Marvel Legends (Armadillo Wave): Morlun by Hasbro

Well, I’m back from Hurricane Hiatus and ready for action! My last week and a half has consisted of extremes. I’ve been cleaning up the Hurricane’s mess in the yard as well as getting some projects done around the house, all while working a few extra hours at my day job to help out. Conversely, whatever downtime I’ve had has just been spent loafing in front of the TV or a video game console and decompressing from all the stress these situations bring on. Add to that the fact that my Internet has gone out three more times since the Hurricane, and working on anything related to this blog just seemed like an exercise in futility. But, now that I’m back I am planning on a full slate of reviews for this week! So, let’s kick it off and take a look at a multiverse-hopping vampire, eh?

I know Morlun best from the Spider-Verse comic, which was probably one of the last Marvel full-story runs that I read to completion. By 2014, I was already getting disgruntled by a lot of the shit they were shoveling out, but I actually liked Spider-Verse quite a bit, especially as an extension of Superior Spider-Man. I’ve generally been a big fan of Dan Slott’s writing, but the more I learned about what a toxic asshole he has been to fans, the less I wanted to patronize his work. Anyway, let’s get Morlun out of the box, he looks hungry for some Spider-Totems!

It’s surprising to me that it took this long to get us one of the Inheritors in Legends, but I guess Hasbro has been busy feasting at the smorgasbord of seemingly infinite Spider-Man variants that Spider-Verse served up. The Multiverse has been like a license to print action figure money, and there are still a lot of holes to fill! Morlun’s upper body looks to borrow some tooling from the Gents of the Hellfire Club, with the lower half utilizing the business suit parts we’ve seen most recently with J. Jonah. There’s enough mixing and matching and reworking here to make it seem at least somewhat fresh, albeit an odd mix of vintage and modern wardrobe.

I like the sculpting on his cravate, especially with the broach set dead center, and the crimson stone in the broach mixed with the aqua blue of the cravate add some nice color to all the black of his suit. The silver vest is pretty snappy, but the paint application is a little uneven on my figure. It’s noting terrible, but if Hasbro is going to keep raising the prices of these figures, they’re going to need to up the QC along with it. And I’ll have more to say on that before I’m done.

You get two head sculpts with this figure, and both have their ups and downs. The big difference between the two is the first has a bit of a wicked smile, while the second he’s bearing his teeth in a rather malevolent grimace. I think the sculpts are fine on both, but they both suffer from some really unsightly mold lines, both across the hair and along the edges of the face. It almost looks like the face is attached like a mask. There’s also some absolutely horrendous mold flashing around the jawline and the seams I just mentioned. I don’t know what happened here, but it’s really unfortunate. The paintwork on the second head’s teeth is really pretty sloppy and basic. We’ve seen a lot better.

Articulation is standard stuff here, but the jointing in the legs is super mushy, which is always disappointing. You get only one set of hands, and since the subject of hands has been a running joke for me in this Wave, why stop it now? In this case, I really like Morlun’s huge hands, even if it meant Hasbro probably had to melt down the pair of crawling hands I wanted to get with Integrated Suit figure to get the plastic to make Morlun’s giant meat hooks. They look especially creepy with the large cuffs giving the figure’s arms some uncanny and unsettling disproportions. I also dig that Hasbro both sculpted and painted the little suckers in his hands.

Morlun has been a long time coming to the Legends toyline and now that he’s here, I’d say he’d be pretty good if it weren’t for a number of nagging issues. Hasbro has pretty much raised the price of their licensed 6-inch figures to $28 across the board, and in light of the timing here, the QC issues with this figure are not a good look. With some mushy joints, some spotty paint, terrible molding issues, and a lot of recycled parts, Morlun has enough problems to keep him from being a decent figure at $20, let alone almost $30. It’s odd, considering how much time and money I have invested in Marvel Legends at this point, that Hasbro is serving up the excuses to let this line go and focus my resources elsewhere.

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Man Noir by Hasbro

Last week, I cheated on my Marvel Legends random draw, so I’m being good this week. I closed my eyes, rooted around the stack for a while and I came back with Spider-Man Noir from the Lizard Wave! This pleases me, because it’s been so long since I bought him, I had almost forgotten this figure existed! And while Spider-Verse figures don’t need to further justify their existence to me, this one has become a little more topical since we’ve seen the character portrayed in Into The Spider-Verse and even had a similar suit revealed for Spider-Man: Far From Home!

And just in case you needed any more indication of how far behind I am on my Legends, I reviewed my first figure in this wave, Gwenpool all the way back in April of last year. Spider-Punk followed in July, and here I am opening what is only my third figure from this wave. Needless to say all the amazing Legends reveals at Toy Fair this month had me weeping tears of joy and fear at the same time. I think I had convinced myself that the poor financial reportings would maybe cause Hasbro to pull back on the reigns a bit and slow down on production. Nope, seems like that’s not happening. And while it would have been nice to get a little breathing room to get caught up, I’m happy to see Legends is still a sure thing in their eyes.

And here he is! Another one of many gifts from Spider-Verse, a comic event that was not only really good, but practically made to sell action figures! Lots and lots and lots of action figures! I know, he had his own series first, but my first exposure to him was in Spider-Verse. As his name suggests, Spider-Man Noir is a darker version (both literally and figuratively) of Peter Parker, hailing from Earth-90214 and the pulpy squalor of The Great Depression.

Straightaway, Spidey makes use of pretty obviously recycled parts. The easiest mark is the jacket we’ve seen on figures like Nick Fury and Fantomex. Talk about getting a lot of years out of a garment! I didn’t think I was going to dig it here, but to be honest, I think it works out just fine and looks really good on the figure. What’s more the sculpted sleeves here work a lot better with it then the ones on the Fury figure. The other big call out for me was the Ghost Rider torso, which again is a good fit for the character design. As for coloring, well you obviously get a lot of black, along with some gray that’s so dark it almost might as well be black. Nonetheless, the change up between matte and glossy black go a long way to keep things interesting, and you get a little flash of silver paint on the belt buckle!

The head sculpt looks fantastic. I find the combination of aviator goggles, gimp mask, and featureless mouth all quite terrifying, and Hasbro did a beautiful job with it here. I especially dig the sculpted detail on the top of the hood and the subtle facial details that can be made out under the covering for the lower face. New sculpting also includes the turtleneck-style collar.

Accessories include twin pistols, one of which can be stored in the holster on his right hip. Why no left holster for the other gun? I don’t know, but since I can’t remember whether that was from the character design, I won’t come down on Hasbro too hard for it. These are pretty cool and distinctive sculpts and they fit well in his hands, although the trigger finger makes it easier to just have Spidey practicing proper trigger discipline.

No matter what Earth you’re on, most Parkers are agile little bugs and this figure reflects that pretty well. There are no surprises, so I won’t run down all the points, but as always the double hinges in the elbows and knees go a long way to making him a fun figure to play with. And this was another area where the jacket surprised me. I assumed it was going to put a real hamper on the poseability, but it really doesn’t. I think those were problems inherent to the Fury figure, especially in the arms.

It should come as no surprise that I really dig this figure. He’s a great representation of the character with some sensible parts recycling. And while he may not offer all the usual bright and snappy colors we’re used to seeing in a lot of our Marvel characters, that fact alone makes him stand out on the shelf. I’ve been looking forward to this Legends version ever since I got the 4-inch version back in 2016 and this one just blows that figure out of the way on every level. He also puts me one step closer to having to expand my Spider-Verse shelf.

Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Spider-UK by Hasbro

Today is the first day in a while that I get to open the final figure in a wave of Marvel Legends and cobble together a Build-A-Figure. Indeed, I don’t think I’ve done it since I started randomizing my Legends reviews several months back. And yet here we go! I’m finally going to have a look at the final boxed figure, Spider-UK, and then later tonight I’ll be back with the Sandman BAF… let’s get rolling.

It’s no secret that Spider-Verse was like a license to print money for Hasbro. A book that introduced dozens of new versions of Spider-Man, all waiting for their turn to populate the action figure aisles at $20 a hit. And I’m not complaining, because as hokey as it was, I still really enjoyed Spider-Verse. It was one of the last Marvel books I read before I threw up my hands and surrendered at the crap their publishing now, and I’m getting a real kick out of all the figures that it spawned. Earth-833’s version of Billy Braddock comes in your standard Legends packaging, although neither his name or that of his alter-ego appears on the front of the box. Instead, you just get “Multiverse Spider-Men” He does, however, share his tray with a rather large Sandman appendage.

And here he is out of the box and looking pretty sharp. I’ll get to a few nitpicks about this figure in a bit, but none of them have anything to do with his overall appearance. The suit is primarily blue with the red spider-webbed area on the front of the torso and shoulders, and wide white borders invoking a bit of a Union Jack flavor. The blue is really snappy and the black webbing is pretty sharp and clean. I really dig the red spider-emblem on the back too. All in all, I’d say this is a pretty cool variation on the traditional Spider-Man costume using most of the original colors. One of the common complaints I see about Hasbro’s Spider-Man figures is the unpainted elbow or knee pegs not matching the color of the outfit on both sides, but since Spidey-UK’s arms and legs are all blue, you don’t have that problem here.

The head is a lot more traditional with the red and black webbing pattern covering the entire mask. The eyes are almond shaped with thick black borders and I like that they’re sculpted, rather than just painted on. My figure has a bit of mold flashing around the jawline, but that’s easily shaved off.

Articulation is good, but I’m so used to my Webheads having shoulder crunches that when they don’t it really sticks out and sadly that’s the case here. The arms do have the usual rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints themselves are all solid, no mushy plastic here, and he’s genuinely fun to play around with.

I have to admit the lack of extras hurts this figure a bit. I’m used to getting extra hands with my Webheads, but here you’re just stuck with the fists. I prefer to have at least one thwippy hand with my Spider-Figures, and it doesn’t seem like it would have been a big deal to paint an extra set of hands to match. Besides the extra hands, it would have been really cool to get his travel Talisman, if not as an accessory then at least sculpted onto his arm. That seems like a bigger oversight to me.

Ultimately, Spider-UK is a fine figure, and I’m happy to be able to add him to my Spider-Verse shelf, but if I’m being honest, he feels very basic. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by some of the extras I’ve been seeing lately, but at least one set of extra hands feels essential for my Spider-Man figures. With that having been said, I like this costume a lot and I think Hasbro did a nice job with it. It’s a solid release in what was an extremely solid wave of figures. And if you’ll be so kind as to web-swing back around here later tonight, I’ll have a look at the Sandman Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Punk by Hasbro

I hope you don’t have Marvel fatigue from last week’s Marvel Legends theme, because I’m headed into the new week with Marvel Monday, business as usual! And I’m also back to spinning the Wheel of Legends to pick another random figure to open up today from the towering pile of shame in the corner. This week, the wheel landed on Hobart Brown, aka Spider-Man from Earth-138! I couldn’t be happier with this result.

Ah, but Hasbro seems to know him best as Spider-Punk as that is indeed the name printed on the box. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Hasbro must thank the heavens for Spider-Verse, as it gave them a deep well of Spider-Man variants to drop their bucket into, knowing damn well that idiots like me will fork over our hard earned money to buy them all! And they sure are going full guns with it. There was a time when I thought the now all but defunct 4-inch Marvel Universe line was the only hope I had to get characters like this one, but the 6-inch Legends line has exploded to the point where literally any character seems like fair game. Let’s rip open this package and check him out!

The bulk of Hobart’s costume is painted onto the buck, just like most Spider-Man figures. Here we get a beautiful combination of vibrant blue and red. The blue occupies most of the figure and forms a large spider emblem on the chest, while the red features the familiar web pattern. The paint on my figure looks great, but if unpainted pegs in the joints bother you, then you may be pissed to find that the elbow pegs on the interior of the arms have been left red. In a perfect world, I would have liked to see them match the surrounding blue, but this just isn’t something that I get all worked up about. You do get some original sculpting for the sneakers, which are white with red sides.

Of course, Spider-Punk also features his vest, which is sculpted in soft plastic and given a denim-like texture. The sleeves have been ripped off and there’s a patch sculpted on the back, as well as some stitch lines around it. The shoulders feature some silver spikes, and there are various red and white buttons sculpted onto the front flaps. Boy did Hasbro do a nice job on this one!

The head sculpt is pretty typical Spider-Man fare, unless you count those bitchin’ silver spikes that crown his head. The mask has nice, big eyes and the paint apps are all pretty crisp and clear.

Hobart features all the articulation I’m used to seeing in my Legends Spider-Man figures. The legs have ball joints at the hips, double hinges at the knees, and swivels at the thighs. The big difference here is that the lower leg swivels are in the ankles at the tops of the sneakers. The ankles also have hinges and lateral rockers. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs at the wrists. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is hinged and ball jointed.

Obviously, you can’t have Spider-Punk without his trusty guitar and it is a seriously fun accessory. The mostly white guitar features a few blue paint apps and a black shoulder strap. The upper strap on mine pulled off the guitar after just a few poses, but it was easy to glue back into place. I would have really liked some more paint on the guitar to bring out some of the detail, but it’s still pretty damn cool.

Even better, Hobart comes with two guitar-specific hands, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Hasbro going through the trouble of sculpting these two hands that will probably never be used for anything ever again. The right hand is sculpted with a tiny pick between the fingers and the left is fingering chords.

You also get an extra left “thwippy” hand, which has a delicious double purpose here, as Hobart can use it to flash Dio’s two-fingered salute. ROCK ON!

Like a lot of the recent waves of Marvel Legends, Spider-Punk was tough for me to find at a decent price. He hasn’t turned up anywhere on the pegs in my neighborhood and he’s still selling for $30+ on Amazon. Luckily, I got in on a pre-order at one of the big online toy retailers, and while it cost me a few bucks more than he would in the store, I’m just happy to have him. This is a great example of just how much love Hasbro is willing to put into this line, and just how deep their willing to go when it comes to variants and characters. But most of all, this figure is just so damn fun to play with.

Marvel Legends (Space Venom Wave): Silk by Hasbro

I make it no secret that Marvel and I are at odds these days when it comes to most of their comics, but thankfully, there are some that I have remained unshaken on, and those are The Amazing Spider-Man and some of the related off-shoots. I’ll confess, I never wanted the awesome pages of Superior Spider-Man to come to an end, but I was happy to find that Peter Parker getting his body back wasn’t the end of the ride for me. It wasn’t a clean break and there was plenty of great stuff carried over and even some cool new characters. One of those was Cindy Moon, aka Silk!

Silk shares her slot with Ashley Barton, Spider-Woman, as the “Web-Slinging Heroines” and she was a great choice of character for this wave. Spider-Gwen may be the most popular breakout Femme Web-Fatale of the Spider-Verse, and while I enjoy Gwen’s book well enough, I actually think Silk’s is a lot better and the character deserves a much bigger piece of that spotlight. Her book started very strong, tugged at some of those loose strings from Superior Spider-Man, and hasn’t disappointed me yet. I still think it would have been cool to get a figure of her in her original webbing “costume,” but this one works for me too.

Silk not only shares the packaging with Ashley, but also uses most of the same buck with paint applications used to reproduce her costume. The only key difference that I can see below the neck is the chest piece, the sculpt of which left less to the imagination than this one does. Oh yeah, and Silk has one fist and one splayed hand, rather than the double dukes we saw on Barton. The paint on my figure strikes me as a pretty average effort, with some unfortunate slop between her chest and her neck, but the rest of the lines are pretty sharp. The gray and black deco doesn’t really pop all that much and I’m not a big fan of the lack of transition from the red webbing to the black, which looks more gradual and better executed in the comic. Still, it’s a presentable paint job and some of the fault here may be in what I feel is a costume design that tends to look better in the art than on a figure.

Hasbro graced us with two different heads, one masked and one unmasked, although these look to be more variants that completely different sculpts, and that’s fine. Both of these are great sculpts, but it probably goes without saying that I’ll be getting the most use out of her masked head. That is unless the slop on her chest bothers me enough to buy a second figure and then I can have the best of both worlds. That’s cool, because one of the things these two noggins have in common is a set of beautiful eyes.

I think the unmasked portrait is particularly stunning. As for likeness, well, here’s where there’s a bit of a disconnect. Obviously they went for a look that would fit in with the Legends line more than the stylized art of Lee, Ford, or Fish. But beyond that, I think she looks too old. Also, while I love the dimension and complexity that they gave her hair, I would have liked Cindy’s shorter look better. This may sound like a lot of gripes, but rest assured, I really do like these head sculpts. Although, I can’t deny that a Goblin-Serum alternate head would have been pretty damn rad.

Because Silk shares most of Ashley Barton’s body, the articulation is the same. She has rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. There are swivels in the thighs, but none in the legs. The knees are ball jointed, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s no swivel in the waist, and just a ball joint under the chest. The neck has the usual ball joint and hinge combo. Like i said with Ashley, the articulation here is serviceable, but feels a little lacking for a Spider-Verse character. I just expect my Spider-babes to be a little more limber. Nonetheless, there’s fun to be had with her.

As a fan of the comic, Silk was pretty high on my list of anticipated figures for this wave, and overall I’m pretty happy with what we got. Whichever head sculpt I go with, they both do a lot to elevate the figure and make it really shine. Indeed, for what is essentially “Yet Another Spider-Man Wave” Silk is just another addition to what has been an impressive assortment of figures.  Next Monday, I’m going to wrap up this wave with a look at the Ultimate Peter Parker figure and the Space Venom Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Space Venom Wave): Spider-Woman (Ashley Barton) by Hasbro

If you’re a casual comic fan and collector of Marvel Legends, then sorting out the who’s who with some of these Spider-Man themed figures is likely to bring on some migraines of epic spidey-sense proportions. A lot of this confusion can be blamed on Spider-Verse, which threw together a wide range of characters from a wide range of universes. I found it to be a great read and I’m really stoked that we’re getting our share of figures from the fallout. Enter Ashley Barton. Bad-ass descendant of Peter Parker’s daughter and Clint Barton from one of them other universes, and who’s figure I happen to be opening today!

Ashley shares her slot with Silk, so her name doesn’t appear on the front of the package, instead it just says “Web-Slinging Heroines.” In fact, her name doesn’t really appear on the back either, so this figure is aimed at people who are up on their funny books. Everyone else is just going to be scratching their heads. And as expected, Hasbro opted to not go with printing “Spider-Bitch” on the package, although seeing that in the toy aisles would have been a hoot and certainly would have brought a whole herd of outraged Florida moms out from their dens. Oh yeah, see all that empty space in the bubble above the BAF part? That would have been a perfect place for some extra hands, but let me come back to that point, because I’m getting ahead of myself.

I really dig this character design and I think Hasbro did a fine job translating it to action figure form. Granted, this is achieved mostly through paint, and I would have liked to see some sculpting to separate the bare shoulders and biceps from the sleeves, but what we got here still works well enough. The darker tones of red and blue really suit the character and I’ll confess to being a little envious of where the spider emblem has parked itself. There are a few smudges on my figure, but overall the paint is pretty sharp, and that’s impressive seeing as how intricate the web pattern is. Hell, even the pins in the knee joints are painted properly, something that we can’t always take for granted with these figures.

And speaking of details… I’d know that Barton family ass anywhere. Spectacular!

The head sculpt is something else that I really dig about this figure. They captured Ashley’s look perfectly, right down to the multiple earrings. Here we do get some sculpted lines separating where the mask ends and her skin begins. I love the way the sculpted hair covers over part of the mask. I’d definitely rank this portrait pretty high on the list of greats.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff for the female Legends bucks, which means its serviceable, but not exceptional. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. There are swivels in the thighs, but none in the biceps or lower legs. The knees are ball jointed, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s no swivel in the waist, and just a ball joint under the chest. The neck has the usual ball joint and hinge combo. This buck seems a little lacking under normal circumstances, but when its a member of the Spider-Family, it just doesn’t feel agile enough. I can’t even get her leg up for those really high kicks.

And then there are the hands. Hasbro got me used to expecting a passel of extra hands with my Spidey figures. Ashley here has no extras, just the one fist and one accessory-holding hand with no accessory to put in it. If they weren’t going to give her multiple hand options, I’m not sure these were really the way to go here. It just seems oddly limiting.

It may sound like I’ve had more than my usual share of complaints here, but truth be told I like this figure. She looks great on the shelf and lately I’m all about picking up the figures based on characters that are new to me. It’s all about the Universe building, right? Or in this case, the Spider-Verse building. I would have liked to see Hasbro retire this female buck by now in favor of some double-hinged elbows and bicep cuts, but at this point, I don’t think its going to happen any time soon. And when a figure looks this good, I guess I’m OK with that.