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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Morph is a really odd character, in that he's got three alternate reality counterparts who are all more famous than the original.

A natural mimic, Kevin Sydney transforms into any shape at will.

Just like Blink, Morph showed up in "Age of Apocalypse" because of his unexpected popularity elsewhere; but in his case, that wasn't the 616 continuity, or even in the comics at all: rather, it was X-Men the Animated Series, where (also like Blink) he was intended as a sacrifical lamb to up the story stakes. But the animated character known as Morph was based on Changeling, an obscure X-villain from the early days of the book, and he'd been dead since the '60s, so this was their chance to ride the show's coattails and bring him back in a new form.

AoA Morph did seem to be more versatile than his 616 counterpart, who never really demonstrated anything more than the ability to look like different people - in the altered reality, he's more like Plastic Man. His costume is a dark blue suit with black shapes on the arms, legs, and torso. Inspired by Magneto, he wears a floor-length cape held in place by a studded collar that lays around his shoulders. Surprisingly, that's a new mold, not the existing one. Same goes for his yellow boots and gloves: we've had plenty of flared gloves and pirate boots in Marvel Legends, but not these particular ones before.

Another surprise is the head. Rather than just painting the Madcap head white, which would have worked, Hasbro has designed and molded a different noseless, smiling face. It does look friendlier, at least, suiting the character. Apparently not having a ton of faith in an all-white mold, however, they've opted to accentuate the sculpt by painting on his smile and his cocked eyebrow. The eyes are silver, surrounded by large black circles.

Morph is an infinitely flexible character, which isn't something that fits with the limitations of a plastic action figure. Hasbro at least tred to account for this, by making him on a body with a little extra articulation, in the form of pectoral hinges. It's not much, but hey, at least it's something. Other than that, he's got all the usuals: swivel/hinge ankles, swivel boot tops, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist, hinged chest, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge shoulders, a hinged neck, and a balljointed head. The cape is so low that it will get in the way if you try to give Morph too extreme a pose.

The figure has no accessories, just a piece of this series' Build-A-Figure: the right leg of Sugar Man. It would have been cool if they'd included a human head for him, as an homage to the old cartoon.

Although he was popular in "Age of Apocalypse," Morph was not one of the characters who managed to escape the reality before it ended - but when Blink joined the inter-dimensional Exiles team, she met the Morph of Earth-1081, who looked identical to the one she'd known before. So in order of appearance, we have Animated Morph (1992), AoA Morph (1995), and Exiles Morph (2001), all of whom overshadow their ultimate inspiration, 616 Changeling (1967).

-- 07/27/20

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