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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Mojo is one of those rare X-villains who presents a real threat for the team, but isn't (terribly) overused. His schemes are generally unpredicatable, and even if he is directly threatened, he's immensely strong and pretty well invulnerable. Despite all that, he's nearly immobile, which is why his closest associate is a lithe, acrobatic swordsman. Swordswoman. Whatever. She does his dirty work.

Enslaved by Mojo, Spiral serves as a soldier, assassin and spy for the other dimensional despot. She has faced many of Earth's heroes, from the Avengers to the X-Men, both in her capacity as Mojo's servant, and as a solo operator. Her motivations are often opaque, and she rarely explains her actions, preferring instead to see her victory complete and then teleport away. She is responsible for the creation of Lady Deathstrike's enhanced body, as well as the delivery of Shatterstar's indentity to the mutant body of Ben Russell. Phenomenally powerful as a sorceress and warrior, the presence of Spiral at Mojo's side virtually guarantees his continued rule of Mojo World.

Truthfully, Spiral serving Mojo is a form of punishment. When Longshot first came to Earth, he was attacked by Spiral after befriending a stuntwoman named "Riccohet" Rita. Rita helped him return to the Mojoverse to continue his rebellion against Mojo, but she was captured. Mojo strapped her to the front of his interdimensional ship like a figurehead, exposing her to the multiverse and destroying her mind. He later had Rita rebuilt with six arms, gave her new powers and sent her into the past to attack herself, starting the cycle over again. Mojo's kind of a dick.

Spiral is kind of a tough character to depict realistically, because of the four extra arms. It's just like doing special effects: make an outlandish space alien, and no one will bat an eye, but try to fake something about human anatomy, and any small mistake will leap out at the audience. Marvel Legends' answer is actually pretty nice: one set of arms comes out where they normally would, another right below that, and the third behind and between the others. It's an arrangement that actually makes some strange sort of biological sense, so good for them!

Though it may seem like an unnecessary feature, Spiral's digital antenna/samurai helmet is removable. It looks really good on her, but there wouldn't have been any way to pull the head from a mold with the helmet on, so better to make it an accessory than glue it on permanently. The hair underneath is flattened out just the way it should be. Her eyes are blank white, and she's got crazy pointy eyebrows. The helmet is designed to be held in place by the strands of hair on her brow.

Articulation is very good. We'll start with the arms, which have swivel wrists, double-hinged elbows and swivel-hinge joints at the shoulder. Five joints, six arms... that's 30 POA already, striking a good balance between poseability and clutter. It would have been nice to have some sort of bicep swivel, or hinges in the wrist, but at some point you have to consider how how the costs are adding up. The last time we got a Spiral toy, she had two shoulders and two elbows, total, so this is a real beauty. She's also got a balljoints at the head, torso, hips, knees and ankles, so you can get her in all sorts of dancing poses.

A variant Spiral started showing up in later waves of this Target-exclusive series. The original is wearing a solid blue jumpsuit, has a detailed helmet and silver bands on her arms. The variant, by contrast, wears a two-tone outfit, her helmet is flat grey and her arms are gold. Given the choice, the original version looks much better.

Spiral's accessories include two loose swords, and one in a scabbard that hangs around her chest. There's one straight sword and one that's more curved, like a scimitar, and she can hold either of them in any of five hands - the sixth has its fingers open, to gesture. A note about that: the figure has four fingers (and a thumb) on each hand, but in the comics she only had three. Not all artists have drawn her that way, however, so it isn't really wrong, per se.

Of course, as a part of the Target Legends, Spiral comes with a piece of the series Build-A-Figure, Red Hulk. Specifically, she gets his head, which makes this one of the few ML figures you can buy and not feel guilty about keeping unwanted BAF pieces lying around: after all, the girl's got swords, and she's incredibly vicious; it's not out of the realm of possibility that she would have decapitated her enemy, and saved his head as a trophy.

Spiral is a nice figure, and one that realy works well as a Marvel Legend. All those arms deserve the plentiful articulation, and she looks great flanking Mojo. Dig up a few more swords to fill her hands, and she's even better. Of course, that - coupled with companies' usual dislike of girl toys - means she's one of the harder figures to find, so good luck. If you see her, don't hesitate: she may disappear before you come back.

-- 12/08/08

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