Marvel Legends (Rhino Wave): Superior Venom by Hasbro

I don’t think I need go on about how much I loved Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man, as I’ve already done it here plenty of times. Indeed, it was a comic that I loved so much that it got me back into reading The Amazing Spider-Man again and even backtracking through a lot of what I missed. It’s for that reason that I don’t get the sense of “Venom Fatigue” that I should be getting from this figure. No, there really haven’t been that many Legends Venoms. Nowhere near the number of Caps and Iron Mans, but it still feels like Hasbro has been overdoing it with the symbiots a bit in the last couple years. Still, I’m happy to have this one, even if it has some issues.

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And here we are, the very last packaged figure in the Rhino Build-A-Figure Wave. We’ve seen it before, so let’s move on. I’ve got to get through this pretty quickly if I’m going to come back and do a feature on Rhino later on tonight.

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Superior Venom is mostly a reuse of the modern Spidey buck, which is a fairly reasonable choice. No, it doesn’t quite match the stylistic proportions of the comic art, but I wasn’t expecting an entirely new figure for that purpose. We do get newly sculpted feet, obviously a new head sculpt, and the rest of the symbiot’s detail is mostly achieved through paint. You get some red highlights on his forearms and the white spider emblem on the chest and webbing that runs up to his head. The white paint is mostly nice and bright, without a lot of bleed through from the black plastic. There are a few chips here and there, but nothing terrible.

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On the back, Otto-Venom features a fixture to attach his four tendrils, and here’s where the figure takes a big stumble for me. The tendrils each have uniquely shaped pegs that go into their own specific holes on the back. That helps a lot when figuring out which one is supposed to go where. Unfortunately it also means the tendrils are pre-posed. At the very least, these should have been ball jointed, because these things do tend to get in the way of posing the figure, not to mention are limited themselves as being totally static. They also fall out… a lot. I had similar issues with the Legends Agent Venom, although it didn’t seem to bother me as much there as it does here.

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The head is pretty faithful to the comic art. It’s a little too busy for my taste, but it fits the style of the book quite well and the painted webbing is all very neatly applied. I think the appeal here is going to largely come down to personal preference. This portrait is chaos personified, which I guess fits, but I find the simpler portrait and wide rictus of the more classic Venom a lot creepier.

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Appropriately enough, the articulation here is right in line with the Superior Spider-Man figure we got back in the Ultimate Green Goblin Wave. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The torso features a waist swivel, ab crunch, and those wonderful lateral rockers in the shoulders. The neck is ball jointed and hinged.

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Superior Venom is basically a tale of two figures. I’m perfectly happy with him when he’s standing on display on my Legends shelf. Unfortunately, when I’ve got him in hand and I’m playing around with him, all I can see is a big missed opportunity in the way those tendrils connect to the body. I’m sure that adding ball joints would have cost a bit more, but then with so much of this figure re-using parts, it’s hard to imagine that Hasbro couldn’t have made it work. I know, that they cost these figures out across the wave and not individually, so maybe they pumped that extra money into Kraven. Either way, I feel that this is a decent figure that with a little tweaking could have been… dare I say it? Superior!

Come on back tonight and I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at the Rhino Build-A-Figure! 

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