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Legendary Heroes
by yo go re

Let's say it's 1992, and you want to create a cool new comic character. Who's the coolest guy you can think of? Cable. What makes Cable cool? Big guns and a robot arm. Okay, so what's cooler than a mutant with one robot arm? A mutant with three robot arms! Bingo! New character! License to print money, please!

Morgan Stryker is a soldier whose world was viciously torn apart after a dangerous military operation went wrong leaving him crippled and left for dead on the battlefield. Transformed by the evil Cyberdata Corporation, and aided by an experimental cybernetics procedure, Stryker was gifted with 3 fully-functional cybernetic arms capable of lifting 10 tons each in addition to being individually upgradable for different operations. His right eye and ear, damaged beyond hope of saving, were replaced, giving him the ability to monitor ultrasonic frequencies as well as see into the infrared and microwave spectrums. After breaking free from the malevolent Cyberdata Corporation and with the help of his hand picked team of allies, Stryker now mentors the next generation of heroes.

It's important to note that Stryker wasn't just randomly given three cybernetic arms - that was his mutant power. Yes, he had three arms on one side of his body even before they were metal. No extra strength, just extra arms. Yay, stupid!

He's a big guy, so Stryker stands 6⅝" tall. Articulation is as good as you'd expect, though the numbers are of course a bit inflated thanks to the two extra arms. He has hinged toes, hinged rocker ankles, swivels at the top of his boots, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a torso hinge, a balljointed neck and a swivel for his ridiculous ponytail. His flesh arm has a balljointed shoulder, swivel bicep, double-hinged elbow, forearm swivel, hinged wrist and hinged fingers. All three robot arms have hinged shoudlers, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel-hinge wrists and hinged fingers. Finally, there's a swivel where the three shoulders meet the torso. He has no waist, but you'll barely miss it.

Stryker is built on the Frankenstein/Ultimate Sabretooth body, which works quite nicely: it's bulky enough to not be overwhelmed by having three arms on one side, and the boots look like something a military man would wear. The legs have been slightly retooled to have big armored pads on the thighs, and there are cybernetic rings around his shoulders. He has two accessories: a pistol and a shotgun. They're both light on detail, but that matches the comics: Marc Silvestri wasn't big on boring things like realistic objects, so guns tended to be gray shapes.

Paint is decent, but not great. The silver used for the robotic parts is good, and the black wash brings out the details. The interiors of the joints are black, so even if you don't keep things perfectly aligned, the colors are okay. His gloves are blue, his shirt is black, and the thigh armor is bronze. His cybernetic eye is red, while his normal eye is blue - apparently, it was green in the comics, but who'd know? It's not like you could ever see it through the manly, manly squint.

Each of the Legendary Heroes come with a piece of their series' BAF, and for Styker, that means Monkeyman. Appropriately enough, he gets Monkeyman's right arm, which means this package hase a 4:1 ratio of right arms to left arms. The arm has a nice fur texture and an impressive amount of articulation, and is about 6" long by itself. Monkeyman is going to be big!

Stryker is a prime example of Image Comics' early-90s decadence. He's a rip-off of an existing, popular character, his design makes no physical sense (in the comics, his "three shoulder" area was usually covered by something, so nobody had to figure out how to draw thre arms coming out of one shoulder joint), and his characterization counted for nothing compared to his powers. Oh, and his name is spelled with a Y instead of a vowel. You look at Stryker and he just screams "Image." Still, Dave Cortes did a really good job with the figure, and I'm sorry we won't see more of CyberForce.

-- 07/21/08

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