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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

To be this cool, you've got to have an iron will, a steely gaze and a set of big brass ones.

A man of both enormous size and heart, he was the mutant that men feared and other mutants revered. At once a farmer, an artist, and a gentleman, he was also a brute force in battle. Born Piotr "Peter" Rasputin in Lake Baikal, Siberia, Peter first manifested his tremendous mutant ability (he was able transform his body tissue into an organic, steel-like substance) in his adolescence. Peter later joined Professor X and the X-Men and proved to be a hero to all mutantkind.

The first question we should address is why, if there's now a line of X-Men Classics, Colossus is not in there rather than in Marvel Legends. Well, the answer, really, is simple: he's dead. He passed on into "legendary" status, as the bio alludes to, trying to save the world from the AIDS-allegory Legacy Virus. The virus was initially released when the carrier used his mutant powers, and the vaccine had to be released the same way.

Colossus was a good character, while he was around. Sure, he started as the average "strong, silent type who's really a big softie," but he grew over the years. He was one of the few X-Men who questioned Prof. X's ideas, and even aligned himself with Magneto for a time. But the best part of his character was that this big huge guy wasn't just a dumb jock: he was an accomplished artist, which gave the comics' various pencilers over the years the chance to show off their own prowess.

Piotr has had several figures before, showing up as early as the very first line of X-Men figures in 1990. Of course, quality has advanced incredibly in the intervening 14 years, and this new figure is a marvel.

Colossus stands 7⅜" tall, easily the biggest Legend yet (we're not counting ML4 Goliath, because he's just a repaint). He's got 37 points of articulation, putting him right behind his teammate Beast: toes, ankles, shins, knees, hips, waist, torso, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, fingers and thumbs. Yes, he's got articulated thumbs. Additionally, a lot of those joints are doubled up: two wrist points on each arm, three points in each shoulder, two different necks, etc.

The paint job on the figure is wonderful. The "ribs" of his metal form are all sculpted in, with a dark wash to bring out the detail. The silver metal is not as shiny as the Silver Surfer's, which gives Colossus an earthy look. Even the red and yellow of his classic costume is muted, and there's a slight blue brushing over the surface to make the figure look like steel. Dave Cortes sculpted one impressive figure!

Colossus is so huge that he doesn't include any accessories. In the old days, ToyBiz would have gone out of their way to give him a gun or a catapult or something else stupid. Like all the Marvel Legends, however, this white Russian comes with a detailed base. The next in the series that started with Magneto and Gambit, Colossus comes with a piece of a decimated Sentinel. He gets the torso, which is just as torn to hell as the rest of the parts: in addition to all the gears and wires you'd expect, the Sentinel's shell has also been severely abused; there are claw marks, punctures and, in what is a very clever move, a few fist-shaped indentations in the metal.

Colossus comes with a reproduction (complete with a new cover) of Uncanny X-Men #129, the first part of the classic "Dark Phoenix Saga." Other than trying to get readers hooked on the story so they'll buy the Phoenix tpb, this issue is a poor choice. There have been a lot better Colossus stories told over the years, especially considering that he's such a minor element in this part of the story.

-- 12/17/03

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