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The Silver Savage

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Costume changes are a godsend for toy companies. No matter how many gimmicks you come up with, you can still only sell so many toys that look exactly alike. But as soon as the character gets a new hat or what have you, that's an excuse to do some retooling and sell sell sell! Even better when it's a fairly well-known character who's previously worn the same thing for his entire existence.

Temporarily disabled and fitted with an obedience slug, the Silver Surfer once again knows servitude. Though he has been free of Galactus's influence for years, his mind still retains some vestige of its servile nature, rendering him totally vulnerable to the suggestive power of his captors. Armed with primitive weapons and clad in warrior garb, he is pitted against his old friend the Hulk. Robbed of full access to the Power Cosmic by his enslavement, he is nearly killed by the Hulk before his obedience slug is destroyed. His power, finally unleashed, sets in motions the events that will destroy the Red King and lead to the coronation of the Hulk as King of Sakaar.

Man, the more I hear about "Planet Hulk," the better it sounds. You've got the Silver Surfer fighting in a gladiator match, and using his board as a shield? Crowning moment of awesome!

This figure reuses a lot of the previous Surfer, from the Fantastic Four Legends series. The shins, forearms and hands are new, but everything else is a copy. That's fine, though, because the existing sculpt was quite good. He's wearing a loincloth and a belt, and has armor on his arms and legs - that's why they're new sculpts. He's also wearing an armored shoulder pad that's strapped across his chest, and cleverly, this piece is also molded with the obedience disc that kept the fighters in line; by putting it on the removable armor, Hasbro didn't have to retool the molds for the figure's chest, but still gets the look right.

The head is the same thin, sleek dome seen on the last figure, and it still looks better than the ML5 figure. His eyes are white, but this time that's not the only paint variance on the figure. In addition to the fine detail on the bracers and greaves - black with gold inlays - and the colors on his loincloth and various traps, the Silver Savage (the hucksterish name given to him by the slave trader who sold him to the arena) also has one golden arm. No, it wasn't changed by going through the portal: it's armor, and should have horizontal bands, just like Planet Hulk's silver arm should have.

As mentioned above, the Silver Savage used his board as a shield, and this toy does, as well. This is the same design as the MLFF Surfer's board, but thankfully isn't vac metallized. There are no footpegs or magnets, but there is strap system on the underside that allows Norrin to effectively wear his "shield" the way he should. He also includes a sword (it can be carried over his shoulder, thanks to a loop on the strap) and a bronze mace. It's a lot like Man-At-Arms' weapon, in that it's made of incredibly soft plastic and will droop in his hand over time. Yay. So just like Poe did back then, I'm advising you to turn it over every so often, so its weight will straighten it out.

As part of a Build-A-Figure line, the Silver Savage includes an amputated right leg. If you don't want to build Red Hulk, you can pretend it belongs to some unfortunate soul Surfer faced in combat while under the control of his obedience disc. No, we didn't see any of that in the comic, but who's to say what happened before his first "official" fight? The red skintone doesn't quite match the native Sakaarans' orange, but it's close.

The Silver Savage is a really nice figure. Sure, he's mostly repaint, but that's not a bad thing. The new bits work well, and the accessories all make good sense. Not a lot of toys you can say that about recently. The only downside, really, is that he's a Target exclusive, and hard to find. Well, that and he was overpriced when he first came out, put on shelves at the $15 price reserved for the Hulk Legends. Yes, they eventually corrected it, but that doesn't help those of us who had already paid.

-- 12/15/08

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