Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Skullbuster by Hasbro

I’m almost through my look at the Caliban Wave! And besides wrapping up a wave of Marvel Legends, there are few things more exciting than busting into a new team or sub-group in Marvel Legends, and today we’re doing exactly that. The Reavers! These guys are all sorts of cool, and touch on some pretty twisted shit in the X-Men comics, not the least of which being Spiral’s Body Shop, alien cybernetic replacement parts, and good old fashioned body horror.

Oh yeah! Here he is just waiting to get freed from his package prison so he can start kicking ass. From Doctor Who’s Cybermen to RoboCop, the idea of people replacing their parts with cybernetic attachments has always creeped me the hell out. There’s always that nagging question about how much you can replace before you aren’t you anymore. And keep in mind, The Reavers debuted the year before Star Trek would introduce us to The Borg, albeit they are very different treatments on the idea. So where best for Marvel Legends to start but with one of the original Reavers, Skullbuster!

Skullbuster borrows heavily from another cyborg figure we got back in the Sasquatch Wave, and that is indeed Deathlok. And when I say borrows heavily, I mean the body is identical from the neck down. Even the belt and holster is the same. I’m actually a little surprised at how much of him Hasbro did recycle without any re-touching at all. Does it work? I guess. The new jacket goes a long way in making him look a bit different and hiding some of the Deathlok stuff, like the giant hole in the chest where the cable attached. And damn, the jacket does look pretty great. The mis-matched shoulder pads include spikes on the right hand side, and a number of magazines sculpted into pouches on the front and back. The zipper tracks look great and they’re carefully painted silver. Sure it looks a lot like the primary costume piece from someone’s Mad Max cosplay, but it’s still pretty badass. The ensemble is punctuated by a shoulder strap of ammunition.

And of course, the head sculpt is all new and pretty damn creepy. We get a very normal looking face sculpt buried under black and white paint and a pair of piercing red eyes. The end result is a bitchin’ looking skull that’s more than a little bit intimidating.

Do you have Deathlok? If so, you know exactly what to expect out of the articulation here, because it is essentially the same body. I’ll just refer you back to that earlier review if you want to see the details.

Skullbuster comes with one accessory, and that’s the pistol he wears in the holster on his right hip. And yup, it is indeed the exact same pistol that came with Deathlok. I dig this gun quite a bit. It has a unique design and the new color plastic really brings out all those deep cuts and details in the sculpt. The scope is pretty cool and I like how the magazine extends down past the grips. That having been said, I do wish he came with some kind of assault rifle too. Besides it being nice to get a second weapon, it would have explained what some of those magazines sculpted onto his jacket are for.

Skullbuster comes with one cool surprise, and that’s the head of another Reaver, Murray Reese. I like the helmet, and the clear plastic face shield, but if I take off the shield it looks like Reese sneezed in there. There’s paint from his eyebrows all over the face. It’s not such a big deal with the helmet on, though. Of course, this is one of those situations where we have the head but no body. So, you can either choose which character you want to display the figure as, or you can pick up a second figure. I found that if you take off his jacket and ammo strap, he looks almost different enough to warrant making the second figure out of him. But either way they still look a lot like Deathlok.

I come away from Skullbuster a little conflicted. I love that we got him, but I do wish that Hasbro had invested just a little more original tooling. I’d even have happily sacrificed the Reese head if some of that money could have gone toward tweaking the Deathlok body just a little more. And considering that Hasbro already got a second release out of Deathlok with the X-Force version, this triple dip seems like a little much. But I can’t deny that he looks damn cool and so I can’t get too mad at him. Next week we’ll wrap this wave up with a look at Weapon X and the Caliban Build-A-Figure!

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