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- “Summon every Skylander from the far corners of this world to stand before my might and be broken! I am Malefor! And I am magnificent!”
- —Malefor, Return of the Dragon King
Malefor is the self-crowned Undead Dragon King in the underworld of Skylands. Prior to his debut, he was the one who corrupted Cynder into doing his evil bidding and attempted to capture Hex to learn the secrets of her powers.
When IDW comic writer, David Rodriguez, first started working on the Skylanders franchise, he read all the backstories of the Skylanders and believed it was really interesting that Spyro, Cynder and Hex each had a common thing in their past. When the Skylanders IDW comic series first started, comic editor David Hedgecock wanted to know if IDW had any ideas for something big as the first 3-part comic story arc. Rodriguez pitched Hedgecock the idea of Malefor and the team at Activision began working with the story arc. Eight or nine months later, the supervillain Malefor was born.
It was a huge responsibility for David Rodriguez and co-writer Ron Marz to bring Malefor back, as they and IDW were given free reign by Activision to resurrect Malefor and make him as "awesome as possible". Having played the original Spyro games, David had to gain research from previous Spyro games to create fiction around Malefor's return. This was accomplished with the help of one of the producers of the Skylanders franchise and The Legend of Spyro series, Michael Graham, who also had worked on the Spyro games for years.
Fico Ossio, IDW comic artist of Skylanders, used references of Malefor's design from The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon to help him create Malefor's redesign. He equipped the character with armor and a steam punk vibe, achieving this according to the concept given to him by Activision and IDW.
Unlike most villains in the Skylanders series, as his name represents, Malefor is considered the most malevolent, rarely possessing any comedic elements. Because of his fearsome reputation, Malefor is described as one of the most dangerous creatures to ever walked the Skylands. He is arrogant, malicious, vengeful and cruel; a prime example of his evil nature was when he chose to spare Spyro, Cynder and Hex (the three very Skylanders who caused Malefor more pain and fustration than anyone else) just to make them suffer by using their own powers to destroy everything they have accomplished and everyone they care about.
Malefor's notable trait is his arrogance. He thinks very highly of himself, boasting about his superiority, immense power and ultimately crowning himself the Undead Dragon King. He wants to conquer Skylands simply because he believes he is the only one fit to rule it. The thought of anyone having a higher status above his own would mean accepting that he isn't what he claims to be, which doesn't sit well for Malefor, prompting him to not stop until he is crowned the greatest and most powerful of them all. His methods are manipulative and sinister, as he corrupts the inhabitants of Skylands and tricks others to carry out his evil ends.
This evil dragon is one who doesn't take defeat very well, as failure and those that stand in his way are simply minor setbacks and obstacles to his goal. Despite the odds against him, Malefor will refuse to accept defeat in the midst of battle. A cowardly side to his personality is displayed when Malefor is on the verge of defeat, when he cannot fight the inevitable, driving him to the point of pleading for help.
Partly living up to his self-crowned title, Malefor wields Undead magic. With it, he can corrupt the minds of individuals, turning them into minions made to do his bidding. Like most dragons, he is able to fly and breath fire. Before Hex defeated him for the first time, Malefor was strong enough to battle against the powerful sorceress at a draw. Being a magical purple dragon, Malefor is capable of harnessing the powers of the elements of Skylands, although he has only shown his Fire-breathing ability in the comics.
After his defeat at the hands of Hex, Malefor lost most of his body and was patched back together. He is now protected by his steampunk armor, which stores magical energy that makes him even stronger than he used to be, but it was also needed for Malefor to leave the Underworld. His tail is now a mechanical weapon, which allows Malefor to extend it and use like a whip and deliver devastating blows; however, the tail-whip also creates a blind spot, as he can no longer feel it even if it's grabbed onto.
He once possessed a magical crystal made by Calliope that stole the powers of the Skylanders he defeated. When enhanced by the powers of Skylanders, Malefor can be an even more powerful opponent, having the strength to hold his own against a large group of them, including the powerful Giants, and defeat them with relative ease. In this state, he possesses nigh-invulnerability, as the combined efforts of most of the Skylanders did little to no harm on Malefor nor his armor, and only the Dread-Yacht crashing over the dragon could significantly damage him.
In his character sheet, he is shown releasing intoxicating smoke from his chestplate's vents, though this ability has yet to be shown in action.
It was said that Malefor lurked in the shadows of the Underworld for centuries, crowning himself the Undead Dragon King and corrupting the inhabitants of Skylands into his servants to carry out his bidding. The evil dragon played a sinister role in the histories of both Hex and Cynder, two Undead Skylanders. When his minions stole Cynder's egg, Malefor was the one who raised and trained her in the ways of evil, darkness, and undead magic. His evil influence was what caused Cynder to spread fear throughout the land for years until Spyro finally defeated her, freeing Cynder from Malefor's control.
Sometime after losing Cynder to the Skylanders, Malefor set his sights on a powerful sorceress named Hex and sought to capture her to learn the secrets of her powers and use them for his own evil ends. In response to being hunted, Hex confronted the Undead Dragon King in the underworld depths, and after a lengthy battle, she successfully defeated Malefor, nearly destroying him. It was believed that the evil dragon was finished off for good, but in reality he went into hiding to recover from the injuries he received from his battle with Hex. During the years of his recovery, Malefor plotted for revenge on those who wronged him. A suit of steampunk armor was built to help patch his battered body together, giving him mechanical wings and a tail in place of the ones he had lost. This not only helped Malefor recover, but also provided him to use his armor for protection and as a weapon for future use.
After centuries of lurking in the caves of the Cadaverous Crypts as a shadow of his former self, Malefor came to a distressed fairy named Calliope before she went to the Skylanders, and struck a deal with her that he would help the fairy find her lost family if she did what the Dragon King wanted. Calliope agreed to the deal, and the evil dragon ordered the fairy to steal the powers of Spyro, Cynder and Hex, unaware of the dark intentions Malefor had planned.
Return of the Dragon King
Calliope managed to succeed in fulfilling her part of the bargain, but was pursued by Spyro, Hex, Cynder and Wallop soon after they discovered her actions. Upon reaching the depths of Cadaverous Crypts where Malefor laid, Calliope hesitated on shattering the crystal to release the powers of the Skylanders as doing so will make them helpless. Malefor furiously ordered the fairy to do the deed, or she would face the consequences for disobeying him. Calliope reluctantly obeyed and released the powers of the Skylanders from the crystal, which were then absorbed by Malefor, allowing him to be revived and fuel his armor strong enough for him to fully leave The Underworld. Almost immediately, the evil dragon unleashed a devastating fire breath upon Spyro, Cynder, Hex and Wallop, knocking them unconscious before announcing his return.
After subduing his targets, Malefor imprisoned Spyro, Cynder, Hex and Wallop within the Crypts. The Undead Dragon King then ordered Calliope to create a crystal for him to absorb the powers of Skylanders and put the fairy in charge to guard his prisoners before he left. After a tense exchange in conversation, Calliope revealed that Malefor spared Spyro, Cynder and Hex because he wanted them to suffer as they were the ones who caused him more pain and fustration than anyone else in Skylands. As part of his scheme upon his resurrection, Malefor planned to destroy everything the three Skylanders knew and loved using their powers, starting with the Skylanders Academy, much to their horror. Upon this realization, Malefor was already on his way to launch an attack on the school, intending to build a stronghold in its place before he begins his rule over all of Skylands.
The evil dragon was met by forty Skylanders who were summoned to protect the Academy. Despite their best efforts, Malefor's power overwhelmed the Skylanders, including the powerful Giants, allowing the evil dragon to absorb their powers with his crystal to make himself more powerful. He eventually breached the Academy's defenses with a single strike of his tail, partially stealing the powers of the remaining Skylanders before being confronted by the spirit of Master Eon. Malefor only laughed at Eon's threat, believing that there was nothing the Portal Master can do to stop the dragon from claiming what was rightfully "his". He was proven wrong when Spyro, Cynder, and Hex arrived after they were freed from the caves by Flynn and Mags. As the three Skylanders declared a fight, Malefor accepted the challenge, willing to fight his adversaries to the bitter end.
Despite knowing that Spyro, Hex, and Cynder were weakened without their powers, Malefor realized too late that he had neglected to steal Wallop's powers, allowing the Skylanders to have a slight advantage. After being struck heavily by Wallop's Traptanium Hammer, Malefor grew enraged and chased after the Skylanders around the Academy, only to fall into a trap set by Spyro. Although he was trapped in Mags' Atomic Gumballs and had the Dread-Yacht crashed into him by Hex, Malefor was able to withstand the blow with his armor only being slightly damaged. Directing his fury to Spyro, the evil dragon angrily cursed the young dragon for his repeated interference in the Dragon King's plans, instilling confusion among the heroes as Spyro never fought the evil dragon before and Hex was the one known for having defeated Malefor in the past.
Spyro, Cynder, Hex and Wallop soon engaged Malefor again head-on, but were easily knocked aside despite their best efforts. With a hint from Calliope on Malefor's weakpoint, the Skylanders were able to shatter the evil dragon's chestplate on his armor that contained his power-draining crystal. Spyro used his firebreath on the crystal, shattering it and restoring the Skylanders their powers and strength. However Malefor wasn't defeated yet, proclaiming that he still had enough power to defeat the Skylanders. Noticing Calliope's part in helping his enemies, the evil dragon angrily demanded to the fairy how she would ever find her family without his help, reminding the fairy of their deal.
As Calliope responded that she would get help from her friends in her search for her family, the Dread-Yacht's anchor was tied to Malefor's tail by the other Skylanders. The damaged vessel was then hammered over the edge of the island by Wallop, slowly pulling Malefor down with it. The evil dragon struggled to fight against his fate, pleading to Calliope to help him in exchange for anything she wanted, even sending her back to her family. Calliope refused, only wanting to never see Malefor again, leaving the evil dragon to be pulled over the edge and plummet to parts unknown, away from Skylands.
Malefor is aware that the young dragon is arrogant, but not a fool. His anger is mostly directed towards Spyro, as he claims to have battled the young purple dragon before, but the Skylander has no memory of such an event.
When his minions stole Cynder's egg, Malefor brought her up as his own black-hearted daughter and trained her to strike fear into the hearts of his subjects. He used Cynder to terrorize Skylands until she was defeated by Spyro, who freed her from Malefor's spell. As Cynder became part of the Skylanders to fight for good, she became one of the three Skylanders that brought Malefor more pain and fustration than anyone else.
Malefor had initially heard about Hex's powerful spell-casting abilities and plotted to kidnap her to learn about her secrets. After making several attempts to capture Hex through his minions, his actions forced the elven sorceress to confront Malefor in his own domain, where she battled and defeated the evil dragon in single combat. The battle left Malefor terribly wounded, causing him to greatly despise Hex for what she did.
Seeing Calliope in distress in trying to find her lost family, Malefor offered to help the fairy. However he saw Calliope as an unwitting pawn in his plan to get revenge on his enemies and rule Skylands as its king. Once Calliope did her part of the deal, Malefor immediately went on to fulfilling his own evil deeds instead of helping the fairy straight away. This would prove to be his downfall, as Calliope would later realize the error of what she had done and help the Skylanders defeat Malefor. When Malefor was being pulled down to the abyss, he desperately pleaded for Calliope's help only for her to refuse and allow Malefor to suffer his defeat.
As he is the self-proclaimed Lord of the Undead, Malefor is convinced that Master Eon, a Portal Master, has no power over him. When Eon threatened Malefor, the evil dragon wasn't intimidated by the Portal Master's show of power and merely laughed at his demands to leave the Skylanders Academy.
- Malefor originated from The Legend of Spyro reboot, where he is depicted as an evil purple dragon of prophecy.
- His appearance before his battle with Hex is similar to his Legend of Spyro counterpart's.
- While breathing fire on the shielded Skylanders, several flaming skulls can be seen in the stream of fire. This is a result of Malefor absorbing a portion of Hex's power.
- He was designed by Skylanders IDW Comic Artist Fico Ossio.
- Malefor lost his wings, tail and portions of his body as a result of his defeat at the hands of Hex.
- He makes a cameo as a rare Skystone in Skylanders: SuperChargers. He is a prize in the second round of the Skystones Gauntlet in the Ridepocalypse Demo Derby.
- The Collector has two cursed Malefor Skystones on display in her garden.
- According to Malefor, Spyro had fought him before. However Spyro has no memory of directly facing Malefor prior to events of the Return of the Dragon King story arc, something which Master Eon hints that Spyro's memories before arriving in Skylands are somewhat fractured.
- In the comics, Malefor is the only character with black speech bubbles.
- Due to his tail being fully mechanical, Malefor is unable to feel anyone grabbing hold of it. This can be considered a weakness, as the Skylanders were easily able to grab hold of Malefor's tail more than once without him realizing it.
- In the story summary on the hardcover of Return of the Dragon King, Malefor is stated to be the first purple dragon. However, the comic doesn't mention Malefor's purple dragon heritage. The comic writer, David Rodriguez, noted that there was so much going on in Return of the Dragon King that they thought it'd be best to keep the main arc of Malefor's return and revenge streamlined, barely being able to fit it in the book. The main reason the 'first purple dragon' detail was mentioned on the graphic novel description was so that fans would know that the team was officially bringing Malefor into the Skylanders universe.
- His heritage as the first purple dragon is a reference to his Legend of Spyro counterpart's origins as the first purple dragon ever born.
- According to Com2us's Dev Blog on August 2018, Malefor was to make his first full Skylanders game appearance in Skylanders: Ring of Heroes. This did not happen in the first version of the game.
- Malefor Q&A
- Fico Ossio's deviantart.com upload on Malefor redesign
- Skylanders: Return of the Dragon King