One of the first He-Man reveals from San Diego Comic-Con (because he was leaked on eBay) was Nepthu, part of the Filmation subscription. And… he looks kinda plain. I remember hearing about his episode way back in the early 2000s (I think it was on X-Entertainment. Or Agony Booth. Google it yourself), so I actually knew who the guy was, but he is kind of obscure. And let’s face it, if you’re in this cartoon and you aren’t He-Man or Skeletor, you are obscure. So hey, let’s look this guy up! His episode is titled Temple of the Sun.
When the episode opens, it’s in the middle of a desert, with an emaciated, bedraggled, dying man crawling his way through, looking for something. And finding it within seconds – the Temple of the Sun! He goes inside these ancient ruins by pressing an electronic switch, and then searches until he finds an artifact called “The Scarab,” which is actually an Ankh. This is like calling a Crucifix a Star of David, people! But yeah, starving old man holds up scarab, says a few words, and gets the powers of the Temple of the Sun, transforming into Nepthu! Say… does this make him kind of a parallel to He-Man? Actually, no, he says he wants to take over the universe. Oh, well…
Back at the palace, Adam is lounging around in his pink tights after sending Orko off alone to set up a special communications system with Castle Grayskull. His murder attempt fails, as Orko makes it safely, and the communicator is set up. But then CRISIS STRIKES, as Nepthu conjures a tornado, mutates some scorpions, and then kidnaps the Sorceress in falcon form because he wanted a pet. Clearly he is the most responsible person to ever have such power.
Meanwhile, the heroes continue just messing and fumbling around for a while before the Sorceress just calls Adam for help. While they’re tripping over hurdles and tumbling around, Nepthu built a throne. But anyway, the Sorceress tells everybody where to go, and Adam decides to become He-Man! After a long, protracted argument with Cringer (meanwhile, Nepthu has probably enslaved three countries and mutated some fish), He-Man gives in and takes Cringer along… without turning him into Battle Cat. So that’s the second time he’s tried to murder the comic relief through inaction.
Oh yeah, and Nepthu built an army of sand monsters. Anyway, as the heroes slowly trudge through the desert, He-Man has to ask the Sorceress for directions again, but can’t reach her. Which doesn’t matter, as they just run into the temple. He-Man first runs into the tornado Nepthu summoned, and takes it on by whirling in the opposite direction until he can throw it into space, and I just wrote that sentence!
Cringer whines, and He-Man turns him into Battle Cat. With that done and over with, He-Man’s next challenge is the giant scorpion! And he fights it by… rubbing his hands on the sand, melting it into glass with friction, and then blocking the thing off. Usually he just punches things.
And so, as He-Man and Man-At-Arms try to find their way into the temple, Nepthu makes a bigger army, and the Sorceress almost escapes on her own. So he turns her to crystal, which probably distressed most of the kids watching the show.
Oh yeah, and He-Man enters the temple by just punching through the wall. And they finally meet! Nepthu brags about his power, while He-Man just rolls his eyes and sasses him.
Nepthu brings out his sand army, and all looks lost until the Sorceress contacts He-Man (how?), and reminds him that, y’know, he can punch. So he does! Seriously, He-Man just squashes the whole army pretty much immediately. So Nepthu summons more sand monsters, with the same result. Then he just tries shooting He-Man with his scarab, which actually works until Man-At-Arms steals it. With a noose. And a slide whistle effect. Well, so much for that.
he-Man points out that Nepthu had made some really silly life decisions, and breaks the scarab, which restores everybody and everything to normal, and Nepthu to a poor, sad old man. But all is not lost! The Sorceress fixes the Scarab, takes it for herself, and employs Nepthu as her gardener. He looks happy… well, happy enough.
So that’s Nepthu! And actually, the episode wasn’t that bad. It was just about as silly as everything else in the cartoon, but the villain made it fairly interesting. Now you know who he is, so it’s up to you if you want the figure or not!