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Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.
by yo go re

Boy, we've really been hitting the snake ladies pretty hard lately, huh?

Stheno is the eldest and most vindictive of the three Gorgon sisters. Like her sisters, she can use her eyes to turn anyone who dares to look upon her into stone. Her bite can also transform a human into an obedient Gorgon soldier. Untrusting of men, Stheno chooses to surround herself with exclusively female warriors. She seeks to wreak vengeance on both man and god alike for the unjust treatment of her younger sister, Medusa, believing that the curse is an attack on all Gorgons. Commanding her horde to wage war upon all. Everyone will pay for the actions of Athena and Poseidon.

Wait, turning people to stone (by ugliness, not eye-beams) was the curse on Medusa, so if Stheno has it, too (again: ugliness, not eye-beams), then the curse would have had to be against all the Gorgons. The bit about her being the oldest and meanest, though? That's accurate.

Stheno, whose name comes from the Greek word for strength, is the first figure we've reviewed based entirely on the plain female body - the Gorgon Horde may have used the torso, but Stheno uses the legs! Her golden underwear is simply painted on, but the rest of her complicated outfit is composed of all new molds. We're talking ornate greaves that strap around her calves, a breastplate that attaches to the oddly pointed shoulder armor, a belt that matches the shin guards and has a large snake skin shirt hanging from it, and bracers with the smallest, most intricate scaly sculpt you've ever in your life seen. Explain to us again why Hasbro didn't have the Boss Fight Studios folks do Cobra-La while they worked there?

And then there's the head. Stheno has a huge green mane of snakes instead of hair. The snakes are big enough that they wouldn't look out of place on a 7" figure, let alone a 4" one like this. They reach down past her waist, and spread more than 3" wide. About a dozen individual snake heads can be spotted among the mass, and she has a massive headdress on her forehead.

The articulation includes a balljointed head and neck; swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; a balljointed torso; balljointed hips; double-hinge knees; and swivel/hinge ankles. The head barely moves, thanks to the snakes, but it does make her extremely back-heavy and tends to fall out of the neck pretty esily. Other than making the hair hollow, there really wasn't any avoiding that. And of course, she has a display stand to help hold her upright.

Her accessories include an extra pair of hands with the joints running the opposite direction, an ornamental dagger, and a tall sceptre with a golden cobra wrapping up its length. She's been shopping at the same stores as Cobra Commander! She can hold the gear in either hand, and the staff actually helps keep her upright: you can lean her forward and use it as a crutch.

Stheno has a really weird look, more like a snake priestess you'd expect to see in a Conan story than a Greek monster, and her hair causes some problems, but she's still got an incredible sculpt and fun accessories.

-- 07/01/16

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