Tag Archives: Lady Deathstrike

Search for Hu banner ad

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Bring on the Bad Guys!

Hey! I know it’s out of order! And late!

Here’s the deal: I actually got the previously reviewed Iron Man/Ursa Major BAF wave ahead of completing the Bad Guys/Xemnu BAF assortment. Also, I live in Indiana, which is seemingly the last place to get anything that isn’t basketball. At any rate, it resulted in a situation where some venues got their Bad Guys weeks ago, and I didn’t complete mine that long ago. Plus, it’s been a little crazy over here for other writing and life reasons, none of which would interest you that much (except for maybe the inter-company crossover I wrote that I can’t talk about yet). Therefore, with no further delay, Bring on the Bad Guys!

Overview: I previously said that the Ursa Major wave was my favorite of the year. I think it’s now duking it out with this one. Eight (counting Xemnu) classic comic villains, some of whom have never been done before, and a couple of whom that have never been done before in their classic style for Marvel Legends, would have been an automatic get for me anyway. But the design team really outdid themselves here. There are great flourishes for each figure and some excellent accessories.

The Hood: I’m going to start with the much maligned Hood. First off, you guys must secretly love him if you’ve made him the star of memes without end. And I’ll give you, the face sculpt is an odd choice. His expression is that of a man that just stepped in a bear trap. But I’m honestly just happy that The Hood finally exists. Parker Robbins was a major villainous presence in the Marvel Universe for much of the 2000s, appearing in or impacting events like Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, Siege, and the Heroic Age.

I feel like the figure gets a number of things right, but I do think it’s a touch short for the length of the, well, hood. The pistols and their effects turned out really well, and I think that it’s great to have the character alongside members of the crew he assembled in comics. I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s a solid okay.

Red Skull: Okay, there’s no question for me. Of the two heads that come with this figure, it’s the smile version all the way. There’s some serious Kirby/Erik Larsen energy in that leer. I love it. Remarkably, this is the first time that the Skull has been depicted in figure form in the straight-up green Hydra costume. This is indeed a very classic Skull, and the sculptors nailed it.

In terms of accessories, I have to give a hat tip to whomever decided to make the grasping hand big enough to really grip the Cosmic Cube. That makes a ton of difference in posing, and opens up other options. The pistol looks perfect for this version of the character as well. The new Skull is pretty striking, and of all the different versions (including Iron Skull, Red Onslaught, etc.), this is my favorite.

Arcade: IT’S ABOUT TIME. Think of all the times that Arcade has appeared in Marvel video game media alone! That original X-Men PC game, Ultimate Alliance, etc.? And Arcade has figured into some truly memorable storylines; there’s his first appearance, his team up with Dr. Doom (Doombot, whatever), Avengers Arena. It’s crazy to think that there has NEVER been an Arcade figure. This is a huge character choice win. As far as the design, I think it’s great. It’s an extra mile figure, too, in terms of detail. Look at the lifts in his shoes. Check out the number of tiny paint apps here. The extra head (with the Arena look) is a welcome surprise. He looks so good, it makes me want to build death traps for my X-Men. Well done.

A.I.M. Scientist Supreme: This was the figure that I was least sure of, but I love this guy. It’s just a terrific realization of the overall look of one of my favorite costumes in comics: the A.I.M. “beekeeper suit.” But the great bits are how the figure incorporates the modernized elements of the look. The shiny finish, the belt, the joints . . . all look especially good. I really enjoy how poseable the head is, making it easy for the Scientist Supreme to look at his data pad and despair how much repeated Avengers ass-kickings are costing them. Sometimes, it’s just the look, y’know. This one just looks great.

Dormammu: I’ve always thought that the SDCC Exclusive “Book of the Vishanti” Dormammu was well done, and it still looked good when it reappeared as a BAF. However, I’d always wanted the classic look. The first book that I recall owning that included Dormammu was Marvel Feature #2, starring The Defenders. While this look isn’t exactly the same as that one, it’s the idea that I have when I picture classic Dormammu. Like Red Skull, I feel like this is a fairly definitive take on the comic version of the figure. That maniacal face sculpt just puts it over the top.

Lady Deathstrike: The Marvel Legends line had an early Lady Deathstrike and it, well, had some problems. Notably: the arms with the mechanical extrusions which drastically limited poseability. However, this one is just excellent. It’s one of those instances where it looks like it was just peeled off the page. And this is definitely a figure that benefits from updated and added poseability. It’s like night and day to the original version. The billowy sleeves are a nice touch, but it’s the outstanding hand sculpts and the vastly improved face that really make it.

Doctor Doom (Secret Wars): God Emperor Doom! Secret Wars was a sprawling story filled with some memorable scenes (not the least of which was an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Black Panther and Sub-Mariner teaming up), but one of the stand-outs was Doom’s utter demolition of Thanos. If you’re into Mortal Kombat-fatality homages, this figure is for you. In what has to be one of the grossest and most hilarious accessories in ML history, Doom comes with the spinal column and skull of Thanos. It’s tremendous. As for Doom himself, the look is great, the finish is solid, and the eyes are very well done. However, I have seen some reports that the figure is fragile on the underside, so be careful with your leg posing. I wouldn’t say this is necessary for the casual fan that has other recent Dooms, but it’s a solid pick-up for the deep bench collector.

Xemnu BAF: Never in a million years did I think we’d see a BAF of Xemnu the Titan! The long-time Hulk antagonist was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962, and he’s popped up a number of times over the years, including in The Immortal Hulk. I know that some were disappointed that this BAF was a more obscure character, but not me. I’m a huge fan of the “Universe” aspect of Marvel Legends, so any new inclusion is fine by me. It also makes sense to repurpose parts (like from Sasquatch) when the need arises. And honestly, I just love the look of it. Plus, we can always use more huge bad guys, right? I find this to be an extremely fun figure, and I’m glad they used the BAF slot on it.

Review: Red Skull #1

rs001There are likely those that think that the well of ideas for Secret Wars might already be exhausted, between the new material and the inspiration from previous crossovers or other inspirations.  If thinking only inside of Marvel, then they might be right, but Red Skull #1 proves that there is still some more distance to go in this massive crossover.  Although it draws upon characters from across Battleworld, this series is one which is at home in the heart of the Deadlands, the realm of the crossover title of Marvel Zombies vs. Age of Ultron.  The setup is not like anything from Marvel though, as it is essentially a Secret Wars version of the Suicide Squad.  This group of supervillains only has one job, to travel to the Deadlands and to prove that the Red Skull died after being exiled there.

The team is made up of an unlikely grouping of villains, similar once again to the Suicide Squad comparison – Electro, Moonstone, Magneto, Lady Deathstrike, Jack O’Lantern, and Bucky Barnes, seemingly acting in the Rick Flag role.  They are recruited by Crossbones, a one-time loyal follower of the Red Skull who has given him up for a blind allegiance to Doom.  He leads the team to the brink of danger before stopping to stand guard over the portal from which he expects them all to try to instantly escape.  The remainder of the story comes across as a bit of a juvenile wish list, with zombies, robots and dinosaurs, but the action never lets up in this exciting issue as the team get pretty close to discovering the source of their mission.

This issue proves that there are still some fresh ideas floating around in the somewhat constrained world of Secret Wars.  This has proven to be a winning formula elsewhere, and works well here too.  The combination of characters is broad, but it seems like they fit well together, even if they don’t have much of a chance yet at this point.  With so many other Secret Wars inspired series being born after this crossover, it would be nice to see one inspired by the same concept as presented here.  Many people will look at the title for this series and likely not give it a chance, but for those that do, they will find something pretty fun and probably what will become one of the highlights of the entire crossover.

Story:  Joshua Williamson Art: Luca Pizzari 
Story:  8.9 Art: 8.9  Overall: 8.9  Recommendation: Buy

Catching Up on Reviews, Part 7 — Uncanny X-Force and X-Men

Uncanny X-Force #5 (Marvel) – Esad Ribic’s art, while good, is a step down from what had been appearing in X-Force’s earlier issues. Rick Remender’s writing is fine, but I don’t really care for the Deathloks or this particular storyline.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Force #5.1 (Marvel) – Rafael Albuquerque’s art has its moments, but I’m not a huge fan. It is good to see the return of characters like Gateway, Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers, though, which make this an entertaining issue.

Story: 9 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25

Uncanny X-Force #6 (Marvel) – While the idea of all of the Marvel heroes being turned into time-traveling Deathloks is interesting, it’s problematic, though, to think that after all of the enemies that these heroes have collectively defeated, they’d somehow fall this way. Not buying it.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Uncanny X-Force #7 (Marvel) – The Deathlok storyline finally concludes, which it couldn’t have done soon enough. While the creators of this series are good and they do good work, this is not the best use of the series, I think.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #8 (Marvel) – This is a transitional issue from the subpar Deathlok storyline to what looks much more promising with the Dark Angel storyline. The final page of this issue is chilling.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #9 (Marvel) – Two issues into his run and I’m not sure what to think of Billy Tan’s art. There is definitely some good stylistic and structural stuff being done here, but I’m not sure about the faces and details.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Force #10 (Marvel) – The Dark Angel storyline is really starting to hit its stride in this issue and Bill Tan’s art seems to be improving. Overall, a good issue, on the verge of being great.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Force #11 (Marvel) – Mark Brooks provides the best art this series has had in a while and Remender’s storytelling is at its peak in this issue. The Age of Apocalypse was one of the better storylines to come out of the 1990s and it’s good to see it revived here.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5

Uncanny X-Men #533 (Marvel) – Greg Land’s art continues to mostly impress while I can’t say I like the character of Lode. I do like the idea of the drug that gives people mutant powers, although it seems like DC already did this with Lex Luthor a few years ago, so the idea isn’t that original.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #534 (Marvel) – The parts of this issue that feature Paul Renaud’s art are noticeably not as good as Land’s stuff. The Quarantine storyline ends on a high note, though, with Cyclops once again shown to be one of the smartest and toughest characters in Marvel. I really like where Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillon are taking him.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

Uncanny X-Men #534.1 (Marvel) – Great concept for this issue, what do you do to convince the world that Magneto has changed his ways and isn’t the evil bastard he used to be. Hire a PR firm, of course…

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #535 (Marvel) – Terry Dodson’s art isn’t perfect, but it is distinctive enough that I like it a lot. This issue ties back into the Breakworld story from Astonishing, and I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of that.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #536 (Marvel) – More Dodson and more Breakworld means more of the same quality work as the previous issue, but this issue’s somewhat expected twist is still entertaining.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #537 (Marvel) – Dodson’s art seems a little weaker in this issue and the Breakworld stuff is starting to drag on, right up until the last panel, which is an amazingly good shocker.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #538 (Marvel) – It’s good to finally see the conclusion of the Breakworld saga, both this particular one and the original one, restoring Kitty to her natural state. A number of the recent X-storylines are ones that I don’t particularly like, even though they are very well-executed.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #539 (Marvel) – Really one of the worst issues of Uncanny in a while, which isn’t to say it’s terrible, just that it isn’t that great, either. That may be because there is a whole lot of Hope in this issue and nobody has really figured out much of a personality or point to her character now that she’s an adult.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Uncanny X-Men #540 (Marvel) – Greg Land is back, which is awesome. Fear Itself is crossing over, which is pretty good. This issue doesn’t have much action, but it has politics and Juggernaut and character growth and all that. Very good issue for regular readers and X-Men fans.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 (Marvel) – If Nick Bradshaw didn’t have to draw people, his art in this issue would be amazing. There are lots of people here, though, so it’s problematic at best. The story fits the recent Marvel trend of frequently matching up teams against someone else’s villains — in this case Blastaar — and I’m not sure that it works very well.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Almost American