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Crimson Dynamo

Black Widow
by yo go re

Well, it's a new year, and thanks to Conservatives who are too bone-stupid to understand the consequences of their actions, Americans are still stuck in a pandemic. Marvel Studios' Black Widow was first pushed back to October of 2020, then to May of 2021, and now they're talking about releasing it the same way Mulan was (which they could have done last year, but that's beside the point) all because losers won't wear masks or stay home. Anyway, we'd be really remiss if we didn't finish reviewing the ML series before it's released, so let's build this bad boy!

Once the crown jewel in the former Soviet Union's high-tech weapons arsenal, the Crimson Dynamo was an armored killing machine fusing mechanical might with electrical power. But what the Kremlin never knew was its inventor left a secret legacy: a spare! Now the Russians, US weapons inspectors & ruthless arms smugglers all know, and they all want it for themselves. But whose hands it finally winds up in may be the ultimate worst-case scenario! Global power politics meets high-stakes action & intrigue as a new Cold War threatens to engulf the globe!

(As usual, BAFs don't get any bio info, so that comes from the 2003 limited series that introduced this design.)

Crimson Dynamo is the Build-A-Figure for the Black Widow series of Marvel Legends - buy six of the seven figures in the series (Taskmaster has a bunch of accessories and a unique sculpt, so he doesn't get a piece) and you can assemble the full figure. With everything clicked together, he stands about 8" tall.

This toy represents the Crimson Dynamo Mk.2, which Anton Vanko was working on before he left for America and defected then exploded - that's why it looks so rough. (For those keeping track at home, the suit you think of when you think "Crimson Dynamo" is the Mk.4, and the samurai suit is the Mk.5.) The overall aesthetic is that of a walking coal furnace, especially with those vertical slits on the "mouth" of the helmet and the tiny smokestacks on the shoulder.

There are supposed to be similar vents on the front of the feet, but this figure uses the same legs as the Mandroid, so they're absent. The torso is new, and it's so big the shoulder pads and even the backplate have to be assembled separately. The body is sculpted with big rivets by the seams, adding to the janky, industrial look, and the way the shoulder plating is shaped to align with the star on the chest is pretty awesome. They've even remembered to sculpt the interlocking teeth of the access hatch on the armor's spine.

A big part of the comic this suit comes from was new pilot Gennady Gavrilov running around with the helmet separate from the rest of the armor, so it's handy you can pull the head right off its balljoint if you want. Another plot point was the armor building up a massive static charge that was threatening to unleash a massive EMP because Vanko hadn't had time to finish the armor before leaving, requiring specially designed gauntlets to help disperse and control the blast. This toy has the upgrade, because those translucent teal tubes on the forearms are exactly what we saw in the book.

Crimson Dynamo is nicely articulated, moving at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. The chest, neck, and head are all balljoints, which is probably more than was needed - with those big shoulders especially, I'd be worried about the chest joint getting too loose. It's fine now, and who knows? It may be forever. If they hadn't put a point of articulation at the bottom of the neck, we probably never would have noticed it missing, but it does let you express a little more personality in your poses. The figure's right hand is curled into a fist, while the left has its fingers open - which, as unremarkable as that might seem, can be read as a direct reference to a scene in the comic (Gennady was proving the suit couldn't use its fingers unless there was a person inside working them).

Gennady and the Crimson Dynamo MKII have never appeared anywhere other than their introductiory miniseries, so no one would fault you for thinking this might be an MCU version of the armor - the appearance is much more like something we'd see in the films than the comics, but on the plus side, that means you could slyly work it into your movie collection if you felt like it. After all, Black Widow is already going to see Natasha going home to interact with figures from her past, is it such a stretch to think someone might be looking to get their hands on a primitive suit of mechanized armor?

Черная Вдова | Елена Белова | Красный Страж
Зимний Солдат | Скрещенныекости | Шпионмастер

-- 01/18/21

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