It’s another Marvel Monday, and I was all ready to get back into randomly pulling figures from my unopened Legends Pile of Shame, but then this set arrived at my door and I decided to move it along to the head of the line. It seemed only fitting, what with the rash of Marvel-Netflix cancellations. Luke Cage and Iron Fist were the earliest on the chopping block, but with their flagship series, Daredevil getting the axe, it seems like a no-brainer that The Punisher and Jessica Jones will meet the same fate after their latest seasons are released. And with that depressing intro, let’s have a look at Luke Cage and Claire Temple!
The figures come in your typical Marvel Legends 2-pack window box with the Luke Cage logo on the front and the figures names on each side. This set is a Walmart Exclusive and there’s a sticker on the front window proclaiming the fact. And because the Walmart in my neighborhood rarely ever stocks their own exclusives, I had to go online for this one. Luckily, they were having a pretty good Rollback on it as well as free shipping. Anywho, the packaging is totally collector friendly, but if I kept all my Legends boxes, I’d have to rent out a storage unit just to have a place to put them, so this package is getting shredded and tossed in the trash. Let’s start with Luke Cage !
Can I get a Sweet Christmas? We’ve had two comic versions of Luke Cage in the modern Legends line. One was released as part of the SDCC Exclusive Thunderbolts set back in 2013 and the other was part of an Amazon Exclusive Defenders set, which I think came out last year. Netflix Luke Cage also got a release as part of the Defenders SDCC Exclusive Rail Authority box set. I opted out of dropping the $125 on that one just to get Colleen Wing and Iron Fist and a bunch of variants of the rest. This retail version features a beefy body, that’s toned down from the enormous comic versions, but still makes him look like a powerhouse. Luke is donning his familiar yellow T-shirt, grayish-blue jeans, and boots. And… um… there’s not much else to say about this figure from the neck down. The shirt is nice and bright, his hands are appropriately clenched into fists, and they even sculpted a watch on his right hand, but sadly there’s no detail work on the face so it looks a bit awkward. I’m tempted to say they should have sculpted him in his hoodie, but then I think the plain yellow top is the best way to convey his iconic comic look.
I dig the head sculpt a lot. It’s possibly not the best of the Marvel Netflix likenesses, but it’s no slouch either. The printing for the eyes is clean and the paintwork on his beard is very sharp.
And the articulation here should hold no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers at the ankles. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Luke doesn’t come with any accessories, so let’s move on over and check out Claire!
Like Luke, Claire is a very simple figure from the neck down, making use of minimal sculpting and not a lot of color either. She’s got some light wrinkles sculpted in to signify her shirt, as well as a sculpted collar, but that’s pretty much it. Her top and shoes are black, her pants are gray, and they painted a little skin showing around her ankles. Claire never really had what I would consider an established look in the various series, and while this particular one isn’t all that exciting, I guess it lends itself pretty well to recreating her action scenes. Articulation is similar to Luke, but with rotating hinges in the elbows instead of the double hinges, no bicep swivels, and no waist swivel. Instead of the ab crunch hinge, Claire is rocking a ball joint under her chest.
The head sculpt here is fair. I think this is one of those portraits that breaks down quite a bit as you get closer. Part of that has to do with the new printing technique looking blurry up close, but I think the sculpt itself looks lumpy under closer scrutiny. It’s certainly not terrible, but it’s a far cry from what we got for Jessica Jones, Frank Castle, or even Luke Cage.
While Luke got shorted out of any accessories, Claire got a few. First up is her purse, which is another outing for the Green Goblin/Hobgoblin/Mary-Jane satchel. It’s not an essential inclusion, but I’m not going to complain about it. Personally, I’d rather regard it as a medical bag than a purse.
Next up, we’ve got a pair of blue hands, which are supposed to be her latex gloves… because… you know… she’s a nurse! Honestly, I find these to pretty baffling. Why would Hasbro put the effort and money into including these? Was anyone going to miss them? Is anyone going to display her with them? It would have never even occurred to me if I didn’t see them in the package.
Finally, and easily her best accessories are her Shuko, or ninja claws! These are another pair of swap out hands with the claws sculpted onto them and they’re pretty damn cool.
Both Luke and Claire are solid figures, but I don’t feel like this set is entirely essential. Don’t get me wrong, Luke was damn essential to me, but I think he should have been part of the Man-Thing Wave with the rest of the Netflix Defenders. The Claire figure is fine, but I didn’t really need her on my shelf, especially since Hasbro has passed up far more important characters like Karen and Foggy from Daredevil. But hey, if this is the way I have to get Netflix Luke Cage in my collection, I’m perfectly fine with that. Toss in the fact that I got this set for under $30 on Walmart’s site and it’s hard to complain.