Origin #1 (Mini-Comics):
Origin #2 (Filmation):
In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Filmation, the portrayal of Man-E-Faces is somewhat changed. Rather than being cursed with a split personality, he is an actor who uses his alternate faces primarily for the purpose of playing roles on stage. He is also able to change to numerous other faces alongside his robot and monster faces. This change to his character is probably made in order to make his character less dark and therefore more suitable for the younger audience the show was aimed at.
He is given an origin episode early in the series, in the episode "The Mystery of Man-E-Faces". This episode reveals that he was originally a villain who terrorized others with his faces, but not so much out of evil desires as personal insecurity and basic survival needs. He was an outcast feared by virtually everyone for his ability to change his face, which in turn made him "cold and cruel" and so he began to abuse others out of resentment for mistreating him and to compensate for his personal crisis. He was captured by Skeletor, who intended to recruit him as a henchman, but as he was not really evil he had no desire to join Skeletor and was forced into fighting He-Man against his will when his monster face was controlled by Beast Man's power. He-Man believed that Man-E-Faces was not a villain, and the Sorceress agreed, so with urging from He-Man, the Sorceress used her magic to help Man-E-Faces overcome Skeletor's influence. Grateful for their help, he returned the favor by helping to thwart Skeletor's attack on Castle Grayskull and, after telling them his story, feeling he had at last found the friendship and kindness he needed, he joined the Royal court as an actor.
Origin #3 (200X MYP Series):
In the 200X, Man-E-Faces was already a member of the Masters, when He-Man was born. It is made mention in the 200X Cartoon Series, that he has an aunt, named Countess Betsy.
Man-E-Faces is featured in the 2002 relaunch of the Masters of the Universe toy line, and its accompanying cartoon series. His character was substantially developed from the old version, he is depicted as part of the regular team of warriors who aid He-Man and his appearances are significantly more frequent. Although the new series stuck with Filmation's portrayal of him, as an actor who uses his faces for roles, albeit sticking with his standard robot and monster faces rather than any extra ones, the writers developed him by giving him the ability of using his different faces for different techniques useful in battle. His monster face provides him with extra courage and strength, while his robot face provides him with extra intelligence and the ability to scan people and objects for important data. He is frequently referred to as 'Man-E-Robot' or 'Man-E-Monster' when using these faces. He is given a mace as a weapon, which he uses as Man-E-Faces and Man-E-Monster, but can change into a blaster when he becomes Man-E-Robot. The episode "The Monster Within" gives him a split personality complex reminiscent of the original concept behind the character. This episode features his monster face falling under Beast Man's power over animals and attacking his fellow Masters. He subsequently feels guilty about what his weakness under Beast Man's powers has caused him to do and announces he will never play the role of the monster again. However, he later helps He-Man win the day by battling through the monster side of his personality and retaining touch with his true self when Beast Man next attempts to put the monster under his power, using his acting skills to trick Beast Man into thinking he has succeeded, before fending off the Evil Warriors.
The new series also portrays him as a chess champion when using his robot face, and he seems to be best friends with Ram-Man, possibly influenced by the old episode "The Shadow of Skeletor" in which they declare themselves best friends.
Origin #4 (MOTUC Bios):
Perhaps the greatest actor on Eternia, Perkaedo, the Master of Disguise, performed before King Randor and Queen Marlena at Prince Adam's 18th birthday celebration. It was here that he drank a magic potion, created by Skeletor, that transformed him into a terrible monster with great strength loyal only to evil. With the help of He-Man and the Sorceress, Perkaedo was cured from this transformation, but the process left him forever split between not just two, but three personalities. He now uses his powers to protect justice in his greatest role, as Man-E-Faces, the man who is three warriors in one--fighting as a human, robot, or monster.
Trivia (Clawful94): Man-E-Faces is voiced by Lou Scheimer in the Filmation Cartoon and Paul Dobson voiced Man-E-Faces in the 200X Cartoons. Kerstin was his daughter in the German Audio Plays.
MOTU Filmation Cartoon Appearances:
MOTU Filmation Cartoon Special Appearances:
MOTU Cartoon MYP 200X Appearances: