Last week I rattled off my personal favorites from my current collection of Marvel Legends, but since there are a great many I don’t own—and because it’s never to early to start shopping for my January 24 birthday—here are the five figures I covet most from this line…
HONORABLE MENTION: IRON MAN
The catch here is that for all the success Iron Man has seen over the past couple years, I’ve still yet to find an action figure that captures my idealized version of the character. Some of the more modern armors like the Extremis and movie versions have been captured pretty well, but my Shellhead of choice is the classic 70’s/80’s look with the striped iron underwear and big ass power discs on his hips—that incarnation was actually in the very first series of Legends, and it looks ok, but there’s always been something off about it to me. I kinda want the figure, but I’ve just never been able to take the plunge; woe is me.
HONORABLE MENTION: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT
He only comes in the “Monsters Gift Pack”; already have Dracula (as a Flash), don’t want Frankenstein or Zombie, must have Werewolf.
5. WONDER MAN
I do not know why, but I am captivated by the Marvel Legends Wonder Man figure in a way the character himself has never come close to capturing my attention. So many times I have found him at a convention going for a reasonable price, yet I’ve stopped myself with the rationale of “Surely there’s somebody I’d rather buy than Wonder Man.” Your grip over me is a mystery, Simon Williams, in your wacky wannabe pro wrestler costume with your creepy red eyes and klunky-looking vehicle, but goodness I wish to put you on my shelf. Oh, he also comes with a tiny little Yellowjacket—neat!
4. BLACK BOLT
Putting sentimental favorites like Nova and The Flash aside, Black Bolt probably has my favorite costume in all of super hero comics, for real. I think Jack Kirby was at his zenith in creating the look for the Inhumans and their visual appeal has probably sustained them for years longer than creators have had truly revolutionary ideas for them and inspired those same folks to work harder at keeping them a vital part of the Marvel Universe just so we don’t lose those wonderful designs to limbo. I don’t think it’s possible for Black Bolt not to look awesome with his neat blue/black palette, sharply energetic lines and of course those batwings; the folks who created this figure got everything right when it came to carrying those elements over to a toy.
3. NICK FURY
As TJ noted in the comments of my last Marvel Legends post, Nick Fury is one helluva figure. I think toy designers just like artists probably strive a little harder when rendering Fury so that a guy with no powers and greying temples can hold his own among an army of costumed demigods, but ol’ Nick is also a super spy, meaning he can out-cool most mutants or aliens his own damn self, and the boost just puts him over the top. The bright white belts and pouches stand out in nice contraste to that navy blue S.H.I.E.L.D. jumpsuit, and the jet pack accessory is tough to top, especially with the big ol’ smoke trail that doubles as a stand and provides a great pose. Factor in the perfect eye patch/scowl/cigar combo to polish things off and this guy’s a must-have.
A glorious by-product of 90’s excess, Cable was more or less born to be an action figure, with his many guns, belts, pouches and other accessories made to order, plus a metal arm and glowing eye that make my inner child want to squeal with delight (which happens…pretty often). I dig that Marvel Legends embraces Cable the way he was meant to be, not going for any of the stripped-down, more streamlined looks he adopted while trying to break out of his comfort zone towards the end of the 20th century, but full bore slapping his gigantic shoulder pads and copious amounts of spare ammo on the figure for maximum awesomeness. There is no figure I have pursued more doggedly than Cable as I would love to have him and Deadpool standing shoulder to shoulder in my collection, but he’s really tough to find and expensive when you do (or was last time I checked), so the search continues.
Like Rickey and many other people I know, I’ve got a deep-seeded attachment to Deathlok and get super-excited whenever he shows up in a comic despite not quite understanding why, outside of the fact that he’s a zombie cyborg from the future who I think has tried to kill Captain America once or twice. Actually, Rickey does have some tangible reasons for his Deathlok fandom as I’m sure many of his other devotees like Mike Perkins do as well, but for me it really does come down to the fact that the guy looks like a bad ass to the Nth degree and every time I see his rotted skull and big ass eye I just assume there’s a ballet of violence to come. The Marvel Legend of Deathlok embodies everything I dig about the character, since I really know very little about what makes him tick, but love the fact that he looks like a death metal song come to life, as is made evident with his figure. The toy seems to take elements of the 90’s version I’m more familiar with as far as his costume, mix in some of the original’s facial features, then finish off with a clunky backpack to plug his giant gun into via a tube in his chest—a true recipe for success from where I sit.