Clones are dumb. You would think cloning in real life was a common occurrence considering the amount of times comic book writers fall back on that crutch. We needed to kill a character to shock people, how can we bring them back? Clones! This hero did something thirty years ago that would be considered offensive today. A clone did it! This storyline has gone on 100 issues, it’s meandering and going no where. Send in the clones! People don’t like “The Phantom Menace?” Just wait until they see “Attack of the Clones!”
Stryfe embodies a lot of things wrong with 90’s comic books. He was basically made as something to plaster on the cover of a book to sell more issues. I refuse to believe that people actually read 90’s Marvel comic books; they were really bad. In my opinion most people were just buying “investment” books (haha idiots!) and only ever looked at the covers. This is why people say that Venom is their favorite character ever. Because they never actually read a Venom storyline! He looks cool on a comic book cover, but don’t dare go read that drivel. It’s terrible.
So the quick back story on Stryfe is that he is a clone of Nathan Summers, better known as Cable. The Summers’ family makes terrible decisions and decided since Nathan had the technovirus they would clone him because … well, because they are idiots. Apocalypse ends up taking the clone Nathan and then at some point this idiot shows up in giant Rob Liefeld designed armor. Of course he is also stronger than Cable since he is a clone and was never infected; plus he wears a giant suit of armor which makes him hard to physically subdue. He’s the result of if you tasked a ten-year old with designing a bad guy.
The good news about him being tailor-made to sell comic book covers is that he looks cool. Unfortunately the toy has a couple of issues that could be considered deal breakers, and most of them are hard to assess from looking into the package. You have to open him up to discover what he truly is. What he is, is a large hulking action figure that will check a name off your checklist but probably sit towards the back of your collection. Unless he falls because he does that a lot.
Stryfe’s giant red cape is a bit of a problem. It throws his center of balance completely off since he is a very top-heavy figure. He tends to like to fall backwards. This can be alleviated a bit by having him lean forward, but he doesn’t look natural at all doing so. The other problem is that his legs are slightly stumpy which ends up making his arms look really long. He needs maybe a quarter of an inch more leg length to appear properly proportioned.
Aside from those problems; chest up he looks really good. I was actually shocked at how hard the plastic was on his body spikes. They aren’t just rubbery nubs but decent looking plastic spikes. The head is also very well done. He is a large figure and similar to releases like Wrecker you feel like you are getting some value in comparison to a figure like Cyclops. He’s packed with Jubilee’s head and two particle effects. He also has a sword … a most unfortunate sword I might add.
I almost feel like we went back into the early 90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with how pathetic his sword is. Stryfe is actually a fairly detailed figure, and I’ll assume that the entire paint application budget went into his figure and not the one accessory. The sword is firstly tiny, and second the thing is molded in light brown plastic with zero paint applications. Why did they even include it? I would honestly have been perfectly content if he just came with the Jubilee pieces. The sword is an absolute joke and an eye-sore when he is holding it.
Stryfe is a mixed bag of a figure. I hated him a lot more when I was shooting pictures because he refused to stay standing for me. But then when I was editing I thought he actually looked pretty good in most shots, so my hatred subsided quite a bit. If you are a huge Stryfe fan you are probably going to buy him anyway. I think he’s a pretty middle of the road character. He’ll make a nice display piece but probably would not last a collection purge.
The entire Jubilee build-a-figure series is available at Toys “R” Us if you can find them. If you need another option over Toys “R” Us, Amazon has started getting them in as well.