It feels like right before San Diego Comic-Con, I was trying to get out from behind a huge backlog of Marvel Universe. And here we are, just about a week after SDCC and it feels like I’m getting out from behind a huge backlog of Marvel Universe. In the past couple of days, I’ve posted reviews of the Secret Wars 2-packs and the exclusive Nick Fury, and now I’ve got Marvel Universe Wave 5 – Electro, Spider-Man, Guardian, Iron Man, and Prince Namor the Sub Mariner. But that’s not all – soon I hope to have pics up of the exclusive Toys R Us 3-packs – the ones I have, at least.
Before we get too far, here’s the carded images of the wave.
Maxwell Dillon is numbered 25 on the card. Originally that spot was to be taken by the exclusive Nick Fury figure, but Hasbro said that they substituted in Electro so that collectors could have a complete run with consistent packaging. It’s nice to have another villain in the mix – this makes three for Spidey and Electro’s the first of the original Sinister Six. We’re getting some other villains in the Secret Wars 2-packs, and with Spidey getting his own 3.75-inch line next year, I hope that the Marvel Universe line can start pumping out some more non-Spidey baddies.
Electro uses the Iron Fist / Human Torch / Silver Surfer body from wave 1. This is one of the better bodies from the initial wave – I particularly like the range of motion in the ab joint. At the risk of being a broken record – Marvel Universe needs thigh swivels and fists, although fists aren’t as glaring an omission with Electro. The new elements – his head and forearms – are good.
For paint, I’ve seen a couple different variations on display, but for production Hasbro went with a metallic yellow, and I like how it looks. However, they chose to outline the lightning bolts on his chest and legs in black. The boots and gloves also get the black outline, but the top of the trunks do not – it’s a conspicuous absence. One thing I noticed when looking back at old pictures – I’m glad they got the ankle pegs the right color. On Iron Fist, they were green pegs in the yellow boots. Also, he’s got some of the least GI Joe-like eyes in the line.
You can’t have a Spidey villain in a wave and not have a Spidey, right? It feels like I have a perpetual sense of deja vous with this figure because he’s part of the Secret Wars line I just reviewed and also part of the 3-packs I have yet to photograph. Same crits apply here – I want a leaner Spidey that’s not as tall as the black costumed Spidey, and the etched webs are starting to wear down, particularly on the right forehead.
This Spidey is colored a bit more darkly, perhaps as a nod to his first appearance.
It’s great to see more love for mutants in Marvel Universe – Guardian is the first mutant to appear in MU after Wolverine. He’s also the start of suffering for Alpha Flight fans, who will now be anxiously awaiting Puck and Sasquatch, who would require a lot of unique tooling. It’s a good sign then that Guardian is a new body for Marvel Universe. At first I thought it was a reuse of Daredevil / Bullseye from wave 1, but Guardian adds some height for a medium to medium-heavy build. And what’s this? A fist? Bravo!
The paint looks great, too. The candy apple red really pops, and there’s some airbrushed shading on the white that isn’t too heavy like the blue on the recent Marvel Legends Guardian. If there was something I’d improve on with the sculpt is allowing some more room in the lats so he can put his arms at his side. And hip swivels, but you knew that already.
This is the third use of this Iron Man – so far we’ve gotten a standard red / gold and stealth (both in wave 1), and now a silver centurion version. I do like the figure – it’s solid and one of the best things about it is that you can stand him up really easily. This saves a lot of frustration when trying to set up these pictures – believe me. I’m just glad that next year Hasbro’s going to start including a stand with each figure.
But with the Extremis armor coming in this line and Iron Man getting his own 3.75-inch line for the Iron Man 2 movie next year, I hope we’re not going to see more variants using this body. The upcoming stuff is just a lot more appealing. And it bodes well that Hasbro can handle the metallics – the colors on this figure are really vibrant.
This is the vested Namor that also saw release early during Toy Biz’s run of Marvel Legends. It shares Guardian’s body with new forearms for the wrist bands and lower legs for the wings. The belt is also unique to Namor, but I’m not sure if it’s a separate element added on or if it’s a different lower torso. The vest is removable, although on my figure there’s a couple of black splotches underneath that look to have rubbed off from it.
I’m sure that folks are wondering how Namor stacks up to the one in the Marvel Universe Invaders box set that was an exclusive at San Diego Comic-Con. While I am leaning towards not opening the box set I bought, if you’re interested in the green trunks version of Namor, that’s your only choice for the time being. That figure is based on the black-costumed Spidey that is also used for Klaw. The build is slimmer. The belt and scaled trunks are achieved with paint, not any uniquely sculpted elements. And speaking of paint, I think the airbrushed shading on vested Namor feels more natural. The shading on the box set is a strange light grayish color.
I do prefer the box set Namor’s head. It has a bit more character to it, and the eyes on this one are back to a GI Joe-like line and dot. I find myself thinking that the box set head plus this body may be a more ideal combination. But that would require me to open up the San Diego exclusive and sacrifice on of the figures!
So, is this it for Marvel Universe singles for the year? In my recollection of what was on display at Comic-Con, there was a placard for wave 5, this one, for Fall 2009. The next was for Wave 1, and the start of the HAMMER Files, for Spring 2010. There’s wave 2 of Secret Wars coming before year end, but is that it?
I’ll try to find out, but maybe I’ll be getting a short break on MU – well, after I get my review of the 3-packs up.