He-Man is a hero character featured in the Masters of the Universe franchise. In most variations of the franchise, he is the alter ego of Prince Adam and also the twin brother of She-Ra. He-Man and his friends defend Eternia and the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil forces of Skeletor.
In the illustrated books released with the first series of toys , He-Man is a barbarian from an Eternia tribe. The planet's inhabitants are dealing with the aftermath of the Great Wars, which devastated the civilizations that once ruled supreme over all lesser beings. The Wars left behind advanced machinery and weaponry known only to select people. An early incarnation of the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull gives He-Man some of these weapons, and he sets out to defend the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil villain Skeletor. He-Man possesses one half of the Power Sword; the second half is possessed by Skeletor, who uses it as his main weapon. When joined, the two halves of the Power Sword will provide the key to Castle Grayskull. This is why the two figures' swords could combine into one sword, when the action figures were initially released. In one early illustrated story, He-Man and Skeletor actually united their two Power Sword halves to form the true Power Sword in order to defeat a common enemy.
By the time the animated series was being developed, He-Man's origins had been revised as follows: his true identity is Prince Adam of Eternia, son of King Randor and Queen Marlena who rule the planet of Eternia along with Adam and the rest of their inner circle. The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull endows Prince Adam with the power to transform into He-Man, which Adam does by raising his Power Sword and proclaiming: "By the power of Grayskull." Once the transformation is complete, he continues "I have the power!"
Prince Adam's pet is a cowardly green tiger named Cringer. When Adam becomes He-Man, he similarly transforms Cringer into a brave armored green tiger named Battle Cat by pointing his sword at him- an ability Adam discovered accidentally the first time he turned into He-Man; Cringer, naturally, cowered in fear at seeing what Adam had become and while reassuring him that nothing had really changed, Adam pointed the sword at Cringer, which sent a bolt of energy toward the tiger and transformed him. Battle Cat serves as He-Man's steed and fierce fighting companion.
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