FANTASTIC FOUR (TOY BIZ)
“Once a herald of the world-devouring Galactus, Firelord was granted absolute control over all flames by his former master. Now freed from servitude, he wanders the spaceways, using his cosmic power to take what he desires! Unprincipled and mercenary, Firelord conceals his true demeanor beneath a facade of nobility and culture, but always displays his blazing abilities for all to marvel at…and fear!”
After Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the concept of Galactus, and in turn his herald Silver Surfer, and then almost immediately dismantling it by having the Surfer removed from the role of herald at the end of that very story, it seemed Galactus was in need of a new herald to keep things running. The first replacement for Surfer was Air-Walker, a Xandarian who’s first appearance was not even the man himself, but a robotic duplicate, created by Galactus after the original died. The next herald after Air-Walker was another Xandarian (who was actually a friend of Air-Walker pre-herald transformation), Firelord. Firelord would follow in the path set by Silver Surfer, eventually asking to be released from his duties as herald, and forging out on his own. He’s remained a minor recurring character on the cosmic side of things at Marvel. As a herald of Galactus, he got himself a spot in Toy Biz’s FF line in the ’90s. I’m taking a look at that figure today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Firelord was released in Series 2 of the Fantastic Four line. Unlike Thanos, who was notably never in the cartoon that the line was tying into, Firelord actually got a brief appearance on the show. Not that it really amounted to much, since it was little more than a cameo, but hey, there it was. Of note, he was actually voiced by Alan Oppenheimer, better known as the voice of Skeletor. Fun times. Until his Minimate release, this was Firelord’s only action figure. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. He sports a sculpt that remained unique to this release. It’s a pretty decent one. Nothing overly showy or anything. Generally it just sticks to the basics, but it’s good at that. He’s got some minor detailing for the flame effects, which are a little on the soft side, but get the point across. The strongest portion of the sculpt is definitely the head, which sticks closer to the comics interpretation of the character, with his rather other-worldly cheek bones and all. Firelord’s paint work is alright. It’s not quite as bold and differentiated as some of his colors tended to be in the comics, but the general look again works pretty well, apart from some slight muddying of the colors without any real clear outlines. That said, it’s not terrible. Not terrible at all. Firelord was packed with his flaming staff, dubbed “Cosmic Flame Launcher” on the package. It’s in two parts, and one part launched like a missile out of the other. I’ve only actually got the missile part anymore, which is the half that looks more convincingly like his staff anyway.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve mentioned before on the site about Ageless Heroes, a comic store nearby that had a rather huge going out of business sale when I was between six and seven. It served as a pretty sizable boon to my 5 inch Marvel collection as a kid. Firelord here was one of the figures from that boon. He wasn’t actually bought as Firelord, since I didn’t really know the character, but instead got initial use as a Jim Hammond Human Torch. I did eventually learn who Firelord was, courtesy of a copy of his appearance in Uncanny Origins, which I got from Ageless Heroes’ back-issues, in fact. He’s not a perfect figure, or anything, but he’s certainly one I got a lot of use out of as a kid.