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The Evil Horde was initially presented as a seemingly small group of formidable creatures of whom Hordak was clearly implied to be the supreme leader. Far less explicitly technological, the initial toys and minicomics depicting the Horde indicated a more mystical background, similar to Skeletor and his Evil Warriors. Hordak is shown to be a sorcerer of equal or greater power than Skeletor, who is just as interested in plundering the mystical treasures of Castle Grayskull as his former pupil.
As originally depicted (and manufactured as a playset), the Horde's base of operations the Fright Zone was an ancient cave-like fort. Technological elements only began to appear in later waves of Horde toys, and their accompanying minicomics depicted further discontinuities with the animated series, such as showing the legions of Horde Trooper robots as a new invention (manufactured on Eternia, no less, unlike the cartoon versions which invaded Eternia two decades ago), as well as the introduction of later cybernetic characters such as Dragstor, Mosquitor and Mantisaur. Nevertheless, Hordak's primary interest remained in magic and his place as supreme leader of the Horde remained unaltered even in the last minicomics which involved the return of the ancient structure known as The Three Towers of Eternia, something he indicated having helped to build, suggesting either time travel or near immortality on Hordak's part.
1980s cartoon Horde
In the cartoons, the Evil Horde is a vast, interstellar empire bent on the domination of various worlds across the universe. The center of the empire is called Hordeworld. The Horde was summoned to Eternia by Morgoth, a giant wizard once imprisoned by the Ancients. The Horde sent a scout ship to Eternia and its crew aided Morgoth in taking control of a few towns and villages. One of these was the home of Teela'Na. To defeat the Horde, Teela'Na was told by an old man about Castle Grayskull. Teela'Na sought Castle Grayskull and became the new Sorceress of the castle in order to defeat Morgoth and the Horde. She managed to do so, but was trapped in her position for the rest of her life (It should be noted that at this point, the members of the Horde are unnamed, but their distinctive bat insignia clearly designates them as such).
The Horde scout ship apparently managed to send a message to the Evil Horde's ultimate leader, Horde Prime, because soon, the vile Hordak and his Horde Troopers arrived in full force. While Hordak waged his war against Eternia and the city of Eternos, he took Skeletor under his wing, teaching him what he knew of dark magic. In time, the Royal Soldiers of Eternos and the magic of Castle Grayskull defeated Hordak. However, learning that King Randor and Queen Marlena's twin children both have a special destiny, Hordak and Skeletor kidnapped them. A young Man-At-Arms and Queen Marlena were able to halt the kidnapping of Prince Adam, but Princess Adora was captured. Skeletor, however, was captured by the guards. He then revealed the secret location of the Horde's lair: Snake Mountain.
Man-At-Arms and the Sorceress went to Snake Mountain, but were too late. Hordak had escaped with Princess Adora. Both were then seen on the planet of Etheria. Hordak and his minions captured many kingdoms, the last of which to fall was the kingdom of Bright Moon.
The She-Ra series is largely dedicated to the struggle of the Etherian rebels against the occupying force of the Horde. In each episode, Hordak has a new dastardly scheme to either destroy The Great Rebellion or make life worse for Etherians. Each scheme meets its demise at She-Ra's hand. The comics largely follow this overall story as well, though where the cartoon Hordak has abandoned plans to invade Eternia, save for a few occasions, in the comics he still tries. Sometimes he works with, and sometimes against, Skeletor.
The Horde has bases planet-wide though its main headquarters is Doom Tower located at the center of the Fright Zone. The Horde possesses vast resources and has a great deal of highly sophisticated technology.
21st century cartoon Horde
The Horde portrayed in the MYP He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon has much more mysterious characters. The Horde had been a menace on Eternia long before the modern day. Hordak had been the nemesis of King Grayskull. He was also an enemy of King Hiss and defeated his army of Snake Men before putting his sight back on destroying King Grayskull. Upon its final defeat the Horde was sentenced to exile in the timeless dimension of Despondos. While imprisoned, Hordak became more demonic and his power and advice could be channeled through sorcery. By invoking Hordak, Skeletor is able to cast a spell to replace his head with the familiar floating skull. When Skeletor betrays Hordak years later by refusing to release him, Evil-Lyn and Count Marzo step up to the task. However, just as Hordak is about to emerge from Despondos, He-Man stops the spell.
Weaponry of the Horde
- The Horde Trooper - a robot army of low intelligence. Each Trooper carries a wand-like device that stuns its opponents. (Although generally presented as robots, a few occasions suggest that they are humans wearing robotic armor)
- Dylamug, in function a larger, more powerful and intelligent Trooper.
- The Evil Horde Slime Pit - A torture chamber of sorts, where the victim is bound to a wall by a bony claw. A vat of slime is then dumped from a large dinosaur skull onto the action figure's head, coating them in the ooze. According to the packaging, and a minicomic entitled "Escape from the Slime Pit", the slime has the ability to transform the victims into mindless slime zombies, who are totally loyal to Hordak.
- Batmex - Unmanned aircraft armed with stun cannons.
- Annihilator - A manned flying craft used for troop transport and many other functions, including annihilation.
- Destructo Tanks - The Horde used these weapons to intimidate and destroy enemies.
- Mantisaur - A giant robot praying mantis.
Members of the Horde
- Horde Prime
- Keldor/Skeletor (Betrayed Hordak and The Evil Horde)
- Force Captain Adora (Later became She-Ra and turned against the Horde)
- Shadow Weaver
- Tung Lashor
- Admiral Scurvy
- Colonel Blast
- False Face
- Prince Zed
- Evil Robot (unproduced)