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The Destroyer

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

The Marvel Legends series has always had chase figures. It started out as simple costume variants, but soon became new characters - that only lasted two series before they switched back to repaints. At the beginning, there was only one chase per series, but that number doubled in ML5. It managed to hold steady The Destroyer until ML12, when five out of six figures received a variant, a trend that continued in Series 14 and 15. Unfortunately, we've also seen a return to variants that were new characters.

Odin, lord of Asgard, created the enchanted suit of armor called the Destroyer more than 1,000 years ago in anticipation of the day when the mysterious and vastly powerful Celestials might threaten to destroy Earth. The armor itself is inert unless animated by the life force of a god or human, but the Destroyer's appetite for destruction is sufficient to overwhelm even the most well-intentioned occupant. Shortly after its construction, Odin buried the Destroyer in a mountaintop plateau to safeguard the vessel until it was needed. In battle after battle, the Destroyer has demonstrated that it possesses sufficient power to eradicate the gods of Asgard themselves. The Destroyer is the gods' most powerful weapon - as well as their ultimate enemy, should it fall into the wrong hands.

Unlike the new figures in Series 4 and 5, at least these are mostly repaints of existing figures. Destroyer, for instance, is a repaint of this series' ubiquitous Iron Man, who was wearing his Thor Buster armor. Apparently, the main reason Thor Buster Iron Man was chosen was that they'd be able to turn him into Destroyer fairly easily.

Standing nearly 7⅛" tall, the Destroyer is among the largest of the Marvel Legends figures - he's the same size as Thing and War Hulk. He has 37 points of articulation: toes, ankles, shins, knees, thighs, waist, torso, fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck. Everything moves well - there really wasn't any sticking or loose joints. For those who care about such things, the fact that he's basically robotic means that most of the joints blend in fairly well.

Sam Greenwell's sculpt is simple, but it works very well. The Destroyer is big and blocky, with horizontal lines running across its surface. His head is a new sculpt, since they couldn't very well re-use Tony Stark's face. Ditto for the chest and shoulders. His eye-slits are a metallic blue, matching the pods on his thighs and hands. Sadly, the visor on his forehead doesn't flip down, so he won't be using his disintegration beam on your other toys.

The figure is molded in a dark grey plastic, with silver brushed over the entire surface to give him an aged look. The dry-brushing can be a bit uneven in some cases, apparently, but face it: you're never going to see enough Destroyers to compare paint (I'm super lucky to have even found this one). The mistakes shouldn't be bad enough to cause you undue worry if you're thinking about buying this guy unseen.

The Destroyer is unique among the Marvel Legends - it's an item, not a character. This isn't an android, like Vision or Ultron, or even a robot like the Sentinels: it's a suit of armor, no more animated than Mjolnir or the Infinity Gauntlet. Yes, it does eventually come to "life," but even then it has to be animated by an outside force. No human rights groups would be protesting the Destroyer being tossed in a broom closet, you know?

Both Destroyer and Thor Buster Iron Man have the same comic and MODOK piece. The piece is an arm. The right arm. Attached to the side of his big, golden body tube. What a weird character. The comic is Iron Man #64 (or 409), part two of a three-part crossover (a three-part cover, too) involving a fight between Iron Man, Thor (obviously) and Captain America. Which is just silly - those guys would never fight - especially not with Iron Man taking the government's side! The diorama backdrop features a big, smoking crater in front of some mountains - perfect for dozens of characters.

The Destroyer is a surprising choice for a Marvel Legend, and a really good figure. But before you decide to ignore TB Iron Man completely, consider this: when the two fought, Thor was wearing the armor that will soon be seen on the upcoming Hasbro ML figure. You may want to get this Iron Man just to have the two fight.

-- 12/24/06


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