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Omega Red

Deadpool Legends
by yo go re

We once described Omega Red as "an albino Russian samurai vampire with whips for hands." I'm not feeling contrite about that description or anything - it's just funny and accurate, and not enough people read the Minimate Mini-Reviews, so we wanted to use it again.

A former Russian crime lord and agent, Arkady Rossovich is used in the Weapon X project, combining mutant abilities with weaponized cybernetic appendages.

Honestly, Omega Red is as close as you can get to having a fan character in an officially licensed comic. He's another in a long line of creations who easily boil down to "Wolverine, but darker and edgier." Product of a super-soldier program? Experimented on by his government? Had metal implanted in his arms? Check, check, and more check. His power is even directly opposite Wolverine's, a "death factor" instead of a healing factor. Jim Lee did not stray far off the beaten path when creating this one.

And yet, Hasbro did. Omega Red may seem like a prime candidate to use the existing big body, but instead they created one that's entirely new. And even bigger, surprisingly! The proportions are exaggerated, with a narrow waist between the massive thighs and humongous chest. His feet have no detailing, but the ridiculous kneepads are there, so that's something. His forearms have the ports where his carbonadium tentacles emerge, while the parts of his glove on the back of the arm are separate molds glued into place. How very strange! His left hand is open and the right is a fist, and both of them has weird little rings around the fingers. His belt, shoulder pads, and suspenders are done as a single piece that fits over the torso (and in fact plugs into the shoulders to help keep it in place).

Taking a cue from the old ToyBiz figure, Omega Red has painted ω symbols on his gloves, but the one on his headband is a sculpted element. You'd think that would be the other way around. Or at least, I'd think it would be the other way around: etched patterns on his gloves' metal plates, but just a printed or dyed symbol on his cloth sweatband. Unlike the ToyBiz ML, this one isn't slathered in gray paint, so his skin is as white as it should be, leaving the inexplicable techno wiring running back from the corners of his mouth easily visible. His eyes' dark outlines make them look almost black, but that's not a major problem.

Red's articulation doesn't miss any beats. Remember how ToyBiz had to forego any sort of swivel in the forearms because of the tentacles? Not here! In fact, with the highly unexpected inclusion of pectoral hinges in this new body, he's actually a bit above average for a modern Hasbro fig! Класс! He's got a balljointed head, hinged neck, pec hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Sorry, no swivel joint for his ponytail this time. The hinge in the right wrist on my figure is fused tight - collectors complain about the quality control on NECA toys, but I'll tell you, I've had more QA problems on this single series of Deadpool figures than I've had on a year's worth of NECA.

ToyBiz Omega Red used the same tentacles as the Sentinel, which looked pretty bad: they were too big and too mechanical. The ones included here are unique to Arkady; they're thin and segmented, and though they aren't bendy, they're sculpted in interesting curled poses. When you don't want to have them waving wildly about all over the place, the figure also includes two very short tentacles that can fit into the forearm ports to represent a "retracted" mode. (Yes, his whips can pull all the way back into his arms just as Wolverine's claws can, but these pieces at least excuse the existence of the raised ports under his skin.)

Omega Red comes with the left leg of Sauron, this series' Build-A-Figure.

Omega Red is a junk character, no question. He has an outstanding visual (in that he literally stands out whenever he's used in a story), but he ultimately has no bearing on the stories he's in. You know when critics will discuss a show or book or movie, and will point out that a female character has no "agency"? That's what it means: Omega Red appears in stories, and the stories may even be about Omega Red, but he's not the one driving them forward, not the one making any decisions for himself in them; he's window dressing, something that's fun to draw and looks dynamic, but that's all. He might as well be the briefcase from Pulp Fiction for all the impact he has on the plot. But when it comes to action figures, a cool visual matters more than whether or not you're an interesting character, and Hasbro's really delivered with this big brute.

-- 06/24/19


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