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Death's Head II

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
by yo go re

Forget Portland: the dream of the '90s is alive at Hasbro!

A cyborg hero with a repertoire of super abilities, Death's Head II has incredible physical strength, and an even stronger personality.

This is... not the Death's Head anyone wanted (though maybe it's the one we deserve right now?). While everybody is waiting for a proper Legends-scale version of the original Death's Head, We instead get DHII. Created in the year 2020 by AIM scientists, a cyborg designated "Minion" was tasked with assimilating the knowledge of the 106 most deadly individuals in the galaxy - "assimilating," in this case, meaning "killing them and draining their brains." One of Minion's targets/victims was the orginal Death's Head, and his personality began to overwhelm the cyborg's programming (good news for Reed Richards - he was #106).

Death's Head II was designed by Liam Sharp, an artist with strong Frank Frazetta/Glenn Fabry vibe, so the character looks like he'd be right at home on a 2000 AD cover: his face is a golden skull mask, with an apparently organic skeletal face behind that. Two big silver horns jut out from the sides of his head, pointing downward, and a bundle of red wires dangle from the back of his scalp, looking for all the world like dreadlocks. THE '90S!

The figure uses the same body as X-Men Legends Series 3 Colossus, because it's gigantic and has banded metal arms - you know, features that would have worked just as well for an original Death's Head. He has yellow bands around his left forearm, and matching bands on his shins that then feature... sigh... giant hooked spikes sticking straight off the sides. THE '90S!! Plus, if we're meant to accept the wires on his head as dreadlocks, then logically, we also have to accept that his "belt," made of the same stuff, is formed by combing together his back-hair and his long, luxurious pubes.

One of DHII's powers was to morph his right hand into any weapon he needed, but because this was THE '90S!!!, he's chosen a humongous blaster with a dozen long, claw-like blades pointing alongside the barrel. It's perfectly stupid, perfectly exxtreme, and perfectly in keeping with the character's Liefeldian roots. It would have been nice to have the option of not displaying this monstrosity, but rather than an alternate arm, all we get is a second left hand, cupped to hold some accessory this figure doesn't come with. Or maybe he just likes pointing at things.

The figure just breaks the 7½" mark, making him one of the taller Marvel Legends. Some of the blues used to paint him are metallic, but they butt right up against their non-metallic bretheren in ways that seem to make little sense - like, it's over his shoulders, but ends above the abs; then it's on the lower abs, but ends immediately at the waist; it's on the fronts of the thighs, but nowhere else on the legs. It's all very odd.

Death's Head II doesn't come with a piece of this series' Mantis Build-A-Figure, because he's so huge. Yes, Colossus came with Warlock's head, but Colossus also didn't have to put up with the cost of tooling a one-time-only-use gun/arm. We wonder if there were ever plans to make Deathsie the BAF for this series, with Mantis taking his place as a regular figure; if there were, we can only assume they were shot down once it was realized that no one would care enough about Death's Head II to buy all the figures to make him. I love the '90s [don't you mean "THE '90S!!!!" --ed.] Marvel UK characters (Killpower BAF when, Hasbro?), and even for me he'd be a tough sell.

-- 10/23/17

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