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Mythic Legions
by yo go re

Mythic Legions 2 is not only about women and twinks - there are a few 'roided out Series 1-style men, too.

Once the most decorated Mercurian gladiator in history, Calavius was promised his freedom from competition after his one hundredth straight victory. That victory came and went, but the promise was not honored. With hope lost, a fury was born in Calavius that led him to revolt. The revolt dawned, as fate would have it, when Calavius met Attlus, a recently captured gladiator. Together they led the rebellion that destroyed Mercurious' gladiatorial games and the ancient Colosseum that housed them. When the allies met again years later, it was no surprise that Calavius quickly joined his old friend Attlus the Conquerer in a fight with greater stakes than either of them could have imagined.

Now, see, why would you do that? Moving the goalposts never works out, especially when the goalposts you're moving are "become the best, most undefeatable fighter anyone has ever seen." It's Weapon X spending half a billion dollars to make Wolverine indestructible, then turning on him: just bad planning. If you're an evil tyrant, and your top fighter is nearing his promised goal, don't try to cheat him out of it, either stop giving him fights ("sorry, Calavius, nobody wants to fight you today") or start making him offers that will make him want to stay on your side. He may turn you down, but at least he won't destroy you.

You'd think that if it was so tough freeing himself from indentured gladiatorial servitude, Calavius might want to maybe take off the helmet? And not keep wearing it forever, every day of his life? But go off, I guess. Said headgear is the Roman Cassis Crista crested helmet, the stereotypical "gladiator" helmet with a large visor all the way around, a cage-style mask protecting the face, and a high crest on top. The crest here has a small skull design on the tip and a plume of horsehair bristles running back from that. The real helmets were often adorned with large feathers on the side, but since those didn't survive archaeologically, no one pictures them that way.

The galdiator look is carried down below the neck, as well. Calavius is shirtless, using the Series 1 "bare chest" mold, and while the left arm matches that, the right arm comes from one of the knights, and is thus armored - it's a manica, the scaled arm guard gladiators wore! And the greaves? Those are the ocrea shin guards. Nice stuff. He has the usual waist armor and the scale mail loincloth, and although his boots are the refined, layered ones, his gloves are the wilder orc style. To really complete the "murmillo" look, you'll want to put the red strap around his chest, and toss the included shoulder pauldron on there as well: the armor beefs up the look of the manica, while the strap appears to hold the entire thing on.

Calavius has some pretty great colors. Other than the pauldron, all his armor is golden, accented with silver and dark blue. The panels just below his kneepads are bronze, which matches the color of his wicked helmet, which itself has some gold accents and silver for the face grill. Plus, molding the ubiquitous weapon strap in red makes it stand out really well against his skin.

The Mythic Legions figures are incredibly well-articulated, and also incredibly modular. Minimus Decimus Meridius has a balljointed head, swivel neck, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, swivel forearms, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge/swivel ankles.

It's a really good thing for us that Calavius came out in the second series and not in the first, because it means he comes with some nice weaponry. There is a fairly standard short sword in the tray next to him, probably meant to stand in for the Roman gladius, but bagged behind the figure is a small round shield, and a couple of polearms: two shafts, one gold with a silver spike on the end, the other silver with golden grips; and two weapons for mounting on the end, a trident or a halberd. The reason we think of gladiators as using tridents is because the fights were as theatrical as pro wrestling, and were often allegorical: a retiarius using a trident and net (in other words, kitted out like a fisherman) would fight against a secutor wearing a helmet designed to look like a fish.

For our money, the trident looks best on the silver staff (and Calavius looks best holding it), but either of them can be combined however you want. Do note, however, that the paint on the gold staff is slightly thick, so it got scraped away when attaching the head. The inclusion of the trident at all was part of the $600,000 stretch goal unlocked during the Kickstarter.

And speaking of unlocks, the set also includes a second head. At $750k, Calavius also got to come with the Vorgus Vermillius helmet done in gold, with black bull horns. That's a perfectly fine inclusion, but it's not nearly as cool as the standard cassis crista. But hey: modular parts! You can trade that helmet away to whomever you want! Or if you take the horns out, it could possibly pass for a secutor's helmet (which was smooth to avoid catching in the retiarius' net, and only had small eyeholes to protect the wearer from the trident).

But nobody bought Clavius because they were hoping to get a golden bull-horned helmet, they bought him because he's a badass gladiator, and this toy delivers!

-- 01/05/19

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