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Thunderstrike

Marvel Infinite Series
by yo go re

The world still needs heroes.

A trusted friend of Thor, Eric Masterson wields the pummeling power of the Thunderstrike mace!

He was more than a "friend" of Thor, he was Thor. He was an architect wounded during one of Thor's battles, and to save his life, Odin merged the mortal with Thor. Why did Odin care? Because the plot said so. Anyway, eventually Thor "killed" Loki, wink-wink, and as punishment he was banished to another plane of reality, at which point Eric got all the powers himself. Why? That would be like if an Uber driver went to jail, and the police gave you his car because you were his last fare. Weird, right? Then later Thor came back, so Eric was left without wheels (so to speak), but Thor gave him a parting gift in the form of a new superhero identity.

Thunderstrike is very clearly a character designed in the '90s - he wears a costume that's superficially similar to Thor's, with a dark shirt and pants, knee-high boots, and metallic discs on his chest, but he accentuates it with a totally '90s leather vest. Such a butch anti-hero! On the plus side, he avoids the decade's real excesses: this costume may be dated, but thank the Asgaardian gods he doesn't look like an Image/Extreme character, right? No straps, no pouches, no armor, just "vesty Thor." The comic costume included a glove on the left hand, but that's not here; you could easily paint one on his hand if you really miss it.

If Thunderstrike were being created today, he'd have a huge scarf, glasses he doesn't need, and a handlebar mustache, that's how entrenched in his decade of origin he is. He's got a full beard, just like he did when he was Thoring, but his hair is pulled back into a ponytail. Adding to his '90s-ness, the comic version had a single lightning bolt earring - that isn't sculpted on here.

Unfortunately, this is a Marvel Infinite Series figure, not a Marvel Universe one, which means the articulation is lacking. It has swivel/hinge rocker ankles, double-hinged knees, and balljointed hips, which sounds like we're off to a very good start. But then there's no waist, no torso joint, and no wrists. Swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows don't make up for that. The head is on a balljoint, so thankfully the ponytail doesn't get much in the way. Like many recent figures, size-creep has hit poor Eric: this is a 4" scale line, and this toy breaks the 4⅝" mark.

As you'd expect, Thunderstrike comes with his magical mace, Thunderstrike. Yes, the name of the weapon is Thunderstrike, and that's Eric's supranym, too. At least saying his name doesn't turn off his powers like some people, eh? The mace can only be held in his right hand (the left is a fist), which is a bit of a problem since Eric was lefthanded. Or at least his alter ego was. The mace is molded with its chain loop hanging off the bottom, and the whole thing is painted nicely in silver and brown.

Thunderstrike is a very '90s character, but he's not unsalvageable - like Sleepwalker or Darkhawk, there's an underlying quality that made him a decent Marvel Comics character, and that's why it's so exciting to finally get an action figure of him. The only problem is that the way Hasbro is making its 4" toys these days means he's not as good as he should be.

-- 12/21/15


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