Welcome to another Marvel Monday, and if you haven’t been a regular, you should know that I’m very VERY far behind opening and reviewing my Marvel Legends figures. Last week I finally wrapped up the Sandman Wave and today I’m going to knock off another wave by opening up Paladin this morning and then coming back tonight to have a look at the Sasquatch Build-A-Figure. And then I’ll only be something like five waves behind! Holy shit… I better get started!
I guess Paladin is a generic enough moniker that the Hasbro lawyers had to slap “Marvel’s” in front of it on the box. But hey, at least his name is there. Back in the day this fella would have been sharing a slot with someone else in a box that would say something like “Mercenaries of Mayhem.” Either way, when it comes to Marvel characters, Paladin is not what I would consider an A-lister or even a B-lister for that matter. He does, however, manage to turn up a lot in the Marvel Universe. And while I’ve mostly encountered him through reading Daredevil as well as Heroes for Hire back during the Civil War, he’s crossed paths with a whole bunch of Marvel heroes and villains over the years, and he’s almost as old as me! And while collecting Marvel Legends has become all about universe building for me, I’ll still concede that he was the one figure in this wave that I was least excited for.
But that’s not to say I dislike this figure, because he’s actually pretty cool. Not everyone from the funnybooks needs a flashy costume for me to like them, but it sure helps when the character isn’t high on my list. And yet Paladin here manages to bust out from his generic design, thanks to some sharp sculpted details on Hasbro’s part. He is, after all, just a dude in a purple suit with some tactical gear and it would have been very easy for Hasbro to whip this figure up with a painted buck and make him the budget figure of the wave.
But they didn’t! The armored vest, which is sculpted as the torso, is a stand out piece of work including some really nice texturing, panel lines, and individually painted silver clips securing it on his person. Not that it’s new, it’s simply recycled from Blade, but it looked great then and it still does now. I also dig the segmented strip that runs down his spine. The legs (also grabbed from Blade) feature knee guards and some exposed ribbing behind the knees, and the armor is rounded out with some new black segmented boots and bracers on his forearms. Paladin also features a molded tactical holster secured to his left thigh with a pair of straps and silver painted buckles. I dig the look here a lot and the purple and black deco with the little hits of silver is certainly pleasing on the eye.
The portrait is pretty solid as well, even if the design is rather generic. Paladin wears a purple hood with a black segmented stripe running from front to back, and a pair of gold lens goggles. The lower half of the exposed face has some nice and sharp facial details and an appropriately grim expression. There’s some gold over-spray on the goggle frames, but nothing too terrible.
The articulation is fun and functional. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and the tops of the boots, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso swivels at the waist, has an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. There’s some weird play in my figure’s hips. If you hold him by the legs, you can shake his upper half a bit, but oddly it doesn’t effect his hip joints at all.
Paladin comes with a pair of gold pistols that look like they might be from the same mold used for Nick Fury’s sidearm back in the Giant Man Wave. This time they’re cast in gold plastic. I like this gun a lot, it reminds me of a Luger and it sports some great detail. And while two guns are nice, Paladin only has the one holster, so I guess he’s always going to have one at the ready.
Finally, Paladin comes with a tanto-style combat knife that tucks into a sheath on his right boot. The grip is painted black and the gold and guard are both gold.
Universe building! That’s what Legends is all about for me. So I’m perfectly fine getting a character that doesn’t mean all that much to me, so long as the figure is decent. And that’s certainly the case here. Paladin looks great and makes some sensible re-use from the Blade figure, while still managing to feel somewhat fresh. And that’s a wrap for the individually packaged figures in this wave. Come on back tonight and I’ll have a look at the Sasquatch Build-A-Figure!