The “trouble” He-Man is smelling in this 1985 Golden Book is a skunk-man who smells so pervasively of ass that he has to wear a special mask to filter out his own wretched stench. His name pretty much sums up how I feel about the entire MOTU franchise: Stinkor.
Animals flee before him! Birds fall choking from the sky! Villages evacuate! Forests wilt! And yet he gets super upset when Skeletor boots him out of Snake Mountain for rendering the air unbreathable.
Take a good whiff of the obvious, Stinkor. As we’ve established, not even you can stomach the smell you’re bringing, so unless you’re passing out free masks, GTFO and take a long walk into a deep cave.
I’ve only included three pages from the book because, honestly, it doesn’t get any better than: “I never want to smell you again!”, and, “Stinkor, you smell terribly even when you haven’t fired the stink-ray.”
If you’re so inclined, and you probably are, you can read the entire thing at He-Man.org.
It defies belief, but Stinkor first appeared as an official line action figure. The “Evil Master of Odors” emitted an honest to God unpleasant scent, achieved by mixing the plastic with patchouli oil (an atrocious substance the hippies at my high school wore) in the molding process.
Can’t you just hear the conversation in Toys “R” Us?
KID: “Mom, can I get this buff skunk guy? He really smells!”
MOM: “Sure, son, go ahead and get two. Your dad and I just love spending all our money on asinine toys that make our house smell like a toilet.”
The figure came with a minicomic called The Stench of Evil!. I read that too. Here are my favorite lines:
“Yes! Yes! I revel in all that is foul!”
“Then let us take the smell of evil to Eternia!”
“That smell – it’s worse than a hundred skunks!”
“If only I can hold my breath long enough to strike!”
“What is perfume to us is poison to Stinkor!”
Nerds of a certain age might be interested in one more little detail. The illustrations for He-Man Smells Trouble are by Jim Holloway and Harry Quinn. Holloway got his start in the Golden Age of D&D (see some of his classic work here) and quickly became a legend in the gaming art world. Harry Quinn also worked on a number of early D&D modules, as well as TSR’s popular Endless Quest series.
All images via He-Man.org