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Major Maxim

Danger Girl
by yo go re

The world needs more characters named after men's magazines. Corporal Complex. Staff Sergeant Stuff. Ensign Esquire. General GQ. Field Marshal FHM. Also this guy:

Major Maxim is the monsterous mastermind behind the Hammer Empire's apocalyptic military forces. Once but a trifling soldier of that very army, Maxim became an unwilling victim of Doctor Kharnov Von Kripplor's bizarre Hammer Ubermensch (Super Soldier) program. The first and only "success" of the strange procedure, Maxim soon became dependent on the mysterious blue liquid which supplies and sustains his incredible size and strength. Major Maxim, feared the world over as the Hammer Empire's dynamic, virtually unstoppable killing machine, has only one known weakness: the life enhancing Serum X which races through his fevered veins. Major Maxim always stands eager to ventilate the opposition with his custom Viper machine gun.

Never let it be said that artist J. Scott Campbell doesn't wear his influences on his sleeve. Here he has a large, black-clad soldier leading a faceless army while wearing life-support equipment and answering only to a decrepit old man who runs an "Empire"; now who does that sound like?

Nothing is known about Major Maxim before he became Major Maxim - not even if he was really a soldier for the Hammer Empire or not! In the comic, Dr. Von Kripplor tests his super soldier formula on at least one prisoner, and who's to say whether "all-encompassing loyalty" is part of the enhancements? His face is entirely concealed by his black mask, with a pair of silver, red-lensed goggles being the only feature. Two hoses run into his cheeks, and he's got a fancy black hat you can remove.

Major Maxim wears a large black trenchcoat with square shoulders, black gloves, and big black boots. The coat is closed and has a Texas-sized belt buckled around his waist. The coat is actually a separate piece floating over a body inside, but it's neither removable nor even openable; the only bit of what he's wearing beneath it that we get to see is the collar of his black shirt. The sculpt of the coat (by Jean St.Jean) is just like J. Scott's art, with numerous wrinkles, visible stitching, and shallow cracks to create texture.

On his back, you'll find the tubes of Ubermensch liquid that keep him functioning, but there's a problem with it. What adjective was used, back in that pseudo-filecard, to describe the stuff? "Blue." So what color is it on the toy? Is it blue, following the one directive they were given? Of course not! It's orange, for some reason. It's sculpted like sloshing liquid, but it's molded in translucent pinkish-orange. Good work, team! Never let your inability to distinguish colors hold you back! [Stop being insensitive to the colorblind --ed.]

The backpack isn't removable, so other than the hat, his only accessory is his machine gun. It's a giant piece, with two separate ammo clips - one in the bottom, another on the side - but since this figure was released in 1999 by McFarlane Toys, he doesn't have the articulation to aim it. His shoulders swivel (along with his neck, wrists and hips), but he has to hold the gun over his head in order to point it forward. This is why elbows are important.

But hey, no one's going to notice that when he's on his display base. His diorama isn't as ornate as the Danger Girls' - they had exotic jungles or frosty mountains or plain Australian accountant's offices, while his is just a flat stone platform. His name is emblazoned across the front, and the base itself is 3½" wide and 3¼" deep, and just ¼" thick. That sounds boring, but we're not done yet. Two small torches are on the front corners, and the back of the piece has holes for two 9¼" poles. A cross-bar features the Hammer Empire insignia on the top, and a softgoods flag hangs down from that. In the comic, Hammer is described as an alliance between Neo-Nazis and ex-KGB agents, but the emphasis is definitely on the former; thus the iconography, which sees a red lightning bolt/hammer in a black circle. The same thing is beneath the eagle on the flag stand, and painted in the band around Major Maxim's left bicep.

Abbey, Sydney and Natalia were available carded by themselves, or all together in one of those fishtank display cases McToys did for a while. But Major Maxim was only ever available solo - that's what you get for being an evil zombie man, Major. No friends.

-- 02/25/16

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