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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Funny, he doesn't look like Spock.

Vulcan sets his sights on total galactic conquest. Standing in his way are the X-Men, the Inhumans, the Kree... and his brother Havok!

In 1993's X-Men #23, Mr. Sinister was taunting Cyclops (as is his wont), and made mention of Cyclops' "brothers," plural. Scott pointed out he only had one brother, singular, and Mr. Sinister slyly played it off in a way that made it clear he knew something Scott didn't. The question of the third Summers brother remained a mystery until 2006's X-Men: Deadly Genesis, where it was revealed that when Scott and Alex's parents were kidnapped away by the Shi'ar, their mom was pregnant. Though Emperor D'ken killed her, the nascent baby was saved and put through growth-acceleration so it could be used as a slave. So yeah, he's kind of a dick now. Cyclops, with a Wolverine attitude.

Vulcan is made using a brand-new body. It has extra shoulder hinges like this one, but the sculpt of the muscles doesn't match up. Apparently Hasbro is planning to use this as something of a replacement for the small body going forward, but it's not a great choice: even ignoring how much buffer it is than that familiar mold, Vulcan ends up 6½" tall - "size creep" in action for a 6" line. His his costume is just red and blue with a gold belt and boots, which may not sound very impressive, but was done with a purpose. You recall that the Shi'ar Imperial Guard is an ongoing pastiche of DC's Legion of Superheroes - LoSH adds a character, the Imperial Guard will have their equivalent in the ranks next time they appear. Harkening from DC Comics' Silver Age, the Legionnaires have traditionally worn simple, straightforward costumes (and when they're updated, they tend to revert), so putting Vulcan in large, solid-colored panels makes him feel like a DC design and ties him in with the galactic empire of his "birth." His original choice of supranym was even "Kid Vulcan," which has a very LoSH ring to it.

Cyclops has brown hair, Havok has blond hair, and Vulcan has black hair - Christopher and Katherine Summers were really carrying around the full genetic panoply, weren't they? The toy does opt to make his hair closer to brown, but man, that floppy hairstyle really tells you he was in suspended animation for a while, doesn't it? His eyes are solid yellow, which is pretty typical for him when he's using his powers. Honestly, he's usually got energy flaring out of his eyes. They should have given him a head like Ikaris.

Vulcan's powers are kind of ill-defined. It's some kind of energy manipulation, but it doesn't seem to have any kind of limit on what "energy" means? His creator, Ed Brubaker, said Gabe has the potential to control things like "earth" or "darkness," which aren't energy by any definition of the word. Like, he's been shown to take away people's powers, and that could absolutely count as manipulating energy, but how would being a waterbender fall into that category? It really seems to be up to whatever the writer feels like at the moment. Unfortunately, the figure doesn't come with any sort of accessories to show his manipulation powers: no blasts, no swirls, no effects, nothing. He's got an alternate pair of open hands, but that's it. The choice of body means he can point his arms forward, for what that's worth. There's a vastly distinct difference between the red of his arms and legs, and the red of his torso, elbows, and knees, sadly.

He does include the torso and alternate hands of this series' Build-A-Figure, Bonebreaker.

Vulcan was introduced in the same series that brought us Darwin: they (and two girls, Petra and Sway) were under the tutelage and care of Moira MacTaggert, but when the original X-Men (who the kids knew about and looked up to) were stranded on Krakoa, Professor X needed a team capable of going to rescue them, and turned to Moira's class for help. Chuck mentally dumped months and months of training into their brains in a week, and they were indescribably elated to finally be real X-Men. They all died and the All-New, All-Different X-Men had to be recruited to save the day.

But Vulcan wasn't actually dead: Sway could control the flow of time, and as she was cut in half, she released all her power, slowing time in an effort to save her three friends; Petra, who could control rock, was being incinerated by a lava monster, but made her final act be trying to sink their group into the ground where they could hide and be safe. Darwin and Vulcan's powers interacted, putting them into a sort of fused coma so they could survive. Unfortunately, Prof. X thought they were dead and no one else knew about them, so when Polaris yeeted the island into space, Vulcan was still inside it. He stayed asleep until M-Day, when Scarlet Witch's "no more mutants" heated gaming moment ejected the combined mutagenic energies of 16 million people off the planet and into space. The energy swept over the orbiting chunk of dirt, waking Vulcan up and supercharging him, at which point he came back to Earth looking to vent his anger on everyone he felt betrayed him. Vulcan was a villain for the first decade and a half of the character's existence, but he eventually mellowed enough to actually spend some time with his family. Now that we have two of the Deadly Genesis kids, it'd be cool if Hasbro made the other two, as well.

-- 09/05/22

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