Friday, 30 January 2015

DAM Toys GKS001 - Gangsters Kingdom: Saxon (Exhibition Exclusive).

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
- Niccolo Machiavelli.

A (mis) interpretation:

Side Story 1: The Prisoner.

An Ace is a prestigious "card" or rank assigned to an individual within the Four Families whom serves as chief advisor, or consigliere. He is not officially part of the hierarchy of a Family, but plays one of the most important roles. The Ace is traditionally bestowed upon the close trusted friend and confidant of the K of a Family. His primary function is serving as an advisor to the boss whom he could summon for strategic information and sound advice. The consigliere is meant to offer unbiased information based on what he sees as best for the Family. He’s not supposed to factor emotional concerns, such as retaliation and blood feuds, into his decisions. Unlike an underboss such as the J of a Family, the consigliere is not required to be a direct relative of the boss. Instead, he is chosen solely for his abilities and the amount of knowledge he possesses. The Ace would accompanying the boss of a Family to important meetings, involving in plans or schemes prior to being approved and ensuring its implementation, as well as acting as chief liaison with a Family's associates and business partners. In terms of ranking, the Ace is often seen as an equal of the King but with less authority.
Saxon was a former Ace of Spades. He was a childhood friend of the K of Spades. A lawyer in training, Saxon's contribution to the rise of the Spades Family was undisputed. The K of Spades appreciated Saxon very much, both having worked hand in hand to built the Spades Family into powerful and influential organised criminal organisation. 
However, wealth often led to greed and ambition. As time went by, Saxon wanted more. When he informed the K of Spades that he would set up a separate organisation from the Spades Family, effectively crossing the line and rules. The K of Spades was furious and tried to reason with Saxon whom refused to back down. The K of Spades quietly retaliated. Saxon was framed and setup, resulting in imprisonment. The time required to serve out the sentence was equal to death sentence as Saxon was an old man. Those whom sided with Saxon were all killed. The K of Spades, however, against his usual nature and maybe due to their former childhood ties and friendship, as well as Saxon's contributions, spared Saxon's family to live but had them banished from the City, against the protest of others. Nevertheless, Saxon was told that his family was executed in the purge after the power struggle. The K of Spades obviously knew that by sparring the offspring of Saxon, the child might grow up to seek retribution, for life is a flat circle. Yet, the K of Spades seemed ready to accept any outcome from the decision. 
In the prison, the K of Spades ensured that Saxon was protected and treated properly. But Saxon's heart was twisted by bitterness and hatred even though he accepted his fate and defeat. Saxon would never forgave the boss of the Spades Family. Through the years, he began to scheme and look for opportunity to exact his revenge. It didn't matter if he would loose his life. For there was nothing else to loose.
The opportunity Saxon yearned for came when he received an unexpected visit from an individual whom he sensed he knew from before. Saxon's intuition was correct when the visitor introduced himself as Alger, the former associate of the Spades Family and now a 2 of Diamonds. The wizened Saxon could see Alger's true intention and real nature, and was glad as there was nothing much better than to see the collapse of the Spades Family. He agreed to help Alger, but cunningly chose only to disclose selective information for him. Saxon may be bitter but not trustful of any one to disclosure vital information un-necessarily. For information is still, after all, one of the ultimate bargaining chips. And Saxon knew that's what kept him alive and still of use in the eyes of all the Four Families.  
The next day, a young, smartly dressed man in suit visited Saxon. 'Looking good old man,' the man asked. 'Never been better. And thanks to the betrayer. The fool was sentimental. That is a weakness. Remember that,' replied Saxon. 'I think he appreciated you. Otherwise you wouldn't be the king of the prison,' said the man. 'Hush. Never let emotions get into the path to power, ' Saxon replied quietly, slowly looking around the security guards and cameras. 'Did the pretender to the throne approach you?' asked Saxon. 'Yeah. Disturbing and one mean son of a bitch. I said exactly what you asked me to say. He has doubts but are going along our plans thus far. I am careful of him. Things are going to be intense from now on. And the Knave has left,' replied the man. 'As I predicted. Now, I want you to locate and arrange a meeting between the Knave and myself,' said Saxon as he rolled up his sleeves on each arm, tattooed with a pistol with the words, "Courage and luck" and a hourglass with the words, "Beginning and end", looking at it. 'A dangerous game we're playing here. But I like it. Now I gotta go. I'll be seeing you around,' said the man. 'I'll be sending out words for you when it is time. Send my regards to your mom. And congratulation for being promoted to a Diamond Ace,' said Saxon with a wink. 'You know it runs in the family, old man,' replied the man. The security guard signalled that visitation time was over. Saxon gave him a middle finger, which has a tattoo of a chess piece. As he walked back towards his cell, Saxon seemed calm but inside he was so excited that he couldn't sleep. He hadn't felt so good in years since the time he was betrayed by the K of Spades. The downfall of the K of Spades shall be completed and absolute.
As per previous post on the STGCC 2014 (Singapore Toy, Game and Comic-Con 2014) exclusive Spade J, Saxon was an exclusive for CICF 2014 visitors (China International Comic Fair 2014). I wasn't keen on Saxon initially as it was not in my radar of purchase but since the term by xl-shop was to purchase as a set to get the retail prices instead of flippers' pricing, so I have no complain. But I've grown to like this figure, based on the supposedly Ed Harris, in prison suit and a pair of hand and leg cuffs in metal. It is being marketed as a "side story" to the primary line. The accessories are extremely minimal. The prisoner's number is 20141001, of which some said to represent the date of the exhibition, but I am not sure. I read online that the numbers may peel off, so I am cautious about it. The ankle joints were initially tight but in my foolishness, I removed both legs to slot in the cuffs as initially I could not pry it open, resulting in subsequent looseness at the ankle now. But at least it could be posed easier compared the existing characters in hand. It comes with a comic, like Diamond 3, with styles grounded in Mike Mignola's works and Frank Miller's Sin City.   

DAM Toys GK001EX - Gangsters Kingdom : Spade J (Exhibition Exclusive).

The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.
- Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince.

Chapter 1: The Prodigal Son.

Ogier is the son of Spade K, the godfather of the Spades crime family, one of the most powerful and influential criminal business empire amongst the existing Four Families of the City. Ogier was brought up together with his younger sister, Ada, in a considerably comfortable and normal lifestyle, insulated from the brutal and murderous reality of the family businesses. However, all this changed when Ogier's mother died of cancer, subsequently leaving him and his sister an emotional vacuum in their lives. Spade K remarried but Ogier's stepmother did not show any emotional support nor attention towards Ogier and Ada. They also learnt about the truth about the Spades Family business and what their father really does. After his ambitious stepmother was announced as the new Q of Spades, Ogier decided not to have any involvement with the criminal activities of the Spades Family. Upon completion of high school, Ogier enrolled into the military. He was an exemplary soldier, eventually selected into an elite Special Forces team whereby Ogier carried out numerous black ops in various hot zones. However, when a mission ended up in disaster with high casualty rate due to a direct disobey of his superior's order, Ogier was dishonourably discharged and sentenced to a year imprisonment.
Outside the prison, Ogier was received by the awaiting Spade K and his entourage of bodyguards and associates. But he turned down the reception and left in a cab. There Ogier searched and met up with a former teammate, The Baron. Together they went to visit a late team member, Tyrone whom died in the mission and gave his mother a huge sum of money. The truth was that Ogier, The Baron and Tyrone had discovered a cache of gold bullions hidden in a bunker which belonged to a late dictator of the foreign country. The trio decided to take the loot themselves, engaging the help of local dissidents but the commander of the team learnt of the gold and wanted it for himself. Disagreeing on how to divide the loot, a firefight occurred, leading to Ogier being found guilty after admitting to all responsibilities personally without revealing the actual nature of the incident. The gold bullion managed to be transported to the City by The Baron.
Ogier wanted to lead a normal comfortable life, but fate seemed to have other plans for him. When the truth of the incident involving the gold bullions was discovered, Ogier's life was in danger but being the son of the Spade K, anything could be resolved. When the incident was settled, Ogier was forced to re-join the family for "indebted gratitude". Spade K personally mentored him, grooming him to be his successor. He bestowed upon Ogier the "card", as rankings are called within the hierarchy of all the Four Families, the J of Spades, which means Ogier's rank and authority are secondary only to Spade K and Spade Q respectively. The latter was uncomfortable at Ogier's return. Her brother and herself were determined to make life difficult for Ogier, now known as Spade J. The opportunity came when Billy Kid, the wayward son of the K of Hearts, the self-styled "Red King", leader of the Hearts Family, killed several of the Spades Family associates as part of a series of personal and ambitious territorial expansion. The J of Hearts or "The Hedgehog", due to his prickly disposition, was a brutal, cold-hearted and merciless crime underboss whose passion for violence was well known. In a meeting between Spade K and the Red King to settle the matter, the former promised not to pursue the incident any further in the interest of all the Families. But in his shrewdness and dog eats dog world of the Gangsters Kingdom, Spade K ordered The Baron, whom by then a contract killer for the Spades Family, to take out Billy Kid. The Red King, of course knew and hid his son in an undisclosed location in the City while arranging for him to be sent out of the country. The Q siblings assigned Spade J to locate and kill Billy Kid, much to the protest of Spade K but the Q of Spades countered and said that it was time for Spade J to be a "made man" as well as to prove his abilities and earn his rank. Otherwise Spade K would be accused of blatant, outright nepotism.
Ogier reluctantly accepted the job. He and The Baron worked together, scouring the City and eventually learnt that Billy Kid and an entourage of his bodyguards were at Poison, a strip club downtown, against the order of The Red King. Billy wanted to celebrate before leaving and left upstairs with a stripper. After all his bodyguards were killed, Billy pulled out his semi-automatic and shot blindly at a moving shadow but Spade J emerged from behind him in the bedroom, quietly slitting his throat with a switch blade. As The Hedgehog gurgled and bled like a stuck pig, Spade J disappeared into the darkness.
The success of Spade J cemented his position within the Spades Family and earned the respect of his peers and elders. Spade K knew a war was inevitable and acted first. In a series of subsequent acts of attack upon the Hearts Family members and associates led by Spade J, The Red King was defeated, followed by his death from a heart attack shortly after. The newly appointed K of Hearts, with their powers greatly reduced, made amend with the Spades Family, ending the vendetta between the two families.
Spade J slowly adapted and accepted his life within the family. The Baron became an official member of the Spades Family, with the card, 5 of Spades. But the Q siblings began to scheme and eventually caused Spade J to be side-lined. He left once more and travelled the world.
However, it would not last, as Alger, his childhood friend and former right hand man whom possessed skills and intelligence at least the equal of Ogier, joined the rival Diamonds Family and had secretly amassed his own power from within. As Alger the Diamond 2 began to exact his grand schemes and plans to become the overall leader of the Four Families, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake, Spade J was forced to return, resulting in a series of bloody acts of retribution in the Gangsters Kingdom.


Just when I thought I am safe from spending on figures of which I know I wanted but couldn't get, like, exclusive ones available only from physically attending a toy exhibition, lo and behold, got a call from xl-shop and was offered that DAM Toys exclusive 300 pieces release of special colour edition of Spade J, available only via Singapore Toy, Games & Comic-Con 2014 selected booth. As mentioned in one of the previous post, I skipped GK series initially and only got onto the bandwagon from Diamond 2 and 3 onwards, so I didn't have the titular first character of which was a caricature of Jason Statham, when this was announced, the inability to obtain one at retail, thus through secondary market where the flippers flipped the price higher than a mamak doing his thang on a roti canai, I forgo it altogether. Until that call. The catch is that I would need to purchase Saxon (GKS001) together as a package. Always a catch. And without that t-shirt which supposedly comes with each purchase.  Otherwise I calculated that I would have had to pay higher than actual retail. There's subtle difference between this version and the older one, from the headsculpt and clothes. It include an additional hoodie but the most obvious is the cap, the first one is much like newspaper boys style whereas this one leans toward the classic flat cap. The box is replicated but with different effect and colours. The write-up is brought over and its nice to read the first write-up of the series, which is quite different from the subsequent ones and admittedly, it was kinda hard for me to digest due to the rather "unusual" manner it was written. All in all, what a score and this is for keep. So with this in hand, no upcoming third version of this figure, Memories Version, for me. And that's fine.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Pangaea Toy PG01 - Greek General.

Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighter’ souls, but made their body carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.
- Homer, The Iliad.

Mother tells me,
the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet,
that two fates bear me on to the day of death.
If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy,
my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love,
my pride, my glory dies . . .
true, but the life that’s left me will be long,
the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.
- Achilles, The Iliad.

When the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring grief to the enemy, but when wrongly, his men get the grief of war.
- Anon.

A mis-interpretation:

Achilles was the greatest Achaean champion during the Trojan War, a war which lasted a decade from 1194 to 1184 BC. The war marked the beginning of the Late Bronze Age collapse. Achilles was the son of the Aegean Thetis and Peleus, King of Myrmidons. Thetis had a foresight that her son would either die of old age after an uneventful life, or die young in a battlefield but gained immortality through history for his exploits in war. His father sent Achilles to Mount Pelion under the tutelage of the great teacher Chiron. He was gifted with skills and abilities to become a great warrior. Achilles had a mercurial temperament and confidence with a degree of arrogance. He occasionally displayed disregard for ranks and authorities, answerable only to his own judgement. When Achilles was nine years old, the Argos seer and augur, Calchas prophesied that should the Achaeans warred against Troy, the latter could not again fall without Achilles help. After Calchas prophesy and Achilles returned upon completion of his training at the age of fifteen, Thetis seek out the assistance of King Lycomedes of Skyros. Before Achilles was sent to Skyros in order to prevent him from involving in any war, Thetis spoke to him about his destiny and he would had to decide which life path to choose.
When King Priam of Troy sent his son Paris and nephew Aeneas, leader of Troy's Dardanian allies, on a diplomatic mission to King Menelaus of Sparta to seek the return of Priam's sister Hesione, Paris met and fell obsessively in love with Queen Helen of Sparta, recognised as the most beautiful woman throughout Achaea. Paris succeed in seducing Helen, resulting in an affair. Side tracked and without achieving the mission's objective, Paris decided to take Helen and eloped to Troy, much to the dismay and protest of Aeneas. Paris' reputation as a womaniser was well known and would often seduced wives and maidens. When he was questioned over his act in the gathering of nobles in the court of King Priam, Paris threatened to end his own life should Helen be returned. The Trojan princess and priestess of Athena, Cassandra, whom many regarded as mad yet believed to possess the skill of prophecy, urged his father to return the Spartan queen or risked the destruction of Troy. Priam disregarded his daughter's advise and allowed Helen to stay in Troy, much to the dismay of others. This was mostly due to the ordeal and humiliation Priam suffered during the siege on Troy decades ago by the Achaeans, led by the deified Heracles, which resulted in the death of his entire family and abduction of Hesione whom was forced into marriage to King Telamon of Salamis, even though Heracles later bestowed the government of Troy to Priam. King Menelaus of Sparta, whom was in Crete to attend the funeral of his uncle Crateus was enraged when he learnt of the incident and immediately departed for Troy. Though a warrior and temperamental, Menelaus did not want to risk war and sought to recover Helen from Priam by diplomatic means. But Priam was steadfast in his decisions and turned Menelaus away.

The Trojan War:
Angered and humiliated, Menelaus determined to seek retribution by asking his brother, the ambitious hegemony ruler of the Achaeans and king of Mycenae, Agamemnon to uphold the oath that required all of Helen's former suitors to promise most solemn that they would defend her marriage to whomever man chosen by her father and previous King of Sparta, Tyndareus. Agamemnon, whom had been wanting to subjugate Troy and consolidate his power, saw this as an opportunity not to be missed, agreed and immediately sent emissaries to all the Achaean kings and princes to call them to observe their oaths and retrieve Helen. They all gathered, and with much reluctance, solemnly swore the required oath on a cut up pieces of a horse. Agamemnon knew many would not involve themselves in to war, so he assigned Odysseus, the King of Ithaca famous for his brilliance, eloquence, guile and cunningness, and Nestor, the King of Pylos, to seek and recruit supports for the upcoming military campaign against Troy.
At Skyros, Achilles developed friendship and then romantic relationship with one of Lycomedes' daugthers, Deidamia, resulting in a son, Neoptolemus. Although Tyndareus was initially infuriated, he later consented to their relationship and had them married. Odysseus, Ajax the Great, the prince of Salamis Island and son of the illustrious King Telamon and Phoenix, the King of Dolopes whom was also a former tutor of Achilles, learnt of his location and went to recruit him for the war. Lycomedes concealed Achilles in female disguise among his own daughters. The trio disguised themselves as merchants, bringing numerous beautiful gifts, adornments and musical instruments as well as weapons to the king's daughters. Odysseus then had one of his companion imitated the noises of an enemy's attack on the island by making a blast of a trumpet heard, which prompted Achilles to reveal himself by instinctively picking a weapon to fight back, thus revealing his identity. Achilles remembered his mother's prophesy and hearing Deidamia's cry, he was reluctant to join the military expedition. Phoenix, whom was disgraced in his youth for the scandal of seducing his father's concubine and banished, but later redeemed and earned his fame as one of hunters in the Calydonian Boar Hunt, fell to his knees and pleaded emotionally to Achilles, whom then agreed. Tyndareus consoled her heartbroken daughter, told her to allow Achilles to go as he had chosen his path. Deidamia implored Achilles to keep their son in his thoughts, and to never have children with other women. Achilles swore to do so and promised to one day return to Deidamia. Achilles developed a dislike for Odysseus due to his perceived guile-like nature. He had known Ajax the Great as the latter was his cousin as well as training together as pupils of Chiron.
Before embarking for Troy, Agamemnon seek Calchas' advise to ensure good fortune and an auspicious military campaign. Seeing the wind had becalmed which would not allow the fleet to sail, Calchas said that Agamemnon had incurred the wrath of the goddess Artemis for killing deer at Aulis and was required to make sacrifice of his daughter Iphiginea. Agamemnon initially refused at the seer's suggestion. He shared this with Menelaus whom manipulatively changed his brother's decision by saying that not doing so would risk Agamemnon's political position and power. When Menelaus intentionally shared this with other commanders, they threatened to appoint Palamedes, prince of Nauplia, and Agamemnon political enemy, to replace him as overall commander of the expedition. Odysseus and Diomedes, the King of Argos, were sent to bring Iphigenia, under the pretext of a marriage to Achilles even though he was already married to Deidamia. She and her mother, Queen Clytemnestra, the sister of Helen, arrived in Aulis only to discover it was a ruse and learnt the truth after asking Achilles about the marriage of which he replied that he was unaware of such arrangement. Achilles was incensed and vowed to prevent the sacrifice even after being threatened with death by other commanders. After Iphigenia and Clytemnestra mourn together, Iphigenia makes the noble decision to die in honor and by her own will and asks Achilles not to stop the men. When Iphigenia is brought to the altar, a deer is put in her place by Achilles and the Myrmidons through trickery. He had her sent to the island of Leuke, without anyone's knowledge where she spent the remain of her life. Clytemnestra was devastated by the supposed death of her beloved daughter which made her hated Agamemnon.
Agamemnon raised one thousand and two hundreds ships with an army of one hundred and thirty thousands men. The fleet assembled at Aulis to set sail for Troy. All commanders arrived except for King Cinryas of Cyprus, whom would later be chastised over his breaking of the oath and later committed suicide due to the scandal of an incestuous relationship with his own daughter, Myrrha. Idomeneus, the King of Crete was offered to replace Cinryas with the promise of a co-commanding position. He became one of Agamemnon most trusted advisors. Achilles was the last commander to arrive prior to the journey, incurring Agamemnon's anger but to the nonchalance attitude of Achilles. Agamemnon and the Achaean alliance planned to conquer Troy within a week. Calchas, upon seeing a snake from the altar of Apollo eating a sparrow and its babies in a nest, prophesised that the war would last at least ten years.
En route, the Achaeans fleet lost their way due to a storm and landed in Mysia, whose king is Telephus, son of Heracles and leader of the Arcadians. Telephus wife was Laodice, the daughter of Priam. When Paris and Helen had stopped in Mysia on their way to Troy and seek Telephus assistance to fight off the Achaeans should they come by, he agreed. Agamemnon asked Telephus to join them in the battle against Troy of which he refused on the ground that he was the son-in-law of Priam. This resulted in a battle, whereby Telephus killed Thersander, the King of Thebes whom bore an ancient blood feud against him. Achilles demonstrated his fighting prowess for the first time by injuring Telephus, leaving a wound which would not heal due to a venom Achilles applied on the tip of his spear. Odysseus offered an antidote for the wound in return for showing the route to Troy, forcing Telephus to agree.
The fleet stopped at Tenedos for re-supply and further recruitment. From Tenedos, Agamemnon, after being advised by Idomeneus, reluctantly sent an embassy to Priam once more, composed of Menelaus, Odysseus and Palamedes, asking for Helen's return as well as serving as an ultimatum by the Achaeans. The embassy was refused and war became imminent. At Tenedos, Achilles was smitten by Hemithea after a bout of drinking, the sister of  the famed King of Tenedos, Tenes. After turning Achilles away and running off, Tenes intervened and tried to reason with Achilles but the latter became enraged and killed him out of anger, much to the aggravation of Agamemnon. The Achaean war council considered it an act of hubris, an offence which carried the death penalty. Upon re-consideration of his skills, the council had him sailed to Lesbos, where he was purified for his murder after sacrificing to Apollo, Artemis, and Leto. Meanwhile, the famed and skilled archer Philoctetes, prince of Meliboea in Thessaly whom had participated in the first siege of Troy with Heracles and gifted with deified Greek champion's bow and arrow, was bitten by a snake, causing a festering wound on his foot. Upon Machaon of Thessaly advice, whom was a gifted general and skilful medic, Agamemnon and Idomeneus ordered Philoctetes to stay on Lemnos for the next ten years, an island populated by Minyans. Medon, Prince of Locris, took over Philoctetes's position and men.
The Achaeans finally arrived. Calchas had prophesied that the first Achaean to walk on land after stepping off a ship would be the first to die. Achilles seemed to defy even fate as he and the Myrmidons were the first to land, followed by Ajax the Great, Diomedes and Protesilaus, leader of the Phylaceans. The Trojans were prepared for the Achaeans, setting up defence perimeters around the landing sites. The Trojan army and its allies were led by Prince Hector, the eldest son of Priam. Hector was a master strategist and tactician, a formidable warrior and champion, whose skills were said to be equal to Achilles. He personally spearheaded the defence against the Achaeans on the beach. They rained arrows and spears at the Greeks, inflicting a number of casualties despite the armours and shields. Hector personally slew hundreds of the Achaeans first landing wave and killed Protesilaus in a personal combat. His position was replaced by his brother, Pordaces. Agamemnon also personally led the armies into the battle, where he killed one of Priam's son Antiphus and numerous Trojans.  He fought on until being wounded and forced to retreat to his tent. The Trojans conceded the beach after a day of bloody fighting due to the combined might of Achilles, Ajax the Great and Diomedes. Achilles led the second wave of counter-attack, killing Cycnus, the King of Kolonai, himself a mighty champion whom had slew at least several hundreds Achaeans prior to his death. The Trojans then retreated back to the safety of the city nation's walls.
After the initial landing the army was gathered in its entirety again only in the tenth year. This was due to the continuous massive casualties inflicted upon each other's armies of both factions. Supplies shortage such as food as well as diseases were also contributing factors. Supplies were forcibly secured from King Anius of Delos. Another were the Atreidai brothers objectives - Agamemnon's ambition to subjugate the walled city population and Menelaus' obsession to retrieve back Helen. Reinforcements would continued to pour in to replace the ranks of those whom fell until the tenth year. The Achaeans controlled only the entrance to the Dardanelles, and Troy and her allies controlled the shortest point at Abydos and Sestus and communicated with allies in Europe. Achilles and Ajax were the most active of the Achaeans, leading separate campaigns to raid lands of Trojan allies as well as conquering surrounding cities and islands. Cities conquered were often stripped of its resources particularly foods and its inhabitants. Among the loot from these cities was the beautiful Briseis of Lyrnessus, whom Achilles took as his concubine after slaughtering her family and husband, Mynes, in a duel. Chryseis, from Hypoplacian Thebes, was personally taken by Agamemnon. Ajax the Great, a mighty champion and physical giant, competed against Achilles for respect and recognition, laid waste the Thracian peninsula of which Polymestor, a son-in-law of Priam, was king. Polymestor was forced to surrender Polydorus, one of Priam's children, of whom he had custody. Ajax then attacked the town of the Phrygian King Teleutas, killed him in single combat and carried off his daughter Tecmessa as his prize. Ajax also hunted the Trojan flocks, both on Mount Ida and in the countryside. Eventually Achilles and Ajax came to recognise each other as equal. In a famous incident, Achilles and Ajax were playing a board game (petteia). They were absorbed in the game, each trying to outwit each other, oblivious to the approaching Trojans and their battle against their armies.
Many acts of atrocities and brutality were carried out by the Achaeans upon the inhabitants. In one of the battles, Achilles personally seek out and ambushed Troilus, the youngest son of Priam and a war leader at Tymbra, outside the Temple of Apollo. Troilus was highly revered by the Trojans. Achilles learnt of this and intended to make an example out of him. Troilus escaped into the temple but was caught up by Achilles whom beheaded him and mutilated his body. He threw Troilus' head to the Trojans and issued a challenge to them to try and defeat him. Achilles and the Myrmidons then desecrated and burnt down the temple. He later captured Lycaon, another son of Priam and had him sold as a slave in Lemnos in order to humiliate Priam. Achilles also captured Polyxena, daughter of Priam while she was trying to gather some waters at a fountain.
The Trojan War grind on and eventually turned into a war of attrition, with the grounds gained frequently changing hands between the Achaeans and the Trojans with both sides neither too strong nor weak enough to defeat one another. Suffering from war fatigue and immense casualties, the loose alliance between the Achaeans also resulted in much disagreement, quarrels and power struggles amongst each leaders. Such was the case between Odysseus and Palamedes whom had enmity with each other ever since the incident where Palamedes used Odysseus's son to coerced him into joining the military campaign. Agamemnon had assigned Odysseus with the task to ship grains from Thebes but he failed in his duty. When scorned by Palamedes, Odysseus challenged him to do better. Palamedes set out and returned with a shipload of grain much to Odysseus anger and humiliation. Odysseus had never forgiven Palamedes for threatening the life of his son previously to force him to enter the war.
Near the end of the ninth year since the landing, Palamedes led a faction of the Achaean alliance and mutinied, demanded to return to their home. Agamemnon, wishing to get rid of Palamedes whom was seen to be threatening his position, conspired with Odysseus and conceived a plot where an incriminating letter was forged, from Priam to Palamedes, and gold was planted in Palamedes' quarters. The letter and gold were "discovered", and Agamemnon had Palamedes stoned to death for treason. Agamemnon and Menelaus forced the army to stay and leaders of the mutiny were executed. Palamedes' father Nauplius sailed to the Troad and asked for justice, but was refused. In revenge, Nauplius traveled among the Achaean kingdoms and told the wives of the kings that they were bringing Trojan concubines to dethrone them. Many of the Greek wives were persuaded to betray their husbands, most significantly Agamemnon's wife, Clytemnestra, who was seduced by Aegisthus, son of Thyestes of Cytheria and Agamemnon's cousin. Others include Aegiale, wife of Diomedes, who committed adultery with Cometes and others, and Meda, wife of Idomeneus, who was unfaithful with Leucos.
Agamemnon had been steadily rebuilding the Achaeans army and by the tenth year of the war, he had succeed in restoring the army back to the original strength and numbers since the first landing. As such, the Achaeans were initially successful in their assault against the Trojans. But the Trojans and their allies received reinforcements from Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons, arrived with her warriors. She killed many Achaeans including Machaon of Thessaly. Meanwhile Diomedes fought and succeed in killing Bremusa, an Amazonian champion while sustaining some injuries himself. Achilles was challenged by Penthesilia but he was distracted by her beauty as well as never having to fight a woman before. Achilles nearly lost his life to the Amazonian before he refocused and killed Penthesilia. Memnon of Ethiopia came with his host to help his stepbrother Priam. He did not come directly from Ethiopia, but either from Susa in Persia, conquering all the peoples in between and leading an army of Ethiopians and Indians. In the ensuing battle, Memnon killed Antilochus, the most skilful charioteer in the war, who took one of Memnon's blows in order to save his father Nestor. Achilles and Memnon then fought and was slain by Achilles.
A temporary truce was declared by both factions when Menelaus issued a challenge to Paris for a one on one duel. Should Paris won, the Achaeans would withdraw immediately and return home. If Menelaus won, Troy would surrender to Agamemnon and serve as a vassal state. More importantly, Helen would be returned back to Sparta. Agamemnon was delighted but much to Priam's distressed. Everyone knew Paris was not a warrior. He was a skilful archer but not in the art of combat. As both armies gathered in full force opposite each other on the area outside the mighty walls of Troy, Menelaus and Paris engaged in personal battle. The battle hardened Spartan king easily overwhelmed Paris, berating and insulting him. Hector, champion of the Trojans, watched with distressed as his younger brother was about to meet death by the sword of Menelaus. Paris, broken and injured, crawled toward Hector to escape Menelaus. The Trojan army was ashamed at the conduct of the prince, unbecoming of a warrior. Menelaus patience ran out. He lunged at Paris only to be blocked by Hector's sword. Menelaus ordered Hector to stand aside but the Trojan champion refused. Paris, seeing the opportunity of a distracted Menelaus, stabbed the Spartan king in the neck with a tip of a spear. Menelaus staggered momentarily before dying. Agamemnon shouted for the Achaeans to attack, thus ending the truce. Diomedes, a great champion whose skills were almost equal to Achilles and Ajax, won great recognition during that battle, killed many Trojans, including the hero Pandaros. Aeneas was nearly killed by him but was saved by Hector.
When Chryses, a priest of Apollo and father of Chryseis, came to Agamemnon to ask for the return of his daughter. Agamemnon refused, admitting that she was finer than his wife. He insulted Chryses and had him whipped. Chryses then prayed to Apollo to avenge his ill treatment. The Achaean army was inflicted with plague, decimating their numbers. When Achilles learnt about the incident from Chryses, he approached Agamemnon and forced him to return Chryseis to her father in order to end the plague. Agamemnon agreed but with the condition that Achilles' concubine Briseis would be surrendered to him. Enraged at the dishonour Agamemnon had inflicted upon him by having his plunder and glory taken away, as well as he was in love with Briseis, Achilles decided he would no longer fight and declared withdrawal from the Achaean alliance.
Learning of Achilles' withdrawal, Hector led the Trojans in a massive campaign the following day, succeed in forcing the Achaeans all the way back to their camps. They were finally stopped at the Achaean wall with the defence led by Ajax the Great and his half-brother, Teucer the Archer. Ajax engaged Hector in a combat and managed to wound him but was forced to retreat after he was overwhelmed by a great numbers of Trojans coming to the defence of Hector. Idomeneus desperately urged Agamemnon to appease Achilles, much to his reluctance but agreed, with the offer of returning Briseis and other gifts. Achilles rejected the offer. 
The next day Hector and the Trojans army launched an assault once more which finally broke into the Achaean camps. Hector intended to set fire to the Achaean ships. In the midst of the battle, Ajax the Great nearly kill Hector by hurling a massive rock at him. Leaping from ship to ship, Ajax held off the Trojans single-handedly. He succeed in killing many Trojan champions, including Phorcys. Ajax then duelled with Hector for the second time but the Trojan champion prevailed. Hector severely maimed Ajax, crippling the giant. Ajax chose to commit suicide by stabbing himself with his own sword to deny Hector the pleasure of killing him. Teucer, in grief, tried to claim his half-brother's body from Hector which he succeed but narrowly escaped his own life. He replaced Ajax's position. Agamemnon refused to allow the burial of Ajax due to what he considered as a dishonourable death until Idomeneus persuaded him to change his mind.
After Hector and the Trojans succeed in burning Protesilaus' ships, Achilles allowed his only friend, comrade in arms, companion and relative Patroclus of Opus, a mighty warrior whose skills were personally taught by Achilles, to go into battle wearing his armour and weapons to led his army. Together with Diomedes, Patroclus engaged the Trojans and killed many. Mistaken for Achilles, Hector seek Patroclus out. Patroclus was eager to prove himself and fought Hector, ignoring Diomedes warning whom himself was entangled in a combat against the sweeping Trojans army. Patroclus possessed the techniques but not the experience and was out-skilled by Hector. The Trojan champion, instinctively knew that was not Achilles, delivered a mortal injury to Patroclus on the neck and gave him a mercy killing. The Trojans army rejoiced but Hector corrected them, saying that the great Achaean champion was still alive.  
When the news of Patroclus' death reached Achilles, he was overcame with grief and extreme anger. He begrudgingly reconciled with Agamemnon and accepted back Briseis. His wrath knew no bound. Achilles intentionally bought Lycaon back from a slave trader and immediately slaughtered him in cold blood much to Polyxena's horror. He then sent his mutilated body to Priam. Achilles re-emerged on the battlefield, slaughtering untold numbers of Trojans standing in his path with his Myrmidons. Reaching the great gate of Troy, bathed in bloods, he screamed out the name of Hector for a personal challenge. Hector honourably accepted and before that returned Achilles' armour, sword and shield back to him. The two mightiest champions from both faction fought relentlessly throughout the day, their skills evenly matched. Armies of both factions gathered on each side. Finally Achilles gained the upper hand through his sheer superlative endurance and stamina. He stabbed Hector through the armour using the broken shaft of his spear, killing him. In his dying breath, Hector said a prayer, and mentioned that the Achaean champion would meet his demise at the hands of an unlikeliest warrior. His anger still un-quenched, Achilles tied Hector's body to his chariot and dragged it three times around Troy and refused to leave the body to the Trojans for burial. The Achaeans rejoiced and conducted funeral games and burial for Patroclus.
Priam, by then driven to the brink of mental and emotional collapse due to the demise of almost all his sons in the war, personally made his way to Achilles' camp. Kneeling before Achilles, Priam pleaded with the champion to return Hector's body for proper burial. The king's heartfelt pleading caused Achilles to relent. He raised Priam up and instructed his most trusted Myrmidons to return Hector's body to Priam and accompany the king to the safety. The armies made a temporary truce to allow the burial of the dead, including the funeral of Hector by the Trojans.
That night, Achilles had a self-realisation of his own mortality and reflected upon his lost of virtue, honour and conduct as a warrior in the war, the futility of it all, at the unnecessary expense of lives and humanity. He spoke in length for the first time to Polyxena and became interested in her quiet sagacity as well as words of comfort. Achilles then freed her and told her to go home. His son, Neoptolemus, had also arrived as part of the reinforcement groups which also include the exiled Philoctetes whose wound had healed, to joined the war. Neoptolemus found his father to be in a melancholy mood. Achilles shared that his name would be remembered for eternity but at the expense of his humanity and true peace. Feeling conflicted, Achilles acknowledged that he was born with neither a gift nor curse, but a instrument of war and death.
Agamemnon, whom had become extremely bitter at the failure to defeat the Trojans, gathered the surviving leaders from the first landing and his closest aides to determine once and for all on how to win the war. He knew if it dragged on, the costs would be extremely high and might even weakened Achaea severely for generations. More importantly his position as a hegemony king would be threatened. After much discussions and arguments, Odysseus finally devised a new ruse—a giant hollow wooden horse, an animal that was sacred to the Trojans. Agamemnon and the other leaders agreed. It was built from the wood of a cornel tree grove with the inscription, "The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home." The hollow horse was filled with soldiers led by leaders of the army. The rest of the army burned the camp and sailed for Tenedos.
When the Trojans discovered that the Greeks were gone, they believed the Achaeans had given up and left, and the war was finally over. Priam believed that the wooden horse was a token of goodwill. Prayers were offered. They joyfully dragged the horse inside Troy, while they debated what to do with it. Some thought they ought to hurl it down from the rocks, others thought they should burn it, while others said they ought to dedicate it to Athena. Cassandra warned not to bring the wooden horse into the city but they didn't take her words seriously. The Trojans decided to keep the horse and turned to a night of mad revelry and celebration.
Sinon, an Achaean spy, signalled the fleet stationed at Tenedos when it was midnight and the clear moon was rising. The soldiers from inside the horse then emerged and quietly killed the guards. They then opened the great gate of Troy. The Achaeans poured into the city and began killing the sleeping population. A great massacre followed which continued into the day. The Trojans, fuelled with desperation, fought back fiercely, despite being disorganized and leaderless. With the fighting at its height, some donned fallen enemies' attire and launched surprise counterattacks in the chaotic street fighting. Other defenders hurled down roof tiles and anything else heavy down on the rampaging attackers. The outlook was grim though, and eventually the remaining defenders were destroyed along with the whole city.
Achilles led his Myrmidons at the front, killing every Trojan warriors and commanders. He finally entered the palace and engaged in a fight against Priam's palace guards, easily dispatching them. Achilles located Priam together with Polyxena, whom had taken refuge at the altar of Zeus at the courtyard. Priam drew out his sword in fear, causing Achilles to instinctively slew him in a single stroke. Paris, disgraced in the earlier incident of the duel against Menelaus, emerged quietly with Helen behind him, and shot Achilles with his arrows five times continuously when Achilles confronted Polyxena. The first four were blocked by Achilles using his shield. The fifth was shot into his ankle whereby Achilles screamed out in pain for the first time. He knelt down on one leg, attempted to stand up but strength seemed to have deserted Achilles. Paris then shot a sixth arrow at Achilles, penetrating his heart. The fallen Achaean champion flung his sword at Paris, nearly severing his arm. Polyxena, horrified and panicked, drew out a dagger and stabbed Achilles in the back several times. Achilles gave out an ironic smile at Polyxena and thus the great champion died at the hands of the unlikeliest warrior, as Hector predicted. Paris was in pain, attended by Helen and they were about to escape when Philoctetes, using the venom tipped arrow of Heracles, arrived and shot in the eye and chest of Paris. Screaming in pain, Paris pushed Helen aside and escaped in excruciating agony where he reached the mountain side of Mount Ida before expiring from his wounds. Neoptolemus arrived and killed Polyxena for the death of his father. Antenor, who had given hospitality to Menelaus and Odysseus when they asked for the return of Helen, and who had advocated so, was spared, along with his family. Aeneas took his father on his back and fled, and was allowed to go by Idomeneus because of his piety. Out of spite, Agamemnon despoiled Cassandra by raping her on Athena's altar while she was clinging to the statue because he knew she had taken a sacred vow of chastity. Because of Agamemnon's impiety and hubris, the Achaeans, urged by Idomeneus, whom had been weary of Agamemnon's cruelty by that point, had wanted to the hegemony king to step down from his position which would result in being executed by stoning, but Agamemnon fled to Athena's altar, and ordered to be spared. He was forced to accept Cassandra and looked after her welfare. Agamemnon also ordered the Achaeans to throw Hector's infant son Astyanax down from the walls of Troy, either out of cruelty and hate or to end the royal line, and the possibility of a son's revenge. Idomeneus protested and ordered Neoptolemus to stop the men but was too late. Andromache, in grief, committed suicide by throwing herself down the wall as well. He later found Helen in hiding, the woman whom was the source of the cause of the war and she fell on her knees to spare her life, ripping off her clothes to entice the son of Achilles as a desperate attempt to seduce him. Neoptolemus was enticed by her beauty but brought her back to Agamemnon and Idomeneus. The hegemony king, revealing in the frenzy of destruction, impaled Helen with a spear. Her body was then sent back to Sparta to be buried together with Menelaus. The city was burned and razed to the ground. The Achaeans then divided the spoils amidst the background of the destruction.
Achilles was cremated and his ashes buried in the same urn as those of Patroclus. Briseis agreed to be sacrificed to Achilles out of love. Neoptolemus also buried Polyxena's remain together with his father, due to her perceived betrayal.

After Troy was no more, the Achaeans set sail back to their homeland but a massive storm fell upon the fleet off Tenos Island.  Additionally, Nauplius, in revenge for the murder of his son Palamedes, set up false lights in Cape Caphereus and many were shipwrecked. Agamemnon had made it back to Argos safely with Cassandra. He was slain by Cassandra upon Aegisthus and Clytemnestra instigation. The murder was then blamed on Cassandra and she was executed. They then usurped Agamemnon's position. Electra and Orestes later avenged their father by killing both the usurper and their mother. For the act of matricide, Orestes was forced to fled the nation. Nauplius schemes of vengeance would later be discovered and he was sentenced to be torn apart by horses by Electra. His remains scattered across Achaea. Nestor, who had the best conduct in Troy and did not take part in the genocide and looting, was the only hero who had a fast and safe return. Those of his army that survived the war also reached home with him safely, but later left and colonised Metapontium in Southern Italy. Teucer, son of Telamon and half-brother of Ajax, stood trial by his father for his half-brother's death. He was disowned by his father and wasn't allowed back on Salamis Island. He was acquitted of responsibility but found guilty of negligence because he did not return Ajax's dead body or his arms. Diomedes was thrown by the storm whereby after undergoing many adventures and life threatening situations, finally reached Argos where he found his wife Aegialeia committing adultery. Killing her in disgust, he left for Aetolia and founded Canusium and Argyrippa in Southern Italy. Philoctetes, due to a sedition, was driven from his city and emigrated to Italy, where he founded the cities of Petilia, Old Crimissa, and Chone, between Croton and Thurii. Idomeneus reached home safely but was driven out of Crete by Leucus, who had seduced and then killed Idomeneus' wife Meda, usurping his throne. Idomeneus killed Leucus later and escaped to Calabria, Italy and then Colophon in Asia Minor where he died upon contracting a plague. Neoptolemus travelled the land and conquered Epirus of the Molossians. Odysseus and his men were blown far off course to lands unknown to the Achaeans, there Odysseus had many adventures and life threatening situations. It would took him ten years to return back to Ithaca and reunited with his wife, Penelope, whom had been faithful to him during the twenty years he was absent and his son, Telemachus. Many of the other lesser Achaeans did not survive the storm to return home.
The handful of surviving Trojans were led by Aeneas away from the city, escaping in a number of ships, seeking to establish a new homeland elsewhere. They land in several nearby countries that prove inhospitable. They first try to establish themselves in Crete but find it ravaged by the same plague that had driven Idomeneus away. After seven years they arrive in Carthage, where Aeneas had an affair with Queen Dido. Aeneas continued onward, and he and his people arrive at the mouth of the Tiber River in Italy. At Cumae, Aeneas negotiated a settlement with the local king, Latinus, and was wed to his daughter, Lavinia, which culminated in the founding of the settlement of Alba Longa, ruled by Aeneas and Lavinia's son Silvius. Three hundred years later, Romulus and Remus, descendants of Aeneas, founded Rome. Dido committed suicide, and Aeneas's betrayal of her was regarded as an element in the long enmity between Rome and Carthage that expressed itself in the Punic Wars and led to Roman hegemony.

ACI  Toys, under a separate company, Pangaea Toy, released the Greek General based on Achilles from the 2004 movie, Troy, whom was played by Brad Pitt. The movie in turn, was based on The Iliad, an ancient Greek epic poem, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. It is not known for sure whether the war really taken place, the existence of the individuals and so forth, lost in the mist of times.
Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' looming death and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, so that when it reaches an end, the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.This is a nice figure and like all ACI Toys figure, the quality is there. Luckily for me, there are not much assembly to do, unlike the Roman General aka Maximus. The articulation is a bit tight and, being paranoid about breakage, decided not to fool around with it. Honestly I would very much like to pose the figure in accordance to the great action as seen in the movie. The helmet however, sits kind of low. I may want to add some paddings, but later. The  size though, is huge. The mis-interpretation fan fiction is mostly taken from sources in Wiki sans the intervention of Greek gods and goddesses.

ThreeA x Marvel - Doctor Doom: Classic Version.

"My methods are a means to an end, no different than pruning weeds in order to let an orchid flourish. Those who stand in the way of my vision oppose me because they fear me, but more than that they fear what I represent. Change."
- Dr. Doom.

“Confounded, though immortal. But his doom, reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought both of lost happiness and lasting pain torments him.”   
- John Milton, Paradise Lost.  

A mis-interpretation:

Name: Viktor von Verderben.
Alias: Dr. Doom; The Tyrant of Latveria.
Age: Unknown.
Affiliation: Pontifex, Adeptus Ministorum - Ecclesiarchy of Mars (former); The Red Corsairs warband - leader (current).
Abilities: Genius level intellect; master strategist and tactician; cunningness; demagogue; leadership; cybernetic enhanced physiology; master hand to hand combat; technological manipulation; magic manipulation; psychic abilities; slowed aging.
Std. armaments: "Armour of Verderben" - Luna titanium hyper alloy; "Doombolt" - electricity generation; "The Will of Doom" - force field generator; .75mm bolt pistol x 1; Hyper auspex - multi-scanners; life-support system.

Viktor von Verderden was once the Pontifex of Latveria, one of Megagrad shrine hive city of after Imperial Eurasia is conquered by the forces of the Ecclesiarchy of Mars. Latveria administrative borders are established by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. It suffered significant damage and casualties during the Great War. Later Latveria came under the theocratic ruling of the Ecclesiarchy of Mars, become a member of MARSA (Mars Advocates), actively opposing Terra's AMC (Anti Mars Coalition) faction. Large scale fighting has been reduced from 1947 and although regional wars still rage, the fight for dominance between Terra and Mars in The Great War are expressed through global proxy wars between various factions.
In 1956, the Latverian Uprising begun, a spontaneous sector wide rebellion against the ruling faction sponsored by AMC, with thousands of militias being formed as disorder and violence erupted throughout the entire parishes, resulting in the collapse of Cardinal Caedicius ruling diocese. Led by then Preacher Viktor, the Frateris Templar brutally crushed the revolution within a month of fighting. The Cardinal Caedicius bestowed upon Viktor the rank of Pontifex, ruling over Latveria shrine hive city and its parishes. Under his rule, Viktor turned Latveria into an economically viable parish by re-organising its manufacturing industries, essentially turning it into a major military industrial complex. However, it comes at the price of freedom. The sector's population were reduced to servitude and absolute obedience and adherence to the religious theocratic policies of the Ecclesiarchy through fear and terror imposed by Viktor's vast network of the dreaded Preachers, MIssionaries and Confessors. Upon carrying out the purging of heretics, a genocidal act against enemies of the Ecclesiarchy within the sector, Viktor was nicknamed "Dr. Doom". He ruled over Latveria as a dictator for the next twenty decades.
Viktor was born in an underground shrine city on Mars. His father was a Terra aristocrat but Viktor's mother was a Romani, Terrans whom came to Mars during the Great Migration in the nineteenth century. He was orphaned at a young age and taken into a Schola Progenium where Viktor was brought up and trained to be inducted into service for the Ecclesiarchy. He was recognised for his genius level intellect, a polyglot with fiery oratory skills and natural affinity for mastering areas of technology, engineering and cybernetic sciences. Viktor also possesses psychic ability, often considered heretic. He was given exemption by the Wardens but closely monitored by the Inquisitors. As a psyker, Viktor is capable of manipulating the art of sorcery and meta-physics. Upon completion of his tenure at the orphanage, Viktor was inducted as a member of the Inquisitors. He later learnt that his mother was executed by the Inquisitors after being found out to be practising acts of heresy, against the doctrine of the Ecclesiarchy while his father was assassinated by a Martian cult on Terra.
Later, Viktor was assigned to the Frateris Templar as a Preacher. He proved to be a natural leader and insightful tactician in a number of battles. His rise was meteoric from then on, as he rose through the ranks, where his superlative combat skills saw him commanded other commanders with far more practical experience than him. Viktor displayed his true strategic prowess and unleashed innovative tactics that saw his army defeat enemy forces several times their size and power. However, some saw Viktor's rapid ascension and the fanatical devotion of those that served him as a threat, for they feared that the growing loyalty to him was greater than their fellow Templars devotion to the Ecclesiarchy.
During his thirty years of rule, Viktor had experienced several attempts to remove him from power. Each coup was brutally crushed but Viktor had grown paranoid. After each coup attempt, he would swiftly carried out internal purge against those he deemed as heretics and threats to his power. By then Viktor had personally taken matters into his own hands. Viktor's chosen servants and political allies were placed in positions of power, turning Latveria into a pocket empire. He became an absolute dictator, and became known as "The Tyrant of Latveria". Watch bastions were established amongst the sector's borders by his own paramilitary group, the Red Redemption. The Tyrant's Red Redemption militia proved their worth as they were sent to support and repulsed numerous Europa Union army raids, freeing Megagrad own defence force from their defensive stance. The Red Redemption was able to conduct a series of lightning raids beyond the Iron Curtain defence perimeter into outlying areas to harass and destroy Europa Union controlled districts and sub-sectors. With the increase of Viktor's tally of victories, and the curtailing of Europa Union military activity and the increase of manufacturing production never before reached, the fame of Pontifex Viktor grew beyond Megagrad.
The formation of the Red Redemption was far from Viktor's only deliberate move to concentrate all military power within his own hands and that of his shrine city and parishes, as through a system of patronage, charisma, might and political skill he also inveigled the noble houses and commercial interest of those sub-sectors and zones he protected under his direct control, and even suborned the local Deacons and various sects under his personal authority. Spurred by this success, Victor delivered a formal and lengthy petition to Cardinal Caedicius, making a detailed case for completely subduing the neutral sectors of Megagrad's surrounding area. In order to achieve this, Viktor advocated the deployment of several more Frateris Militia and Templars to the Red Redemption ranks to meet the needs of his plan. Unfortunately, Viktor's petition was dismissed without full hearing on the grounds that the requirements of the Ecclesiarchy were better met elsewhere. In his arrogance and pride, Viktor began to seek ways to expand his army.
By the mid-70s, Latveria submission of manufacturing tithes to the Adeptus Mechanicus of Mars became infrequent and incomplete. Although an initial cause for concern, such occurrence was not uncommon, particularly sectors which deployed their armies to border areas or on a crusade, simply because they would need to temporarily retain the tithes to sustain battlefield losses. But as the omission persisted, the Adeptus Mechanicus begun to secretly investigate and found out that Latveria had been withholding the tithes to expand their own parishes' army and reinforcing its defences. Viktor had also begun to withhold the submission of Latveria incomes tithes to the Creed Temporal of Adeptus Ministorum. He ordered primary supply and trade passages to be blocked unless direct permission was given by him. The clashing entitlement of the Adeptus Ministorum's tithe and the ancient rights of a Pontifex to defend a shrine city and parishes by any means necessary swiftly came to be known as the Latveria Schism and would last for more than a year and a half, during which Viktor and the Red Redemption would continue to carry on military operations as usual, against a volatile backdrop of worsening tensions with the Administratum and Segmentum authorities.
Viktor's downfall began when political conditions throughout Terra and Mars worsened. His plans were thwarted by causes beyond his control. Increasingly dictatorial and paranoid, the megalomaniac leader of Latveria plunged his sector into a war known as The Megagrad Civil War. It began when the Arch Deacon of Adeptus Ministorum officially charged Viktor, his shrine city and parishes with heresy, deceit and treason. This was due to Viktor's secret negotiation with the ICG (Independent Countries Group) faction for military alliance in return for full independence of Latveria as well as rejection of Lectitio Divinitatus, the central doctrine of the Ecclesiarchy that proclaimed the Ecclesiarch Boniface as Messiah of Humanity. Though Viktor became an increasingly unstable commander, throughout the war he remained a brilliant tactician who favoured strategies of stalwart defence married to high-speed counter attack and subtle flanking actions. He also led many of his strike forces from the frontline where he could, inspiring the warriors that followed him and assuring them of the righteousness of their cause.
The war burnt for seven weeks, consuming millions of lives and destruction of Megagrad sectors. The uprising came to an end with the fall of Latveria last defence line and the loyalist Frateris Militia occupied the capital of Latveria, Haasenstadt and moved directly towards Viktor's shrine palace. The Red Redemption and their vassal forces made the Frateris Militia bleed for every scrap of ground, but hour by hour, more of their defensive positions were lost, and the tally of dead mounted. Viktor made a final stand and was mortally injured with a melta blast. The Tyrant fell, and the civil war ended. Scoured from the Holy Synod records, the honours won by Viktor and the Red Redemption in their long service became ash after being put into memory holes, their domains given to those who had cast them down.
Yet, the Tyrant lived. Taken from the battlefield by a cadre of his veterans, he had clung to life through sheer force of will, despite being reduced to an unrecognizable heap of charred flesh and armour and missing most of his torsos. They managed to fight through the Exorcists' blockade and fled into deep space, taking refuge in the Outer Rim Territories, eventually settled on Charon. There the tech-priests and apothecaries laboured over the remain of Viktor over a week on the icy, barren world. When he came into consciousness and rose, Viktor saw what was left of his troops. The former Cardinal himself looked into a reflection of his current self - a walking body of scar tissue and machinery, its wound-chewed face twitching from an agony held back by his iron will. Without a word the Red Redemption knelt to Viktor then and there in reverence. He beheld his remaining warriors in silence and, through the film of pain and near-death madness, saw a new path for him and his surviving followers. He spoke then, telling them to rise. They would survive, he said, and they would rise beyond their current state. For during his state of unconsciousness, he had journeyed into the Seas of the Undead, encountering entities, gods and goddesses, learnt from them and gained his absolute faith and believe in them. With their powers, Viktor and his followers shall rise in glory once more.
Viktor exposed networks of cybernetic prosthesis, neural sensors, transfusion ports and mechanical joints would be sealed within a master crafted armour called the Armour of Verderben. It is a completely enclosed suit of combat armour composed of shaped plasteel ceramic composite plates, encased in Luna titanium hyper alloy. The plug-in points mesh with the armour, linking Viktor's nervous system to his suit's mind impulse controls, turning the suit into a second skin that moves with all the enhanced speed and precision of his own body. The electrically motivated fibre bundles within the armour replicates the Viktor's movement and enhances his physiology to that of a superhuman level. The armour possesses a full suite of life-support functions for operation in hostile environments, an automated medicae system to provide some level of first aid to Viktor and the Auspex, the highly advanced and fully integrated tactical targeting, threat analysis system with auto multi-sensors. As an integrated life support system, it should be noted that Viktor would not survive without the armour. But nevertheless, it slowed down Viktor's aging. The suit is powered by an alternative version of the ultra-compact Arc Reactor refined by Ezekiel Starke of which Viktor secretly reversed engineered personally. Physically imposing, Viktor has reincarnated as a giant of a half man half machine.
The armour also serves as a weapon by itself. Viktor could generate electrical bolt to shock and kill an enemy or disable vehicles. In full extent, the armour enabled Viktor to unleash a massive electrical storm covering distance of up to ten miles radius, infamously known as "Doombolt" which melt flesh and vaporise metals. The entire armour is protected by a force field which was tuned to withstand any form of projectile, energy weaponries as well as psychic and magical attacks.
After coming back from the brink of death, Viktor's full psychic potential was unleashed and amplified. He drawn much of his power from dark rituals, daemonic pacts and unholy incantations which all draw to some extent on the power of the Warp. Viktor constantly seek out additional sources of esoteric and forbidden information. He had secretly studied a broad array of arcane knowledge, including ancient practices, legends, and secrets long thought lost. No targets or types of data may be off-limits. Virtually any information is useful as it could be enough to persuade the sponsors within the Warp to empower him yet further. The notion of forbidden knowledge is anathema to Viktor, as he knew that his personal destinies transcend any mortal strictures. As a psyker, Victor possesses the powers of telekinesis, technopathy, gravitation, short distance flight as well as precognition, magic combat and defence. His powers extend to include altering the flow of time around himself, allowing Viktor to attack with supernatural precision, making his foes to spontaneously combust, absorbing negative energies of a battlefield and then unleash rolling energies which leaves the victims burning like wax, overloading his enemies with sensory and nervous system causing them to behave in frenzy before dying with all bones in their bodies break.  Officially, Viktor had become a tech-magos for his actual power was bestowed upon him by the foul warp entities from the Immaterium which he utilised in combination with his knowledge of technological science. He is one of the handful of individuals whom could hold his own in a combat against a Nom de Plume of the NOM Legion. This made him one of the most dangerous individuals in the entire Sol System.
Viktor carried a sidearm, a .75mm bolt pistol of ancient design, with armour piercing depleted uranium tipped, rocket propelled explosive ammunition. He used this to execute dying, unworthy enemies.
As Viktor put on his armour, sealed perpetually within, he held his audience and declared that this was the new beginning, for he is Doom, and what person, short of being a god, would dare stand against him? With that declaration, Viktor von Verderben, now referred to as Dr. Doom, would embarked on a journey to rebuilt his army, the power that was denied him and to reclaim his lost from the Terra and Mars governments. The Red Redemption was re-named the Red Corsairs, and Viktor would led them to plunder, sowing discord and chaos across the Sol System from his base at the Outer Rim Territories.


Dr. Doom, the long time nemesis of The Fantastic Four, is one of the most recognisable and iconic villians in comicdom. Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in The Fantastic Four #5 on July 1962, wearing his trademark metal mask and green cloak. Unfortunately I am not a fan of The Fantastique Foursome and as such I don't know much about the armoured cladded villain. After the Iron "Floppy Body" Man, this is the second figure to be released by ThreeA x Marvel line. Three variants were released on Bamba, the classic, stealth and "ghost" version. White colourway is out, so it narrowed down to either classic or stealth. I bought classic version but sent an email to 3A CS to change it to stealth to go in line with Iron Man Stealth version. Curiously I was informed it would be changed but lo and behold, when the figure arrived, it is the classic version. Initially a bit disappointed but that changed when I saw the classic version in hand and likes it immediately. No floppy torso joint this time 'round because there's no chance to move it as I believe the torso is designed to be static in order to accommodate the lighted up feature. This applies to the neck joint as well. Overall figure design is great (or else I wouldn't be detonating my wallet on it), very Ashley Wood-ish, just like Ironic Man and of course, based on the classic rendition of the character. No loose joints. 'Cept that once I tried to pose the figure, one of the finger joints became loose like a goose. Sigh...never mind. The colourway is nice and absolutely loves the overall texture. Comes with a sidearm which looks like a Luger, but extra big to go hand in hand with the rather taller than usual 1/6th figure. It is said that Dr. Doom carries a sidearm, but a Mauser instead, to dispose of enemies not of his worth. Again I am too lazy to get any batteries for the lighted up feature. Maybe later. I took the entire "mis-interpretation" from Games Workshop/Forge Worlds' The Badab War character, Lugft Huron (how do we pronounce his name?) and as usual certain background elements from WH40k.