King Man (formerly known as Normal Man and Magic Man, or Mysterious Man) is a recurring character in the series Adventure Time. He is a Martian who was banished to Earth for 200 years before the series. Normal Man is the main antagonist of the episodes "Freak City," "Sons of Mars," and "Time Sandwich."
King Man is a Martian who has green skin. His eyes are white, like the Ice King's eyes. As Magic Man, he wears a red backpack with orange and green straps; the backpack has a rolled up pink blanket on top of it. He also has a pouch strapped to his leg. While disguised as a beggar, he covers himself with a tattered brown blanket that hides his features. He is one of few characters with a nose. King Man is smiling constantly when not in his beggar outfit. In "Freak City" he is shown to be bald under his hat but appears to have orange/red hair under his hat in "You Forgot Your Floaties."
As Magic Man, he was banished to Earth by Grob Gob Glob Grod for his crimes against the inhabitants of Mars. Instead of turning his life around as they planned, he acted like a jerk for 200 years. According to Abraham Lincoln, Magic Man could have returned to Mars any time he wanted via the Martian transporter if he had just learned to value other people again, but he instead chose to be a jerk to the people of Ooo. He lives in a filthy house that Finn theorizes represents his chaotic, tormented psyche, where he previously kept a Tiny Manticore in a bottle. In the episode, Magic Man Man holds up a picture with him and Margles together.
Abraham Lincoln mentions that Magic Man used to be "really cool" until the night that he and Margles spent on Olympus Mons, the largest mountain/volcano in the solar system. This event was depicted in Jesse Moynihan's promotional artwork for the episode "Sons of Mars," and later shown in the episode "You Forgot Your Floaties," which shows how that tragedy caused Magic Man's behavior to change dramatically. At one point, Normal Man claims that his transporter (which works by thinking of a loved one) has been broken for 200 years, but seeing as Finn was able to use the Martian transporter by thinking about Jake, it seems Normal Man has neglected to form any emotional attachments since Margles' death. This is confirmed when he is able to use the transporter while thinking about Glob in "Normal Man."
After Grob Gob Glob Grod's apparent destruction in "Astral Plane," Magic Man attempted to steal his residual powers with help from Betty Grof in "You Forgot Your Floaties." While their minds were connected, Betty experienced the origin of Magic Man's madness/jerkiness, but thanks to a magically shape-shifted Finn and Jake interrupting the process, Betty wound up receiving Magic Man's powers and madness, leaving Magic Man as "Normal Man."
In "Normal Man," he uses Tiny Manticore to retrieve Glob's floating orb-head from orbit, with plans to retrieve the others and send them back to Mars to rule. After Tiny Manticore rebels, Normal Man seeks Finn and Jake's help for rescuing his brother. In the end, Glob realizes that Normal Man has started to recover from his madness and disrupts the transportation process so that he can go back to being in orbit with the other heads, while Normal Man returns to Mars and begins to try to help rebuild the civilization and make amends for being a jerk.
In the end of "Skyhooks II," he is seen by Betty Grof, who had been accidentally teleported to Mars due to Ice King accidentally messing up her time travel spell, sitting on the throne that Abraham Lincoln once used. He is revealed to be "King Man," the new ruler of Mars in "Temple of Mars."
In "Temple of Mars" that he is trying to cure Betty's obsession of curing the Ice King of the influence of the crown and reverting him to Simon Petrikov. Despite his attempts, Betty's obsession is not cured and she became only more motivated. She then told him about her plan to both cure Simon and retrieve Margles back from the maw of GOLB.
In the series finale "Come Along With Me," he and Betty are seen chanting some sort of spell on a magic carpet, with Betty linked to Maja with a jumper cable. It is later revealed that they were in the process of summoning GOLB to Ooo. King Man quickly realized that summoning GOLB was a mistake, as he will bring only destruction. King Man approached Ice King, hoping he will get Betty to stop trying to harness GOLB's power. Alongside many others, King Man took part in BMO's Time Adventure song to defeat GOLB.
After GOLB's defeat, King Man is seen in his office on Mars and he looks at a picture of him and Margles on his desk.
As Magic Man, King Man was mischievous and enjoyed inflicting misery on the people around him. This is first shown in "Freak City," where he poses as a homeless man to travelers, begging for food. If someone gives anything to him, he does them "a mystical magical favor" by turning them into mutated freaks resembling body parts. Other cases of his pranks include forcing Finn and Jake to experience the food chain by turning them into different organisms and injecting Jake with a sleep-inducing substance to send him to Jake World.
Magic Man freely admits his wrongdoings and states that he is a gaudy and jolly soul who is out to teach a "magical life lesson" that he is a jerk. Magic Man demonstrates this when he goes out of his way to fight and taunt the freaks so that they can riddle out his lesson. He rejects Finn's interpretations that his pranks send a message about teamwork, confidence, or charity. He returns the freaks to their normal selves only when Finn states that Magic Man is a jerk and that he should have never helped him to begin with. After this, Magic Man teleports away, in the end, to find more "sissy do-gooders" to transform into freaks.
Magic Man is apathetic and refuses to take responsibility for his actions as seen in "Sons of Mars." When Grob Gob Glob Grod come to arrest him for his past crimes on Mars, Magic Man avoids capture by morphing Jake's body into his own and morphing his own body into Jake's, resulting in the former being taken to Mars. After Finn demands that he take them to Mars, Magic Man takes him to his house, where he shows Finn his machine. After Jake dies, the rest of Magic Man's magic returns to him, and he merely proclaims that he has won.
In "Time Sandwich," he shows that he enjoys speaking riddles when he traumatizes Jake by stealing his delicious sandwich. Magic Man tells Jake the only way to get the sandwich back is to decipher his riddle:
When your face shows 7:20,
When green leaves turn brown,
The only way forward is down.
Then, you'll see, the wetter, the better.
Which Jake complains is more like word play than a riddle. After this, he puts himself in a time bubble to slow down the experience of eating it. After many false starts, Jake and friends finally smash the bubble and attack Magic Man. Whether he explained the time bubble's weakness due to overconfidence or just for his amusement is unknown.
Once the magic was drained from him, King Man became considerably less jerky, and expressed regret at his past actions, though he was still uncertain as to how to best go about this.
As Magic Man, King Man possessed a large amount of magical power. He has demonstrated the ability to teleport and transform objects and creatures with ease. In "All the Little People," Normal Man reveals that he has the ability to bestow sentience upon inanimate objects as seen by the Little People. Normal Man is also able to create a large time bubble that can slow down movement and sensations as seen in "Time Sandwich."
Despite his abilities, King Man never fights or takes aggressive action against his opponents, taking far more pleasure in making their life as miserable as possible instead. However, he seems to be adept at defending himself in combat. He protected himself from Gork's lava blasts by conjuring portals and redirecting it behind him. He was also able to quickly recover from being punched and launched a great distance by Zap, making a perfect landing. When he changes the freaks back to normal form he appears to do nothing but lightly clap his hands, suggesting it took little effort. In light of how carefree he was about the fight, it is likely the Super Freak wasn't really a challenging opponent for him.
Although he prefers to simply tease and taunt Finn and Jake, King Man could easily pose as one of the biggest threats the duo have faced, as he seems to leave pure chaos in his wake, not thinking twice about turning Finn into a foot or Jake into himself, along with letting Jake die for his crimes on Mars.
- "Freak City" (debut)
- "Sons of Mars"
- "Time Sandwich"
- "Food Chain" (no lines)
- "You Forgot Your Floaties"
- "Normal Man"
- "Temple of Mars"
- "Come Along With Me"
Mentioned or pictured
- "Water Park Prank" (credits only)
- "Broke His Crown" (mentioned)
- "Bespoken For" (mentioned and voice recording)
Grob Gob Glob Grod are King Man's older siblings. They banished him to Earth 200 years before the episode "Sons of Mars" for several crimes against the Martians. Although they express enmity towards him, Grob Gob Glob Grod still respect him as a brother; this is shown when Finn and Jake offer to go after King Man and Grob Gob Glob Grod responds "I don't want to lose my brother."
In "Normal Man," King Man and the Glob head reconcile, with Glob telling King Man he has what it takes to rebuild Mars.
Margles was King Man's wife before the series. In "You Forgot Your Floaties," it is revealed that at some point prior to the series, Margles was taken by GOLB. King Man tried desperately in order to bring her back, even asking Prismo to revive her, but all attempts ended up in failure. He created a defense mechanism called M.A.R.G.L.E.S (Magical Automated Resistance Generating Laser Energy Supplier) who was created based on the original Margles, and said was to be installed at the top of Olympus Mons in order to protect Mars from GOLB. However M.A.R.G.L.E.S was created through King Man's feelings for her (despite his claims that they weren't) and while at the top of Olympus Mon, he tried to dissuade her from fulfilling her duties to escape with him. M.A.R.G.L.E.S went out of control and ended up falling to the ground, presumably to her death.
- In an interview with the creators of the show, it was said that King Man was originally planned to be the guardian of the Dead World testing people to see if they were worthy to be sent there. However, this idea was scrapped.
- King Man was originally going to appear in the episode "Ghost Princess" according to Jesse Moynihan.
- In "Sons of Mars," whenever there is a close up on his hands he appears to have five fingers, where other times he has only four, even when he is morphed as Jake.
- The reason King Man is such a jerk might be that someone he cared a lot about, Margles, fell off the mountain, as seen in the "Sons of Mars" promo art.
- Abraham Lincoln actually states, "I remember when you were really cool. Before that night you spent on Olympus Mons with Margles." This is an actual Martian mountain and the tallest known mountain in our Solar System.
- In "Sons of Mars" King Man sings a short song while in Jake's form, with the line "...And the little people get left behind." This line is alluded to by the title of the episode "All the Little People."
- The hole that King Man emerges from in "All the Little People" bears a striking resemblance to the hole that Ice King, Neptr, Tree Trunks, Shelby, and Lemongrab exit in "Mystery Dungeon." This could mean that the Little People were given life by the Ancient Sleeping Magi of Life Giving who sleeps in the chamber directly below the grassy hatch, as seen at the end of "Mystery Dungeon."
- The quote "Do what thoust will be the whole piece of law." that King Man utters in "All The Little People" is based on Aleister Crowley's Law of Thelema, which is "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
- King Man is Jesse Moynihan's favorite character in the series.
- King Man's gender swapped counterpart, Magic Woman makes a cameo appearance in "The Prince Who Wanted Everything."
- He along with The Earl of Lemongrab, Lumpy Space Princess, Tiffany, Ricardio, Donny, and Squirrel (The Duke) were pictured in the credits of "Water Park Prank" as one of those who can't return to Wet Pipes Water Park.
- King Man's characterization (colorful personality, apathy, life philosophy, constant smile) and tragic origin are reminiscent of The Killing Joke's incarnation of The Joker, in that he was a normal person until one day his lover died in an accident (a fire, incidentally), driving him crazy and down the path of evil while creating with him an extreme sense of nihilism and apathy, figuring that there's no point to anything and taking joy in making others suffer. During the story, he also debates the value of memories and the effect they have on people.
Appearances in other media
- Magic Man is a playable character in Adventure Time Battle Party.
- Magic Man is the main antagonist in the Cartoon Network game Jake's Tough Break, where he casts a spell to make Jake's limbs and head fall off.
- Magic Man appears and is the main antagonist in Issue 15 of the Adventure Time comics.