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Death Dealer

Shang-Chi
by yo go re

Wow, this new Cobra Commander design is weird!

Death Dealer is one of the most formidable opponents Shang-Chi has ever faced.

Well, that seems to answer one of out biggest questions about this figure: does it represent a single character, or an entire force of them? Since it refers to Death Dealer in the singular form ("Death Dealer is") rather than the plural ("Death Dealers are"), we can take that to mean he's just one dude. One scary, threatening dude. Of course, if Shang-Chi has just been fighting rowdy drunks in bars at 2am instead of anyone trained in mystical martial arts by a centuries-old cult, then being more fromidable than them isn't really much of a challenge.

There's always a chance Death Dealer is somebody Shang-Chi knows: covering the lower part of the face with a mask and the upper part with facepaint that looks like dazzle camouflage is a great way to conceal an identity. The facepaint is nice, a solid white base with black and red tiger stripes that makes him look like he's the deadliest member of Kiss. The one who plays the guzheng.

Whoever he is, he wears a thick blue robe with golden trim. Silver armor plates protect the forearms, and red ties hang from near the elbows. He seems to be wearing a silver armored breastplate beneath the robe, and keeps the robe closed with a black belt that has a silver emblem of the Ten Rings' logo (as seen in the original Iron Man) right in the center. Red patterns are painted on the calves, and a long black ponytail sticks out the top of the mask - is that his actual hair, or part of the costume? Either way, the movie version looks way cooler than the comic version!

As we've already seen several times in this line, having a long skirt will unavoidably interfere with the artiulation. Death Dealer's is at least asymmetrical, so the right leg remains mostly free, but the left is going to be limited to mainly moving below the knee. Like most Marvel Legends, he moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. This is the only figure in the series to get the old-style hinged neck and balljointed head combo, rather than a barbell joint; that also makes us think there's a chest hinge under the robe, but it's definitely too blocked to use. Is this a reused mold?

The toy suggests that Death Deather's "thing" is daggers: he has two tucked into the back of his belt, his alternate left hand is holding one between the thumb and forefinger, and his alternate right hand has just thrown two of them. We already had Xialing looking like Sister Dagger, so maybe Death Dealer comes from the House of the Deadly Dagger?

Mr. Hyde is this series' Build-A-Figure, and Death Dealer gets the left arm.

Even if you're not getting all the Shang-Chi toys, the Death Dealer is just a wicked cool design. Maybe he's some kind of elite Hand Ninja. Maybe he's part of Batman's League of Shadows. Maybe he's someone Mando is hunting. You're not limited by the name on the box.

-- 05/21/21


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