Series: Generations Few robots achieve the same legendary status as Megatron, but Darkmount is one. He is just as famous on Cybertron as the impenetrable fortress that bears his name. From there, he ruled his small corner of the machine world with an iron fist, controlling his subjects with an equal measure of fear and pain. So terrible was his rule that even Megatron gave him a wide berth, and treated him with the respect due to an equal.
Darkmount is modeled after a comic character
from the original Marvel comic series (more on that see below), so letís look at the resemblance first. The head is spot-on and still looks quite spooky more than twenty years later. The torso is also a very close match, including the blue and red paint job (though the characterís paint job changed almost from page to page due to the old comicsí limited color palette). The legs look different, but thatís a transformation requirement, and the original didnít have any back kibble, but then again the comic character was never meant to be a transformable toy. Posability is quite good for this figure and he isnít hindered by the shoulder or back kibble at all. Iíve heard some people wonder if the legs are stable considering their design, but I can tell you: they are. Darkmount has a stable stance and can pull off lots of poses.
Darkmountís main weapon in robot mode is an axe, a near-perfect replica of the weapon he wielded in the comics (and used to slice unlucky Autobots apart). Thanks to his excellent posability he can easily hold it two-handed if you like and it fits well into his superbly sculpted hands. Additionally Darkmount has three clip-on weapons, which can attach to various points on his body (upper legs, lower legs, shoulders). Personally I wouldnít have needed those, but you can use them or leave them without any negative impact on the figure or any of its modes. The clip-on weapons can also be used by other current Transformers figures (i.e. Hubcap
Just about the only bad thing I can say about this figure is that I wish theyíd done him as a Voyager-class figure, seeing as he towered over most other Transfomers in the comics. That, and we need a Blaster
of comparable scale (again, see below). Apart from that, though, a superb robot mode that almost perfectly captures the old comic character. No complaints.
Darkmountís main alternate mode is a so-called half-track tank, meaning it has tracks on the rear of the vehicle, but wheels on the front. Darkmountís axe becomes the barrel of the tankís main cannon, while the clip-on weapons can once again be attached at various spots. They look better here than in robot mode in my opinion, but once again: Use them or not at your own discretion. The main gun of the tank can angle upwards quite a bit and the turret can turn a full 360 degrees. So all in all the vehicle looks very decent and has no obvious problems.
Darkmount has a sort-of third mode, which pays homage to the alternate mode the character had in the Marvel comics. There he transformed into a flying tripod-mounted gun thingy (somewhat like Galvatron
ís cannon mode. So Darkmountís tank mode can be modified to resemble that. Basically the tracks angle down to turn into Ďlegsí (a quadpod, if you will) and the grey handles Darkmount had on his knees in robot mode now turn sideways, so a Scout-sized figure can function as gunner. The final result looks more like some kind of artillery than the flying tripod thing from the comics. Personally I donít have much use for this mode, but it doesnít hurt the other two in any way and itís a nice nod toward the original.
In the G1 cartoon series Cybertron was, for the longest time, an all-but abandoned planet, populated only by Shockwave
, some generic Seekers, and (for all of two episodes) a few female Autobots. Not so in the Marvel comics. Here Cybertron was still a war-torn planet with a sizeable population, ruled (mostly) by Decepticons. And one of the most powerful Decepticons at that time was Straxus, who ruled the city-state Polyhex from the fortress Darkmount. Straxus was created exclusively for the comics and was destroyed within a few issues at the hands of Blaster. He later returned as a severed head in the Marvel UK comics and ended up in a new body cloned from Megatron
before killing himself (long story, donít ask!).His catch phrase ďMercy is not dispensed here, fools, only death!Ē is quite famous in the Transformers fandom.
Not sure why this figure is called Darkmount and not Straxus (the Japanese version will in fact be called Straxus), probably a copyright problem of some kind, but itís definitely the same guy and the designers did themselves proud here. There are differences from the comic version, of course, but considering that the comic character was never intended to be a transforming toy in the first place, the resemblance is excellent. The look of the figure fits with both the Generations and Movie-verse style (and War for Cybertron, too, if you like), so Straxus/Darkmount can easily be part of whatever toy line-up you personally prefer. The bottom line: A very cool figure that I fully recommend.