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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

A villain has to be scaled for the hero he's facing. The Punisher doesn't fight the Silver Surfer, you know? The Fantastic Four have giant monsters. The Avengers deal with cosmic threats. Spider-Man, meanwhile, stops muggings. It's a proportionate response. The X-Men are a huge team of powerful mutants, so their villains have to be pretty big, as well. Immortals, conquerors, madmen... those are the guys the X-Men fight. And, in one case, a multi-dimensional television mogul who just wants better ratings.

In the alternate dimension from which Mojo hails, television has turned the people into mindless video slaves! Determined that his ratings would forever remain the highest, Mojo turned his super-scientific arsenal against the X-Men - recording the battles that followed for rebroadcast to his enslaved viewership!

Mojo wasn't actually intended to be an X-Men villain - he was just the baddie for Longshot's miniseries, the ruler of a mediacracy where tv is reality and he who books the best shows owns the minds of the populace. Sure, Longshot interacted with other heroes, but no X-Men: he met Spider-Man, She-Hulk and Dr. Strange. Mojo only started worrying about the mutants after a bit of drift. It helped that one of his creators was the editor of the X-Books at the time. Wonder if that makes him part of the Marvel Supervillain Shuffle?

There has been a Mojo figure before, ages ago in the original X-Men line. And he certainly wasn't at the top of anyone's list of expected Legends, but it's nice to get an update. As the ML14 BAF, Mojo comes in seven pieces - four for his scooter and three for his body. He does come apart a bit easier than the previous Build-A-Figures, but he won't fall apart on his own, either. There was some concern about translating an organic shape like Mojo into BAF pieces, but it works out fairly well - the curved bits fit together smartly, and the straight parts just look like mold lines.

The sculpt is fantastically disturbing. Mojo hails from a race of beings that evolved without spines, floating in primordial swamps this is why most comicbook fans won't take their shirts off until the day a mutant was born - one who could design technology that would raise them above their origins. But not everyone accepted the technology, and the few who didn't became the ruling class: the Spineless Ones. They left the water, but kept the inactivity, so they're still huge tubs of lard. It's not like you can walk anywhere when you have no spine. Mojo's bulbous gut looks like it would jiggle if you poked it - it's already rippling around his manboobs.

Mojo's face is really good, too. Wires plug into the back of his head and prongs stretch around to his eyes and mouth, with the flesh bulging out in between. His head is no slimmer than the rest of him, a decaying pumpkin set on his shoulders. His mouth is open wide in a gleeful cackle, revealing a thick, pointed tongue and two rows of tiny teeth. He's got so much fat around his jaw that his real chin is swallowed up by a larger double chin, with a third below that. Tubby!

The technological detailing is just as good as the biological. Mojo's ride is a bit more advanced than your elderly neighbor's Hoveround scooter, that's for sure. There are intricate wires bundled in the back, and vents down the side of the backrest. There's a crazy segmented scorpion tail curving up over Mojo's head, with a series of blasters and blades pointed at whoever's in front of him. There are four bronze portraits of Mojo around the base, and the whole thing moves on six spidery legs, with two more in the front for grasping.

Mojo has balljointed shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, balljointed wrists and hinges in the middle of his hands. The legs on the base each move on a balljoint, which is as it should be. The 1994 Mojo figure had to support his own weight on balljointed legs, so it didn't work out too well. ML14 BAF Mojo, however, gets one better: they included clear plastic stands under the body, to support the figure unobtrusively. That's a smart way to throw the fans a bone - can you imagine the bitching if Mojo didn't stand up?

The paint just adds to Mojo's disgusting looks. His flesh is a greenish yellow, but there are dark shadows and brown splotches all over. The wiring in his chair is remarkable, with dozens of paint apps to catch the detail. Mojo might be a little smaller than he should be, but he's been drawn inconsistently over the years. Sometimes he's only slighter larger than human size, sometimes he's twice as big. Judging by the size of his face, he's actually slightly smaller than a human. But judging by how hugely fat he is already, you're not that likely to notice anything amiss.

Choosing Mojo as the Build-A-Figure for ML14 was a smart idea - he has personal ties to two of the characters from this series: when Psylocke was blinded, Mojo gave her new eyes that served as cameras, broadcasting the adventures of the X-Men for his viewers to enjoy; plus it was his lackey, Spiral, who turned her Japanese. Of course, Longshot was Mojo's bio-engineered slave, designed to look like the stuff of the Spineless Ones' nightmares. Which were actually intercepted television broadcasts from Earth.

Mojo is unique in the multiverse, in that he's... well, unique in the multiverse. There's only one Mojo, only one Mojoworld. Anytime anyone, even from alternate realities, met Mojo, they were meeting the same Mojo. With this BAF, now you can call this fat yellow singularity your own.

Psylocke | Longshot | Luke Cage | Baron Zemo | Iron Man | Falcon

-- 12/16/06

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