It’s over! Christmas is over!!! Sorry, folks, I don’t want to be “that guy” but I tend to celebrate the day after Christmas with more jubilation than the actual day itself. Hopefully everyone had a good holiday. Me? I’ve got another week or so of madness at work and then things can start getting back to normal. Anyway, I’m here to kick off my look at Hasbro’s Wave 3 of Marvel Legends (for reals this time!) and I thought we’d do it with US Agent. I’m starting with US Agent because John Walker is the one character in this wave that I don’t have a lot of affinity toward. In my copious readings throughout the Marvel Universe, I’ve only rubbed elbows with US Agent a handful of times and while I’ve always dug his back story, I don’t like him much as a character. Nonetheless, I was more than willing to add him to my 6-inch Marvel shelf, so let’s press on and see what we’ve got.
Ah yes, I had almost forgotten how well the Marvel Legends packaging captures the obnoxious bravado of your typical superhero funnybook. Hasbro has classified this assortment as the “Epic Heroes!” wave in lieu of there being a Build-A-Figure to tie it all together. US Agent is one of the few figures without a variant in the wave, and he doesn’t share his card art with anyone. Walker comes on his tray with shield and gun in hand, a knife hovering off to the side, and his figure stand to the left. The back of the card has a nice piece of character art with a little tagline and the rest of the wave’s figures pictured at the bottom.
You may be tired of me linking back to previous features this week, but I’m going to do it one last time, but only because US Agent is a repaint and resculpt of Wave 2’s Bucky Cap, and so I’ll be referencing it frequently. US Agent is built off the exact same buck, with a new head sculpt, a new belt, and new gauntlets. Apart from those three areas, the figure is a straight repaint. Now, that’s not a complaint, mind you, Bucky Cap is a great figure to revisit. Besides, we all know by now that toy companies are resorting to heavy parts reuse to defray the rising costs of plastics and to make sure they’re able to make the most profit from your monies. I have no problem with the practice when parts re-use makes sense, and it certainly makes sense here.
So let’s take a quick look at what’s new. The new head sculpt is meatier than Bucky Cap’s, which does seem a little more proportionate to the body. The new hood has beefier wings and his ears are exposed. Walker looks plenty pissed, and while the overall sculpt is a little soft and not the best of what we’ve seen in this line, it does get the job done ok by me. US Agent’s portrait certainly oozes a ton of personality. The belt is a new, separate piece, but it appears to be permanently attached to the figure. Here’s the one stumbling block of the new figure. Bucky Cap had a functional holster and sheath and US Agent does not. Perhaps, Hasbro felt that if they kept the same gear on US Agent than collectors would have complained about too much being the same. Fair enough, but personally I would rather have retained the functionality of Bucky Cap’s belt. I especially lament the loss of the sheath, as I will likely never display US Agent holding his knife.
The new paint scheme is certainly appropriate to US Agent’s first costume. The black and red and white make for an intriguing motif and sets him apart from the Bucky Cap figure. There’s something a little off about the paint on the torso, though. It looks like Hasbro painted over the torso with some glossy paint and it doesn’t look so hot up near the shoulders. It may have something to do with the plastic. I’m not sure what it is, but it detracts slightly from the figure.
Since US Agent shares the same body as Bucky Cap, you’d probably expect him to have the same articulation, and you’d be right. The head is ball jointed and features that delightful extra hinge to help him look up. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinged elbows, and wrists with hinges and swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, feature swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots, and have ankles with hinges and rocker joints. US Agent can also swivel at the waist and he features an ab crunch hinge. I can’t ask for much more articulation than this. Well done, Hasbro!
US Agent comes with the same gear as Bucky Cap. You get his shield, an automatic pistol, and a combat knife. The knife is identical and I will likely lose it rather quickly since I have nowhere to put it. Maybe US Agent will trade it to Deadpool for some chimichangas. The pistol is repainted silver and black, which admittedly looks loads better than Bucky Cap’s unpainted, grey gun. US Agent’s shield is a snazzy black, white and red repaint of Bucky Cap’s shield and it features the same wrist clip and peg so that it can be stored on his back.
US Agent holds very few surprises. I knew going in that he was going to borrow heavily from last wave’s Bucky Cap, but it’s logical and prudent recycling that serves the character well. True, I lament the loss of the holster and sheath, but I can sort of understand why Hasbro did it. Otherwise, US Agent is a solid and very fun figure with excellent articulation. Yes, I’d rank him a little below Bucky Cap, but that may be as much because of my indifference to the character, rather than the quality of the figure.
Tomorrow, we’ll check out The Punisher!