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Fantastic Four Retro Collection
by yo go re

If you asked me to make a list of the Top 15... eh, let's say "16" superheroes based on that guy at a tourist luau who twirls flaming torches, Firelord would almost certainly be on it.

Galactus transforms Xandarian naval officer Pyreus Kril into his newest Herald, the unwavering Firelord!

Well, that just taught me two things I didn't know before: Firelord is from Xandar, and he has a real name. I mean, we could have assumed he had a real name, but I definitely never knew what it was. Silver Surfer is Norrin Radd, Nova is Frankie Raye, Firelord is... Firelord. Gotta love the nominative determinism involved in a guy named "Pyreus" getting fire powers though, huh? [You already used that joke once, you idiot --ed.] It was either going to be fire or the ability to menatlly command crustaceans. I wonder if he knows how close he came to being able to control the speed at which lobsters die?

Firelord is a strong character, so he uses a beefier body - the same one Silver Surfer uses, so apparently Galactus has a type. He was created in the '70s, so his costume is pretty simple: boots, gloves, unitard. The deep V-neck on his shirt has gotten less exteme over the years, but it's still basically the same costume today it was back then. The edges between the sections are jagged, like flame; originally it was just drawn like a pattern, but eventually some artists interpeted it as actual fire coming off his body. That was mostly in stories set in the future, though, so maybe it's a change that'll happen later.

As far as actual fire goes, it's limited to his hair. For this toy it's molded from translucent plastic, and looks nicely fiery, sculpted as though it's blowing to the side. The color fades from red to yellow, and looks great. His boots and gloves are a dark red, his limbs are orange, his romper is a bright yellow, and his belt is white. In most cases, the skin on his neck and face is a lighter orange than his sleeves and legs, but here they're all the same shade, suggesting the limbs are bare.

This mold includes a balljointed head, hinged neck, butterfly pec joints, swivel hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, a swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. The upper edge of the boots comes up just high enough to conceal the shin swivels, so the flames don't get broken up when you turn the joint.

Just like Silver Surfer has his board, Firelord has his stick. It's 5⅞" tall, counting the balls of flame at the ends, and flexible without being gummy. The fire here is done like the hair, translucent and shaded, and the sculpt is different at each end - both have the flames licking out in the same direction, so they can both be "up" when he's holding it at his side. Preseumably the staff is the reason Hasbro chose this body for him: having those extra pec hinges means he'll have an easier time holding it with two hands out in front of him. The figure includes both gripping hands and fists, though the latter don't really serve much purpose: Firelord can get in a physical fight, but that's not his style.

If you discount one-offs like Dazzler or Aunt May, Firelord has to be the shortest-serving herald of Galactus: he first appeared when Galactus came to Earth to get Thor's help in fighting Ego the Living Planet, and by the end of the storyarc, he'd told Galactus he wanted to quit. It's clear this figure was released now as a companion piece to HasLab Galactus, same way Terrax was just rereleased in a two-pack with some throwaway pre-Surfer herald. This release is part of the Fantastic Four Retro Collection, and the last time Firelord had a figure was in the 1995 line this release is homaging. All we need now is an Air-Walker and we'll have all the classic Heralds together at last.

-- 11/14/22

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