Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Into the Spider-Verse/Stilt-Man BAF wave
Let me get this out right up front: I like this wave a lot, even more than I expected to like it. Obviously, we’re dealing with a wave that is half-pulled from an absolutely outstanding piece of work in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but Hasbro made a tremendous effort to make the four figures from the film match the particular stylized look of their animated counterparts. As for the other two, one is an early contender for the year’s best.
Peter B. Parker: I know that some people don’t like this figure. That’s crazy. This is a perfect representation of what the character looked like in the film, right down to the fast-food drink cup. From the “I’ve let myself go” body to the mismatched shoes, this is a figure that was crafted with care to match the source material. I like the inclusion of the second, partially unmasked head, but I prefer the completely unmasked version. This is a case study in interpreting the look of an animated character and realizing it in figure form.
Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen/Ghost Spider: Let’s start with the unmasked head. You know that I pay close attention to hair sculpts, and this one is just great. It totally captures the (accidental) asymmetrical haircut that Gwen has in the film. The masked head is solid. I find that the overall figure is faithful to the film and doesn’t simply copy the earlier comics version of the character in the ML line. In particular, the detail on the ballet-style slippers is well done. Gwen also comes with Spider-Ham, which is essentially a PVC with a moveable head. However, the design is tremendous and it looks great standing with the other figures.
Miles Morales/Spider-Man: This is top-notch work. Obviously, the two heads are great. But the figure really exists in layers, as real effort was made to differentiate the shorts, the hoodie, and the shoes. The figure also has thinner legs that the normal teen body, demonstrating the extra care and tooling that went into making the figure. It’s a complicated paint-app, too, with several different colors evident in the overall body. I hate to totally belabor the point, but if you’re gonna recreate an animated character, you recreate the character. And they nailed it.
Prowler: The Prowler is a cool figure, and the design is neat overall, but it falls a little short of the sense of menace that the character conveyed on-screen. It still looks pretty great, but given the choice between the two, I would take the earlier comic-centric version of the character every time.
The Hand Ninja: The Hand Ninja looks good in general; it does exactly what’s it supposed to do, which is be an army-builder. The pair of kamas and the katana are natural accessories, and well-rendered. I’m glad that the figure exists, but I don’t find it tremendously exciting.
Frog-Man: This is hands-down my favorite figure in the wave. I love the fact that this figure even exists, and it’s the kind of deep-bench selection that keeps me excited for future Marvel Legends announcements. This is a perfect realization of the character from the comics, and the figure is festooned with so many great details. Check out the springs under the flippers! Hell, check out the flippers! But the crowning touch is that you can see Eugene’s eyes inside the open mouth of the Frog-Man mask, just like his entry in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Another bonus is that Frog-Man is a much-different body-type that your standard heroic figure, acknowledging that Hasbro really put in the work to bring him to life (seriously, what other figures are gonna repurpose flipper feet with springs on the bottom?). Again, I love the commitment to producing “lower-level” characters. Which brings me to . . .
Stilt-Man BAF: My second-favorite figure in the wave! Just look at this guy. Yes, of course, yes; Stilt-Man is a somewhat goofy concept. But look at it; that’s awesome. And he comes with the briefcase! (The briefcase even opens to show sculpted-in money). Of course, there’s a hilarious bonus here in that multiple pairs of legs (packed in with each Hand Ninja) can be added to make Stilt-Man ridiculously tall. I’m only showing one set in the photos. There’s also a secure base to keep the figure standing upright. I just love both this and Frog-Man, both of which are just plain fun. Which is what this hobby should be, right?
What do you think, campers? Tell us your thoughts. Frankly, I want to see some more secondary heroes from Spidey’s books, like Rocket Racer, and other related characters like Will-O-the-Wisp and Cardiac. How about you?