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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

When Frank Quitely started his run on X-Men, his redesign for the team pretty much involved rip-offs of the movie costumes. Thankfully, when that run was over, a good artist was brought onboard and the stupid "leather daddy" costumes were tossed out the door. However, that isn't to say that all the new costumes were great: Cyclops managed to look like a giant tool in his.

Cyclops has had more than his fair share of pain. Everything he's ever had, he's lost - friends, loved ones, children. Every lost love that's returned to him has done so only to be torn away again. There's a reason he's been the leader of the X-Men since the very beginning, however. He's known since he was a child that sacrifice is his lot in life, and he's never let it stop him. He feels every attack on him - feels it deeply - but he never stops, and never surrenders. He keeps on, through the pain, through the fear, through the crazed confusion that follows every defeat. Through sheer force of will, he holds himself - and by extension, the X-Men - together until every battle is won, and every evil has fallen.

The last time we got a Cyclops figure, it was basically a repainted Namor, which presented a unique problem: it made him look too big and muscular. That may seem like an unlikely problem for a superhero to have, but Scott Summers' nickname is "Slim," and not in an ironic way - he's supposed to be a scrawny beanpole, not a thick chunk of muscles. This figure, fortunately, fixes that.

Cyclops is appropriately skinny, but still pretty buff. You can tell he spends a lot of time in the X-Mansion's weight room. His suit has a bit of a texture all over - thin cracks, almost like leather. The yellow piping on the suit is a raised element on the chest, stomach, groin and legs, but just painted on the shoulder and hip balljoints. And despite the fact that the stripes jump over six different bodyparts, the lines are actually surprisingly straight - they may not line up perfectly in every single pose, but they can get incredibly close.

In the early days of the X-Men, all the students' uniforms included a cowl that covered their head, and even when they were allowed individual costumes, Cyke kept that feature in his suit. In fact, it wasn't until 1991's X-Factor #63 that he first adopted a costume that left his hair exposed. However, since it was also like that in Jim Lee's version of the costume (and subsequently on the X-Men animated series), exposed hair is what most fans think of. So when John Cassaday brought back the covered head, the complaints about Cyclops' "head condom" began.

When you're mixing dark, dark blue with bright, bright yellow, even the smallest mistake in the paint apps will be really blatant. That said, Hasbro did a good job here. The yellow is solid, and stays where it's supposed to; the edges are fairly straight, with only a minimum of spillage. If there are any paint problems, you'll be able to see them immediately, but don't worry: on all the samples of Cyclops that have surfaced so far, you have little to complain about.

Cyclops is just over 6" tall, and is articulated like the ToyBiz Legends, which means double knees and elbows, rather than balljoints. He does't have any articulation in his toes (not that you'll miss it), and although his left hand is sculpted in a weird half-clutching pose, only his right hand has articulation for the fingers - the classic "two-finger point" that Cyclops doesn't even use anymore. The wrists are just swivels, not hinges, which is a really weird choice. That said, the cuffs on his wrists are complete, while the ones on his ankles are broken up by the joints - so much so, you can barely tell what they're supposed to be.

This series' Build-A-Figure is a Brood Queen, and Cyclops gets her head. If he's the only figure in HL3 you want, this is a good extra: it simply looks like he decapitated her in battle. The head is alien and creepy, as it should be, and painted very well - the eyes almost look translucent. The jaw is hinged, and her swirling tongue pokes out between her teeth. Counting the tongue, the head is about 4" long.

With the release of Cyclops, we're one step closer to having a complete Astonishing X-Men team. We've already got Emma, Shadowcat, Colossus and Wolverine... all we're missing is Beast, and he's supposed to be in Hasbro Legends 4. At that point, about the only other character we might possibly need is Hisako Ichiki, Armor. In any case, this Cyclops is a great figure, and a fine addition to the ranks of your X-Men team.

-- 12/13/07

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