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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

It may not seem like it, but Loki is one of the most influential villains in the Marvel Universe. He's the reason that the Avengers originally formed, he has directly created a few major bad guys (like Absorbing Man or the Wrecking Crew) and was behind the evil "wife swap" known as the Acts of Vengeance. The guy gets around. You know, maybe if he just concentrated on one thing, he wouldn't lose all the time.

Adopted by Odin, Loki could have been a beloved god. However, his jealousy of his foster brother, Thor, and desire for Odin's throne led him from his honored place. Now, this rogue prince will stop at nothing to destroy Thor and all he holds dear to gain control of awesome Asgard!

Loki is a figure that will take a healthy dose of vertical clearance to stand properly. The figure is 6¾" tall to the tip of his helmet. Notice, that's his helmet; not his horns. Count those and he's now 8⅝" tall, making him the same height as the largest figure, Sasquatch. Yes, that's approximately 2" of horn on a 6"-scale figure. Mighty!

The articulation is fairly standard ML stuff: toes, ankles, boots, knees, hips, waist, torso, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders and neck. The head is made fairly immobile by the way his headdress drapes down over his neck, and the shoulder pads on his costume keep his arms from raising all the way up. The knees are a bit soft - not so much that they're in danger of breaking when you bend them but, like on Deathlok, they have a tendency to bow out if left in the wrong pose for too long. What's really odd, however, is that there's a peg joint both at the wrist (in addition to the obvious hinge) and in the forearms; did we really need two rotational joints less than a quarter inch from one another?

The design of the figure is great. When he first appeared, Loki was dressed like any Jack Kirby creation: i.e., completely retarded. He had chain mail underwear, for crying out loud! This outfit is taken from the recent oh, grandpa! Loki miniseries, and let's have a big round of applause for that. It actually looks like real clothes, and it's a hell of a lot cooler than his "classic" appearance. Despite the changes, you look at the figure and it's still obviously Loki - the body of the suit is a dark green, with a few yellow highlights. The yellow drape around his chest and shoulders is held in place by the metal armor on his shoulders. His boots are brown leather, and his helmet almost has a Persian look to it. His large, furred cape flares out behind him. This isn't some prancing jackanape - this is a guy that can actually be a threat to Thor.

Loki is looking pretty haggard, actually. He's stern and imposing, but he's either been burned in a fire or he's very old. Crown of Lies Very wrinkly, is Loki Laufeyson. Of course, the Loki miniseries took a different look at Loki, so it may have included an eldery version of the trickster. There's also a variant Loki available, the "Crown of Lies" verison. He's got a different, less ridiculous hat and a younger face, which makes him look like Dick Van Dyke. Or Roger Daltrey. Both versions of Loki were sculpted by Sam Greenwell.

Crown of Lies The Crown of Lies comes from the absolute end of Kirby's run not only on Thor, but at Marvel entirely. The relationship between Lee and Kirby was famously bad by the end of the '60s, and Jack would soon jump ship for DC, where he'd run wild without Stan's influence. His final arc on Thor saw Loki achieving dominion over Asgard and at the end of #175 he was wearing this exact hat. Of course, by the beginning of #176 it looked entirely different, so either he changed between issues or it's another example of Kirby's disregard for physical shapes. Still, this variant is straight out of the comics.

The figure includes one accessory, but it was supposed to include two. We get a 4½" sword that's engraved with runes on both sides. It's a nice piece, and he can hold it in either hand, but it's intended to go in his right. The prototype shows Loki with the huge battle staff he had in the miniseries, but it was scrapped before production - it would have been nice, but it's no great loss. The plastic that would have made it probably went into those big horns.

Loki isn't as huge as Abomination, but he's got the same part of Onslaught, this series' Build-A-Figure. Abom had the left arm, Loki's got the right. Now your Onslaught can wear T-shirts again! The figure includes a reprint of Journey Into Mystery #116 with the cover from issue #1 of the Loki miniseries. Big disconnect, right there, going from Esad Ribic's beautiful painting to the ham-handed lines of Jack Kirby. Both stories (the main feature and a backup) do feature Loki doing dastardly things, so that's good, at least. But the first one's a cliffhanger! How will we find out what happens?

ML13 also has a new extra packed in with the figures. There's a VS. card, from the CCG of the same name, but those have been an on again, off again insert since ML8. This time, however, we get a diorama backdrop display thing printed on the cardboard insert. Cut it out, stick in in the included stand and you've got a nifty little scene for your figure. Loki gets a scene of the Asgardians kneeling down before a monolithic throne. Hey, just like what happened in that Kirby story arc! The art on these things is unsigned, but it kind of looks like Scott Kolins' work.

-- 09/28/06

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