Yeah, yeah. I don’t usually miss a Marvel Monday, but I sure did last week, eh? I have no real excuse, other than I was a lazy do-nothing shit on Easter, and just hung out with the cats stuffed my face with food and watched Star Trek all day. We’ll just call it an impromptu Holiday Vacation. So, picking up where I left off, I’ve been going through some of the Marvel 80 Years boxed sets and today I thought I’d roll out one of the big ones. Celebrating The Incredible Hulk #181, which introduced us to The Wolverine!
Alas, I was only two years old when this issue hit the news stands, and I was probably more occupied with not shitting myself than reading comics. Or reading anything. Indeed, I wouldn’t actually read this one until I was already well acquainted with Wolverine. Although, this one might have introduced me to Wendigo, but I can’t remember. The box is big and beefy and while it isn’t terribly flashy like some of the X-Men sets I’ve looked at recently, it doesn’t need to be. The figures in that big window do all the talking. Let’s start with The Hulk!
It’s crazy to think that with all the Marvel Legends figures that I have, this is the first comic-version of The Hulk in my Legends collection. Yup! There are three MCU versions of The Hulk up on my shelves, but dozens upon dozens of Iron Mans and Captain Americas, and Web Heads, but just this one lonely Hulk. But his singular look has remained pretty standard over the years, so I guess that makes sense. And nope, I don’t even have a Red or Gray Hulk either. But that’s OK, because this figure is so damn gorgeous, it’s all the Hulk I need!
In terms of sculpt, you just get acres and acres of muscle, which is a given because he’s THE FREAKING HULK! On top of all those muscles, you get some veins popping in his arms, and some nice detail in his giant feet. Most of the real detail in the sculpt here comes in his semi-shredded pants, which have actually survived the transition surprisingly well. Apart from some splitting here and there, they don’t fall to rags until below the knees. You also get the remnants of his shredded shirt, which did not survive nearly as well as his trousers. This piece is sculpted in rubbery plastic and pretty much just lays on his shoulders. I dig it a lot, but tend to cast it aside once I start playing around with this big boy. But as great as the sculpt is, I’ll confess it’s the colors on display here that just tickle my retinas and make me all giddy. The brilliant green mixes with the metallic purple sheen of his pants to create a feast for the eyes. Why are his pants metallic? I have no idea, but it was clearly the right call to make.
The portrait is nothing short of perfection. The face features a broad nose and beady but surprisingly life-like eyes, accompanied by a wall of teeth. The rage is literally drawn right on his face with deep lines, creases, and a wrinkled brow. Meanwhile, the sinews in the neck bulge to meet his strong slab a jawline. Egads, I adore this head sculpt. It’s absolutely phenomenal.
The articulation is right in line with what we’re used to seeing with the bigger figures and Build-A-Figures. You do only get single hinges in the elbows, but considering his bulky arms, that’s to be expected. Double hinges in the knees, however, do make him a rather agile giant. The big differences here is the addition of lateral hinges in the back of the shoulders, allowing him to shift his arms back more. Hulk comes packaged with one fist and one grabby hand, but you also get an extra of each so you can mix and match till your heart’s content. Let’s switch over to Wolverine!
Despite being introduced to him in the 80’s, the 90’s Jim Lee Wolverine has long since supplanted any early versions of Logan as my personal iconic image of the character. Now, with that having been said, I still love this early look. Not that it’s that different from the neck down. He’s still got the yellow suit with the blue boots, gauntlets, undies, and shoulder bands going on. He’s still got the tiger stripes and the red belt. But this just looks a bit more unpolished and savage to me. It’s very likely that opinion is colored by looking back on it from his future appearances, but it’s still a look that I can get behind. So much so, that even with the dozen or so Wolverines on my Legends shelf, I’d still rank this one pretty close to the top.
Of course, the biggest departure here is the head and this crazy proto-hood. It instantly reminds me of a luchadores mask, and that ain’t a bad thing. The brow-wings aren’t as pronounced and I kind of dig the “whiskers” that run from his nose down the sides of his mouth. The combination of eyes and teeth make him look absolutely bonkers in the sense that I’d instantly piss myself if he was coming after me. It’s both a great and historic look for old Logan and I’m very happy to finally have him in my collection.
Naturally, Wolverine comes with two sets of hands, one being regular fists and the other having popped claws. My figure’s claws aren’t all perpendicular with each other, and I’m afraid to straighten them too much because I don’t want to stress those tiny stems. But all in all, they aren’t bad. The articulation includes the shoulder crunches, which as far as I’m concerned are an absolute must for the character. Everything else is pretty standard stuff. While his elbows are double jointed, I still can’t get any more than about 90-degrees out of them, which is a tad disappointing, but when you’ve got bulging muscles like these, it goes with the territory. Otherwise, this figure is loads of fun to play with.
Can this set be both obvious and genius? I think it can! At least I can’t think of a better way to get my first comic-based Hulk onto my Legends shelf. And it was especially nice to not have to collect an entire wave to get him! Both of these figures are a direct hit for me, which is why I pre-ordered this one the moment it got solicited. Surprisingly, this set is still available at a number of retailers for about the original price it sold for, leaving the opportunity for anyone who slept on it to nab it without getting raked over the coals by secondary sellers.