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Warrior Thor

Avengers: Endgame
by yo go re

Okay, so "The Big Thorbowski" was good (and important), but that's not the only Thor there was in Endgame.

Can you believe there are people who say that Marvel movies are hollow, meaningless fluff with no actual emotional weight? I know it's difficult to judge a work on its merits rather than just dismissing it out of hand - especially when the work in question expects you to pay attention and figure things out on your own instead of literally just saying how things are going - but it does help keep you from saying demonstrably stupid things. Like, that huge emotional arc we wrote about in the other Thor review? Almost none of it is text; it's almost like it was put in the movie as some sort of... sub-text? Is that a word? I don't think it is, so I'm coining it right now. If you want to fully follow Thor's story in Endgame, you need to think about what "subtext" the visuals are trying to communicate to you.

Because Thor's story was about depression and PTSD (a realistic version, no less), not all of his problems were magically solved - literally or figuratively - just because he faced his problems or thought positively or decided to get over it. The visual proof of this was his body: he may have reclaimed his power, but that power didn't erase five years of neglect; and since the movie can't show us his brain, it instead shows us that magic lightning didn't turn Dad-Bod back into The Sexiest Man Alive. The toy's stomach sticks out like a beer belly, rather than being all-around chunky. The costume is the same he was wearing in Infinity War (and the beginning of Endgame, I guess; so... Startgame?), though the scale mail on the arms is now black instead of silver.

Like Freya says, "Everyone fails at who they're supposed to be. The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are." Part of Thor being the best person he can be is actually grooming himself, so the lightning does at least magic him up some better-looking hair. The hair on the top of his head and the parietal ridge has been pulled back into a twist so it won't fall into his face, and his huge, bushy beard has been given this really cool thriple-braid thing that makes him look like an utter beast - you know, more "Billy Badass" than "ßilly ßadass."

This is a Bandai/Tamashii Nations SH Figuarts release, so it's going to be a little smaller than Marvel Legends, but still move really well. And sure enough, he's about 6½" tall, and has joints aplenty: hinged toes, balljointed ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips mounted on a hinge, balljointed waist, balljointed chest, swivel/hinge/swivel wrists and elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders mounted on balljoints in the chest, and a balljointed neck and head. The lowest edge of his hair in the back is done as a separate piece from the rest, and fits between the head and the top of the neck, so it moves a little bit apart from the rest of the head - it's not the most natural thing in the world, but it is better than one solid wig. His cape is softgoods, so it can billow all about him without getting in the way.

The figure includes eight alternate hands: pop off the fists he has in the package and you can trade them for open or closed grips, relaxed, or splayed versions. The actual accessories include both Stormbreaker and Mjolnir, because that's how he showed up to the fight. There's a more expensive "Final Battle" set available, with an alternate face that has glowing blue eyes, plus a bunch of translucent blue electricity effects, which is neat, but I was okay with the more affordable option (especially since it was a Singles Day purchase): basically, I didn't want to throw a whole bunch of money at something that doesn't quite blend with my existing MCU collection. Especially since there's always a chance Hasbro will make one of their own at some point.

Disneyfox can re-release James Cameron Presents: James Cameron's Avatar (a James Cameron Production) as many times as they want, but everybody knows Endgame is the real king of the world: it only came out once, its tickets didn't cost $30, and people could remember any of its characters' names a month after seeing it. Plus, "Bro Thor" has had more of a cultural impact than Blue Fern Gully could ever dream of. The Figuarts release may be diminutive and expensive, but it's also the only way to get a version of him that's at least close to what you want.

-- 03/29/21

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