#2071: Death’s Head II



A cyborg hero with a repertoire of super abilities, Death’s Head II has incredible physical strength, and an even stronger personality.”

Remember when I talked about Death’s Head, the character that proves that TransformersDoctor Who, and the entirety of the Marvel Universe are all in the same canon?  Well, did you know there was another?  Yeah.  After the cult success of the first Death’s Head, there were plans to make the character a central part of a push to gain a wider audience for Marvel’s UK line.  There were, however, some editorial disagreements, which resulted in the original character being dropped, and being replaced by a new iteration, dubbed “Death’s Head II.”  He never caught on the same way the original did, but he did get a Marvel Legends figure first.  So, I guess he’s got that going for him?


Death’s Head II–sorry, *Marvel’s* Death’s Head II, because those double possessives are still at work–was part of the Mantis Series of Marvel Legends, which was the second Guardians of the Galaxy assortment of 2017.  You may have noted that I already reviewed a completed Mantis figure back when the series was new, and there was nary a Death’s Head in sight.  That’s because he was the one figure not necessary to finish Mantis (though he wasn’t the double-pack; that was Rocket), so I (and a lot of other people) didn’t pick him up with the rest of the set. The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Death’s Head II was the first figure to make use of the Colossus body after Piotr introduced it, and still the only other figure to make use of the bulk of it, surprisingly.  That’ll change later this year with the Classic Colossus, but still, I’d expected to see it crop up more.  Justifying the (then) new tooling seems like the primary reason for this guy’s existence, though it’s worth noting that he ends up with quite a number of new pieces.  The head, lower arms, shins, and feet are all new to this particular, as is the add-on for his belt.  The new parts mesh well with the old, and they seem to make for a decent recreation of his comics design, for better or for worse.  The head in particular has some really sharp detail work, which I think really gives the figure a striking look.  One of the abilities of Death’s Head II was morphing his limbs into weapons, because that’s just how things were in the ’90s.  Yes, even I could morph my limbs into weapons in the ’90s, and it’s a feat I truly miss….Sorry, got distracted.  DH2’s right arm is demonstrating this ability of his, and I guess it’s kind of cool in an entirely overboard sort of way.  DH2’s paintwork is actually quite eye-catching, and while the transitions between metallic and non-metallic blue on the main body aren’t always very smooth, I do think the figure has a rather clean, very bold appearance.  Though he had no BaF piece, DH2 wasn’t without accessories.  No, he has an extra left hand…which is…pointing?  Gripping?  Point-gripping?  I got nothing.  It’s a weird extra.


I’ve got no attachment to the second Death’s Head.  The first is cool, but the second has pretty much none of the things I like about the first, and since he had no Mantis piece, this figure was a very easy skip for me, at least at full price.  However, this assortment wound up at Five Below late last year, and at a quarter of his original value, the figure became a little more appealing.  He’s still not great, and I feel like they could have made the original with about the same amount of effort, but then I guess I wouldn’t have gotten him for cheap.  He’s honestly not a bad figure, but I just don’t care about the character or the design he’s replicating, which is probably part of why he’s been sitting on my desk waiting to be reviewed for almost a year.

#0301: Marvel’s Death’s Head




Would you believe me if I told you that I had definitive proof that Transformers and Doctor Who share the same universe with just about every Marvel Comics super hero? Because they do, thanks to a set of appearances by one character: Death’s Head. As you clearly see in the title, he’s Marvel’s Death’s Head (which has two possessives. If I want to talk about the clasp on his cape, I’m talking about Marvel’s Death’s Head’s cape’s clasp. Think about that for a while…). Death’s Head was created for a Transformers comic while Marvel held the license. Not wanting to potentially lose a unique character to Hasbro, they quickly created a short strip featuring the character that was published in several of the comics in their UK line. Marvel also happened to be publishing a Doctor Who comic at the time, which also saw an appearance from Death’s Head before he finally made his way to the main Marvel universe. Now, 27 years after his original appearance, he’s finally gotten his very own action figure made by…. Hasbro. How about that?


DeathsHeadWilsonDeath’s Head was part of the second series of Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite, the line which serves as a replacement for Marvel Universe. He was long rumored to be an upcoming figure in the MU line, so following that line’s cancellation, the figure’s fate was uncertain. Fortunately, he found a home in AI, so everybody still has a chance to have a toy of their favorite tri-dimensional bounty hunter. He stands just over 4 inches in height and features 27 points of articulation. Death’s Head makes use of the MU Colossus body as a starting point, reusing the arms, upper and lower torso, and legs from the boot up. Given that both characters are larger in stature and both feature a similar banded metal patter, the choice of re-use is inspired. In addition to these pieces, the figure also has brand new pieces for his head, hands, shins, and feet, as well as add-ons for the cape/shoulder-pads and the belt/loincloth/waist armor. The new pieces are really great sculpts. The head sculpt looks to have been lifted directly from the character’s comic appearances, and the armor pieces have some really wonderful denting and weathering. My only complaint is how loose the cape add-on is, as it causes it to sit incorrectly if you aren’t careful. The paintwork on Death’s Head is nice and clean for the most part. There’s a bit of bleed over here and there, but nothing too distracting. The metallic blues in particular make the figure really pop. Death’s Head is armed with an axe, a mace, and a shield, all of which are new pieces that look pretty great and fit the figure’s hands well.


Like Deathlok and Valkyrie, Death’s Head was picked up from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. Like Valkyrie, Death’s Head is a figure that I’ve wanted since the initial rumors of his release started cropping up. I’m not entirely sure why I’m so interested in the figure. I’ve read maybe two or three of Death’s Head’s comic appearances. I guess something about the character’s design just resonates with me. Unsurprisingly for a character designed for a toyline-tie-in, Death’s Head translates really well to the action figure format and makes for a pretty neat toy.