Posted: 30 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“A cacophony of skill and supersonic powers make Melissa Gold the high-pitched hero Songbird.”
It’s generally agreed that ’90s comics, as a rule, all totally suck. This is a tad hyperbolic. The decade certainly delved into the excesses of the medium, but it’s less that everything sucked and more that the sudden boom of how many comics were being produced meant that the bad ones were that much more visible. There are some definite gems from the decade, and one of those is Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley’s run on Thunderbolts. In the midst of the ’90s turning every hero into a gun-toting anti-hero, Thunderbolts returned to Marvel’s roots of taking villains and turning them into full-fledged heroes…well, some of them anyway. Perhaps the greatest success story of Thunderbolts is today’s focus, Songbird. She began her career as the rather forgettable villain “Screaming Mimi” and was chosen by Busiek precisely because of how under-developed she was. 20 years later, she’s perhaps still not an A-lister, but she’s easily the quintessential Thunderbolt, and a very highly ranking character amongst the fanbase.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Songbird is figure 5 in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends. She’s the second of the three comics-based figures. Songbird’s had a bit of a road to finally getting a Legend. A prototype was originally shown at at SDCC 2013, planned for a future assortment of the pre-Infinite Series line, and obviously meant to tie-in with that year’s Thunderbolts boxed set. Unfortunately, the line re-formated the next spring, and all of the figures shown were dropped…at least initially. The figures originally slotted for the infamous “Jubilee Series” all found their way into the Infinite Series branded line, as did most of the other odds and ends figures shown off in 2013. Poor Songbird was the last completely unreleased figure (though single-packed re-releases of the still boxed-set exclusive X-Force Wolverine, X-Force Archangel, and Moonstone also never materialized). Fortunately, the character’s loyal fanbase saw her to a victory in 2016’s Fan’s Choice poll, and Hasbro was able to find her a spot in this year’s line-up. The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 23 points of articulation. Where the 2013 prototype used Songbird’s then-current design, this figure instead opts for her classic design, which she’s gone back to in recent years. It also updates her to a more current base-body; instead of the out-of-date body from the ROML days, Songbird is instead sporting the 2016 Phoenix body, which is a pretty good one. She’s got a new head, forearms, and hands, as well as add-ons for the shoulder armor and belt. All-in-all, it adds up to a pretty solid looking figure. The head capture’s Bagley’s depiction of the character without going too artist-specific, and there’s even a slight smile to her face, keeping her from being yet another vapid face on the shelf. The armor is sleek and well-fitted to the body; it limits the shoulder movement a bit, but not terribly so. The gauntlets on her new arms match the shoulder piece in terms of quality; they’re a little slimmed down compared to her usual look from the comic, but I don’t mind so much. I suspect there’s going to be some re-use in order, though. The new hands are pretty simple, being a flat-palmed position. We’ve already got this pose for the male bodies, so it’s good to get the female equivalent, and this pose is definitely better than the Phoenix hands for Songbird. Lastly, there’s the belt; it’s a pretty basic floating add-on piece. It does its job. The color work on Songbird is what we’ve come to expect from a Legends release. Appropriately colored plastic where possible, and all of the standard painted detailing. No real accent work to speak of, but the base application is clean, and her colors match well with the comics. Songbird includes a wing effects piece, showcasing her sound manipulation abilities in the way she most frequently manifests them. It plugs into her back and looks really cool when in-place. Here’s hoping we see a similarly-styled Phoenix force effect down the line! Songbird also includes the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Thanos. She’s got a better selection of extras than the last two figures I looked at, but I wish we’d at least gotten an extra set of hands.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Songbird was found at the same time as Proxima and King Cobra. I’m more familiar with her than I am the other two (I mostly know her from Avengers Forever, but I’ve read a decent selection of Thunderbolts as well), so I was looking forward to her quite a bit. I think King Cobra’s still my favorite from this set, but she’s a very close rival, and I’m glad she finally got made. Now, here’s hoping for a Genis Vell to go with her!
Posted: 30 Apr 2018 07:02 AM PDT
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“The leader of the Serpent Society, Klaus Voorhees uses powerful venom to strike down his enemies.”
Okay, let’s just get this out of the way up front: this figure’s name is kind of silly. As the bio notes, Klaus Voorhees is the *leader* of the Serpent Society. That’s not his name. You wouldn’t release a Mr. Fantastic figure and call him “Fantastic Four” now would you? The trouble with Klaus is that his actual villaining name is Cobra, which is now more closely associated with the terrorist organization fought by G.I. Joe (or healthcare, I suppose. Also, I hear there’s this animal or something?). He’s subsequently been renamed King Cobra, but I guess that’s not trademarkable enough? Not even if we throw “Marvel’s” in front of it? They do always love that. Oh well, Serpent Society it is.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Serpent Society (bleh) is figure 6 in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends. He’s one of the three comics-based figures in the assortment. I know, spoilers, right? I just ruined the twist that King Cobra’s *not* in Infinity War! How dare I? The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. King Cobra is ostensibly built on the Bucky Cap base, but the only parts he actually shares with Bucky Cap are his pelvis and his feet (Bucky Cap was wearing buccaneer boots, so the non-booted shins showed up later). He gets the standard shins, plus Doctor Strange’s less muscled torso, Hob/Green Goblin’s scaly arms and legs, and Civil War Black Panther’s hands. On top of that, he gets a new head, cape, belt, and gauntlets to help complete his look. It’s actually pretty amazing how well all those pieces mesh together to make this guy. The new parts are fantastic on their own (I especially love that grin on his face), but they combine with all the re-used stuff and make for a figure that might as well be an all-new sculpt. This is kind of the best you can hope for with this guy, and I commend Hasbro for the inventiveness when it comes to re-used parts, towing the line with new stuff. Great middle ground. The paint work on King Cobra is another strong point; the bright metallic green makes this figure really pop, and the purple offers a nice contrast. Some of the application could be a tiny bit cleaner, but it’s still a lot better than what we were seeing in years past. King Cobra’s only extra is the left arm of Thanos. Nothing character specific. While it’s not quite as frustrating here as it was with yesterday’s Iron Spider (due to this figure being larger, and Cobra having less obviously missing extras), it’s still a somewhat annoying trend of lacking accessories for this Series.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
King Cobra was one of the handful of figures I found all at once from this set. I wasn’t really expecting a whole lot out of him, being only passingly familiar with the character. He mostly got purchased for the Build-A-Figure piece. I was pleasantly surprised, after opening the figures up, to find that he was actually my favorite of the lot. The simplicity of the design, and the very well-planned re-use just make for a really strong figure of a classic look.
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