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Black Tom

Deadpool Legends
by yo go re

At last, Cain Marko gets his best friend!

A nefarious criminal with the power of concussive blasts and plant morphology, Black Tom is a true threat.

That "plant morphology" thing has kind of been swept under the rug lately, which is good. When he first appeared, Black Tom Cassidy had the ability to channel energy, but could only do it using wood as a conductive medium. After he and Juggernaut 9/11'd one of the Twin Towers (in the crossover that led to Todd McFarlane quitting Marvel), he tried to surrender to X-Force, but was shot point-blank by Cable. Rescued by Deadpool, Tom was taken to shady doctors who bonded him with wood fibers that saved his life and allowed him to fire his energy blasts all by himself. Eventually the implants took over his whole body, turning him into as much of a tree-man as Groot. He got super-violent for a while, but somehow M-Day only made him lose the plant powers, not his original ones.

Being back to his original powers also means being back to his original costume: a black outfit with a high flared collar, red boots and gloves, and a red belt with a circle in the center of it. The figure's arms and legs are reused, but his cowboy boots are new, as is the torso - no one else who's been sculpted with shirt wrinkles like this has also had the silly disco collar.

There's a red shape on the front of the shirt. In his first appearance, it was a bird or dragon or something - the art wasn't particularly clear. Over the years it's gotten bigger and more stylized, to the point where now it might as well be a big fancy W. Is it a family symbol? Something Tom just liked? It's printed cleanly here, and the red paint matches the color of his other pieces very well.

Also in his first appearance, he had a full beard, while that was later trimmed down to just a pointy goatee, so that's what this toy shows us. The head sculpt isn't as good as we expect from Marvel Legends, though: while it looks fine in the promo shot on the back of the packaging, the actual product is slightly soft and undefined, lacking the crispness and personality most of the toys have. It's not "bad," really, it's just a throwback to the figures we'd have gotten five years ago. Has this sculpt been sitting around, waiting for a place to be released, or was it just imprecise mold work?

Black Tom gets the usual articulation: a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinged wrists, a hinged chest, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinged ankles. His only accessory is his shillelagh. His right leg was badly broken in a fight with his cousin, so he legitimately needed it to walk - the fact that it doubled as a conduit for his powers was just a bonus. This one is sculpted with a skull as the knob on top, so it's more than just a plain stick. That's not a usual feature in the comics, but it has been seen before (Deadpool #59, specifically). We do wish the wrist hinge went the other way, so he could point the stick like a weapon.

He's also got a piece of this series' Strong Guy Build-A-Figure: the back of the shoulders. Yes, Guido is that big.

It would have been really fun if this figure had included an alternate head - one with the wooden features he had when the doctors first saved his life. No, it wouldn't have really gone with this costume, but it would have added some more play value, and would have given us options. An energy effect for the shillelagh would have been good, too. But the torso was probably already expensive, and we've been waiting for a Black Tom for a long, long time. Not even ToyBiz ever made a figure of him in his vintage outfit!

-- 09/26/20


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