Venomous Maximus (2004)
By Past Nastification
He’ll always win the arm wrestling contests, but never the beauty pageants. This is 2004’s Venomous Maximus.
I don’t like too much science fiction in my GI Joe. Dr. Venom’s brainwave scanner was that first step too far in my young mind. However, as I get older I realize it doesn’t really matter and it’s okay to sometimes like a toy just for being ridiculous. And Venomous Maximus is ridiculous. But there’s a dash of awesome sprinkled in, too.
Doctor Mindbender something something Venomization something something Hawk something something. If I remember correctly, it may have been the more popular Duke, but it seems like Hasbro stuck with making Hawk the one who got mad scientisted on. Either way, who cares? This was only included on a hard-to-watch “the CGI isn’t quite there” animated movie. Since it’s not Sunbow continuity or Marvel/Devil’s Due or Marvel/IDW Continuity, no one really cares. So this isn’t Hawk to anyone. Right? Just some Brock Lesner in a monster mask wannabe with an arm cape.
-I just used the power of the internet to read Rob’s 2014 review- it was Hawk.-
Did he say “arm cape”?! Yes, yes I did. In addition to having long hair, waxy skin, jutting lower teeth, wide set eyes, and a very Neanderthal forehead, Venomous Maximus has a wildly oversized left-side arm. It’s deformed and is further enhanced with exposed tendons around the wrist and acne around the shoulder. Not just standard acne, but “Zit of Zits” acne. Venomous Maximus came with a removable arm cape to hide his ugly arm. It has a Cobra symbol printed on it, because the phrase “benzoyl peroxide failed my zitty shoulder” would clash with the rest of the uniform, especially if the wrong font were used.
And that uniform is crazy. Very techno-Roman gladiator. The armor has intricate patterning throughout, and the chest plate indicates that he digs Dodge Ram trucks. As mangled as it is, the sculpting on the left arm is just wonderful. Extremely gruesome for a Joe figure. If it were a real arm it would probably smell like a Subway meatball sandwich.
VM came with his shame-hiding cape, a dagger, and a fancy battle axe/staff.
There are some unpainted details that leave keep Venomous Maximus from meeting his full potential. There is an unpainted shoulder band near the Land of Zits. There’s also an unpainted mesh t-shirt (yes, just like the villain Bennett in Commando) that should have gotten at least hit with a paint wash.
Venomous Maximus is also unique in that the figure used a ball socket for the neck, several years before the 25A style embraced them across the line.
This figure is fun. Ridiculous? Yes. Stupid? Yes. But it’s so much fun that you won’t care.