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Black Racer

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


Once turned by Stheno's venom, the Gorgon Horde became the terrifying enemy of anybody who was unfortunate enough to cross their paths. The Black Racer Gorgons were blindingly fast and horribly violent. They could cross great distances in the blink of an eye and, while not venomous, would wrap themselves around their victim and crush them in their powerful tail before they could begin to fight back.

It's cool the way they work real herpetological details about the different snakes into these bios - the black racer is a native of the Southeastern US that gets its name from its natural speed, and while it is non-venomous, it doesn't constrict its prey; it just suffocates it.

The Black Racer has the same kind of snaky head as the Coral Gorgon, with the big eyes and all the scales. It's not the same mold though, because this one has the jaw wide open. We get a great view of the two large fangs, and the glottis (aka the "hiss-hole") is sculpted on the bottom of the mouth, while the roof of the mouth has what must be Jacobson's organ (the thing that lets snakes "smell" with their tongues).

She also wears the same serpentine helmet as Coral [CORAL! STAY IN THE HOUSE! --ed.] Despite what people say, snakes don't actually unhinge their jaws in order to eat large prey - if they did, the pieces that frame the face here would have fallen to the ground. Instead, the ossicles that in humans evolved to be your ear bones (you remember the malleus, incus and stapes, right?) in snakes evolved to become the quadrate and articular bones, which together act as a second hinge for the jaw. Science!

The Black Racer lives up to her name, by being fully black (other than the eyes, mouth and fangs). Real black racers may be black on top, but their bellies are gray and their chins are white. Doing all that would have cost more money, though, and this was probably meant to be a money-saver. On the plus side, that solid black makes a lovely contrast for her golden armor. Even that's sporting fewer paint apps, since the Gorgoneion device on her chest is still golden, rather than silver.

The figure moves well, with a balljointed head, swivel/hinged shoulders, elbows and wrists, a balljointed waist, and eight more balljoints down the length of the tail! The interior structures are ABS plastic, but the outer skin is PVC, allowing it to flex as it moves, or to even rotate around the inner core so you can pose the tail various ways without ending up with the belly pointed at the sky. To help maintain a difference between the Black Racer and Medusa, this one does not have a rattle on the end of her tail, just a normal, scaly tail-tip.

The character comes with the same gorgon-faced shield we've seen a few times now, and while the sword is the same straight one the Coral Gorgon wielded, she also gets the scabbard and sash the Spartan Warrior carried. Boss Fight Studios really does a nice job of mixing up the accessories so these repaints still feel unique.

Vitruvian HACKS' Gorgon Horde may simply have been invented as a way to get more use out of some complex, expensive molds, but the variety of snake women we're getting is still pleasant. The shared sculpts make them all look like part of the same army, but the changes in parts-use and paint keep them interesting.

-- 05/20/16

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