MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 9 DEATHLOK
By Thomas Wheeler
Sometimes a figure comes along in an action figure collection and you
sort of wonder how he got in there. DEATHLOK, part of the Marvel Legends
"Galactus" Series, is one of those characters. I suspect the
the figure had a thing for cyborgs, and figured that they could probably
turn out a pretty decent version of what has always been, despite having
his own title from time to time, a third-rate character.
DEATHLOK was first introduced to the Marvel Universe in the 1970's.
then, cyborgs were popular thanks to a certain show called The Six
Million Dollar Man. But Deathlok was not a human-appearing cyborg whose
super-powered limbs were hidden by synthetic skin. This cyborg's
mechanical aspects were all too evident.
Deathlok's adventures took place in the 1990's, of an anternate
universe. When the 1990's came around for real, an attempt was made
revive the character, and make him fit with the modern day world, at
least the modern day world of the Marvel Universe, whose technology
always been in advance of our own.
According to the character profile on the package card: "Luther
grew up in an alternate timeline in which Roxxon's Nth Command had
succeeded in Operation: Purge, extradimensionally banishing the super-
heroes of Earth. Subsequent efforts by Roxxon to take over the world
instead plunged it into chaos. Manning was a U.S. Army Colonel, wounded
in combat and rebuilt by Harlan and Simon Ryker into a cyborg intended
for their control. Now known as Deathlok, he broke free from them,
eventually defeating Simon Ryker. Deathlok then met the rebel leader
Godwulf, who sent him back in time to remove him from the notice of
Harlan Ryker, now the powerful cyborg Hellinger."
Roxxon, for those who don't know, is Roxxon Oil, a multinational
petroleum company in the Marvel Universe that has its oily fingers in
wide range of illegal technological operations. Nothing's ever been
proven in court, of course.
Deathlok's journey back through time is borne out by several "present-
day" appearances in the 1980's, the most notable of which was probably
the pages of Marvel Two-In-One, where he encountered The Thing in the
scientific complex known as Project: Pegasus. Someone had converted
Deathlok to being even more robotic than ever, and he tried to destroy
the Project. He lost, and seemingly self-destructed rather than be
captured. How this ties into his appearances in the 1990's I'm honestly
The character is interesting, but has never been a really major player,
and his presence in the Marvel Legends line is a little unusual. That
doesn't mean that Toy Biz hasn't done an excellent job with the figure.
The only really visible organic parts of Deathlok is one side of his
face, which has obviously seen better days. It looks rather zombie-like,
like something you'd expect to see in a horror movie. The opposite side
of his head is mechanical. Deathlok's limbs are ridged metal, and very
well scupted. His chest, left arm, and boots/feet are done in red,
presumably a garment of some sort, but it's been given a very distinct
metallic sheen that is just short of being color-chromed.
Deathlok has an attached backpack of some sort, and a hand-held weapon
which is actually attached to him by way of a thick cord that runs into
his chest. Nice way to make sure you don't lose the thing, I suppose.
When not in use, the weapon plugs into a peg-hole on the left side of
Deathlok boasts 39 points of articulation, right down to finger groups
and the fronts of his feet (I'm reluctant to call them toes). For a
comparatively low-level character in the Marvel Universe, Toy Biz really
did a superb job with this guy. Although if they're taking suggestions
for future assortments, personally, I'd like to see some of the
Thunderbolts worked into the line before pulling in obscure characters
like this. Heck, I wouldn't even mind seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy.
As part of the GALACTUS Series, Deathlok comes with the Upper Torso
Segment of Galactus. I can't say that I really highly recommend Deathlok
on his own. Yes, it's a superbly well-made action figure, but unless
you're really a die-hard fan of the character, really interested in
obscure realms of the Marvel Universe, or a total completist when it
comes to Marvel Legends, it's hard to call Deathlok a mandatory purchase
EXCEPT from the standpoint of getting the Galactus part. The rest of
Galactus Series includes 1st Appearance Hulk, Dr. Strange, Professor
Nightcrawler, Bullseye, and War Machine.
However, for those of you who might appreciate the character, then you
won't be disappointed in the least with this Marvel Legends version