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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Who's your favorite X-Men character? Is it the rebellious Wolverine, too cool to take orders from anybody? Maybe it's Magneto, with his righteous fury at a world that did him wrong? Or is it perhaps the sensational character find of 1977, the mighty Chode?

An alien from the Shi'ar galaxy, Ch'od's monstrous, reptilian form belittles his keen intellect and heroic heart. Once a slave, he has regained his freedom, and now travels the spaceways in the company of the Starjammers, always on the lookout for other victims of tyranny in need of his aid!

Thank you, 1994 ToyBiz, for giving us the information 2023 Hasbro won't! And yes, I realize his name probably pronounced to rhyme with "rod," not "road," but this is funnier. It is simply funnier to pretend Ch'od is said like Chode. Always commit to the bit. That said, I'm pretty sure that old back-of-the-card copy was supposed to say "belies" his intellect, not "belittles" it.

Ch'od is the Build-A-Figure for X-Men Legends Series 11: you can skip Cyclops if you want (though the figure is surprisingly good, so you might want him anyway), but get the other six figures and you'll have your very own giant green lizard man, ready to break some space-laws!

The figure reuses the Abomination molds, which is an inspired choice - one we can't help but feel was influenced by the cover of last year's Captain Marvel Annual #1, since he wasn't usually drawn as "Blonski-ish" as that. But with scaly skin divided into horizontal bands, it's kind of a no-brainer (at least, once you see it). The only parts that had to be redone are the forearms and hands: the forearms because Ch'od has fins there, and the hands because Abomination's were, unexpectedly, smoother. Ch'od also accessorizes his little trunks with a giant leather belt that has a thin gold buckle.

Ch'od's head is lower and flatter than Abomination's, to make him feel more amphibian. His rough fish lips are parted slightly, revealing his tiny, sharp teeth. There's a heavy brow over his solid red eyes, and his ears are more like fish fins than bat wings. Remember that thing about how a skilled artist should be able to draw Steve Rogers, Hank Pym, Clint Barton, and Donald Blake next to each other, and still have you tell who's who? They should also be able to do the same with Ch'od and Abomination.

One of the major differences between these two big lizard-monsters is the color. Yeah, they're both green, but Abomination is a dark bluish green, while Ch'od is a lighter yellowish green. There are highlights brushed onto the tops of his feet, the back of his hands, the tips of his forearm fins, his shoulders, and the ridge of scales down his spine. Without a light patch covering his throat and chest, the neck joint actually blends in with the rest of the body instead of looking like a giant mistake. All the joints remain the same as the previous use of the mold. It would have been nice if we'd gotten some fists, not just open hands with the claws exposed, but if we did, they might not have been able to add the extra hinge that means we can open and close his mouth. And that's way more fun than being able to punch.

Although he's a giant leather beast, Ch'od has a cute, furry pet, called Cr+eee. Or sometimes Cr'reee, but definitely originally Cr+eee. It's some sort of space-ferret, and is apparently fairly intelligent, though its thought patterns are too alien to properly understand. And since he only speaks in unrecognizable symbols, it's not possible to get his opinion on the situation. Cr+eee usually rides on Ch'od's shoulder, but is helpful in a fight.

Cr+eee has a long body and four thin limbs with three toes on each. His tail curls around to the side, and his long, pointy nose almost has a bend in it rather than simply drooping. The body is mostly solid, though like so many ML pets, he does get a balljointed head. When ToyBiz made a Ch'od, their Cr+eee plugged into his shoulder; for this one, the best you can manage is to have him stand up there on his own.

There are only four members of the Starjammers, so in this one series, Hasbro has already given us half the team. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get the rest. They could use Squirrel Girl's tail to make Hepzibah! And Winter Soldier for Raza. Not only was using Abomination's molds to make Ch'od a smart idea, Ch'od turned out to be the better toy.

Emma Frost | Fang | Monet St. Croix | Corsair | Kid Omega | Chamber

-- 07/14/23

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