Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Retro X-Men
Greetings and welcome back! Today we’re looking at the Marvel Legends Retro X-Men assortment, which is in-stores now. I’ve also seen this referred to as the Vintage X-Men wave, but HasbroPulse lists the figures as Retro, so we’re going with that. We’d like to thank Hasbro for providing these figures free for the purposes of review. Let’s get started.
Dazzler: When the announcements came down, this was the figure in the group that made me the most excited. You’ve probably seen people refer to this one as “Outback Dazzler.” If you didn’t know, that’s in reference to the ‘80s storyline just after “Fall of the Mutants.” The world believes that the X-Men died fighting the Adversary, but they’re really operating out of the former Reaver base in the Australian Outback. This ran from Uncanny X-Men #229 to, more or less, issue #253 (most of the X-Men finish going through the Siege Perilous in #251, the same issue where Wolverine is crucified by the Reavers; Jubilee rescues him, and we start seeing where the X-Men are popping up around the world in #253. Got that? It’s good stuff, and it also includes costumes for Rogue (black and green) and Psylocke (the armor) that would made cool figures, too). Dazzler also sported this costume in the X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men animated pilot and the awesome stand-up arcade game by Konami.
AND . . . I am NOT disappointed. This is a great figure. It’s one of those cases where it feels like the character was peeled right off the page. Marc Silvestri drew the bulk of that run, and they did him proud here. The only possible improvement, in my opinion, would have been the inclusion of an extra “finger-gun” hand. But man, did they get the little details right. The red band on the leg, the star on the other leg, the separate belt, the jacket, the headband, the fit of the gloves . . . those bits are all outstanding. I’ve also been increasingly happy with the hair work that the ML team is doing; their rendition of Dazzler’s do is no exception. This is superior work, and I can’t believe that we’ve gotten both classic renditions of Dazzler in such a short time.
Storm: Honesty time. I was bummed that this wasn’t First Appearance/Dave Cockrum-costume Storm. The line needs that figure. However, I understand this iteration of Storm was in big demand, and they did a bang-up job on her. The hair and face sculpts are the stand-outs, here. The cape is good; it can be a little difficult to pose the figure with the cape, considering the shoulder pieces, but those pieces are a necessary (and nice-looking) inclusion. The lightning effects are an obvious, but welcome, inclusion. This figure is a fine piece of work, but I was not its target audience.
Wolverine: Marvel Legends: Keeping Wolverine short! Yes! I love the continued emphasis on Wolverine’s diminutive stature. This is also a figure that’s been long-awaited by big portions of the fandom. It reflects that costume that Wolverine wore in his first ongoing solo series, right from the cover of the first issue. The angry/berserker face is inspired by that cover as well. It’s a nice-sculpt and definitely poseable, and it comes with extra non-clawed fists and a samurai sword. It’s also appropriate that we get this version in an assortment with . . .
Silver Samurai: I honestly can’t believe it’s taken this long to get to Silver Samurai in the Legends vertical, but I’ll take it. This guy’s got insanely detailed armor, a perfect in-character expression, and solid work on all the details from the helmet on down. I like that he’s big, but not excessive; he’s not Cull Obsidian-sized, after all. Silver Samurai first appeared in 1974, and for a few years he battled the likes of Spider-Man, Daredevil, Black Widow, and Shang-Chi. He and Viper ran up against the New Mutants in issue #5 and 6 or their original series before heading into the classic battle with Wolverine and Rogue in Uncanny X-Men #172-174. For that reason, I took some extra pics with Viper (Madame Hydra) and the appropriately-costumed Wolverine. This one looks good, kids. He’s a great addition to your gallery of X-villains.
Iceman: I think this Iceman is (don’t say it, don’t say it) pretty cool. I like the crystallization effects in the paint op, and the separation on the belt is nice. The ice-sled stand is a good piece. I’m not sure how much demand there was for Iceman after the recent previous version, but I suspect that there were a fair number of people that missed that one that now get a chance to own this one, and increased availability or repeat offerings are never a bad thing. I’m marking this one for display with my X-Factor subsection, which is also going to include . . .
Cyclops: In the land of awesome head sculpts, the new Cyke is royalty. Let’s roll back to the history a minute: this costume debuted on the cover of the original X-Factor #1, and it was also the costume used for the very first Cyclops figure from the original Toy Biz line of X-Men figures in the ‘90s. There was a previous ML variant of this outfit, but this new figure is The Stuff. Aside from just generally great sculpting and the classic “two-finger trigger gesture” on the left hand, it’s a strong representation. The best part, for me, would have to be the two heads and the optic blast accessory. The first head has a terrific “energy leak” feature, demonstrating the smolder that artists frequently depict as emanating from Cyke’s visor, post-blast. The second head is made to accommodate the insertion of the optic blast accessory into the visor, and it’s just great. Hasbro has really upped the game on power accessories in the past couple of years (Psylocke’s butterfly, the frequent magic/light/energy attachments, the lightning, etc.), but this is a champ. It literally looks like a Walt Simonson-drawn optic blast. As a big fan of Scott Summers, this figure is DEFINITELY made for me, and it is most welcome.
There you go, mutant-lovers. How do you feel about this wave? What’s your favorite? Tune in next week when we take a look at the X-Force wave that features the Wendigo Build-A-Figure. Thanks for reading!