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Bloody B&W Governor & Penny Blake

The Walking Dead
by yo go re

Since AMC's The Walking Dead loosely follows the plot of the comics, toys based on the books can serve as spoilers for things that (might) happen in later seasons of the show. So you've been warned.

Zombies are not the only threat to Rick and his band of survivors.

In the show, the Governor is a detestable villain, no doubt. But compared to the version from the comics? The guy is humanitarian of the fricking year! Every sinister, underhanded thing you've seen The Governor do during Season 3 of the show wouldn't even make the comicbook version break stride on his way to crap in your cornflakes. It's like the difference between Cesar Romero's Joker and the version in the comics - not that TV Governor is a joke, but he's just not the full-on raging psychopath Book Governor is. Yet. Who knows what the future holds? Possibly a Broadway career. La-Bibbida-Bibba-Dum! His clothes are more practical than tactical, with cargo pants tucked into Doc Martens, and a black vest worn over a long-sleeved shirt.

One of the major differences between the comic and the show is that in the comic, the Governor looks more like an untrustworthy dirtbag. In the show his treachery came as a surprise, because he was more traditionally handsome - if he'd had greasy black hair and a handlebar mustache, people would have cleared out of Woodbury immediately!

Another difference? His ultimate fate. Losing an eye was only the start of his battle damage - and it was a lot worse than getting a shard of glass in the face. To begin with, Michonne bit off part of his ear. After that it verges into what Snopes.com calls "Juvenilia": after knocking the Governor out, Michonne nails his penis to a board, drills a hole in his shoulder, pulls his fingernails out, cuts off his arm, puts a spoon up his ass before using it to pluck out his eye, and castrates him. You can see why that didn't make it to tv unchanged. The toy includes a second head (with only half as many eyes and ears) and a second arm so that you can re-create all that fun yourself!

Additionally, the Governor comes with a butcher knife, Michonne's katana, and a pistol that fits in the holster on his right hip. His head, hips and wrists are balljoints, his shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles are swivel/hinge joints, and the boots and waist are plain swivels. There's also a black circular disc base included in the packaging, and while it could go with the Gov, it really belongs to our next figure.

Nothing is stronger than a father daughter bond, as we see with The Governor and his daughter Penny. Infected early on with the zombie virus, Penny has been cared for and fed by her unconditionally loving father.

That is not actually correct. Well, it is in part: this is Penny Blake, and she's the zombified daughter of Phillip Blake, but as revealed in the novel Rise of the Governor, the Governor isn't Phillip Blake - he's Brian Blake, Phillip's brother. When Phillip was killed, Brian took his name and began caring for his daughter. So Penny is technically the Governor's niece, though nobody alive knows it. She's barefoot and wearing a dress that's pink in the normal release, but since I only get the black and white releases, it's a dark grey here.

Penny has her hair pulled into two braided pigtails, and there's a super-angry look on her cherubic little face. There's a collar around her neck, but no leash/chain to go with it: the Governor kept her tethered to the wall until he pulled her teeth out to make her safe. This figure's still got her teeth though, so she shouldn't be running around free.

The figure is very small, so her articulation isn't as complex as the adults' is. She has a balljointed head that's better suited for looking down than looking up, balljointed shoulders, balljointed waist, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel hips and swivel ankles. She doesn't have any wrists or knees, but she really doesn't need them. And again, since she's so small, she gets a huge amount of accessories - some of which really belong to the Governor. Specifically, a fishtank full of severed heads. All three heads have unique, fully detailed sculpts, and one of them has a thick neck peg, because Series 2 of the comic-based figures include Michonne's pet zombie. But unlike the tv figures, which sold two separate ones, there's just one pet: you can swap its head with the head from this set.

Beyond that, she's got a bloody bucket and plenty of bodyparts to fill it. There's a right foot, an entire lower left leg, a left forearm, a right hand with two bones sticking out of the wrist stump, a heart with a bite taken out of it, and two lengths of intestine. Finally, there's another right hand, this one with a clean sever at the wrist. I wonder where that came from?

Like the first Bloody B&W zombie pack, "Bloody B&W The Governor Phillip Blake & Bloody B&W Zombie Daughter Penny Blake" (yes, that's the full name of the set) is a Previews exclusive, available only through your local comicshop. And like that pack, this one costs too much. And no, it's not just my shop overcharging, I've seen the Diamond list price. How is it that Toys R Us is selling three-packs cheaper than Diamond is selling two-packs? The economies of scale are one thing, but this is just crazy. The Governor and Penny are good toys, even if it is another case where I break my "nothing but the zombies" rule.

-- 08/08/13

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