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Commando Spawn

Mortal Kombat 11
by yo go re

Oh, he must shop at the same underwear store as Angela!

Al Simmons, once the U.S. government's greatest soldier and most effective assassin, was mercilessly executed by his own men. Resurrected from the ashes of his own grave in a flawed agreement with the powers of darkness, Simmons is reborn as a creature from the depths of Hell. A Hellspawn. Now he is thrust into the world of Mortal Kombat, where he will fight for supremacy against all Kombatants.

Yes, that's right, this is a Mortal Kombat figure, not a Spawn figure. What's the difference? Fundamentally nothing, because sometimes Todd can be smart. Stores are more likely to carry the "branded" toys than the original properties, so why not take the opportunity to slide some extra Spawns in there and onto shelves instead of just waiting for a spot to open up in their own line?

The original Commando Spawn was one of the first Spawn variations ever released. As part of Spawn Series 2 in 1995, his draw was something we would see repeatedly in the years to come: comically large guns. Like, even by the standards of the time, they were big. We got another take on the character in Series 28, but this new one seems much more inspired by the 25th Anniversary figure than any of the others - that's the only one who's ever worn his cape like a bandana around his mouth, for sure.

There are four basic skin options for Spawn in Mortal Kombat 11, with various colors and "Kustomizations" available to be applied to each. So this is more than just normal Spawn with some extra junk piled on top of him. Befitting his militarized nature, his costume looks more like tactical armor than spandex; like, there are the sort of shaped plates you'd see on a modern superhero movie costume, rather than just the exaggerated shapes of his muscles. He has two bandoliers across his chest - one with bullets, the other with two grenades - a gun holstered on his left leg, and ammo for a grenade launcher on his right leg. He does keep the skulls and chain holding his cape on. Rather than any of the unlockable gear, he just has his usual hooked bracer and One Giant Boot™©.

The palette swap colors all get names that reference the Spawn comics, and this toy is done in "Dark Ages" colors - basically, the traditional look of a black body, white stripes, and red for the boots, gloves, and cape. His belts and straps are grey, so they stand out from the rest of the costume, and there's silver for all the bullets and grenades, as well as the skulls and spikes on his armor. Gotta have spikes! There's a wash on his cape, but not on the neck gaiter, and his eyes are bright necroplasm green. The rubber pelvis cover is a slightly different color than the rest of the body, sadly.

The defining feature of every previous Commando Spawn has been his big selection of guns, so naturally this figure doesn't come with any. At all. Even the pistol on his hip his molded into its holster, rather than being a separate piece! Come on, guys, Spawn uses guns in several of his Mortal Kombat moves, so why doesn't the toy have any? All we get are two Hellfire effects that he can hold in his hands. "Woo."

He does get great articulation, though. Far better than any of the other Commando Spawns! With joints at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, and toes, you can get him into whatever sort of fighting poses you want. As long as the poses don't involve shooting, aiming, or even just holding guns.

Commando Spawn is a pretty cool design, and is a good toy of the character whether the box says "Mortal Kombat" or not. But the choice of accessories (or lack thereof) really brings him down a bit. Makes him less fun than he could have been.

-- 09/18/22

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