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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

What's better: to represent new versions of characters, or step back in time to cater to the fanboys?

This super-strong titan lives for one thing: destruction!

Well of course he does - he's Drax the Destroyer, after all. Drax was originally Arthur Douglas, a normal human guy. Thanos blew up the Douglases' car to make sure no one knew he had been on Earth, but Arthur was resurrected as the Hulk in Space in order to defeat Thanos. He died (again), came back to life (again) and had all sorts of space adventures. At some indeterminate point he ended up on a prison transport that crashed on Earth. He drank plasma fuel from the ship's cracked engines, was killed (again again), his body started to smoke, and a new, leaner version broke out from inside the large, smoldering husk. And that's how big Drax turned skinny. Does it make any sense? No, but does it need to? He's a more interesting character now than he was before.

Drax uses the Face-Off Punisher body, with a few molding changes. For instance, there's no longer anything strapped to his right leg, so those straps have been done away with. Also, there are two small divots near his shoulders; they're the sort of things where you'll often see costume pieces glued in, which makes sense since the torso is shared with Steve Rogers. Clearly they redid the tool in preparation for new ML. The forearms are new - one bare, one with a knife strapped to it - as are his shins and feet. If you find it odd that a space warrior would wear normal pants, consider that he was on Earth when he got his new body: he broke into a sporting goods store to get some clothes, so that's snowboarding gear he's wearing.

Drax really does look like a guy who's lost a lot of weight recently, in that his head seems too big for his body. Or maybe his body seems too small for his head. He should really be Captain America sized - you know, bigger than a natural human, but still not grotesque. His expression is also quite restrained, not nearly as angry as you might expect.

The figure stands 6½" tall, and moves like you'd expect - mostly. Other than the swivels in the forearms, there are no kind of wrist joints. It's not really a big loss, but it's worth mentioning. The shadows painted on the torso keep him from looking unnatural, but they stop lining up when you move the joints too far. That always happens. His red tattoos (or whatever - they were on his skin when he was reborn, so they're natural) are crisp, but they get broken up by his shoulder joints. The only way to prevent that? Shoulders molded to cover the hinge "ring" part of the joint. But Hasbro was already tooling new pantlegs, forearms and boots, so redoing the shoulders for only minor gain probably wasn't worth it.

Now that he's no longer as strong as he used to be, Drax has started using knives to fight. In addition to the one molded as part of his right arm, the toy comes with two of the blades. They can be held in the hands (securely, since he has no finger joints) or stowed in his belt. Well, one at a time: unlike Warpath, whose belt was designed to allow his knives to overlap, Drax's knives run into each other, so one either gets warped or pushed out of place. That's annoying.

He also comes with a piece of the Marvel Legends Series 2 Build-A-Figure, Arnim Zola. Drax includes the left leg, which is remarkably stumpy - it's even shorter than Drax's own legs are! The leg is orange and the boot is purple, and the sculpted lines on the leg are much deeper than you might expect them to be. Certainly the deepest we can recall seeing on a toy. Beats having shallow cuts and then painting shadows in.

In all honesty, I would have preferred the big old version of Drax over the new skinny version - this just isn't what I think of when I think "Drax." It's a decent figure (if a bit less muscular than he should perhaps be), but it's just... imagine if Mattel made Electric Superman without ever making his classic design. It'd be weird, right? Same deal. Personally, I would have skipped this figure if he didn't have a BAF piece, but he's pretty well made and will definitely appeal to fans who know him best from post-Annihilation books.

-- 04/30/12

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