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Zenithon

Mythic Legions
by yo go re

Okay, so how can you call something an "All-Stars" series when only three out of the 11 releases are old figures being brought back?

Long thought to be the product of an unusual union between Angel and Orc blood, the Oraphim of Mythoss are a race often found on the outskirts of society where they seek to avoid unwanted interest. Xylernia has often been a refuge for this misunderstood people, as well as a haven for their culture and customs. Giant feathered wings combined with incredible stamina enable the Oraphim to travel great distances. These attributes serve them well in their role as messengers of Xylernia. Zenithon is one of The Flock's most celebrated messengers, and a powerful warrior in his own right.

Zenithon is one of this series' two MotU homages, this time Poe's favorite monkey-bird-man, Stratos. You need to be light to fly, so he uses bare bodyparts wherever possible - you know, the same sort of barbarian pieces seen on Adamonn. To really look like Stratos, he'd have to have a furry body, but that type of mold doesn't exist in Mythic Legions; even the cats were smooth. The entire body is grey, which does keep him looking unique. And he's got bare feet instead of boots, which is still fairly rare.

Most of the armor is the same Bryophytus wore: smooth greaves and bracers. The belt he uses is the World Heavyweight Championship one, I guess because Stratos had that large oval in the center of his harness? The loincloth is the overlapping scale mail style - hey, we've seen this combo before! Presumably this was chosen because there's nothing else that looks even remotely close to feathers? There are optional pauldrons, very small ones intended for the 2.0 bodies. Instead of one of the usual leather sword straps, Zenithon has two; they're the same blue as his armor, so when you cross them over his chest, it gives the look of wearing a complete harness.

All the "MotU Legions" homages come with alternate heads, and about half the time they're terrible ideas that do nothing for the figure. Fortunately, Zenithon gets two winners! First is one of the dwarven helmets, the one with the "beard" made entirely from metal plates rather than hair. That's painted red on top and blue around the eyes, like Strato's helmet, then most of the beard plates are silvery-grey, like the rest of the body, while the few in the center are a dark gold - in other words, they're representing the pink skin of Stratos' face! Clever! The alternate head is the bearded orc style, which both fits with the character as described by the bio up above, and (thanks again to the face being painted a different color than the rest) conveys the feeling of "Stratos" we've known since the '80s. It just looks like he took his helmet off for a change.

There's no denying the inclusion of big, red, wings helps draw the parallels. Mythic Legions doesn't have any "arm wing" pieces, so Zenithon gets a pair of wings like the Gothitropolis birds had. They're a slightly darker red than the armor, but they complete the look nicely. The wings have joints where they go into the body (or, into that special block that allows them to stick out far enough not to get in the way of the pauldrons, anyway) and in the middle, so the poseability is decent if unspectacular. It's more wing than Stratos ever had, but adjustments have to be made.

Stratos is not traditionally a character who comes with accessories - the original 1980s toy didn't have any, the Mo2K version didn't have any, and the Classics version didn't have any. In fact, the only Stratos who's had an accessory is the minifigure, and it's a good thing he did, because otherwise we wouldn't understand why Senithon comes with two weapons. One is a golden trident, representing the Staff of Avion, as seen in the episode "Reign of the Monster"; the other is a magic staff that's got bright green orbs painted amonst the gold, in order to reference the "Siege of Avion" minicomic's Emerald Staff. Neat! I'm pretty sure the trident tip I got was molded incorrectly, sadly: it's nearly impossible to force onto the pike, and if you do get it, it sits at a weird angle. Bummer! There are also a pair of pointed caps to fill in the sides of the helmet, but boy are they a tough fit to get in!

It's intersting that these homage figures don't just look familiar, they often advance the story or expand the world. For instance, we never heard of "Oraphim" before, and they're not the first new race introduced on one of these side characters. The Four Horsemen could take it easy, counting on nostalgia to make the releases interesting, but they still put in their all.

-- 03/25/23


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