General Skun-ka'pe is a power-mad alien space gorilla who is the main antagonist of the first episode of Season Three, The Penal Zone. He is also a major antagonist in They Stole Max's Brain!, a minor character in Beyond the Alley of the Dolls and a major antagonist of The City That Dares Not Sleep. His real name is Arthur J. Thompson.
General Skun-ka'pe, Master of the Toys was originally a fictional creation who was the main character of space gorilla Arthur J. Thompson's favorite comic series. Throughout his life, the young Arthur spends a lot of time reading comics and dreams about becoming the real Master of the Toys, which gets him in trouble at home and at school, and later gets him fired from his job at a factory.
Enraged, he causes the factory to start breaking down and gets into an accident getting a metal ring stuck in his head. This gives him great psychic powers he uses to change his appearance to resemble that of the Skun-ka'pe character from the comics, and he garters his fellow space gorillas to form an army. At that point he is confronted with his dream again and decides to fulfill it: he becomes General Skun-ka'pe and scours the galaxy for powerful psychic toys. Next stop: Earth. While the Secret Origins: Skun'kape short is canon the creators say the events in the short will never be addressed again.
Role and ReferencesEdit
Skun-ka'pe is a notorious intergalactic criminal, using his thugs to get what he's after and routinely capturing people to use for his own purposes. He has been going after the Toys of Power for many years, in which he managed to get his hands on three of them. Intergalactic law enforcement has at one point managed to trap him in the prison dimension called the Penal Zone, but somehow he escaped. Also, Skun'ka-pe and all of his minions are apparently impervious to earth bullets; in fact, when Sam (in the future vision) shoots Skun'ka-pe, he barely even notices that he was shot.
Skun-ka'pe also has a strong obsession with Stinky whom he wants to make his queen. He abducts her unwillingly in the Penal Zone and she agrees to be his queen when Sam and Max suggest that she will have his spaceship. Later on, in the City that Dares not Sleep, Skun-ka'pe abducts Stinky again after Sal is eaten by a giant Max. Skun-ka'pe agrees to help Stinky with her scheme to kill Grandpa Stinky but in the end, he fails Stinky when he is tricked and takes her on board his spaceship to leave the planet and find another diner to take over.
In The Penal Zone, the introductory scene finds Sam and Max captured on General Skun-ka'pe's Flagship. Using the rhinoplasty, mind-reading and teleportation toys, as well as some help from Gordon the Brain, Sam and Max manage to get the homing beacon on him and turn on the switch for the teleporter; Skun'ka-pe's imenssive strength keeps him from going; but the rhinoplasty toy lets Max turn into a bazooka, easily firing him into the zone.
This is all revealed to be a vision of the future; Max was simply using his "Eyes of Yog-Soggoth" "Future Vision" power. Later, Skun-ka'pe's ship lands on Sybil's building destroying it. He claims to be peaceful and simply searching for free trade. He later disappers when he finds Gordon revived; eventually, he is tracked down when at the toy store, where he kidnaps Sam and Max. However, Skun'ka-pe has already seen the future vision Sam and Max saw earlier; now he has used that knowledge to his advantage to steal their toys (excluding the telportation). Ironically, Skun-ka'pe successfully traps Sam and Max in the penal zone; but Max's teleportation power easily lets them escape. Using a "dimensional destabilizer" Sam and Max trap Skun-ka'pe in a mole basement, from which he still manages to avoid being thrown in the zone with his strength; however, when he is tempted to release all his strength to take a paddle-ball (which Sam and Max claim is a toy), he is trapped.
While Max is watching the final reel of the movie in The Tomb of Sammun-Mak while Sam takes a bathroom break, Anton Papierwaite (offscreen) steals the Devil's Toybox; this free's Skun-ka'pe, and before Sam returns from his bathroom break, Skun-ka'pe steals Max's brain. Skun-ka'pe and Papierwaite then fight over each other's stolen items across the city, including in front of the Sign Spinner, Frankie and Hubert Q Tourist. They eventually begin fighting at the Museum of Mostly Natural History, while using Max's brain to attract the Toys of Power all across the galaxy.
In They Stole Max's Brain!, Sam discovers that Max's brain was stolen. Eventually, after interrogating Frankie, Hubert and the ex-minion, he locates Skun-ka'pe and Papierwaite. When both of them realize how much they despise him, they create an alliance to team against him. It is also revealed that Skun-ka'pe actually spent years in the penal zone (compared to the hours it was in the real world) due to how time works differently there. He also notes that he holds a hatred against Papierwaite and his employee. while talking with Max as a brain.
After Sam places Sammun-Mak's 6000-year old brain into Max's body, they both successfully botch Papierwaite's and Skun-ka'pe's relationship by destroying Sal and Papierwaite's Yog-Soggoth tapestry. Unfortunately, while they both are fighting, Sammun-Mak steals the Devil's Toybox. When Sammun-Mak then reshapes reality, he turns Skun-ka'pe into a gladiator to battle convicts to the death. According to Frankie and his betting buddies, he has six signature moves he uses to defeat his opponents. Additionally, he is defeated while battling Sam. He is saved from this alternate reality when Sam and Max defeat Sammun-Mak.
In Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, he has gone into a depression after Sam knocked him out, and also because of all the Samulacras that were surrounding him. He eventually snaps out of it, as he does not want the clones to get his last Toy of Power (The Mind-reading Playing cards). Saying this however encourages the clones to grab him and drag him out to the street, allowing Sam and Max to take the toy.
In The City that Dares Not Sleep he is reunited with Girl Stinky (leaving Sammun-Mak and Gra-pea'pe at his ship and attempts to help her with her plan to kill Grandpa Stinky at the Cloning Chamber, which is to swap the brains of Gra-pea'pe (one of Skun-ka'pe's minions) and Grandpa Stinky, to trick Flint Paper into killing Grandpa. He is eventually thwarted by Sam when he tricks Skun-ka'pe into thinking a rock is the chest of the Toys of Power. Completely defeated in all of his plans, Skun-ka'pe retreats to space in his ship, taking Girl Stinky and the brain of Sammun-Mak with him. The ship (and it's inhabitants) is eventually destroyed when the transformed Max teleports to the mothership just as the nuclear warhead implanted inside him goes off.
Considering Sam and Max's trip to Hell in What's new, Beelzebub? as well as Skun'ka-pe's consistent persistence, it is plausible this will not be the last we see of Skun-ka'pe.
Roger L. Jackson