MARVEL LEGENDS: SPIDER-VERSE Delivers Three new SPIDER-MEN, 'One of the Best Looking Build-A-Figures Ever'

Marvel Legends: Spider-Verse
Credit: Marvel Comics

The Spider-Verse event from a few years ago opened up a colossal world of fascinating new characters, giving us a wealth of alternate universe Spider-heroes. Characters like Spider-Gwen were instant successes, becoming cosplay favorites and inspiring a slew of fan art. Others like the Spider-Man of the United Kingdom, William Braddock, are still trying to find their niche, but have finally made it into the realm of 3D in the latest Marvel Legends wave.

The line consists of four good guys (Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man UK, Spider-Man 2099, and Black Costume Spider-Man) and four baddies (Jackal, Green Goblin, Shocker, including the build-a-figure Sandman). This was a solid wave for sure, but the little things added up and while it’s not absolutely perfect, it is one of Marvel’s best with something for everybody. From new school readers to old favorites (there have to be Jackal fans out there, right?), this covers a broad spectrum of things that makes the Spider-world so unique.

So let’s take a look at each figure’s pros and cons as we figure out what makes this wave so ideal for collectors. First up, the best of the bunch:

Credit: Marvel Comics


Green Goblin

Sweet pumpkin bomb pie, this is a good looking toy! Green Goblin is hardly a stranger to being immortalized in plastic, but this is hands-down the best delivery of the fifty-year-old character yet. From the sculpting job to the paint scheme, ol’ Norm here has never looked better. The emerald scaling of his armor has a raised texture, giving it a hardened feel rather than something made of cloth. The green of the armor has a metallic gleam to it, making it really pop even from a distance.

His face has an incredible paint job that has two different shades of green on it that give the impression of madness and like his eyes are floating around their sockets. His yellow eyes stand out in the sea of green and purple and it’s simply haunting for all the right reasons.

The sculpt of the gloves, boots, and hood are straight from the comics, even having the twirls at the end of his feet. Those come in handy as you fit him on to his Goblin Glider, which also acts as a base of sorts. He has a belt that helps tie the costume together and it’s a shade of slightly lighter purple that makes for a fitting color break. The buckle is a metallic gold that gives this figure a hint of realism.

In addition to that, the satchel is mighty fine as well. It’s not sculpted to his body so it has this freedom to move around. Both buckles on the satchel are also metallic gold, and it's these little nuances that really add up to make this the belle of the batch.

But here’s where a simple fix would have made this figure one of the best in all of the new Legends line, and it has to deal with his accessory: the pumpkin bomb. As has been the case for a while now, they’ve given certain figures an extra pair of hands to show more expression and have more versatility when displaying. Goblin’s hands are in the right position for the bomb to be placed in, however, there’s nothing to secure it and it falls out at the drop of a needle. Two things really could have improved this, one being a hand that has a fixed bomb in it, ready to be displayed, and the other being a hand that had a fixture for the bomb to be placed in with a miniscule peg.

Goblin’s level of articulation is superb, The figure is capable of a lot of poses, on and off his glider, but he looks so much more menacing on it. You can balance him in a certain way so he stays on his glider without having him standing straight up in a mundane pose.

This figure definitely set a new bar for what the Legends line is truly capable of.

‘Rama Rating: 9 out of 10

Credit: Marvel Comics


Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan finally makes it to the Legends line and it’s sort of a hefty mixed bag here. On one hand you have the fact that one of Marvel’s newest characters superceded a ton of their older ones to get a place on this line. She has an incredible fandom for sure, so it’s good to see some of the new mixed in with the classic.

The sculpt is great and keeps her down to a smaller scale compared to the rest of the line. Her tunic and scarf are made with a flexible resin that allows for some leg movement and an ab break that fully rotates. Her hair sculpt however hinders a lot of movement up there at the top. You sort of have to sacrifice functionality over aesthetics for this one. She’s pretty flexible with knee and thigh pivots and knee and foot hinges, but again, her dress doesn’t give her the best articulation. Still looks great regardless.

Kamala’s paint job is marvelous as well, with her lightning bolt and bracelet having a gilded look to it. Even her scarf’s seam is hit with a shimmering outline of gold.

On the other hand, the problem here is how they chose to show off her powers. In the comics, Ms. Marvel has the power of elasticity in her hands, which she uses in a variety of ways. She comes with two stretched out arms, but the paint job is disappointing here. Rather than give her replaceable forearms, her variant hands start at her hands. So what you end up with is that it looks like her costume pattern is repeating instead of her skin.

It seems like a huge oversight that could have easily been remedied. Even on her other side, it looks like her shirt is repeating. It’s both frustrating and a little disheartening this happened to Kamala’s debut. Here’s hoping they learn from this and try to improve it later on down the line.

‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

Credit: Marvel Comics


The Jackal

Dr. Miles Warren’s twisted feral alter ego has been plaguing Spider-Man for decades. A brilliant geneticist by trade, the Jackal has been the focal point villain for such controversial arcs as the original Clone Saga from the 1990’s, Spider-Island, and Dead No More. Jackal might not have a huge multimedia presence, but he’s one of the most distinctive villains from Spider-Man’s roster and finally gets a shot at the big time in this wave.

Without any accessories, the Jackal’s biggest thing going for him here is that, well, he’s the Jackal finally in figure form, so it boils down to how he looks and moves. Well, he possesses a crazy amount of articulation, mirroring his comic counterpart being a dexterous little demon. He has four points of articulation, including a mid-thigh pivot so you can place him in his cross-legged position with ease.

He’s sculpted to appear furry like a lean Beast from the X-Men. There’s not really a whole lot to say about this one. It would have been great to see him come with some sort of science accessory, but he’s so nimble, he’s ready to go fresh out the of the box. His head sculpt is quite cool as well. It’s an expression of malicious playfulness - criminally giddy, like he’s done something horrible and can’t wait til we find out.

The paint job on Jackal is super simple, but they make the best out of what limited palette he has. The pink and green of his ears come across as a natural color progression, similar to that of an animal.

Older Spider-Man fans might be thankful for finally getting their Jackal figure, but there needed to be a little more to shout about. ‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

Credit: Marvel Comics


Black Costume Spider-Man

Who didn’t love this costume as a kid?

Debuting in the original Secret Wars back in 1984, it was such a game changer for Spider-Man. Of course it wasn’t later until we found out that the suit was a living creature feeding off of Peter, corrupting him. The monochromatic look was a major deviation from his classic and colorful red and blue number, but it stuck and made an instant impression.

The Spider-Man figure here is pretty much in line with a lot of other Legends Spider-Man figures, in that it has a crazy amount of points of articulation. If you think it, he can bend or twist it - five points on a single arm alone. Same with the legs having five each, too, and it makes him super fun to pose and play with.

Spider-Man’s paint job here is very cool as well. What they did was have a matte finish for the black so it almost seems like it’s absorbing any and all light around it. The white symbiote symbol, hand patches, and bulbous eyes are a glossy white. It’s a perfect balance that keeps the colors interesting even if they’re just black and white.

He comes with an extra pair of hands that are in the stretched out position. You can use them to have him “spring into action” or keep him with the closed fists if preferred as he takes down the bad guys.

It’s simplistic for sure, but hardly simple. They added small touches to things that could have been more boring in the presentation. The extra set of hands should be more of a staple these days, especially given the dexterity of some of these characters, so it’s a good sign if they choose to continue that route with some of these characters.

‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Credit: Marvel Comics


Spider-UK

William “Billy” Braddock is the rookie Captain Britain of his world, but after an altercation with two other Spider-totem people, he was charged with saving the others and given a special talisman that allows him to travel across the Multiverse.

One of Marvel’s newest characters, Braddock here, dubbed “Spider-UK,” bears a sigil that’s a cross between the Union Jack and the Spider-Man webbing. It was designed by Olivier Coipel and bears a lot of similarities to how John Romita drew Spider-Man’s mask and eyes back in the 60’s. It’s a unique costume for sure, but I’m not sure if there’s anything really going for it.

As with other Spider-Man figures, he has a great amount of poseability, but I was really hoping for something more here. A variant Captain Britain head would have been a nice touch to things. He has a leaner body than the Captain Britain from the Captain America wave last year, but doesn’t come with any extra pieces or accessories.

It’s a well put together costume, but that really can only go so far with some of these characters. He’s built well enough that he can stand on his own without help from a base and that’s something to be applauded. How the costume is actually sculpted is rather neat too, showing the folds and creases of the material, rather than looking like a second skin.

‘Rama Rating: 6 out of 10

Credit: Marvel Comics


The Shocker

Finally another villain with some accessories, but do they fit him? Not especially.

The Shocker is one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes, but nobody’s really sure what to do with him. It wasn’t until recently when he was part of the Superior Foes that he really came into his own, and this figure treatment is his absolute best representation. Though he will doubtfully sport this attire in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, it’s a great revamp of his classic mesh design. Sporting his usual earth tones of tan, brown, and gray, it’s difficult to mess with this design so it’s great they went in this direction instead of his first appearance look which feels more like wannabe professional wrestler.

As far as movement goes, Shocker here is pretty standard. Knees, feet, ab break, waist pivot, head on a ball joint. He stands up on his own without assistance, which is always a positive note. The thing here is that he comes with energy fields that are the same molds used for Wonder Man and Havok in previous lines – but that’s not what his blasts look like. It would have been nice if they constructed a new sort of blast mold for ol’ Shocker here, but it’s understandable why they didn’t. They’re not even the right color. It’s a mild disappointment, but a disappointment nonetheless.

‘Rama Rating: 6 out of 10

Credit: Marvel Comics


Spider-Man 2099

Introduced in the early 1990’s, Miguel O’Hara became the Spider-Man of 2099 after a freak accident in a lab, but his original costume was significantly different. Redesigned by Irish comic artist Will Sliney, he took Rick Leonardi’s original costume and flipped it on its head. Sliney took out the heavy blue concentration and replaced it with white, but kept the metallic webbed skull pattern on the chest intact.

There’s a lot to be said about this update from the first design, and it makes for a great figure. The fact he doesn’t have his web cloak is a bit of a downgrade, but considering the level of detail here, it’ll be okay. He has the same body mold as the Black Costume Spider-Man, bearing the same points of articulation, so again, solid presentation on his agility.

His costume is something that says “futuristic” without having to rely on the 90’s idea of what future aesthetics would be like (looking at you Punisher 2099). It almost looks like something out of Tron. The head sculpt is unique as well and the detail is top notch. You can see the mouth outline and the eye “masks” pop with that metallic red tone.

The blades on his arm give him a unique silhouette that makes him stand out from the other Spider-men out there.

The fact that he’s also missing an extra pair of hands to show off his talons is minor let down as well, but given what they gave us, it’s not all bad.

‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
 

Credit: Hasbro

Build-A-Figure Classic Sandman:

Showcased at this year’s Hasbro event before New York Comic Con, this Build-A-Figure gathered a lot of attention, but when finally assembled there’s a lot of trouble to be had. While he comes with everything a fan would want from this character, there are some problems that keep it from what should have been a perfect score.

First off, assembling him shouldn’t have been difficult, but there were a couple of snapping problems that were frustrating. His right leg refused to snap properly and still felt rather loose even when finished. He came with a variant damaged head (along with other appendages), but once placing his standard head on his body, there was some concern about replacing it because of the sheer difficulty of getting it on in the first place.

As I mentioned, he comes with four sand shapes: two hands, a hammer, and a spiked ball. They all look utterly fantastic, especially the hands. There’s one that is a spiked fist and the other is a “I’m gonna grab you” hand. They’re easy to replace and swap out at your leisure. The texture, color, and size all look like they sprang to life from the comics, but there’s one major problem.

They are incredibly heavy for him.

All of them make him so top heavy, it’s hard to position him upright and he falls down with the greatest of ease. One of the legs should have been a sand mold to keep the balance tipped correctly, so a base for this bad boy is heavily recommended. He’s one of the best looking BAFs Marvel and Hasbro have ever produced, but the practicality behind him is less than stellar.

‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

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