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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

They can't all be winners.

Wolverine takes advantage of his likeness to Imperial Guard Fang and impersonates him to infiltrate the Shi'ar.

Before coming to Marvel and taking over Uncanny X-Men, Dave Cockrum had been drawing the Legion of Superheroes at DC. He loved the job, but DC got greedy and refused to return a piece of original art that Cockrum hoped to keep, so he quit out of principle. When the X-Men were set to face a team of alien super-beings, Dave suggested to Chris Claremont that they base the new Shi'ar Imperial Guard on the Legion, keeping the powers and relationships, but changing the names and costumes. He'd already redesigned pretty much the entire Legion once, so why not once more? You already know what became of Superboy, but this guy, Fang, was the expy of Legionaire Timber Wolf, crossed with a character Cockrum had created and pitched as a LoSH villain. That 1972 character's name? Wolverine. Recursive!

Fang, as a character, was not intended to hang around: Cockrum was not a fan of Wolverine's "clown suit," finding the colors too bright for what the character had evolved into; so the entire point of Fang was that he would get in a fight with Logan, whose clothing had been destroyed, and Logan would take Fang's costume off him, thus gaining a new permanent look. (John Byrne was not a fan of this new design, and so had Wolverine strip it off as soon as he got back to Earth. Like, literally on the first page of the comic.) It's not a bad design, as evidenced by the colorscheme at least becoming a Wolverine mainstay, but it seems a bit too "busy" to really suit logan. Orange bodysuit with a black stripe down the center, and brown gloves and boots? I mean, that's just Sabretooth's original costume!

The thing that keeps it from feeling "Wolverine-ish" are the tiny bands of, well, fangs around the collar, waist, and at the tops of the boots and gloves. This figure uses an existing body, so those are all done as new pieces that slip onto the figure. The collar plugs into the hole in the back, but the rest are just held on by friction. And you'll probably need to push them into place when you open him. They're molded from PVC, so they've got a bit of a flex when you need to fit them around the bodyparts. You could easily see Logan wearing the rest of this outfit (since it would be a decade before he and Sabretooth were linked), but the rings of jewelry don't feel like him.

This head is based on Fang's recent appearances, circa the mid-2010s. Even if the original Fang was just knocked unconscious when Wolverine stole his pants, he was definitely killed when a Brood egg matured within him; the people on his home planet just keep cloning new ones and sending them to join the Imperial Guard. The Amish beard could belong to any version, but the hair on top being mussed instead of slicked back perfectly is a more modern take.

Fang's only accessories are alternate hands: either clawing or balled into fists. You're probably already familiar with this body's articulation: swivel/hinge ankles, swivel boots, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist, hinged chest, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, a hinged neck, and balljointed head. The teeth on the booths will need to be aligned below the joint to allow it to turn freely, but that might be too thin an area, meaning they'll fall down. Good thing they're soft and will bend if you have them higher so they're hanging over the joint.

Since he doesn't have any real accessories, Fang gets two pieces for this series' Ch'od Build-A-Figure; the head and the... pet.

Considering Logan was able to wear Fang's costume without looking like a kid wearing their parent's clothes, wouldn't that imply the two of them are the same size? And thus this figre should have been built on the Wolverine body? [Kind of anthro-centric to assume only Reed Richards can invent unstable molecules, isn't it? --ed.] Currently Dokken Daken is using "Fang" as a codename, and (just as she did for Wolverine) X-23 once wore this costume a lot better than the original guy did, but at last Gladiator isn't the only Imperial Guard on the scene.

-- 07/02/23

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