After meandering about with some one-offs, multipacks, and a statue, I’m headed back into opening a new wave of Marvel Legends. Well, not really a new wave, but new to me. Counting today, there are only three Marvel Mondays left in the year, so I doubt I’ll get through all these figures before the end, but let’s see how far we can get. I’m kicking off The Controller Wave with a look at Madame Hydra, a do-over of a character that was released all the way back in Wave 2, about ten years ago!
Here’s the packaging, and it’s nice to see this window, because I’ve had some bad luck with Hasbro’s new fully enclosed boxed figures. But more on that at a later date. Here we get Madame Hydra surrounded by her accessories and a big chonky leg for The Controller BAF. Let’s tear this box open and dig right in.
So, straightaway, this isn’t a huge departure from the character design we saw in the first release. She’s still wearing the green body suit, but here her boots are painted on as a brighter green, instead of a metallic olive. I approve of the color change, as it really makes this figure pop! Her gloves are painted instead of sculpted, which is a bit of a step down, although you do get a sculpted ring around the biceps where they end. I do miss the zipper and pull on the previous figure’s top, as its absence here also feels like a little bit of a downgrade. Although, if you’re looking for a cleaner comic look, this one may be the favorite. The proportions here look a lot better, although that’s pretty much all thanks to the legs, which are less spindly and no longer have those terrible looking ball joint hips.
The sculpted belt is all new, and cast in bright green to match the boots. It’s a criss-crossed double-gun belt with a functional holster on each hip. The buckles and snaps are painted gold, and there’s a really nice Hydra insignia stamped in gold on each holster. I really dig this belt!
The portrait on the first release was a huge bone of contention with collectors, as being really angular and ugly. This one is technically an improvement as it has a much more traditional rounded face, but there’s something about it that’s just not selling it to me. The mouth seems a bit weird, like it’s too close to the nose. That may be caused by the heavy handed green lipstick. The eyes are OK, and have some decent green eyeshadow. The hair is very chunky and is sculpted so as to partially cover the right part of her face. It looks fine, but it’s a real pain when trying to get her to turn her head. To be honest, I was never too bothered by the previous portrait, as it certainly looked villainous, albeit downright ugly. I’d say this one is still an improvement, but maybe not as much as I would have hoped.
Even after ten years, the articulation here is pretty much the same as what we saw in Madame Hydra V1. In fact, the only real difference is the previously mentioned hips. I’ll forever be thankful Hasbro jettisoned that design, even though it doesn’t make a huge difference in range of motion, the current hip joints are easier to work with and look so much better. This Madame Hydra seems to have a little bit more range of motion in the elbows, but since they’re still rotating hinges, she can only manage about a 90-degree bend. Otherwise the figure sports some pretty solid articulation, even if it hasn’t changed much over the course of a decade.
Madame Hydra comes with two sets of hands: Fists and gun-toting hands, and she also comes with a pair of matched Lugar-style pistols. These are amazing little guns, with some excellent detail in the sculpts and some beautifully painted grips, which have something like a snakeskin pattern. The previous figure came with a similar pistol design, but it was really oversized. She also came with a rifle, while this new release does not.
In the end, I do like this figure a lot better than the first release of Madame Hydra, and I’ll certainly be retiring my old figure in favor of this one. The few gripes I have here are pretty little nit-picks and the good far outweighs the bad. And yes, Wave 2 Madame Hydra did have to surrender her rifle to this new version, because she won’t be needing it while she’s rattling around at the bottom of a storage tote in the back of a closet. This was a solid figure to start out the wave with, and if the rest of the assortment can keep it going, I should be in for a treat!