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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
by yo go re

Someone tell Kindergarten Cop he was wrong.

The strongest general in Namor's army, Attuma is brash and a little reckless, and isn't afraid to defy orders if it means finding an opponent worthy of battle.

So just like Black Panther 1 took one of T'Challa's long-time villains and made him... well, if not an ally, at least not actively antagonistic, Black Panther 2 took one of Namor's long-time villains and put him on the king's side. Yes, "one of"; Namor has more than one villain. There's also Tiger Shark, and then a couple other fish-themed guys you've never heard of. In the comics, Attuma's people are a barbarian tribe living beyond the borders of Atlantis, and he picked up a prophecy somewhere that he believes means he's destined to conquer the kingdom. So putting him in Namor's army is a change, but not a drastic one.

Attuma is the Build-A-Figure for the first series of Wakanda Forever toys, spread among all six figures - a lot of times recently there will be one figure in a series who doesn't have a BAF part, but that's not the case here. (Black Panther herself and Ironheart don't have any, but they're not really part of the line.) A little bit of assembly later, you've got your angry blue water-man.

"Being blue" is about the only thing Attuma is known for in the comics - unlike Namor and his direct family (cousins Namora and Namorita), who were pink, most Atlanteans were blue. Come to think of it, has there ever been a comic story linking Atlantis to the Kree? Since they're also blue with a pink minority? The MCU Atlanteans have normal skintone when they're underwater, because that's where they can breathe best, only turning blue when they surface because they're suddenly under-oxygenated. The film went with a periwinkle shade, rather than Nebula-blue. His clothes could have used some more paint apps to keep them from being so drab.

The other thing Attuma is known for in the comics is wearing a giant stupid hat, a huge yellow thing that looks like horns. The movie's designers found a way to honor that tradition while still keeping true to the race's Mesoamerican roots: Attuma wears an ornate headpiece made from a hammerhead shark's skull, which allows it to stick out in a way loosely similar to the comicbooks, but much less pointless. Most of his armor is made from sealife, logically: horseshoe crab shells for pauldrons, teeth woven into his necklace, vertebrae on his arms and legs, spines around his waist, and jawbones at the top of his boots. There's a water mask sculpted on his face, and the headdress includes things that look like black feathers, but probably aren't (given his underwater origins).

Comics Attuma is a big boy, the sort that would probably be built on the large body, and while actor Alex Livinalli is tall and strong, he's still human, so the toy isn't too outrageous. It has swivel/hinge ankles, double knees - pinless style - swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljoint chest, swivel/hinge wristsdouble elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged neck, and a barbell head. The character's design limits a lot of that, however: his hair means the head can only go forward, the armor keeps his arms from lifting and his feet from raising, and the skirt may be PVC but it still blocks the legs to an extent. The bones on his left arm fell off while I was assembling the figure, and needed to be glued back in place.

Whatever continuity he's from, Attuma is a warrior. That's why this BAF includes two weapons: a spear and a club. The spear is more like a halberd or other poleaxe, with a hooked blade that looks like hammered metal, and shark teeth both along the upper length of the staff and on the back edge of the axe head. The smaller weapon is a gunstock war club, so named because of its resemblance to European firearms; putting a bend in the body focuses the force of the blow, and adding spikes (or, in this case, more shark teeth) along the front edge would make it even more deadly. The club is molded with a wrist strap, but it's not shaped to actually be used.

ToyBiz made an Attuma figure in the third series of their Fantastic Four line in 1995, though he's not pictured on the cards, as he was a last-minute replacement for Adam Warlock. That is the only toy Attuma has ever had until now, so even if this release doesn't look much like the 616 version (yet: you know how the comics tend to adapt live-action changes), it's still good to get him. Hopefully Namora will appear in Series 2, so we can complete the Little Mermaid trinity.

Namor | Nakia | Okoye | Hatut Zeraze | Black Panther | Everett Ross

-- 01/02/23

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