Monday, December 3, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Mordru (DC Direct 2002)

Mordru the Merciless created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan is a frightening supernatural force to be feared.  His escape from his steel-walled prison in Adventure Comics #369 reminds me of horror icon thrown into Outer Space, Jason X! Even when Mordru shows up in the famous Earth War story line, the  Legion, like horrified teens from a slasher film are like, "RUN AWAY!!!!!"  Luckily, if you want to scare teen kids and get them off your lawn, we've got this Mordru to do it for us in plastic action figure form!

While most DC Universe Classics are around 6.5 inches and fit within the 1/12 collector scale, typically adult-sized DC Direct (and now DC Collectibles) figures fall into more of a 7 inch scale. Mordru comes in at the standard DC Direct scale of 7 inches. The sculpt on this one is really outstanding. So far as I can tell, Mordru is a completely original sculpt. The hat and wings are hard plastic and do not easily bend or warp. The beard is hard plastic as well and forever makes Mordru look like he's standing in a howling wind. The shirt, ruffles on the shirt, draped sleeves, and tunic dress are expertly sculpted and again not malleable in the least. The legs have nice muscle definition and raised detailing for the green highlights on the boots. The open hand is deliberate and imparts a sense of power, along with the closed fist. The face is determined and the eyebrows are the same hard plastic material that is used on the rest of the figure. DC Direct figures are certainly known for their sculpts and in that arena this figure is no exception.

There are 13-points of articulation that I count on Mordru.  He's from 2004, so this DC Direct figure gets a few extra articulation points than most of the standard Legion figures. The head,  unfortunately, does not have any articulation what-so-ever. It cannot tilt, rotate, nor move up or down. Arms can rotate at the shoulder, up or down. The right arm with the open hand can rotate in a circular 360 degree fashion. The left arm with the closed fist can rotate, but the beard prohibits 360 degree rotation and limits the rotation on the left side to 180 degrees.
While this was a figure I purchased of my own accord (like Mon-El last week),  Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage was kind enough to send me another one as my first Mordru's left arm broke off and I was forced to glue that one into an outright position permanently. DC Direct figures may look nice, but they certainly break easy enough.

Pro Tip: Do not put DC Direct figures in a position to shelf-dive if at all possible. While shelf-dives have gravely injured inconsequential characters such as Jericho, The Dark Lord has also suffered the wrath of the dreaded shelf-dive!

The shoulders can also rotate the arms outward as well, which is a first and only for this particular line. That option really makes for nice Sorcerer's poses. At the elbows there are the options to articulate from straight to a 90 degree angle. The closed fist and open hand under the draped sleeves can also rotate at 360 degrees. In addition, Mordru has a nice waste swivel which can rotate for 360 degrees. Mordru's tunic dress is hard plastic and prohibits much of the movement for the legs. They appear to be on ball joints, believe it or not, and I think without the tunic dress could do the splits and move both forward and back. As it is with the hard plastic, you can get a slight maybe 15 degree movement for the front, back and side to side. Single jointed knee articulation gives a 90 degree angle. The waste swivel and outward shoulder articulation is what really helps sell any poses you attempt with this figure.

Paint applications are top-notch. The blacks, purples, light-greens, and yellows are all vibrant and solid. Even the red highlight in the center of the hat is without issue. If I'm being nit-picky, I would point to the black belt buckle and the yellow belt area surround the belt buckle for minor black splotches on the right-hand side of the belt buckle. On the left-hand side of the hat, between the hat and the ear, there is a slight bleed of white from the hair paint on the light-green hat. Since I have more than one of these figures, I compared the two and while one belt buckle has less black splotch then the other, it is still on both figures. This is also true of the white bleed on the left side as well.

This is an excellent figure, despite any limitations in articulation. Some folks even get a kick out of having some scale fun using the DC Direct figure alongside their Legion of Super-Heroes Heroclix figures!

When the DC Universe Classics line ended, I turned to the DC Direct line to fill in any holes in a potential DC Toy Universe I was building. Mordru was one of my first go-to figures to fill the gaps. Too bad neither Mattel or DC Direct/Collectibles ever made a 1/12 scale Weather Wizard action figure, so I could have a complete Legends of the Super-Heroes Legion of Doom. There's also my perverse need for someone to make a yellow 1/12 scale Jet Ski which I would probably use with both Mordru and Aquaman!

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