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Hasbro: Marvel Legends Xemnu Wave Dormammu Review

Back in my days the bad guys wore solid-color coveralls and we liked it.

A full Super-villain wave is one of those rare things that enhance the already great toy-buying experience by untold factors. A regular wave might get one or two bad guys, but it never feels like enough. There are so many villains. There is so much pure, unadulterated evil that needs to be solidified into plastic form. When we can get a bunch of them at once…it is glorious.

Dormammu has had a couple shots at action figure form before, but this is the first time we’re getting him in his all of his loose-fitting purple majesty. The other one—the modern design– was a bit more extreme in his Dormammuness, but this is the Dormammu that I was first exposed to. The one who might not be trying quite as hard to evoke an image. The one who said “hey man, my head is on fire, how much Dormammuing do I really need to do to sell this whole ‘bad guy’ vibe.

Nothing says evil like fire and comfort. Teddy Roosevelt probably said that.

Also, what do you call martial arts being taught at college?

Dorm room fu.

I had to get that out of my head.

Dormammu is one of two villains in this wave to debut on this brand new body, one that is surprisingly versatile, given how many very comfortable super-villains debuted back in the ‘60s.  

In Kindergarten the teacher made us sing that old nursery rhyme a lot. You know, the French one:

Frere Jacques

Frere Jacques

Dormammu

Dormammu

At the end a dude with a flaming head popped out of the chalkboard and swallowed our souls.

Ok, I’m supposed to be reviewing this figure…Anyway, yes, I like the overall look of this body a lot. It features the brand new pinless aesthetic that the Marvel team is pushing towards. Of course, that does seem to come with its own set of problems, as I had stuck joints on the lower knee pegs of both figures. It wasn’t a huge deal; a little heat and they both freed up, but there have been cases with these pinless joints of ripped pegs, so be careful with your toys out there and don’t force them if they’re not cooperating. Some heat should loosen whatever is stuck.

The overall range of motion on this body is quite nice. There are no butterfly joints, but the elbows and knees get a large range of motion. The hips can almost out-spider some of the Spider-men we’ve been getting. The torso crunches forward and arches back nicely.

I do think the elbows and knees could have been assimilated a little better. They both seem tiny in comparison to the rest of his arms and legs, so the gap is very noticeable when the arms or legs are bent. The knees in particular have that “shelf” look that some of the Star Wars figures have when the knees are bent. It’s not something that bothers me too much because I don’t expect toys to perfectly mimic human form, but it was noticeable enough to point out.

Much has been made of the lack of yellow in the mouth and eyes. The head looks great when hit from some backlight, obviously, but when not lit up the flames tend to look a lot duller, with the orangeish color blending into the head a little too much and not giving that comic book contrast. one option is to always keep a flashlight on hand to blast him from behind with light. Otherwise, it would have been nice to go for a more overt yellow color for the flames so the difference in colors would have been more noticeable.

The figure pulls off Dormammu’s quirky design very well. The shoulder spikes are a flexible overlay that don’t impede his range of motion. The yellow of his belt rubs up against the purple of his costume and creates that silver age magic of effervescent colors. It doesn’t have the overt flash of the modern version, but this vibrates in that comic zone for me.

Dormammu comes with a trio of hand sets. He has a set of fists a set of gesturing hands and a set of…trigger hands. I admit I haven’t read every Dormammu appearance, but I don’t remember him shooting a gun. They don’t have to be strictly trigger hands, I supposed, and I won’t turn down extra hands, but they do seem the odd hands out. It doesn’t matter; fists and gesturing are the ones I’d be using the most anyway.

Outside of hands, Dormammu has a couple of fire effects that wrap around his arms. They’re the same translucent plastic as his head, and they do their job.

I have now written the word Dormammu more than I think I ever have before, but to wrap it up, this is the version I’ve been waiting for. I was a little worried that he wouldn’t be making it out in this appearance, that it was considered too _____, whatever ______is to people. To me it’s just a great addition to the villain collection, and he needs a brand-new classic (brand-new classic?) Dr. Strange to face off against.