The second wave of Marvel Legends is the wave that keeps on giving, thanks to the ridiculous number of variants. Not long ago we checked out Piledriver, the swap-out figure for Thunderball, and today we’re looking at Viper, or Madam Hydra if you prefer, the swap-out figure for Madam Masque. I’ve flipped my opinions on this figure more than a few times. When I first heard she was going to be part of this wave I couldn’t wait to get her. When I saw some initial pictures, the head sculpt was a deal breaker. Next, I saw some photos of the actual figure and I was willing to give her a try. In hand, I think I may like her even more than Madam Masque. Let’s take a look…
There she is in the package. I have little left to say about this delightful package deco. As with the Wrecking Crew figures, Viper’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on the package. Instead Hasbro was content on using the “Marvel’s Madams” moniker and illustrations of both characters to allow for the shared packaging. I’ll also go ahead and mention here that this figure comes with a variant of the Arnim Zola BAF figure’s torso with Red Skull’s face projected on the screen. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not going to pull apart my Zola figure to make this one, so you’ll have to be content with seeing him in the package.
Madam Viper uses a straight repaint of the Madam Masque body. There’s no new sculpting, but I have to say I really dig the paintwork on this figure a lot more than Masque. She has a glossy green outfit and gloves, with lighter green boots painted on, and painted skin tones for her arms. Besides the colors just being more vibrant, I never really cared for the way the blue paint wash looked on Madam Masque’s white outfit. Sure, these are two different characters and each one has their own look going on, but from a purely aesthetic point of view, I just think this figure’s body looks a lot better in both design and execution. The separate belt is still present, and includes a functional holster.
And then there’s the head sculpt, about which I’ve waffled back and forth on so many times. My main concern was that it looked too man-ish, and it still does mostly when viewed dead on. On the other hand, if you catch it at the right angles, she’s a bit more passable. Either way, the face is definitely harsh and angular, but not at all ill-suited to a villain. At the right angles (and with the right number of beers) she can even be somewhat attractive… or not. At least the paint work on the face is sharp and clean, particularly the emerald lip gloss and the eyes. The sculpted hair looks good, although as one might expect it does impede the head articulation to a point.
Madam Hydra’s articulation is solid, although granted she is not one of the most poseable figures in the line. You get a ball jointed neck, ball joints in the shoulders, hinged elbows and swivels in the gloves. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the knees and ankles. There’s no waist articulation, but she does have a ball joint in the upper torso that allows her to swivel.
Viper comes with repaints of the same two weapons as Madam Masque. You get the scoped, AR-15 style assault rifle and the pistol. The pistol is repainted emerald green, the rifle has some green accents where the cream colored paint apps were on Masque’s weapon. The pistol fits into the holster on the belt and she can hold both weapons pretty well.
And there you go. I ended up liking this figure a lot more than I thought I would, and ultimately, even more than I liked Madam Masque. The paint is excellent, I dig the colors, and in person, the head sculpt isn’t the stumbling block I thought it was going to be. I don’t think I would have paid a premium to get her, but finding her just hanging there on the pegs was a welcome treat.