Sunday, 5 August 2012

Hot Toys MMS 167 ~ The Red Skull.

A (mis) interpretation:

Name: Johann Schmidt.
Allias: Roter Totenkopf  aka The Red Skull; Weapon 0.
Age: 35 years old.
Affiliation : The HYDRA.
Rank: Standartenführer.
Std. Armaments: StG 44 assault rifle x 1; Gas Mask x 1; Assault Blade x 2.
Abilities: Peak physical and mental conditioning; Expert acrobat, tactician and marksman; Master martial artist; Excellent field commander; Strategic genius; Political mastermind.
Current status : Deceased.

Johann Schmidt was born in a village in Germany to Hermann and Martha Schmidt. His mother died during his childbirth. Johann's father blamed him for her death. Johann's father tried to drown the baby, only to be stopped by the attending doctor; he later committed suicide, leaving Johann an orphan. Johann was sent to an orphanage, where he led a lonely existence. Johann ran away from the orphanage when he was seven years old and lived on the streets as a beggar and a thief. As he grew older he worked at various menial jobs but spent most of his time in prison for crimes ranging from vagrancy to theft. It was on one occasion in the prison that he would meet one Adolf Hitler,  whom soon would be the future leader and absolute dictator of Germany. The latter was incarcerated after the failed Beer Hall Putsch. They became close friend in jail, and even helped Hitler to draft Mein Kampf. After their release, Schmidt became a favourite of Hitler, and as the Hitler's fortunes grew, so did Schmidt within the rankings of the paramilitary "Brown Shirts" or Sturmabteilung (SA). He turns against his own comrades during the "Blood Purge" of 1934, an event known as the "Night of the Long Knives" a series of political murders of which majority of the victims are leaders of the SA. Schimdt personally killed his own immediate superior, Ernst Röhm, leader of the SA when the latter refused to commit suicide as orderd by Hitler.
After the Night of the Long Knives, the SA continued to exist under the leadership of Johann Schmidt, but the group was largely placated and significantly downsized. However, attacks against the Jews escalated in the late 1930's and the SA was a main perpetrator of the actions. In November 1938, after the murder of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan (a Polish Jew), the SA, led by Schmidt, were used for "demonstrations" against the act. In violent riots, members of the SA shattered the storefronts of about 7500 Jewish stores and businesses, hence the appellation Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) to the events. Jewish homes were ransacked throughout Germany. Many Jewish related or owned businesses, religious houses were destroyed, about 200 synagogues (constituting nearly all Germany had), many Jewish cemeteries, more than 7,000 Jewish shops, and 29 department stores. Some Jews were beaten to death and more than 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and taken to concentration camps. 
After Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany, Schmidt was reassigned to the Schutzstaffel (SS) under the direct command of Heinrich Himmler alongside Reinhard Heydrich. As part of the rearmaments of Nazi Germany to prepare for war, Schmidt was assigned by Himmler to the secretive Weapons Research and Development Division within Heydrich's intelligence and security service inside the SS, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). It was around this period that Schimdt discovered the Dr. Abraham Erskine's serum which would enhance a human physical and mental to peak conditions. Forcing the doctor to hand over the serum after holding his family as ransom, he then forced Dr. Erskine to apply the serum onto him. Schmidt, like all fanatical Nazis, ultimately wants to be the ideal ubermensch as preached by Hitler, the supreme Aryan race. The serum gave what Schmidt desired - greatly enhanced physical capabilities to almost superhuman level as well as heightened intellectual capacity equivalent to the greatest minds of the time - but at a cost which literally scarred him for the rest of his life. His once handsome features and hairs disintegrate, leaving only exposed, grotesque, skinless face with exposed bloodied facial muscles. It nearly drove Schmidt insane but eventually accepted his fate. He orders his lover, and scientist, Drs. Amelind Zola, to create a special breathing mask and apparatus to cover his face. After his conditions were discovered by Heydrich, Himmler and eventually Hitler himself, they called Schmidt Roter Totemkopf or the Red Skull, a name he greatly detested. This anger within him would lead him to defy the orders of the SD and SS, leading him to create a secret self preservation group known as the HYDRA. The group would eventually recruit and grew so influential that it secretly controlled the SD from behind the scene after Schmidt orchestrated the death of Heydrich. With Himmler's SS and Sepp Dietrich's Waffen-SS at odds with each other, Schmidt took the opportunity to spread the HYDRA's power throughout the entire Nazi political and military structures.
When Hitler became the Führer, World War 2 begins with the attack upon Poland in September 1939 after the Anschluss of Austria and invasion of Czechoslovakia.
After the defeat of France and the Low Countries, Schmidt established a headquarter in Norway, with the intention to create the atomic bomb under Projekt Uranverein upon the discovery of nuclear fission through acquisition of heavy water (deuterium oxide), which could be used to produce nuclear weapons. Throughout WW2, Schimdt participated in various acts of atrocities. One of his devil-ish acts were the implementation of the Final Solution, and New Order.
After the launch of Operation Barbarossa against Soviet Union, Schmidt foresees the downfall of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Intending to replace Hitler to form the Fourth Reich, and ultimately to eliminate all untermensch races from the globe, Schmidt initiate Projekt Ragnarok, which would involved the usage of atomic bombs either to be dropped directly over major cities of the Allied nations as well as Axis or installed as warheads onto the newly produced V-3 rockets. Seeing himself as the progeny of an ubermensch, a superior race would be created and the New Order be implemented to govern the entire world.
But he required the serum of Dr. Erskine, and when the doctor was located, the circumstances which led to the death of the doctor meant the serum could no longer be reproduced unless the formula was recovered but Schmidt later learns that the doctor did not keep any written form of the formula. He also discovered that a second recepient of the serum has been produced - an American by the name of Steve Rogers, shortly before the death of the Dr. Erskine.
After the Normandy landings, and the Eastern Campaign hung on in tatters, Schimdt launched Operation Götterdämmerung, without Hitler's approval, only to be prevented by a Allies army group comprised of Norwegian anti-resistance group, British, American special operation forces and armed divisions in the Second Battle of Norway.
He personally encountered Steve Rogers for the first and last time during the boarding of  a flying fortress, which carried one of the atomic bombs intended to be dropped over New York. They fought each other bitterly, but in the end, Steve Rogers managed to impale and incapacitate him. He laughed maniacally, saying that the flying fortress has been locked on auto piloting and the atomic bomb armed with timer. Schimdt looked on as Steve Rogers successfully unlocked the auto piloting but unable to defuse the timer. He steered the plane to near the Artic Circle of which it then detonates with the strength of a mini-sun. Schimdt was killed in the explosion, Steve Rogers successfully ejected himself from the plane prior to the detonation but suffered from coma and ammesia.


Every hero needs a villian, that's why I got the Red Skull for Captain America to pair them up. Yin and Yang. Just like the Dark Knight releases. The Joker, Two Face, and up coming skinny Bane (hopes HT would amend that but as insurance got a Kaustik Plastic muscle body for standby). 'cept for Scarecrow (which comes with packed with the monstrous Batman as hallucinated by Dr. Jonathan Crane in The Batman Begins), which maybe I might bleed myself again for secondary market price. The Red Skull figure is fine, Hugo Weavings headsculpt is spot on but as usual with HT figures, I must train my fingers to be dainty as a ballerina yet with the strenght and dexterity of a pianist. No wrist peg breakage this time, unlike Spidey, but the darn belt is f***in hard to lock on, and the biggest problem is getting Reddy to stand and pose. The issue is with the boots. Molded boots without feet, it could hardly stand at all. When the time comes, I will most likely replace it with DiD ones. Adds the cap from a DiD figure, and Silken Floss is around as Drs Amelind Zola, as I imagine, probably as his lover, muse and right hand "woman" (although in real life, very small percentages of German women participated actively in the war due to Hitler's ideal vision of a frau would be a domestic goddess). Added an StG 44 rifle for him. The Tesseract (?) Cube and laser gun (?) would have to go. No place in my re-imagination of him. I've got a spare mask from Hellboy's villian, Kroenen but could not find his pair of blades. But nevermind. I tried the mask on, it looks out of proportion anyway. So this will do, for now coz the darn, must change it.    

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