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Sugar Man

X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Well, this is certainly a most unexpected addition to Pearl Jam's "Better Man"/"Nothingman"/"Leatherman" trilogy!

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Once a mutant slave lord on a dark parallel world, the Sugar Man escaped to our universe when his own was destroyed! Acting secretly during the years since his arrival, the Sugar Man has been able to manipulate the world of mutants for his own twisted purposes! Following an unknown agenda, one thing is certain: the X-Men and the Sugar Man are going to clash, and when they do Sugar Man better watch out!

Thanks, 1996 ToyBiz Mutant Monsters line, for providing that bio. Sugar Man was in fact one of the refugees to escape the Age of Apocalypse, arriving in the main universe a good 20 years in the past. He was the one ultimately responsible for the mutate bonding process used to create mindless slaves on the island of Genosha, but spent his years in hiding, afraid this reality's Mr. Sinister would come for him. As the Build-A-Figure for X-Men Legends Series 7, he's made from nine pieces (11 if you count his suspenders and hammer, too).

Chris Bachalo was the artist on Generation Next, the book that introduced Sugar Man, and since he's a kind of weird artist, Sugar Man is kind of a weird character. His head takes up his entire torso (like an even more extreme MODOK), he has a 10' long prehensile tongue, and four arms. You'd think having physical mutations like that would be enough, but he also has an enhanced sense of smell, his tongue can pierce stone, and he's got some kind of size-changing power that he mainly uses to fake his own death when somebody gets the upper hand against him. What the hell, guys!

Writer Scott Lobdell had a couple things in mind when creating Sugar Man: one, he wanted to make some AoA characters who didn't have 616 counterparts, to show that the world really was changed, not just reskinned; and two, since his book centered around kids, he wanted the main villain to be scary and disturbing, like their version of the Boogey Man. This creepy beast absolutely looks like someone kids would be afraid of. Hell, he looks like someone adults would be afraid of! His arms are larger than most characters' legs, and every one of his 20 fingers have sharp nails on the tip. His teeth are pointed fangs, and there are small horns up by his hairline.

You know Sugar Man's clothes are going to be weird to fit on his unusual body. Like, his short, stumpy legs are blue, suggesting pants, but there's no sculpted line separating them from his darker boots, just paint. He wears a maroon tank top, though that would have to be specially tailored to allow his torsoface to show through. He's got a thick leather belt with a large metal belt buckle, and suspenders that run up over his first set of shoulders to help hold it (and presumably his pants) up. He's pinned three pieces of flair to the right suspender: a red and black "NO" sign, a solid blue one, and a yellow one with a black lightning bolt. His shirt rides low in the back, revealing a lot of shoulder acreage - his upper set of arms emerge from what would normally have been the back of his head, though here it's just more back muscle. There's a leather cuff on all four wrists, making him look tough, and he wears five silver rings; one on the high right hand, four on the low left hand.

Strange anatomy does not necessarily mean strange articulation; you can guess what he's going to have just by looking at what shape his body is. Wrists, elbows, biceps, and shoulders in all four arms? Yes. A neck? No. They might have been able to come up with some way to make his mouth open and close using a chest hinge, but the character is so big and weird that his torso has to be assembled in three pieces (front, middle, and back) to even get them to fit into the packaging, so that idea is right out. It's tough to find a stable pose for him, because so much of his weight rides so high on his body - even leaving hollow spaces between the three torso slices doesn't lighten him up very much, so he wants to fall over. If you have trouble with that, try pointing the arms different directions until they help balance him.

Sugar Man gets an accessory, a big mallet with the word "SUGAR" on it. He's sometimes been shown to use an axe, too, but the hammer is enough. The silver head is swirly plastic, which does the look no favors, but at least by this point we're fairly confident that it won't degrade in a few years; so far, 2010s Marvel Legends have proved more durable than 1990s Transformers. The weapon can be held in his lower right hand, or stored in the loop on that side of his belt (though the head bumps against his side, so you'll have to stow it at an angle, rather than straight on in).

Sugar Man's name has never been explained, but there are a few options: 1) "Sugar Man" sounds like "Boogey Man," but is copyrightable; 2) it's implied he abused the kids in his concentration camp, so it's possible he plied them with candy (a rare commodity in that world), and got the name that way; 3) he has to eat a lot to regain the mass he loses in regeneration, and maybe sugar fills him up fastest? He's also never had his real name revealed, so we don't even know if another one of him is out there in the Marvel universe somewhere. He's a recognizable character, one who would unquestionably never work as a normal action figure release, so this BAF is a great way to get him. At last, you can stop using the old ToyBiz one as a stand-in in your collection.

Jean Grey | X-Man | Sunfire | Wild Child | Weapon X | Morph | Dark Beast

-- 10/19/20

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