Beta Ray Bill
Who dresses like Thor, has the powers of Thor, wields a magical hammer and has a skeletal horse face? Why, it is none other than today’s review subject, everybody’s favorite Korbinite, Beta Ray Bill.
Beta Ray Bill was created by Walt Simonson and introduced in the Thor comics in 1983, and ever since Bill has made numerous appearances in different Marvel titles. Bill is an alien warrior that got his powers bestowed by Odin, after proving to be worthy of lifting Thor’s own Mjölnir.
This figure was released as part of Series 4 in the 2012 Marvel Universe line, but thanks to the spotty distribution that has plagued Hasbro product lately, I was just able to pick one up a few weeks ago from a specialty shop in Mexico City.
Beta Ray Bill is one of those Marvel characters I don’t really know too much about. I remember that for a while, the Spiderman comics published in Mexico included a full issue of Spiderman and about half an issue of another Marvel title, all bound in the same cover possibly as a way to keep a consistent number of pages issue after issue.
I remember that one of those split-up titles was precisely a Thor and that is pretty much all I recall about it, other than at the time I was rather confused by this strange-looking guy that was dressed as Marvel’s Norse god of thunder.
Beta Ray Bill is fundamentally humanoid, with four fingers on each hand and an elongated head that resembles a member of the equine phylum. His costume looks like a modernized version of the classic Thor garment that kind of out-Kirbys the original design by Jack Kirby, so much so that I get a New Gods kind of vibe from it.
To my knowledge, none of the pieces in Beta Ray Bill seems to be re-used from other characters in this line and unlike previous Thor figures, Bill’s cape can be easily removed. Bill is certainly fully articulated, and sports a few character specific joint designs, including:
• Hinged jaw.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Upper biceps swivel.
• Hinged elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Swivel waist.
• Ball jointed hips.
• Mid thigh swivels.
• Double hinged knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
Only the neck joint has a reduced range of movement, and with the cape on, the shoulder pads get in the way of the shoulder joints, but overall, the figure is fun to mess around with. The hinged jaw is a especially fun trait that allows for some variety.
The paintjob on Beta Ray Bill is solid all around, with metallic blue accents and clean vibrant colors, although the golden plastic bits could have used a shading wash to bring out the sculpted lines. The cape has some very subtle shading airbrushed on the deeper folds to enhances the shapes and volumes.
Beta Ray Bill comes armed with Stormbreaker, the hammer bestowed on him by the All-Father. The accessory is molded in pearly gold plastic, and the shape is not as foreboding as that of Mjölnir, but then again, that is how it is generally depicted in comics.
Beta Ray Bill is probably the most striking figure in his wave, and the only reason I didn’t buy him first was because alongside him was the new Hulk figure I reviewed a few weeks ago, but rest assured that Old Horse Face is among the best Hasbro has produced for this line.