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Beta Ray Bill

Avengers: Endgame
by yo go re

What fool named him Beta Ray Bill and not "Bojack Norseman"?

After being released from suspended animation, Beta Ray Bill is transformed by a mystical enchantment on Mjolnir that grants him the powers and costume of Thor.

When Marvel announced at SDCC that Jane Foster would be Thor in the next Thor movie, the same "real" fans who had "real" reasons for trying to review-bomb Captain Marvel began complaining that "Thor" was a name, not a title. Yes, well, "Caesar" wasn't a title either, until it was; things change. Besides, if you refuse the idea that Jane can be Thor in the MCU, then you're also refusing the idea of there ever being an MCU Beta Ray Bill, and that's just not right.

There hasn't been an ML Beta Ray Bill since the ToyBiz days, so this is one we needed, even if he's not wearing the original Walt Simonson costume with the techno details on it. This one first showed up in the Unworthy Thor comic, where it was designed by Olivier Coipel - a guy who knows a thing or two about designing good Thors.

Compared to the original, this suit is almost detail-free. It's basically a black bodysuit under a blue breastplate, with a pair of smooth pauldrons on the shoulders - very simple, very elegant. And very Thor, especially with the small silver discs down the chest. He has wraps on his wrists, and a big red cape that clasps to his clavicles. Like, literally: on the toy, the palstic has loops that fit onto the bumps at the top of his chest; you have to unhook them to get him out of the tray. What a detail! His helmet is still a silver skull cap, but there's no pointy spike on top, and the wings are stylized metal, not feathers.

Bill's arms and legs come from the big body mold, so those have the usual articulation - swivel/hinges in the ankles, wrists, and shoulders, double-hinges in the knees and elbows, swivels in the shins, thighs, and biceps, and balljoints in the hips. The rest of the molds are new (including the three-fingered hands), but the new pieces move just as well as the rest: a swivel waist, a balljointed chest, hinged neck and balljointed head, and a hinge that allows you to open his jaw wide. Though that looks weird, since you can see his joints rather than a throat.

While the costume colors are darker than before, with the muted blue breastplate and the brick red cape, his skin is the appropirate orange this time, not tan. And Stormbreaker is a brighter gold than ToyBiz gave, us, too. The accessory retains the usual "hammer on one side, axe on the other" shape, but it has a much longer handle, sculpted with a twisting pattern. A leather strap is sculpted hanging from the bottom, as well. You can get the hammer into both hands at once, if you try.

Despite all the new molds, Beta Ray Bill still gets two Hulk Build-A-Figure pieces: both of them heads.

Since Natalie Portman will be portraying Thor in the next movie, imagine how great it would be if they also introduced Beta Ray Bill, and had him voiced by Hayden Christensen. A little reunion! This costume would be a nice start for an MCU version, honestly, and even if it isn't the classic, it looks dang good hanging out with your Asgaardians.

-- 08/15/19

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