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Series: Power of the Primes
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2018

Robot Mode: Blackwing is yet another version of the already heavily used Air Raid mold from Combiner Wars, but with extensive retooling. Also, it’s my first go at the mold, so it is a first for me. Two things I noticed about this figure directly after taking it out of the package: one, the fins on the back of his legs are bent from being in the package. And two, there are roughly a dozen different ways you can position his wings and the way they are positioned in the package is not the official one, either. The wings can slide up and down and the connector pieces that secure them to the back of the figure are ball-jointed, so again, many different ways.

Blackwing adheres to the current standard of articulation and detailing, so no complaints here. The proportions of the figure seem a bit strange at first glance due to the rather thick lower legs, but he has no trouble moving. Unlike his buddy Dreadwind, Blackwing actually comes with two guns, which rounds out his very good likeness to the original G1 Darkwing. Which just leaves the question, why didn’t Dreadwind get two guns as well?

Blackwing also comes with the usual Prime armor / combiner hand thing he can put on his arm or his chest, including the little filler gun which can be replaced by a Prime Master. Not much I can say about this gimmick that I haven’t already said elsewhere, so I’ll just copy & paste here: it looks better on his arm or left aside.

Bottom line: a very nice robot mode that captures the essence of the G1 original and makes for a great Decepticon air warrior. No complaints here.

Alternate Mode: Blackwing transforms into a fighter jet somewhat reminiscent of the famous F-14A Tomcat. He’s got the swiveling wings, the double tail fins and engines, but the coloring is all Decepticon. Sadly there is no landing gear, but a very nice jet mode otherwise. The guns go under the wings (and again, why didn’t Dreadwind get two of those as well to make for a far more balanced look in jet mode?) and if you really want to, you can put the Prime Armor / combiner fist on top. It completely ruins the aerodynamics and doesn’t really do anything positive for the look, but it can be done. So bottom line, a cool jet mode. No complaints except for the lack of a landing gear.

Combiner Mode: Blackwing is actually a multiple combiner. For one thing he can become an arm or a leg for any Combiner Wars style combiner. Hardly surprising given the origins of the mold. He can also, though, combine with his buddy Dreadwind into a super jet (called DreadwinG in G1). Basically Blackwing flips back the jet cockpit, while Dreadwind folds back his wings, and the two then interlock. Much like in robot mode there are multiple different ways you can position Blackwing’s wings here, making for quite a few variations in look. Overall I really like that they retained the combined jet mode for these two figures, despite the fact that it doesn’t really look all that aerodynamic and you kind of see Blackwing’s head on top. Still, I like it, more for the nostalgia value than anything else.

Remarks: Blackwing, or Darkwing as he was originally known, is the hetero life-mate of fellow Decepticon Powermaster Dreadwind. Both are basically manic-depressives, but while Dreadwind is more introvert about it, Darkwing projects it outward, looking to make everyone at least as miserable as he is. They never appeared in the G1 cartoon, but had numerous appearances in the Marvel comics, where they mostly worked as free agents rather than following the commands of whoever was the Decepticon leader at the time. Their Japanese versions, Hydra and Buster, had much bigger roles in Transformers: Masterforce, but were entirely different characters.

Overall I got Blackwing, just like Dreadwind, mainly for the nostalgia value, seeing as I’m a big fan of the old Decepticon Powermasters, and also because I didn’t have any versions of the molds yet. Not sure how interesting they will be to people who already own Sky Dive and Air Raid (or any of their various reuses), but the combined jet mode does offer something unique here, at least. Overall, a good Deluxe-class figure, a good homage, and a nice-looking Decepticon air warrior. Recommended.

Rating: B+
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