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Spider-Man: No Way Home
by yo go re

Let's hear it for modern creations!

From the darkness, the vampire Morlun hunts Spider-Man in an effort to slay the superhero and feed on his powers.

Morlun was created during J. Michael Straczynski's run on Spider-Man, an implacable man who was powerful enough that Peter Parker's only recourse was to run from him. Though even that was temporary, because once Morlun has touched someone, he can find them anywhere. After their first meeting, Pete said not even Hulk or Thor had hit him as hard - and that was with an open-palm strike. But Morlun really came into his own during the "Spider-Verse" crossover, where it was revealed that he had a whole family who were all as tough and deadly as him (known as "the Inheritors"), and they were all hunting down the Spider-Totems from various realities. To eat them.

Morlun was originally just a vampire type dude, so naturally his style of dress can be described as "19th century aristocrat." He uses one of the suit bodies with a new piece to create his fancy coat, vest, and cravat. Yes, just one piece: all three are molded as a single thing slipped over the torso. He's got the same arms as Logan Logan, but there are new cuff pieces held in the wrists to make the jacket look more old-fashioned. That's clever work!

Back in the '90s, there was a Spider-Man cartoon. The cartoon featured Morbius quite a bit, because it was the '90s and he was kind of popular at the time. But a Saturday morning cartoon can't very well have a guy going around sucking the blood from victims' throats, so despite having typical vampire fangs in his mouth, Morbius would "drain" the "plasma" from people via leech-like suckers on his palms. Perhaps in homage to that bit of bowdlerization, Morlun has exactly the same kind of things on his hands. His skin is grayish, but the holes on the palms are painted red.

The character's facial features are fairly typically "vampiric" - strong cheekbones, thin and pointed eyebrows, a angular nose, prominent upper teeth, etc. He looks like if Kirk Douglas was turned into a vampire. He's got the widow's peak/receeding hairline combo, with his hair reaching down to the middle of his back. His eyes are solid red, because mysticism. The figure includes two heads: one smiling threateningly, the other snarling in anger. That's enough of a difference so you can actually tell one from the other without them having to be right next to each other.

Because of the overcoat piece, the figure's chest joint isn't very useful. And the long hair means the head can't tip back, only forward; that's okay for a character who's 7'5" and would stare down at most people around him, but this existing body isn't that big. It is the one with the extra ankle joints, though, so maybe they thought that evened out? His coat has long tails, but the PVC is flexible enough that it doesn't stop the knees from bending back if you should so want them to. The hips are stiff, but not nearly as bad as some other vampires we could name.

The Build-A-Figure for this series is Armadillo, which sounds like we're joking. We're not. Morlun gets the right arm.

Morlun seemed like he was destined to be one of those villains forgotten when their creator moved on to other work, even if he did inspire one of the best Twisted ToyFare Theatre gags. But making Morlun and the whole "totem" thing an integral part of the Spider-Verse crossover really gave him his due, reinforcing him as the most unstoppable foe Spidey's ever fought. This toy may be slightly short, but it's still awesome we got him.

-- 10/18/21

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