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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

A poor figure? I SAY THEE NAY!

He is the Norse God of Thunder, master of the storm and lightning, heir to the throne of legendary Asgard. Summoning the enchanted Uru hammer Mjolnir, EMS technician Jake Olson stands transformed into the mightiest warrior of mythology: Thor! As the son of Odin, Thor's strength, endurance and resistance to injury are greater than the vast majority of his superhuman race. The enchanted hammer Mjolnir, made of mystic Uru metal, is nearly indestructible. The mallet derives the remainder of its powers from Odin's six enchantments: no living being, unless worthy, may lift it; it always returns to the exact spot from which it was thrown; it channels Thor's ability to control the elements of storm and project mystical energy; it allows its wielder to open transdimensional portals; it enables Thor to transform himself into human form; and it grants its user the power of flight.

When the line-up for Marvel Legends 4 was announced, a lot of folks wondered why we were getting a repainted Giant Man in with the rest of the really cool figures. The answer, actually, is pretty straightforward: he's the only member of the original Avengers not yet represented in Marvel Legend form.

When the Avengers got underway, their lineup included (Gi)Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and the Wasp. Captain America joined in issue 4. As of ML3, we were missing only one oldschool member, so kudos to ToyBiz for rounding out the team. Maybe now they can do more X-Men or finish off the Fantastic Four.

This isn't the first time we've gotten a Thor figure, but he's certainly among the best; the version from the "Heroes Reborn" Avengers line was oversized and had cartoony proportions while the one in the Avengers boxed set was too small and feminine. This is the first time we've gotten a Thor that was appropriately bulky, even if Mjolnir leaves a bit to be desired.

Thor stands 7¼" tall, not counting those wings, and moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins, ankles and toes. 31 points of articulation give the Odinson a nice variety of poses, but (just as they would in real life) his giant muscles sometimes get in the way.

For the most part, Thor is well-scultped. His bare arms are beefy, his boots look like wrapped cloth, and his hair spills over his shoulders. Just as Dr. Doom looked like a celebrity, Thor looks like a certain Austrian that once stiffed McToys over his likeness. The only oddity is his chest; besides the fact that only four of the six big dots were included, his chest is a rubber shell. To give Thor a mythical bulk, ToyBiz slipped a hollow torso over a "real" body, though I don't know if it's new or reused.

Mjolnir looks beat all to hell. It's cracked, pitted, and has obviously been in some mighty battles. The handle looks like wrapped leather, and there's a strap for Thor to hang onto. I would have liked the handle to be a bit longer and a bit thinner, but the metal bit looks great.

The Avengers have often been described as a football team, and Thor must be their linebacker. He's the heavy hitter on the team, ready to throw down with anyone who gets in his way.

Like all the Marvel Legends figures, Thor comes with a detailed base. Showing the aftermath of a battle, Thor's base features the skeletal remains of several enemies: the skull of a giant, still wearing its headgear; a dwarf with a sword through his ribs; and a human skull wearing an ornate helmet. Shields and weapons litter the ground, and there are three footpegs to help Thor stand.

Actually, the base is sort of a wink to Conan fans: the sword held by the skeleton looks like Conan's sword, and the sword through its ribs belonged to his father. The axe from the final battle is on the side, Thorgrim's hammer is there, and the helmet on the human skull is identical to Rexor's from the attack on the village. I wouldn't be surprised if that shield with the eagle crest ahowed up somewhere in the film as well. And hey, who played Conan? The same guy whose face seems to grace this figure! Makes ya wonder if ML base sculptor Bill Mancuso is a fan.

Thor comes with a reprint of his eponymous comic; #39 (or #541, depending on how you're counting), the issue is less than spectacular. The story isn't very interesting and the art runs the gammut from bland to unclear. I'm not sure why they picked this issue, but there had to be something better available.

-- 05/22/03

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