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The Orb

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

This is ponderous, man; real ponderous.

Ridiculed for his appearance since his youth, the mercenary known as Orb holds the ironic distinction of being partially responsible for blinding Uatu the Watcher.

Is "ironic" really the word they're looking for there? I'm not even asking that in a snide "um, actually, none of those things in the Alanis Morissette songs are real examples of irony, fner-fner" way, I just don't see how any concept of irony relates to the situation. Is it because he looks like an eye? I suppose that would work. Guy with a giant eyeball for a head is responsible for blinding someone? Sure, we can call that irony if you want. He dreamed of Uata's home on the moon, so he contracted with super-collector Doctor Midas to transport him up there. While Midas looted what he thought was the armory, the Orb just wanted one of the Watcher's eyes.

This is, theoretically, the "second" Orb. The original was a Ghost Rider enemy who skidded across the pavement on his face, and so now wore a motorcycle helmet that looked like a big eye. Then he was killed by a plant with a gun. Years later, Jason Aaron introduced this Orb, whose head actually is a big eye. However, one could easily claim that after Drake Shannon was killed, he made a deal with one of Marvel's many devils, who sent him back to Earth this new head as a joke/punishment. No point in having two separate characters when a single one will do.

For example, why would anyone dress like this if they weren't a carny stunt-rider in a former life? This is clearly an Evel Kinevel style jumpsuit, with flared gloves and folded boots and star-spangled stripes down the front. While his belt is reused, he does get one new costume piece: a shirt collar that slips onto his neck and is held in place by his huge noggin. The original Orb dressed similarly, but he had a jacket and an ascot over his riding gear. Because he's classy.

The red used for his suit is a nice shade, not too "plasticky" despite all being molded in color. The boots and gloves are pristine white, though the gloves do get the benefit of a blue band with small white stars circling the cuff. The belt is fairly intricate, with the band itself blue and the utility pouches on it white, plus a silver buckle. Five white stars are aligned on the V-shaped blue stripes over his chest, but there are none on his back - just stripes, no stars. Similarly, while there are thin red blood vessels on the front half of the eye, but they all just stop cold as soon as you reach the midpoint. It doesn't look great. Normally wouldn't be much of an issue, either, but if you turn his head even slightly to the side you're going to see the line.

Orb uses the most common body, so his articulation is precisely as you imagine it to be: ankles, boots, knees, thighs, hips, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. Given the design of his head, the balljoint doesn't offer very much motion, but is anything other than swivelling really going to be noticeable, anyway? Eyes are designed to tilt to stay level as you tip your head anyway (that's why things don't look like they're sideways when you cock your head at an angle).

The figure includes one accessory: his Repulsor Ray, which he would often brag about, but never successfully hit anyone with. It's a new mold, based directly on the comics, and any future re-use will be easy to spot, because not many guns have spherical barrels.

He gets the right arm (and alternate hand) of the Puff Adder Build-A-Figure.

Orb is a weird, unpredictable character. So weird and unpredictable, he actually showed up in a DC movie! He's definitely not someone you'd ever expect to get a Marvel Legend, but now that he exists, he may presage an even more unlikely release: it would be simple (and economical) for Hasbro to reuse this head to create the billiards-themed Sleepwalker foe, 8-Ball.

-- 06/10/23

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