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Guardians of the Galaxy
by yo go re

Huuullllk! Iiiinnn!! Spaaaaaaccce!!!

The vendetta that drives Drax the Destroyer knows no limits: he will avenge the loss of his family no matter the cost!

It's going to be interesting to see if the movie keeps Drax's comicbook origin intact: namely, that he was once a human man whose family was killed by Thanos. It's possible they'll keep the "Thanos" part but lose the "human," and he'll just be some crazy alien who's out for revenge, which is fine, but wouldn't it be more meaningful to have Star-Lord, a human who misses his home so much that he's violently protective of the one connection he still has to it (his Walkman) to make friends with another Earthling who's even more messed up than he is? It's like when you're in a foreign country and run into someone who speaks your native language and you instantly become best friends based on nothing but that.

Drax is played in the film by Dave Bautista, who you may know better as the wrestler Dave Batista. Why he had to drop the U from his name is anybody's guess. World's worst secret identity? Something. Naturally, the figure has his likeness, and it's very good. Even with the green skin and red markings, there's no mistaking who's under there.

In his prime (back when Jakks still had the WWE license), Batista was the most ridiculously jacked wrestler on the roster: he's not quite as big these days, but he's still a massive brute of a guy, which is perfect for playing Drax. He's bigger in real life than the character has sometimes been drawn in the comics! The markings on his body - be they tattoos or scars or some kind of fancy nano-wire armor mesh embedded into his skin - are fully sculpted elements, meaning this is a new mold, and not one that's useable for any future figures. The sculpt even continues under his chest joint, so when he moves it doesn't have any gaps! Upon close inspection, it turns out his lower torso is assembled backwards, but it's not blatantly wrong.

Drax is wearing fancy space pants, very much like the ones Star-Lord had, but red instead of blue. Maybe whoever made them also made Star-Lord's coat? There are lots of complex, overlapping elements, that's for sure. His big black boots have four large clasps up the front, and sheathes for his knives on the outsides. Yes, Drax is still armed with his two trademark blades, but he no longer stores them on his belt (which, for our purposes, means the accessories are much less likely to get bent in storage). The knives are made from soft PVC, but they have a really cool design, that kind of sleek curvilinear form that says "outer space artifact."

The toy has great articulation. We're talking balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge rocker ankles - a standard complement these days (or at least, it should be, except everybody seems to be cheaping out lately). Like we said, the colorful scars don't end where they disappear beneath the upper torso, though they do end where the shoulders enter the back, though it's possible that's an intentional part of the design.

As part of the Groot Build-A-Figure series, Drax comes with a part of the Build-A-Figure Groot. He gets the lower torso - or, since he's a living plant-man, should we say "the trunk"? Wokka wokka! Despite not being particularly anatomical, you can still tell which side is the front and which side is the back.

Originally a green giant (a.k.a. "Space Hulk"), Drax eventually became a skinnier, tattooed knife nut (a.k.a. "Space Kratos"). Batista is somewhere in between the two - though nobody was going to be as big as the old Drax without CGI. Movie Drax's green skin is paler, and his tattoos are much more complex, but he's still a better comicbook Drax than the real comicbook Drax.

-- 06/23/14

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