Super-Articulate: A (Marvel Legends) Firestar is Born!
One of the most (don’t say it, don’t say it) hotly-anticipated (I said it) Marvel Legends, perhaps ever, is Firestar. Firestar had a unique trajectory for a new character entering the Marvel Universe, and it’s worth taking a look at that before we dive in on our review of the (remarkably) first-ever Marvel Legends Firestar figure.
Background: As you probably know, Firestar is one of those rare comic book characters that debuted outside their universe before moving into it. Other examples include Perry White (who appeared first on The Adventures of Superman radio show), Harley Quinn (Batman: The Animated Series), Agent Phil Coulson ( 2008’s Iron Man), John Diggle (Arrow), H.E.R.B.I.E. (the Fantastic Four cartoon), and X-23 (X-Men: Evolution). Her debut came in 1981’s Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends; originally, the Human Torch was supposed to be the third character (along with Spidey and Iceman) but the same legal and rights issues that plagued the 1970s FF cartoon (thus, H.E.R.B.I.E.) precluded the Torch’s involvement. The creators instead introduced the original character, Firestar.
Within the context of the animated series, Firestar (college student Angelica Jones) was a mutant and had previously been a member of the X-Men. The character was very popular among viewers of the show, which ended its run in 1983. Two years later, Firestar debuted in the Marvel Comics Universe in Uncanny X-Men #193; she was originally one of Emma Frost’s Hellions and helped her then-love interest James Prodstar (Thunderbird/Warpath) with his plan to take revenge on the X-Men. Shortly after, Firestar headlined a self-titled four-issue mini-series in 1986.
In Firestar’s new major appearance, she joined the New Warriors and was a member of that group from 1990 to 1996 throughout its original 75-issue run. Firestar and her New Warriors teammate (and love interest) Justice joined the Avengers in 1998’s Avengers (Vol. 3) #4, and the characters spent a few years on the team. After that run (and the dissolution of that relationship), Firestar bounced around as kind of a “value-add” character in projects like Marvel Divas and Young Allies. In 2013, Firestar finally joined the X-Men as part of the Amazing X-Men team. She’s been recently seen alongside the X-Men in the House of X mega-arc.
What About the Figure?: The figure? Oh yeah, the figure’s great. Let’s break it down, staring with the best, and funniest, accessory: Ms. Lion. If you recall, Ms. Lion was Angelica’s dog from the cartoon. Ms. Lion has her own little spot in the comics as a part of the Pet Avengers alongside the likes of Redwing, Zabu, Throg, Lockheed, and Lockjaw. Including this accurate (and admittedly, cute,) PVC figure is the right touch.
As for Firestar, the figure is packed with two sets of hands, two flame effects, and two heads. One head has a hair-swept sideways look, and the other head has its hair down (more closely resembling the animated version). The costume here is the classic look from both the cartoon and the character’s early years in print.
This is a very-solid piece of work from Hasbro. The paint really pops and the creative team has definitely captured the look of the character. I had a bit of difficulty switching heads; my figure seemed particularly tight, and I was a little worried about bending the collar. Ultimately, the other head went on fine. I prefer the hair-down head because when I think of Firestar, this is how I picture the character. That’s the best representation for me.
I had a little bit of a debate with myself as to where to display the figure. There are good arguments for a place near Spidey and his allies, and a valid one for the X-Men, too. I decided to go with my original impulse and put her with the New Warriors. (Note to Hasbro: Justice, Speedball, and Namorita, please). Firestar is a great, long-overdue, figure. I also appreciate that the figure was solicited as a single that could be ordered outside an assortment. Frankly, as much as I like the BAFs, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that. I’m just glad that, after 40 years, Firestar has gotten a great, modern-scale figure.