Once again, the Mezco preorders are starting to ship, and return to their natural habitat- my house. Nature is healing.
Baron Bends comes to us by way of the Rumble Society, a last survivor of an old Order, the final knight of the Holy Divers. He may have been a man, once, peering out from the bizarre diving helmet, but one can only assume his humanity has been on the losing side of a war with the deep for many years. What his role in the Rumble Society is, and his beef with Gomez remains to be seen. What little we know paints him as a wanderer, Lost Dutchman style, seeking treasures and relics for his own mysterious ends.
We can tell a little bit from his suit and gear, though. His diving suit and helmet at least started as something we would recognize as terran, but the Kirby details and alternate head speak of an otherworldly encounter. He has unique style quality- where he feels as much as home in an old sailor’s tale as he would a 1980s anime.
The included comic book calls his suit Tangaroanian Armor, giving the wearer protection from the ocean depths, as well as just about anything else. Interestingly, it sounds like once one has been “Aqua-Knighted,” that armor becomes fused to the wearer.
Baron Bends doesn’t just run on intimidation, he brings a glaive, an anchor, and his aquaticon minions- four cybernetic Anglerfish that Baron Bends considers his “elite troop.” The glaive has a hard-light blade on one end, and a hook on the other, for a little bit of range attack, and some utility too. For more distance, there is the Weigh of Woes; a swinging anchor weapon attached to a chain. Forged in otherworldly fire, it can blast foes or shield the Baron when swung.
As for the Aquaticons, they at at least resemble an Earth species in concept, lending credibility to the idea that Baron might have come from this planet, but like the Baron they have undergone some sort of cybernetic process, if they were ever alive to begin with. All these accessories show a ton of design and thought, each made with the intent to fill in this lore that is mostly wide open for you to take and run with.
As a standalone figure, Baron is a larger male base body, consistent with the medium-to-large One:12 superheroes, but the added dive suit boots and especially primary head lend him a slightly lanky appearance, which adds to the eeriness. His main body suit allows for pretty solid range of his double elbows and knees, with the only restrictions coming off those gloves, boots, and shoulder parts. Definitely does the job, hell, and them some, for a zombie-ish guy in a deep dive suit. The suit has great touches of metallic wear and tear, which make an already intricate design really pop. And to further accentuate those parts, he comes with an assortment of diving tubes that can plug into the various ports on his armor. These might benefit from a little super glue once you get them where you want, or truthfully, he looks just fine without them. Baron comes with the usual extra hands for holding his accessories as well as ominous gestures, but the real fun is that second, tentacled headsculpt.
If adding to the Rumble Society in and of itself doesn’t entice you, then this extra head, with it’s classic Kirby bad-guy elements, makes Baron Bends fit easily into an existing collection of existing comic book villains.
And for completion’s sake, we should talk about all the extra goodies included with this release: a Baron Bends t-shirt, a Holy Divers pin, the usual Mezco stand and armature, and a clear plastic “wave” to hold the aquaticons when not in action. All this comes in a classy as all hell box, and the presentation alone makes me feel better about the slightly higher than normal price tag, though I really think the figure on it’s own would have warranted a purchase without the extras.
Truly, this is a fun figure from concept to execution, all the way. The price for an “unlicensed” character might have scared some away from it, but that is a damn shame, because this guy just oozes imagination once you get him.
So thank yous all around for Mezco to getting this guy out to me for review, And also a very special thanks to my friend Dylan Moore, of Talking Nerdy with DM for sharing his pics with me. Dylan did EXACTLY what we should be doing with this figure; he took him to the lake for battle. You can find him @talkingnerdywithDM on Instagram, and on his Talking Nerdy with DYL Youtube channel.