Are the bad guys better than the ThunderCats?

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (1985)' started by Tygra_Rules, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    Hi everybody! Long time since anyone has posted here! Miss you all!

    Anyway, I have thought of something and decided to bring it here to discuss (and maybe bring people back LOL).

    At the end of "Mumm-Ra Lives" part 5, Tygra says about the Lunatacs: "It seems that whatever we can do, the Lunatacs can do it better." This made me think if all the bad guys are actually better (stronger, smarter, etc) than the TCS.

    Let's see it this way: whenever the bad guys, wether collectively (Mutants, Lunatacs, or the combination of these) or individually (Mumm-Ra, a single Mutant, a single Lunatac, Safari Joe, Ta-She, Charr-Nin, Mongor, Demolisher, etc) confronted a TC individually, the bad guy arouses victorious. Every time (or most of the time) a bad guy confronts a TC individually, even Lion-O (when he can't use the Sword), the TC is defeated. Their plans usually work out until either:
    • Lion-O comes with the SoO and saves the day
    • The Tcs decide to work as a team and outnumber the baddies
    So it made me think the TCs can only defeat the bad guys by outnumbering them or by resorting to the SoS (which, ironically, goes against the show's premise of highlightening teamwork). Episodes like "Micrits" for example, are a good example of this. The Mutants enter CatsLair with no Lion-O, no SoO and no weapons, and the TCs can't take them even when they outnumbered them (which is weird considering the TCs defeated the Mutants aboard the Royal Spaceship in "Exodus", with far more Mutants and still no weapons with them).

    I know "Micrits" follows the formula to make Lion-O the hero who saves the day, but take episodes like "Snarf Takes Up the Challenge", "Fireballs of Plun-Darr", "Mandora the Evil Chaser", "Mongor", "Safari Joe", "Garden of Delights", "Pumm-Ra", "The Evil Harp of Charr-Nin", "Doomgaze", "Tight Squeeze", "The Mountain", "Superpower Potion", "Demiliosher", "Divide and Conquer", the aforementioned "Mumm-Ra Lives" part 5, and so many others. In all of these, a single TC was captured (or all of them one by one fell victim of a plan made up by Mumm-Ra or the Mutants , and later the Lunatacs). In some of these not even Lion-O with the Sword could defeat the bad guys.

    Even when a TC confronts a single Mutant ot Lunatac individually, usually the TC takes the worst part (again, of course to make Lion-O the hero, but still). "Wolfrat" might be a honorable exception as the TCs solve the problem on their own, resotring to their abilities rather than their weapons.

    So, are the TCs really that good? Are the bad guys able to come up with good plans that only the Sword or the fact of being outnumbered bring down? Ar the bad guys smarter than the TCs?

    What do you think?
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
    LiamABC likes this.
  2. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    Great post Tygra_Rules! The forums have been very quiet lately. Come on guys, let's get some more discussions going! :)

    Coming to your topic, the short answer is yes, the bad guys are mostly better/stronger/craftier than the TCats on most occasions. But this actually is necessary in almost any type of writing (movies, cartoons, comics, books etc.). The villains HAVE to be stronger than the heroes. Only then does it make for an interesting conflict and t hen we root for the heroes and we cheer when they win against insurmountable odds. If the heroes were stronger then we wouldn't be excited about their clash with the villain as we know that the heroes would easily win.

    That is why people love a character like "Rocky Balboa" because he is always pitted against much stronger opponents and still manages to win. That is also why it is so difficult for writers to come up with interesting villains for someone like "Superman", who is just too strong. The villain would have to be stronger than Supes in order to make the story interesting. That is why the writers often resorted to the old Kryptonite to make Superman weaker.

    So it is the same case in TCats. Though with time some of the stronger villains were watered down and made weaker and more comical, like the Mutants. But if you look at the villains' initial appearances:
    * Mumm-Ra is way too powerful than the TCats, and he is immortal. It's just his reflection and that blasted Sword of Omens that often got the best of him.
    * The Mutants were initially quite strong (especially Ratar-O) and cunning but were later toned down and made dumber.
    * The Lunataks also initially were very tough. Remember how they easily dispatched the TCats in the "Mumm-Ra Lives 5 Parter"? The TCats never defeated the Lunataks at the end of that episode arc, they just ran away while the Lunataks were fighting amongst each other.
    * Berserkers, Safari Joe, Mongor, Grune, Enlfamer, were all very tough for the Cats. It was only at the last moment that the Cats beat them. Naturally they couldn't have the cartoon ending with the bad guy winning! :D
  3. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    LOL I know!

    Ok, let's forget about strenght. Are the bad guys too SMART for the TCs? Their plans are good and work perfectly until the SoO enters the scene.
  4. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    That's what I've been saying since I was a kid. So many episodes followed that same formula:

    Other TCs get captured/hypnotized/etc individually, then Lion-O shows up at the end with the sword, uses the catchphrase, and hey presto! Game over.

    Especially when you hear that "save the day" music right after the catchphrase. Being able to follow the plot just by listening to the music is a mixed blessing, because with that piece of music you know the good guys are about to win the day.

    It's kind of ironic in that the faults with this show lay within the very hooks that made it such a commercial success.
  5. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    Yeah, Mumm-Ra, the Mutants and the Lunatacs came up with some good plans in some eps, and I hated it that the TCs were able to overcome it only because of the SoO or teamwork, implying that they on their one wouldn't have known what to do."Snarf Takes Up the Challenge" might be an exception because the TCs didn't have teh SoO neither worked in team... but the fact of having Snarf saving the day the way he did... come on! Hard to believe LOL
  6. The Bat

    The Bat Active Member

    Good point Tygra. How come Tygra never used his mind powers on Safari Joe. And why not turn invisible the moment SJ captured Cheetara?

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