Tag Archives: union jack

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Avengers Endgame Assortment 2

We’ve been in the Endgame now since late April, and Marvel Legends is keeping us there with a pretty dynamic new assortment. Hasbro provided us this assortment free and for the purposes of our review, so we’d like to thank them. It’s a good group, kids. Let’s get into it.

This assortment is divided between some film-specific versions of characters and characters/versions drawn from the comics. It’s a good balance and the overall assortment is of very high quality. We’ll go comics first, and we’ve got to start with one of the most obscure figures ever produced for the line.

Rock Python: I can’t even begin to describe how delighted I am that this guy even exists. If you didn’t know, Rock Python is a villain, a member of the Serpent Society. The Society has been a running undercurrent in assortments for a few years now; in addition to the hard-to-find Viper/Madame Hydra from the 2012 Arnim Zola wave, we’ve had Constrictor (Terrax, 2012), Cottonmouth (Red Onslaught, 2016), Eel (Abomination, 2016), and King Kobra (Thanos, 2018). That’s a pretty good stealth build-up of a team that’s had a long history and a large roster. Rock Python is just a great addition because he’s got colors that you don’t necessarily see in a lot of costumes and that funky head. The sculpting is solid, especially on that unique head. I’ve always loved seeing lower-level villains, and I’m partially just in love with this one because it’s a crazy selection. It gives me hope that we’ll see more Society members like Sidewinder or Anaconda, because I love the low-key commitment to this team. Great choice.

Union Jack: While the last Union Jack was a decent figure, it was made as part of the hard-to-find Target Exclusive Red Hulk wave of 2008; I’d venture to say that a lot of people missed it (by the way, Hasbro, can we get a new Spiral next? Thanks). THIS Union Jack is very well-done. The body type is good, and the accessories are on-model for the character (Revolver? Check. Knife? Check.) The belt holds the accessories, and the paint job is great. I’m choosing to display the original with my “Invaders” group, while I’m putting this one with his fellow Knight of Pendragon, Captain Britain, and the other members to date (modern Blade, Black Knight) of MI:13.

Loki: This is the Loki that I’ve wanted for years. A comic-accurate first appearance-ish Loki. THIS is how I first encountered the character in comics and in animation. And they NAILED IT. I love this figure. The face, the attitude, the horns, the hair. This is exactly that Loki. Great sword, too. I also like that the collar is an independent piece; the scale-paint is well-handled as well. For longtime fans, this is a must-get. He’s got a home on my shelf with the “first appearance” Avengers. It’s so good, gang.

Beta Ray Bill: Beta Ray Bill has been rendered in a couple of worthy versions before. The Toy Biz figure from way back was really good for the time. The Simonson-esque take from the MODOK BAF wave from 2006 (also Toy Biz) is pretty good, too. The new figure is a modern take along the lines of the character’s representation from Annihilators, and it’s damn good. Let’s start with Stormbreaker; it’s a pretty perfect take on the comic version. For BRB himself, he’s appropriately tall and powerful-looking. The face sculpt, which is crucial for a character like this, is dead-on. The cape and shoulder elements are strong, which also serve as a reminder of Hasbro is doing consistently, and that’s paying attention to the details. They could have painted on Loki’s collar or ignored the straps on Bill that you only see at the torso joint on closer examination. But they didn’t; Hasbro is doing as much as they can in each figure, and it shows. It’s good work from top to bottom. For those that slavishly follow my shelf placement, this one replaces the old one with the Annihilators, while that one moves to the shelf with my Asgardians (Odin, Lady Sif, etc.).

The remaining four figures have their looks drawn either more or directly from Endgame.

War Machine: Guys. GUYS. When this was announced, I thought, “I don’t think I need another War Machine.” So, um, wrong. This is excellent. First off, it’s big. Secondly, the accessories are nicely sculpted and just look cool. The figure body itself boasts some intricate design work, and yes, it’s different than other recent armored bodies. I have not yet tried to hang a Rocket Raccoon figure on the right arm, but that day is coming. Other bits of note: the insignia on the left arm (nice work), the red in the shoulder cannon, the distinctive lines in the faceplate, and the eye details. Beyond my expectations.

Rescue: I’ll start with my one gripe. This should have had an extra head with the flipped-up faceplate like they did for the Iron Man and War Machine Age of Ultron figures. That seemed like a must, given the hero shot we get of Pepper’s landing and faceplate-raise in the final battle in Endgame. Alas, it is not here; I hope it shows up with a future figure. Other than that, I like it. Great color, for one thing. The swappable backpack unit (one closed, one open for blasting) makes great sense as an accessory. The figure manages to be thinner than Tony or Rhodey figures without being slight. Nice details abound, particularly on the head. The figure is also a smart choice, given the action of the film. Hasbro really went out of the way to get as many characters and looks as possible from Infinity War and Endgame represented, include clever measures (like the Target quantum suit two-pack with extra heads), BAFs, and the simple inclusion of figures like this. Nice.

Shuri: Can we just say perfect and move on? This is great. Incredible detail with the face-paint and the Panther gauntlets. Love the skirt and the fact someone sculpted fringe/stitching; that’s crazy. This is quite obviously a figure that was made with some love behind it. It’s great that Shuri has been a breakout character, and I’m happy that Hasbro made the effort to represent her in both comic form (in that two-pack with Klaw) and this film look. If you loved Black Panther, the last two Avengers films, or Shuri in general, this is a must-get for you.

Professor Hulk BAF: This is a perfectly fine Hulk figure with a pair of good head likenesses of Mark Ruffalo-as-The-Hulk. For me, though, it’s not an exciting Hulk. In part, that’s because we’re abundantly blessed with Hulkiness this year. From the Retro SDCC exclusive to the Hulk in the Wolverine two-pack, we’re getting a lot of distinct Hulks. This one, however well-made, doesn’t quite get over the top. If it had glasses and a labcoat or a quantum suit or a swappable “post-snap” mangled arm or an Iron Man Infinity Gauntlet hand, then yeah . . . I’d be more enthusiastic. As it is, it’s a fine figure but suffers a bit in comparison to the abundance of gamma-ray-riches we get this year. Nice heads, though.

There we go, readers! What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite? And what are you looking forward to at SDCC?

Underrated: Patriotic Heroes

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Patriotic Heroes


This week has both the Canada Day and Independence Day holidays, and or those who don’t know, the two days celebrate the birth of Canada and the USA respectively. Perhaps one of the biggest holidays in their respective country. For that reason this edition of Underrated will spotlight some flag wearing heroes from a few different publishers that perhaps aren’t as well known, or as recognizable, as Captain America.

I make no claims that this will be a complete list, in fact it features characters almost entirely from Canada, U.S.A. and the U.K.

Union JackUNION_JACK_1

Britain’s other flag clad hero from Marvel Comics. There have been three men to call them selves Union Jack, a father and son during the first and second World Wars, and the current Union Jack, Joseph Chapman. Click the above link for a longer run down of the character that’s position as the Working Man’s Hero.  Union Jack has a rich history as a member of the Invaders during World War Two (both Union Jack I and II), and even the revived modern day Invaders from the 2008 run (Union Jack III). I am partial to the character, and would urge you to check out the two trades collecting his 1999 mini series, and the more recent one from 2012.

Jack Staffjackstaff

A character published primarily in the UK, Paul Grist created Jack Staff based on a rejected story which he had written to make use of Marvel’s Union Jack. After the rejection, he rewrote the story to create more of a self-contained original comic that was published through Dancing Elephant Press (owned by Paul Grist). Twelve black and white issues later, the comic was restarted in colour at  Image Comics.

GuardianGuardian-marvel

Perhaps one of the few heroes on the list that is recognizable to most people,  Guardian first appearing in Uncanny X-Men #109 from 1978,  he was intended to be the Canadian equivalent of Captain America, hence the Canadian flag costume.  Guardian has played a significant role in Wolverine’s history -from the early  X-Men comics in which the Canadian Government tried to recall Wolverine  to Alpha Fight (a team led by Guardian), to having later been the man who helped Wolverine recover his humanity after the Weapon X Program grafted the metal to his bones.

canuckCaptain Canuck

Comely Comics Canadian hero is the current star of a new ongoing series that’s worth checking out. Click the link above for some more information on the Canadian flag wearing hero that predates Marvel’s Guardian by several years. His current on going series from Chapterhouse is fantastic, having gone from strength to strength over the last year and change.

Jack Flagjackflag

First appearing in 1994 Captain America #434. Inspired to don the costume because of Captain America, Jack Flag was most recently seen in comics as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s unlikely he’ll appear in the movies anytime soon, however, seeing as how he was most recently seen flying out of an aircraft.

 shieldThe Shield

Perhaps the only flag clad hero to predate Captain America, the Shield first appeared in Pep Comics #1 which was cover dated January 1940. Created by writer Harry Shorten and artist Irv Novick, there have been five different incarnations of the character since his debut, the current iteration of the hero has been published by Archie Comics’ Dark Circle Comics imprint since 2005 and features Victoria Adams as The Shield.

Uncle SamUncle_Sam_BNW_1

You recognize Uncle Sam, right?  Created by Will Eisner, he first appeared in National Comics #1cover dated July of 1940 predating Captain America by several months. This iteration of the character lasted for four years, before DC acquired the license  to print his stories and revived him during the 70’s. Although not a flag wearing hero, Uncle Same is intrinsically linked to the level of belief people have in the idea of America, making him one of the most patriotic heroes on this list.


There we have it – a small selection of underrated flag wearing comic book heroes. Are there other comic book related stuff out there that is, for whatever reason, underrated and under-appreciated?

Absolutely.

Because of that, Underrated will return to highlight more comic book related stuff  that either gets ignored despite it’s high quality, or maybe isn’t quite as bad as we tend to think it is. In the meantime, though, if you do get a chance check out the characters in thisUnderrated, then you may need to hunt through the back issue bins for some, but others do have some stories collected in trades.

Until next time!