It sort of figures that someone named Colossus would be a big guy, right? So it makes sense, then that Colossus, one of the stalwarts of Marvel Comics' X-Men, would be a part of the admittedly somewhat limited MARVEL LEGENDS ICONS series of 12"-or-larger scale of action figures from Hasbro.
Colossus, created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, has been part of the X- Men for thirty-five years, coming along with the rest of the then "All- New, All-Different" X-Men that debuted in "Giant-Size X-Men #1" in late 1974.
In my opinion, this relatively gentle, somewhat shy soul was, despite his massive size, pushed somewhat to the background of the stories in favor of the more bizarre-looking Nightcrawler and the fierce fan favorite, Wolverine. Not that I have anything against either character. I like Wolverine as much as anyone, and Nightcrawler has always been a personal favorite, and in the comics, both men have been seen as Colossus' closest friends. The three of them even had a mini-series together. But somehow, Colossus never seemed to be much in the limelight.
The new X-Men represented an international take on super-heroes that hadn't really been done before. Wolverine was Canadian, Storm was African, Banshee was Irish, Nightcrawler was German, and Colossus was Russian. Colossus' years with the X-Men, while perhaps not the team's most prominent member, have been quite adventurous.
Colossus (Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin) is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by writer Len Wein and illustrator Dave Cockrum, he first appeared in Giant-Size X-Men #1. A Russian mutant, the character is a member of the X-Men, and is by far the physically strongest X-Man. Even without his powers he still cuts a physically imposing figure standing at 7'5". Throughout the series he has been portrayed as a quiet, shy character, honest and innocent. He has had a fairly consistent presence in X-Men-related comic books since his debut. Also a talented artist, he only reluctantly agrees to use his powers in combat, feeling it is his responsibility to use his abilities for the betterment of human and mutant-kind.
A mainstay of the X-Men comic book series until the 1990s, Colossus then went on to appear regularly in the first series of Excalibur. While a member of the team, he had his own self-titled one-shot which depicted him and his teammate Meggan battling Arcade at his new Murderworld facility.
After returning to the X-Men alongside Excalibur teammates, Shadowcat and Nightcrawler, he stayed with the title until his apparent death. He was later resurrected and was a regular in the third series of Astonishing X-Men. He was also the feature of a limited series, Colossus: Bloodlines which had him journey back to Russia. Colossus has since returned to his status as an X-Men mainstay, appearing in various X-Men related titles
Piotr "Peter" Rasputin was born on a Soviet collective farm called the Ust-Ordynski Collective near Lake Baikal in Siberia. He lived there with his mother Alexandra, father Nikolai, and sister, Illyana. His older brother, Mikhail, had been a Russian cosmonaut and had apparently died in a rocket accident (the 2006 comic mini-series Colossus: Bloodline established that the family was descended from a real-life historical figure Grigori Rasputin).
Peter's superhuman powers manifested during his adolescence while saving his sister from a runaway tractor. At first, Peter was content simply to use these powers to aid the other people of the collective; however he was soon contacted by Professor Charles Xavier, the founder of the X- Men. Xavier was recruiting a new team of X-Men to rescue the original team, most of whom had been captured by the sentient mutant island Krakoa.
Peter was part of the second generation of X-Men, formed by Charles Xavier to save the original X-Men from the living island Krakoa. He agreed to leave the farm community in which he was born to go to the United States with Xavier. Xavier gave him the name "Colossus." After the battle was won, Colossus remained in the United States with the new X-Men.
Colossus is typically portrayed as being peaceful, selfless, reluctant to hurt or kill anyone, and always putting himself in danger to protect others. Peter's family always remained in his thoughts and he frequently wrote letters home.
Among Colossus' adventures during these early years: being captured in the Savage Land and seemingly burned at the stake, heating his metal skin to red-hot temperatures and leaving him wondering if he might melt; being kidnaped and brainwashed by the mercenary assassin Arcade into thinking himself a "Hero of the Soviet Union" called "The Proletariat"; apparently killing the mutant Proteus via exposure to this metal skin; battling Dark Phoenix during the Dark Phoenix Saga, practically caving her head in and knocking some sense into her; and going one on one with Juggernaut.
During the Mutant Massacre, Colossus became heavily involved in the X- Men's efforts to save the Morlocks from the Marauders. When Kitty Pryde, another X-Men with which Colossus shared a mutual affection, was severely injured by Harpoon, Peter gave in to his rage and snapped Riptide's neck. He tried to fight through his pain and anger, but eventually passed out from previous wounds inflicted by Riptide. Magneto, with the aid of Shadowcat, used his powers to heal Peter's armored form, but the process left him paralyzed. He was sent to Muir Island along with Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and the surviving Morlocks to recuperate.
Over time, Colossus' wounds healed, but he could only retain his human form with the utmost concentration. When he saw the X-Men in Dallas during the Fall of the Mutants, he had his sister teleport him to the battle, where he became a wild card, as Destiny had not seen him in her vision of the X-Men's demise. When the team decided to sacrifice themselves to stop the Adversary, Colossus went along, dying to save the world. Like the rest of the X-Men, he was revived by Roma and decided to let the world believe him dead while he and the X-Men worked out of an Australian base.
After the X-Men began falling apart with Rogue vanishing, Wolverine taking off, Longshot quitting, and Storm apparently killed, Psylocke telepathically prodded the remaining three to disband and travel through the Siege Perilous to gain new lives. Peter emerged in New York with no memory of his past life, inventing a new persona for himself as 'Peter Nicholas', where he quickly became a successful artist.
He began having visions of a beautiful model, who turned out to be Callisto transformed by Masque. The two were kidnapped by the Morlocks, though Peter had no memory of his time with the X-Men. He resumed his armored form and defeated Masque. He was saved by Forge, Banshee, and Jean Grey, who decided it better that he live his new life rather than be dragged back into theirs. However, Peter was psychically dominated by the Shadow King and sent to hunt down Stevie Hunter and Charles Xavier. Xavier had no choice but to destroy the Peter Nicholas persona to break the Shadow King's hold.
Later, Colossus' younger sister Illyana became an early victim of the Legacy Virus. The loss of his sister, as well as brain damage that forced him to remain in armored form, caused Colossus to rethink his position with the X-Men and join Magneto and his Acolytes, who had offered him an alternative to the X-Men's pacifist philosophy of peaceful mutant/human coexistence. Colossus would eventually recover from the brain damage, but decided to remain with the Acolytes of his own volition, hoping he could temper the Acolytes' extremist methods with what he had learned from Professor Xavier.
His stay with Magneto was not long once he realized that the Acolytes' headquarters Avalon was not the place for him, either, particularly after Magneto was left brain-dead and the space station was destroyed by Holocaust. He left in search of the only person he felt truly cared for him, his former love and teammate Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), now a member of the European-based super-team Excalibur.
With Excalibur, he participated in many adventures, including helping to save London from an ancient demon. Excalibur eventually disbanded, and Colossus returned with Nightcrawler and Shadowcat to the X-Men. During this time, he repaired his friendships with Wolverine and Storm, that were broken when he had joined the Acolytes.
Later, using thoughts and notes from the recently murdered Moira MacTaggert, the X-Men's resident scientist, Beast, claimed to have found the cure for the Legacy Virus. Unfortunately, it could only be made airborne with the death of its first user. Rather than wait for a safer version and allow others to die as Illyana had, Colossus injected himself with the cure. By using his powers and sacrificing himself, Colossus enabled the release of an airborne cure, effectively eradicating the disease.
Nearly 2 years later, it was brought to the attention of the X-Men that a medical company, entitled Benetech, had developed a mutant cure. After gaining a sample of the cure, Dr. McCoy discovered a string of DNA hidden deep within the recesses of the formula. After matching the DNA, Beast and the other X-Men set out to investigate the truth behind Benetech. During their infiltration, they discovered that Ord, an alien from the Breakworld, was responsible for the means with which the company was able to develop the cure. While the team was separated, Kitty descended into a hidden complex beneath the Benetech building and was able to unlock the true secret behind the cure: shortly after Peter's self-sacrificing death, Ord had captured his body and left a duplicate that the X-Men had cremated.
After reviving him, Ord had used the Legacy Virus cure in Peter's blood stream to develop his mutant cure. After unknowingly releasing Peter from his cell, Kitty rejoined him with the X-Men and together they subdued Ord as he tried to escape Earth. Since reuniting with his friends, Peter has returned to fight with the X-Men as Colossus.
As to his powers and abilities, Colossus is a mutant that has the ability to transform his entire body into a form of 'organic steel', with properties analogous to osmium but of still unknown composition. Colossus cannot transform only a single portion of his body into this armored state; he must either transform completely or remain within his normal state. When he transforms, he gains around a foot in height and his weight is at least doubled. In his armored form, Colossus possesses superhuman levels of strength, which currently slightly exceeds that of The Thing, as well as superhuman stamina and durability. His physical strength is currently greater than when he first joined the X-Men, since he was a teenager at the time. While in his armored form, Colossus requires no food, water, or even oxygen to sustain himself, and is extremely resistant to injury. He is capable of withstanding great impacts, high caliber bullets, falling from great heights, temperature extremes of hot and cold, electricity, and certain magical attacks.
Colossus is also an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, having received training from Wolverine and Cyclops. He also has had training in acrobatics and sword fighting from Nightcrawler. In his human form, he is exceptionally strong and fit, though not superhumanly so. He has also completed college-level courses at Xavier's school.
Granted, it's never been made entirely clear just what "organic steel" is, but, what the heck, it works for him.
Colossus was not a major part of the otherwise excellent X-Men animated series in the early to mid 1990's. The show preferred to make use of more recent, and at that point in time, more popular characters, such as Rogue, Gambit, and Jubilee, blending them in with more mainstay characters such as Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Beast, In fairness, Nightcrawler didn't turn up more than twice, either, but he was a welcome sight when he did, as was Colossus, whose appearances mostly focused on him trying to find his missing little sister Illyana. Colossus never appeared in costume in either of his animated appearances, and never officially joined the X-Men, but he was presented very much in character, a generally likable and somewhat naive individual, and the animation also did a good job with Colossus' transformation from human to metal, including the added size he takes on.
In the live-action movies, Colossus put in a cameo appearance, played by Daniel Cudmore, in the second of the three films, long enough to knock around some of the army invading Xavier's mansion and rescue some younger students. He tells Wolverine that he can help the X-Men, but Wolverine directs him to help the youngster students instead.
The popularity of the character and the effectiveness of the on-screen transformation resulted in a distinctly expanded role for Colossus in the third movie, much as a cameo on the part of Iceman in the first movie had resulted in an expanded role in the second. This despite limited acting experience on the part of Cudmore. In the third movie, Colossus is clearly an active part of the team, up to and including wearing the X-Men uniform as seen in those films.
So, how's the figure? Big. Heavy, too. Colossus stands slightly over 13" in height, which makes him pretty large even by 12" standards, and he weighs a very solid pound and a half of plastic. That may not sound like much, but if you consider that the average DC Universe Classics figure weight about three ounces, and the average G.I. Joe 3-3/4" figure has trouble managing an ounce, then Colossus' 24 ounces is plenty.
Colossus is outfitted in his original costume. He's had several uniforms over the years, most of which have been a version on the original theme. Not surprisingly for a Russian character who was created when the Cold War was still very much in effect, there's a lot of red in Colossus' outfit; along with a bit of yellow.
Colossus' shirt, if it can be called that, basically amounts to flared shoulder pads that taper down to the waist, leaving the sides of his torso open. This part of his outfit is yellow with thick red borders. He is wearing red trunks with a wide red belt and the X-Men's logo in it. He has thick red wristbands, and high red boots that come up slightly over his knees. They are topped with a yellow and black decoration, that if it has any significance has never been explained, that feature a sort of yellow diamond-triangular shape with a black border, and three small black symbols inside, a long diamond with two smaller triangles on either side.
To Hasbro's credit, they have reproduced this peculiar design superbly well.
Colossus' legs are bare, as they always appeared in his metallic form. For some peculiar reason, when Colossus was in his human form, in costume, he had blue leggings. This was never explained, except to say that the X-Men's original costumes were made by Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, out of "unstable molecules", one of Richards' early developments that allowed him to create a costume that would stretch along with him, one that would turn invisible along with his wife, and one that would not burn up when worn by the Human Torch.
In Colossus' case, one might surmise that Richards created a costume that would expand its size whenever Colossus transformed into his larger metallic form, and perhaps the blue leggings turned transparent, but were still there.
The overall detail on the sculpting is excellent, and Colossus is harder than one might thing to render effectively in action figure form. This isn't the Silver Surfer here. While his face remains relatively smooth in his metallic form, and in fact his hair turns into a smooth surface, the rest of his body becomes ridged metal. No explanation for this has ever been given. It certainly makes for an interesting visual, but it's got to be a pain for anyone trying to sculpt a figure of him.
Hasbro really did a nice job with this, though. The ridges follow the musculature patterns superbly well. Most complicated of all are Colossus' hands, which are not only ridged right down to the figures, but have a secondary sort of "knuckle framework" to them, which also have to be sculpted. Colossus' right hand is sculpted as a fist. His left hand, interestingly enough, is sculpted in an open position, all four fingers separate from one another. At this size of action figure, you can get away with that. Both hands are very well done, but that open left hand, with the level of detail needed, is especially impressive.
Colossus' face is one of what I would describe "quiet heroic determination". It's not an angry face at all. In fact it almost looks impassive. At the same time, you sort of get the impression that you don't really want to pick a fight with this individual. He won't start a fight with you -- but he'll finish it if he has to. The area representing his hair has been painted in a semi-metallic black, since Colossus' hair is black in his human form. About my only complaint about this figure at all is that either the back of the head should have been taken down a little more, or the top of the neck made a little thicker. It looks sort of odd in profile, and from the rear, you can readily see the articulation mechanism.
Overall, the articulation on the figure is excellent. Colossus is filly poseable at the head, arms, upper-arm swivel (very nicely worked into the musculature and ridges, I might add), elbows, wrists, mid-torso, waist, legs, upper leg swivel, double-jointed knees (with those boot decorations doing a nice job here of blending it into the design) and ankles, which pivot as well as having some back and forth movement.
The figure is a little loose at the mid-torso point, but that might be an unavoidable result of the sheer weight of the figure as much as anything. Colossus has a large upper body, although he is generally well proportioned, but the figure still has to support itself.
The only other odd observation I would make about the figure is that his feet seem a little too small relative to the rest of him. He doesn't need massive feet, but I think I would've made them very slightly larger than this. It doesn't affect his stance, however. Colossus stands perfectly well. In fact, setting this figure on a flat, level surface, you get the impression of a heavy piece of work that has planted his feet most effectively and isn't going anywhere unless you want him to. He's not going to fall over of his own accord.
The only curious thing I really noticed about Colossus was that the copyright date on the bottom of his foot reads 2007. This then led me to check the package, which also had a 2007 date on it. I didn't find this figure until early 2009. The other Marvel Legends Icons figures I saw at this time were Daredevil and Dark Phoenix. I know Hasbro is planning to start a new 3-3/4" Marvel-based line, and I realize that large-scale action figures like this aren't as common as they used to be, but I still find myself wondering what took so long for these guys to come out?
There's a set of statistics on his package, and a three-paragraph bio which reads as follows:
"Piotr Rasputin was born to humble beginnings in a collective farm in the Soviet Union. His family, hounded into obscurity by their ancestry, raised him to believe fervently in the nobility of service and labor. For much of his young life, he expected never to be anything more than an uncommonly strong farmer, one of millions contributing to the great Soviet dream.
"Fate, however, had other plans. Upon being recruited into the X-Men, he found love and a greater purpose. With his powers and the help of his teammates, he realized he could move beyond merely helping to realize the potential of a single nation, but could elevate the whole of humanity. Since then he has worked tirelessly to secure a peaceful future for man and mutant alike.
"Like the monument from which he takes his code name, Colossus stands unmoving as a bulwark against the mighty tides of history. Battling with equal dedication against those humans who would oppress mutants, and those mutants who would eradicate humanity, he has proven himself a remarkable and true hero."
So, what's my final word here? I'm not saying this figure will be easy to find. As of this writing, I've only seen Colossus at one store, although I have no reason to believe he's an exclusive. It's just that the size seems to be increasingly less popular these days, and that 2007 copyright date does make a person wonder. But if you can find him, and you're any sort of Marvel fan of the X-Men, you'll have a truly superb rendition of Colossus in your collection with this figure.
The MARVEL LEGENDS ICONS COLOSSUS definitely has my enthusiastic collection!