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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

The BAF-sized version was nice, but it's time at last for the real Dormammu!

A maniacal cosmic being with an unquenchable thirst for conquest, Dormammu uses extra-dimensional abilities to invade realms across all planes of existence.

Dormammu was, originally, just a name. Stan Lee had referenced Dormammu and the Dark Dimension in dialogue (Baron Mordo first called upon all his dread powers in Strange Tales #117), but just as a way to spice up Dr. Strange's world, not with anything specific in mind. But comic nerds were, then as now, a pedantically curious bunch, who wanted to know all there was to know about this offhand remark. They kept writing in to ask, so Stan had to come up with something. On the plus side, it did give Strange a new arch-enemy, freeing his stories up from the one-off "monster of the week" kind of problems he'd mostly been facing up until then (and meaning that Baron Mordo got a break).

And here we see why Red Skull could afford those new sculpts: they were being reused immediately to make Dormammu! Before he took to wearing intimidating armor, Dormy was generally seen in baggy purple pajamas. The wide yellow belt definitely breaks up the silhouette, way more than the red boots or gloves do, even with the spikes and flares around their tops. The ridiculous red shoulder pads are a separate PVC piece that sits over the chest. The black frame around the face is a separate piece as well, counting on the shape to hold it on.

This figure's head is way better than the BAF. Dormammu's face isn't a featureless black shell, it's a semi-featureless orange blob with vertical lines. Judging by the Golden Age Human Torch, "vertical lines" were comicbook shorthand for "something that's fully engulfed in flame" (which is why he doesn't have full facial features, just the suggestion of eyes and amouth), but over the years it's been reinterpreted like a game of Telephone into being physical ridges. Like he's wearing a ski mask or something. This one gets the sculpted lines, and a big mane of flame like Ghost Rider would.

Between the head-flames, the face-crown, and the collar on his ornate mantle, the extra neck joint we appreciated so much on Red Skull doesn't add much here - you might not even realize it's there unless you recognize the shared chest. The shade of purple plastic used for the limbs doesn't really match the shade used for the knee and elbow joints and the trunk, but why would a being from the Dark Dimension care about something as mundane as that? We're lucky he's appearing in physical form at all.

Dormammu has all the same hands Red Skull had, though the ones with the trigger fingers out don't really make a ton of sense for him. The fists? The clutching ones? Sure, those, but not the gun ones. Other than those, he's also got the little energy swirls we've seen a bunch of times in a bunch of colors - but never this particular fade from yellow to orange, so that's pretty awesome.

A series of figures with Dormammu in it might have been a good opportunity to make one of his minions, the Mindless Ones, as the Build-A-Figure, but instead it's Xemnu the Titan. Big D has the right arm.

This look is kind of cheesy, but it's the way Dormammu has appeared for most of his history, so this is a cool figure for Hasbro to give us. Now we need a Clea, though.

-- 09/21/21

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