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Mythic Legions
by yo go re

Hopefully reviewing this today is not an omen that 2022 is going to stink.

An outcast who hails from the Swale region of Xylonia, Mephitor is a cunning spy who exploits his unique knowledge of his homeland to spy on members of Xylona's Flock. A treacherous traitor loyal to none, this scoundrel is willing to work for anyone wealthy enough to pay his price. With a foul ability to direct a spray of toxic gas in his enemies' direction, Mephitor's attack is as unpleasant as it is deadly.

Okay, you're smart, you know how these Mythic Legions MotU homage figures are named - "Mephitor" comes from the Latin "mephitis" meaning "noxious vapor," and is also found in the scientific name of the skunk, Mephitis mephitis - but did you know that a swale is a real geographical feature? It's any sunken area with plantlife growing in it. They occur naturally, but can also be manmade, used to control water runoff and help improve ground absorption. Like a drainage ditch, but larger and wider. You just got learned!

In Mythic Legions All-Stars Series 3, the He-Man figures formed a matched pair - She-Ra and Hordak. Well, the Horsemen are apparently leaning into that idea, so since the other figure in All-Stars 4 was Moss-Man, you knew this one was going to be Stinkor: as the good and evil figures with the "this smells weird" gimmick, they were naturally opposed.

What's surprising is that Mephitor is a small figure - very small! He uses the Goblin-scale body, which was introduced in Series 2. It's the same used for Thistlethorn (which is why that figure's head can be reused here), but wears angular orcish armor for his forearms and elbows instead of the ornate elven stuff Thistlethorn was dressed in. The arms seem slightly too long for the body; like, the forearm part of the gauntlets needs to be ¼" shorter or something. It's barely noticeable when the arms are bent, but when he's just standing there, it will nag at you just a little.

There are no bare arms or legs for this scale of figure yet, so Mephitor has to make do with armor. Stinkor, like most of the old MotU figures, had bare limbs, which allowed his mephitine black fur to be seen; in order to duplicate that, this toy has to wear black armor. Now, how much sense does that make when you have black skin? There is one really clever touch, where they painted the plates on the shoulders silver to at least hint at the white stripes the '80s character had on his arms. It's not perfect, but it's a great effort! His armor is a dusty orange, with red for the gauntlets and the spikes coming up off the front of his scooped collar. He also has a large red belt, and an orange loincloth that's brighter than the "metal" parts. The white paint on his head - stripe, eye spots, and nose - is thick enough to cover the black plastic fully, but not so thick that the detail gets lost. Nice!

Like all the homage figures, Mephitor comes with an alternate head. And like (almost) all the homage figures, its very inclusion seems like a bad idea that never should have gone forward. His is a head from the nameless goblin Legion Builder figure. It's round and bald, with a wedge-shaped nose and pointed ears that stick way out to the side. As always, great sculpt, but is there one person anywhere who's buying this figure because they want a Drow goblin and not a pseudo-Stinkor?

His accessories include a plain sword, a round shield, and a crossbow. All those are blue, like Stinkor's weapons were in 1985. And in 2007. And in 2012. And now again in 2021. The pommel on the sword and the trigger on the crossbow are metallic, rather than flat like the rest. He's also got a pair of removable pauldrons, which are surprisingly smoother than the rest of his armor. Those work better with the alternate head, because they're large enough to cover up his painted "stripes."

Due to his small size, Mephitor feels more like Odiphus than Stinkor, but that's good: it proves the Four Horsemen can still homage the Masters of the Universe characters without being afraid to get a little weird with it. Imagine Mer-Man made from the Bog Goblin or something. Variety is always good. And you don't need to have a large body to make a powerful odor.

-- 01/01/22

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