Marvel Monday is back, but I feel that its return needs a disclaimer! I have cut my Legends collecting way back for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, with how prolific this line has been, I’ve got a lot of the characters I was after, and now I’m willing to be a lot more selective when it comes to the comic characters. But also, I have not been a fan of the latest crop of MCU films and Disney+ shows. I couldn’t make it through either Shang-Chi or The Eternals on streaming, and I don’t plan on going out to see Love & Thunder. Similarly, I wasn’t able to get through a few episodes of Falcon & Winter Soldier, Loki, or Moon Knight. I feel like the best is behind us, and I’m just not interested in owning figures of any of this stuff. So, Marvel Mondays will be about wrapping up what I’ve got unopened, which consists of some multi-packs, a couple of waves, and some exclusives. And we’ll see what happens after that!
Today I’m opening the Walmart Exclusive classic comic version of Doctor Strange. The Walmarts here don’t carry this stuff, but I was lucky enough to get this release off of the website. It’s not tied to any wave and there’s no Build-A-Figure part, but you do get some great character art on the side panels, and a bunch of extras with the figure. This arrived a long while back and it’s been kicking around in the backseat of my car for months. I wasn’t even sure what it was when I finally opened the shipping box! It’s crazy to think that we haven’t had a classic comic version of Strange in Legends yet, or that this was released as a lone retail exclusive. The closest we’ve come was the two similar versions of the more modern comic Strange that came in the Dormammu Wave and the Hulkbuster Wave. But that only makes this one all the more of a welcome treat.
The first thing I have to talk about is the coloring, which is quite simply gorgeous. From the electric blue tunic, to the bright yellow, and deep crimson, this figure looks like it just leapt from a comic panel. The paint and plastic are so vibrant and sumptuous, and I absolutely love that in a comic book figure. There’s some new sculpting here, as well as some recycled parts, and I think the mix works out really well. New stuff includes the tunic, which has sculpted detail, rather than just paint, the yellow sash tied around the waist, and the lower part of the tunic, which forms a sort of skirt. The sleeves are rolled up just below the elbows, which looks cool, and reveals some lovely black Kirby Crackle on the sleeves of the gauntlets. The legs are generic and recycled, and all black, which looks fine.
The Cloak of Levitation is a repaint of the one sculpted for the more modern Strange, and that’s fine, because this is a really solid sculpt. It hangs beautifully off the figure, angling from the chest and over the shoulders, and the collar with it’s high points frame the figure’s head perfectly. It curls at the bottom edges, and billows out in all the right places, while not putting a damper on the figure’s articulation or making him too back heavy. The yellow paint could have been sharper in a few areas, but painting bright colors over darker plastic is rarely ever a good idea.
You get a whopping three heads with this figure, which include a standard portrait, a concentrating portrait, with Strange’s eyes closed. Both of these feature Strange with his mustache and sans goatee, which is a look I really like. You also get the gray wings in his hair just like Paulie Walnuts (God rest his soul). I think both are excellent sculpts, with some nice definition to the facial features. The portrait with the closed eyes has a bit of muss to the hair, which even has a few strands falling loose over his forehead, and that’s a nice touch!
The third head is a blue masked portrait, which is a nice bonus, but not one that I really associate with the character much, and so I probably won’t get much use out of it. Still, there’s got to be some fans out there who are thrilled to have this one included.
In addition to all those heads, Strange comes with two sets of hands, and a few extra accessories. One pair of hands features a left fist and a right accessory holding hand, while the other feature the same mystical spell-slinging hands that we saw with the modern comic Strange. These also work for making the OK symbol, or for gesticulating when you say capiche? HA! They said I couldn’t get two Sopranos references into a Doctor Strange action figure review. THEY WERE WRONG!!!
You also get a pair of spell effect parts, which we’ve seen many times over in recent years, and were also included with the modern comic Strange. These have two sets of clips, so that they can be attached at the wrists, or further up the arm. I dig this pair a lot, as rather than just be stamped out in one color of transparent plastic, there’s a nice mix of yellow and orange here, giving them more of a premium and dynamic look.
Next up, you get the wonderous Wand of Watoomb, which is a very welcome addition. The accessory is cast all in gold plastic, with a sculpted cross-thatch pattern on the rod and with horned spheres at each end.
And finally, you get the Axe of Angarruumus, which has some beautiful detail in the sculpted double-headed blade, and again at the pommel cap at the end of the shaft. I love the nicks and dings in the blade, suggesting that this mystical weapon is both ancient and has seen some serious shit in its day!
I can’t think of a better figure for me to have opened in order to whet my appetite for Marvel Legends again. This classic Strange is a beautiful figure with some great accessories, and above all fills a vacant slot that’s taken way too long for Hasbro to fill. It’s exactly this kind of release that can get me excited for the line all over again. And to think that if it weren’t for a timely tip that he was up on the website, I would have probably missed out on him entirely. No way, this one should have been an exclusive, and I’m rather surprised they didn’t work him into the Multiverse of Madness Wave.