#1113: Karl Mordo

KARL MORDO

MARVEL LEGENDS

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Last week, Marvel Studios’ latest film Dr, Strange hit theaters. Like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man before it, it was viewed as a slightly risky move for Marvel, since it would be rather different than prior films in style and “Dr. Strange” isn’t exactly a household name.  Also like Guardians and Ant-Man, the gamble seems to have paid off.  I saw Dr. Strange Thursday night and very much enjoyed it, from start to finish.  One of the standout parts of the film for me was Chiwetel Ejiofor’s turn as longtime Dr Strange foe Baron Mordo.  I’ve like Ejiofor since I saw him in Serenity (okay,fine, since I saw him in Love Actually.  Richard Curtis is my dude).  The guy is good at taking antagonistic roles and making them very likeable, and there’s a lot of that going on with his portrayal of Karl Mordo.   

THE FIGURE ITSELF

karlmordo2Mordo was lucky enough to be one of the three movie-based figures in the recent Dormammu Series of Marvel Legends (in fact, he’s the only non-Strange figure in the three).  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. In the comics, Mordo just sports a green bodysuit and a cape (he’s also bearded white guy who’s nothing more than a two-dimensional card-carrying villain, but that’s another matter).  His movie design mixes things up a bit, presumably to make him not only fit in a bit better with the rest of the movie’s designs, but also to make him a little more visually interesting.  The design is still definitely in keeping with Mordo’s comics look, and the comic incarnation certainly wouldn’t look out of place wearing something like this.  For the figure, he’s lacking his larger over cloak, which sort of replaces the cape stylistically.  Though it’s cool in the movie, it’s also only really present for a few short scenes, so Hasbro’s decision to go with this look (which goes with their MCU Dr. Strange, being the look Mordo has during the film’s climax) is certainly sensible.  The figure gets an all-new sculpt, which does a fairly decent job capturing Mordo’s onscreen design.  The details on his robes could maybe be a little sharper, but they aren’t bad at all.  I did notice one small inaccuracy on the belt: the small brown leather belt should really be the outermost belt, but on the figure, the it’s under his sash.  It’s entirely possible it was originally assembled as on the figure and Ejiofor just wore it slightly differently when actually filming.  The figure’s head sculpt presents a passable Ejiofor likeness.  It’s not spot on; certain angles are better than others.  It has some very nice detail work regardless.  The one thing that really jumped out at me was the lack of Ejiofor’s trademark scars on his forehead.  They were particularly noticeable in his performance as Mordo (to me, anyway), so their omission is just a slight letdown.  Mordo’s paintwork is pretty good for a Hasbro figure.  The colors match up pretty well with his on-screen counterpart, though he could really stand to have a few more variances of green on the robes.  They look a little bland as is.  This is a figure that would be greatly aided by adding just a little bit of accent work, just to make him pop a little more.  Mordo is packed with what I’m assuming is supposed to be the staff of the Living Tribunal, which is the relic that chose Mordo and is his primary weapon for the film.  That being said, the included piece really doesn’t look like the staff from the film at all.  It’s far too long and lacks the notches and other details seen on Mordo’s staff, as well as the strap Mordo uses to carry it on his back.  Like the issue with the belt, it’s possible Mordo was set to use a different prop initially and this changed during filming, but it’s still a little annoying.  Mordo is also included the right leg of Dormammu, as well as new versions of the flaming skulls included with the SDCC Dormammu, but this time in green and blue, which looks really cool!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in the opening, I’ve been a fan of Ejiofor’s work for a little while, so I was very excited to hear he would be in Dr. Strange, and intrigued by the new take on Mordo that the film was presenting.  He was easily the figure I was most anticipating from this particular set.  I ended up finding him at a nearby Walmart (like a day before the Hurricane hit, actually).  I loved the character in the movie, and while the figure isn’t perfect, he’s still a very good representation of the guy.

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