, high-pitched, voice while still keeping him super-menacing :).
 

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
The 2002 Skeletor rocks. He is absolutely one of my favorite villains of all time -- witty and a wicked sense of humor. He alone made that series worth watching.

2002 Skeletor is a good combo of humorous and sinister, like the Joker he were a undead lich. He is a good contrast to say King Hiss, who is just creepy and has no humorous qualities.

I like 2018 Hordak and Catra for being far more sympathetic than their 80s counterparts, while Horde Prime is far more creepy and sinister than his 80s counterpart.
 

kid rabbit

Well-Known Member
makes you wonder about villains in newer shows like what Azula and the fire lord are going to be like in the netflix show and the ice king if they ever reboot adventure time
 

Zorak Masaki

Well-Known Member
I think the only villain who was watered down from his 80s counterpart was possibly Dr. Mindbender from GI Joe Renegades (though at least this one actually looked like a scientist and not a 2nd tier Dr. Strange villain :p).
 

khuddle

Active Member
makes you wonder about villains in newer shows like what Azula and the fire lord are going to be like in the netflix show and the ice king if they ever reboot adventure time

KInd of frustrates me that we didn't learn of Azula's fate in "The Legend of Korra". Grey Delisle did such an awesome job bringing that character to life.
 

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
In terms of villains from the 80s who do not need much retooling, I would say most of the iconic Real Ghostbusters villains count.

Most of the villains are one-shot characters, but some are reoccurring villains.

There was an episode where a guy tried to destroy the world because his fiance dumped him, I used to think that was unrealistic, but I think it is more realistic now.

Sandman was an interesting villain, a spirit that helps people sleep and dream, Sandman decides humanity is too warlike and intends them to force humanity to sleep for 500 years to prevent wars.

Samhain is a good villain, a spirit of Halloween who wants to defend ghosts from humanity. However, the most horror based villains are the ones who targetted children, the Boogieman and the Grundel. Boogieman has a connection to Egon, the Boogieman tormenting him as a child made Egon interested in the supernatural.

The Grundel is one of the most creepy villains in animation, his dialogue just makes him repulsive. He lures children from their parents and corrupts them until they become Grundels, making him one of the most sinister villains the Ghostbusters faced. The Grundel was iconic enough to appear in the sequel series in the 90s, Extreme Ghostbusters, where he comes off as an abusive stalker to one of the main characters, Kylie.

The Real Ghostbuster villains only appearing in one or two episodes means they far fewer defeats than most 80s villains.
 
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