I will admit to a little bit of disappointment upon realizing that the Death Dealer that was going to be in the Shang-Chi wave was not the comic Death Dealer, but a redesigned version that was actually in the movie.
I don’t obsessively keep track of MCU news, so I wasn’t up to date on just who was going to be appearing in the movie. I was all set to be giddy over having a comic Death Dealer to go against my comic Shang-Chi.
My disappointment was abated once I saw the sweet sweet trailer and got a glimpse of this funky costumed wraith doing some major—yet brief—buttkicking. If there’s one thing the MCU trailer gods know how to do, it’s build anticipation.
Death Dealer’s figure follows up on the heels of the stellar Shang-Chi figure and because of that pales a little just based on the costume itself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great looking figure, and what isn’t hampered by the costume itself actually poses great. But the torso is definitely held back by the nature of the design. Like soggy cereal, the dude ain’t got no crunch.
I would never have guessed it, but the figure itself is about 85 percent Ant-Man. My math might be off, but the torso crotch legs and feet are all MCU Ant- Man parts, with newly sculpted arms, hands and head. I have to admit, it’s fairly smart reuse, mainly because with the new color scheme it doesn’t feel like Ant-man in a textured toga.
What isn’t claustrophobically confined behind cloistered cloth moves very well. Great elbow range, nice knee bend, and decent head range. He doesn’t get the kind of tilt that Shang-Chi got, but we’re held back a little by the range afforded by Ant-Man. But the back and forth is nice. There’s just enough of a slit in his skirt that allows him to get a decent enough lateral spread, but it does hit a point that it won’t push past. But there’s enough here for good kung fu kicking.
The clothing pattern is very intricate, and the sculpting pulls it off well. So many rectangles. I like that they went with a different design aesthetic than what has become very familiar in the MCU, at least on the outside. It doesn’t rely exclusively on that pebbly rubber texture that looks like everyone shops at the same store. It’s still there, but it’s obscured by all those rectangles, which give it a different visual interest.
Death Dealer has some nice paint all over, accenting the silver of his buckles and blades, his kneepads and his bracers. The paint on his face is cleanly executed, and his eyes are hypnotic and haunting. I know I keep saying his despite the fact that we don’t know for absolute sure if this is a man or a woman—what a twist– but I’m going with dude.
For accessories, Death Dealer comes with a right-hand knife-throwing effect hand, and a left-hand knife brandishing hand. I can see what they’re trying to accomplish with the throwing hand and I don’t have issues with it, it’s just not something that really works for me. I do like the “about to throw” hand because it’s a little more evocative and easier to get across in action figure form. I like the implied threat of the about-to-throw than I do the in-motion threat of the just thrown. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m never allowed in Peoria again.
So far all we have to go on is some menacing trailer footage, so who really knows if the on-screen character is going to live up to those few seconds of badassery. Regardless of that, this is another very cool kung-fu, martial artsy figures, something that scratches many itches that I have.