Super-Articulate: We’re in the Endgame Now
Today’s the day, Earthlings. The surviving Avengers and their allies gather for their last stand against the Mad Titan, Thanos! And we celebrate with… extremely well-made action figures! The fine folks at Hasbro have provided us (for free, and for the purposes of review) the new assortment of Avengers Endgame Marvel Legends. Thank you, Hasbro, for sending these along! While I often break up full assortments, we’re going to dive right in with all seven figures and the very imposing armored Thanos build-a-figure.
Captain America: The sole figure without a BAF piece in the assortment, Cap comes with the most obvious accessory for Cap, his shield. The shield is a new take, however; the past few Cap figures have come with similar, if not the same, shields, while this one has a slightly different color palette and a raised texture. It’s a nice bit of detail. Also nicely detailed is Cap’s outfit, which should be familiar to viewers of the various Endgame trailers. The head sculpt here uses Cap’s mask, but I think that it’s also a good likeness of the Evans jawline as the same time. I was kind of lukewarm on the idea of the various Avengers in this outfit, but seeing this one out of the package kind of makes me want to pick up that Target exclusive two-pack of Hawkeye and Black Widow in these costumes with the extra heads (Ant-Man, Nebula, Iron Man). It’s well-done.
Ronin: The team kind of outdid themselves with this one. Ronin is an obsessively detailed figure with a number of cool touches. The outer hood is removable, but the figure looks good either way. The head looks great, with the paint apps on the eyes being particularly effective. There are lots of subtleties in the overall sculpt, and details from the comics, like the flourishes on the boots, are in evidence here. A functional scabbard is attached to the figure’s back. Additionally, the figure includes three more accessories: a longer katana, a smaller ninjatō, and a hand throwing shuriken. These are all well-made, with the two blades easily fitting into the figure’s hands. In the pictures, I sheathed the katana and swapped the left hand for the shuriken-throwing model to give you an idea of the effect. I really like what Hasbro did here. I have a feeling that, among individual sellers, this is going to be a really popular selection from this assortment.
Citizen V: I’ll drop all chill here: I’ve wanted a Citizen V figure since the first issue of Thunderbolts by Busiek and Bagley dropped in the ‘90s. And now that it’s here, it’s awesome. It feels like someone peeled Bagley’s art from the page and shook it until expanded into 3D. The cape in particular is super-cool; the design and sculpt have real weight to it. The saber is another in a seemingly endless line of cool accessories from Hasbro; it’s totally appropriate and looks great. It’s interested how the creative team was able to give the figure personality in spite of it not really have a face (due to the nature of the mask). But everything is there in the sculpt. I was shocked and delighted when the figure was announced, but seeing it out of the package? Still delighted.
Nighthawk: Here’s another from my long-time list. I was a big fan of the classic Defenders, so I’ve been waiting on the ML version of this guy for quite some time. I loved Citizen V’s cape, but Nighthawk’s cape/wing structure is the MVP of this assortment. The figure has so much presence. The claw details on both hands are really good as well. I know that he might seem a bit more obscure today, but Nighthawk was a mainstay of the Defenders of my youth, and I’m really glad that Hasbro saw their way to include the character. I haven’t figured out shelf-space for him yet exactly, but I take a picture of his future home of the Defenders shelf. Nice one, Hasbro.
Ebony Maw: Rejoice, because Hasbro has given to you this child of Thanos! That’s right; Thanos’s hype man, the telekinetic Ebony Maw, makes it into figure form a year after his Black Order siblings Cull Obsidian and Proxima Midnight. The Maw was a crucial part of Infinity War and turned out to be a much-requested character; apparently, he was always up the design team’s sleeve. Straight out? Ebony Maw is cool as hell. He’s much taller than I expected, and solid. The facial sculpt is excellent, as are the fingers; the left hand is made in a such a way that it actually allows the “hush” pose immortalized in the trailers. The costume details are exacting, as usual. When I open Corvus Glaive for next week’s column, I’ll do a shot of the Black Order and Thanos all together. For now, just now that this is a particularly strong entry in an already strong assortment.
Living Laser: First off, I’m always happy to see new villains added to the mix. Secondly, I’m glad that the Living Laser finally made it to the 6” scale, after being introduced to figure-life in the 3.75” expression. I have a bit of soft disappointment that he’s not in the original costume (or, at least the one he wore in Avengers #164 to #166, which is one of my all-time favorite Avengers stories; speaking on which, can we get THAT version of Count Nefaria?). Regardless of my personal preferences, I can say with some satisfaction that this is a good, solid figure. The paint ops are cool, and I like how the electric design elements into the arms sort of segue into the attachable energy accessories. Also, the color on this figure isn’t quite like the color of any other figure, which is sure to make it stand out on the shelf. Not my favorite of the group, but rather good, nonetheless.
Hercules: Damn, kids. This Hercules figure is GREAT. That expression is terrific. It’s the perfect combination of bemused self-satisfaction, mirth, and arrogance that you’d expect from the Lion of Olympus; additionally, the blue of the eyes just leaps off the sculpt. This is another figure with some heft to it, and that lends some extra dynamism to the posing. The accessories are another home run, with great mace and sword interpretations packed alongside an extra pair of hands (two open, two closed fists). The costume is the more modern version that Herc has sported for some time, notably recently in the Waid/Zub/Ewing sagas No Surrender and No Road Home. It’s a quantum leap from the Hercules released in 2007 (and that one wasn’t bad).
Thanos BAF: I should have saved that “damn.” This armored Thanos BAF is a wicked new version of the character. It’s pretty massive, and that face is ANGRY. Look how pissed this guy is! Contrast that with the borderline happy face from last year’s Infinity War BAF. That guy looked amused at his own villainy; this guy looks like he’s ready to kill heroes while stomping on puppies. The detail work is super-impressive, from the Infinity Gauntlet itself to the various notes on the armor. I’m not sure what the name of Thanos’s weapon is, but Good Lord, it’s huge. There was some question initially as to why you’d do another BAF Thanos already; the answer is that because they could make one that looks like this. THIS is an epic villain.
Listen up, all. Hasbro gave us all a very, very strong offering with this set. There is dynamic character work across the board, the accessories are on-point, and the BAF is just badass. It also has four characters with no prior Marvel Legends representation at all (Living Laser, Citizen V, Nighthawk, Ebony Maw), updates of two characters that received figures over a decade ago (Ronin and Hercules), one fan favorite in a different costume (Cap), and a hugely popular BAF villain, which is, of course, perfectly balanced. This is really great work, and I’m sure it’s going to go over really well with fans.
SNEAK PEEK: Next week, I’m taking a look at the Wal-Mart Exclusive Marvel Legends Loki and Corvus Glaive two-pack! Here’s a quick picture of that to get you ready. Come on, readers; let’s talk. Post your comments and get in the conversation.