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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

At last, the gritty Teddy Ruxpin reboot we've all been waiting for!

The cybernetic criminal Xemnu crash-landed on Earth during his escape from imprisonment. A well-meaning electrician repaired the strange being who immediately hypnotized the population of Earth and commanded them to serve him.

Xemnu the Titan is the Build-A-Figure for this supervillain-themed series of Marvel Legends. Get six of the seven figures - no need to worry about Dr. Doom, thank goodness - and you can assemble the big fella. Or "big felon," I guess, if that trading card bio we copied up above is right. Xemnu first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #62, during Marvel's monster heyday, making him one of the oldest characters to get a Marvel Legend; only Namor, Ka-Zar, and Groot are older. [possibly: Groot first appeared the same month as Xemnu, so it all depends on which book came out in which week --ed.]

Created by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, Xemnu was a large, furry monster, so no surprise the BAF uses the Sasquatch/Wendigo molds - it was either that or Ursa Major, and his fur isn't thick enough. The hands and feet are new, because he's only got three of each: three toes on each foot, two fingers and a thumb on each hand. Monster, furry, weird number of fingers... is Xemnu a Muppet? The hands look a little small on the wrists, because the fur is so thick there, but that's just an optical illusion. His right hand is curled into a fist, but his left is open, revealing a series of buttons and switches on his palm - he is cybernetic, after all.

Helping set Xemnu apart from the Wendigo, he wears a large silver belt - large enough to reach to bottom of the chest joint in the front, and cover the entire small of the back in the rear. Apparently space has professional wrestling championships? That's what it looks like, at least. The white fur gets some bluish-gray airbrushing for shadows, so it doesn't end up looking like a featureless lump.

Xemnu's oddest feature has to be his head. He has no mouth and no nose (though the shape of the fur suggests there may be such things underneath, even if they're not visible), and his solid red eyes are ringed by gray fur. Did you know it was possible to have bags under your eyes when you don't have any bare skin there? Apparently it is! His eyebrows swoop up into little flares at the top, like an owl or Wolverine, and the top of his skull is covered by a slightly pointed metal dome with rivets on both sides of the central ridge.

The figure has swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/​hinge shoulders, and a swivel/​hinged neck. The big belt is PVC, so it theoretically would allow the chest to move normally, but as we said, the top of the piece butts right up against the joint in the front: in order to move the upper torso forward, you have to physically pry the belt forward a bit so the plastic can slip behind it. And even then, the effect isn't really worth the effort you've had to go through, so best to just let it be.

Since he was introduced in 1960, Xemnu pre-dated most of the classic Marvel characters people think of today. That's why, in his first issue, he wasn't known as "Xemnu the Titan," but rather "Xemnu the Hulk"; it was just a common adjective at the time, not someone's proper name (cf. Strange Tales #75's "I Made the Hulk Live"), but the unintentional overlap between their names has meant that most of Xemnu's modern appearances have been as a villain for the Hulk (or She-Hulk). Xemnu seems like a very unlikely character to anchor a Marvel Legends line, but it's alsways good to get more previously unmade villains.

Dormammu | The Hood | Lady Deathstrike | Arcade | Red Skull | Scientist Supreme

-- 09/23/21

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