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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

It hasn't been that long since X-Men Classics gave us a figure of Cyclops, but that's never stopped a company before. At least Cyclops has changed clothes - last time we got the Jim Lee version, and now we've slipped back in time to a more classical look.

Scott Summers, one of Professor Charles Xavier's first recruits, is a stalwart leader of the X-Men. Xavier took Scott in to his "Institute for Gifted Children" in Westchester County, New York when he discovered the young man's uncontrollable ability to release immensely destructive force beams from his eyes, and began training the boy in the use of his incredible power. Scott firmly believes in the professor's dream of human and mutant coexistence. Cyclops possesses the mutant ability to project a beam of concussive force from his eyes. Unable to control the blasts, Cyclops prevents the energy from escaping by wearing ruby-quartz lenses - the only substance able to diffuse his awesome power.

When the X-Men "graduated," they no longer had to wear the school uniforms, but new costumes designed by Marvel Girl. Since, you know, girls like fashion and stuff. If the guys had designed the new costumes, they'd all be wearing old jeans and a shirt they found on the floor. Of course, given Jean's feelings for Scott, we're lucky she didn't put him in a cowboy hat and a pair of chaps.

In any case, Cyclops got his new duds in X-Men #39 and wore them for about 20 years, so that's a pretty decent run. The costume is basically a blue bodysuit with yellow trunks, gloves and boots - the only difference between it and the training uniform is the lack of a yellow shirt.

Cyclops is built on the same basic body as Namor and Nick Fury, which presents a few problems, mainly his size. Scott has always been tall and thin, while this figure is neither. Though ostensibly sculpted in a 6" scale, the Marvel Legends figures have been slowly getting bigger with every series, a problem that ToyBiz has always had. At 6⅜" tall, Cyclops isn't any bigger than his teammates, though he should be.

On top of that, Namor is a relatively bulky guy. Scott's nickname is "Slim" - do you really think he should look like a body builder? Yeah, the guy's muscular, but he's still thin as a rail. Still, the body's design has a certain simple charm that suits the character. He moves at the toes, ankles, boots, knees, hips, waist, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, gloves, wrists and fingers. While it would have been easy for ToyBiz to just re-use Captain America's gloves or Hawkeye's boots, everything beyond Cyke's knees and elbows is a new sculpt. There's a paint wash over the whole figure that does a good job, on the blue, of duplicating the inky black shadows that were a hallmark of the art of the era, but on the yellow just makes Cyke look filthy.

For the very first time, ToyBiz has given us a Cyclops without any silly action features to light his eyes - no batteries, no bulb, no light piping, just a normal head sculpted to look like Cyclops. Seeing it now, it occurs to me that it would have been very easy for ToyBiz to simulate his powers without the usual methods: since his eye is basically a slot, give us a power blast, similar to War Machine's fire effects, that plugs into the mask.

The figures in ML10 come not with a detailed display base, but with part of a Sentinel - collect them all and build your own mutant-hunting death machine. Cyclops has the robot's left arm.

The technological detailing is great, with wire-and-tube tendons sculpted beneath metal plate muscles. I'm not really sure why someone designing a 20-foot-tall killbot would bother to lovingly craft an outter shell that uselessly mimics human anatomy, but there you go. The arm moves at the elbow, wrist and all five fingers. The're a bright orange blaster on the palm, and a bendy tentacle - perfect for scooping up mutants - plugs into the center. This is going to be one sweet Sentinel.

Cyclops comes with a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #201, a very odd choice. While it does showcase Scott, his role in the story is all about how ineffectual he is. A better choice might have been #175, which featured an injured Cyclops single-handedly taking out the rest of the X-Men himself. Oh well - at least this issue gives us the first appearance of Cable.

Cyclops looks rather dull, but then, so is the character. Though his reused body leaves him a little out-classed by the newer Marvel Legends, he's still a decent toy, and will look great next to your other X-Men.

-- 10/03/05

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