MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
You know who’s pretty cool? Black Knight. He’s one of those characters I just really enjoy. That’s probably why I own like every action figure version of the character out there. Of those figures, one of them is a Marvel Legend. Usually, that’s awesome, but…well, I get to that in a bit. Without further ado, here’s Black Knight!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Black Knight was released in Series 3 of Hasbro’s first run on Marvel Legends. This would mark his second figure ever, and it hit almost an entire decade after his first. He’s not privy to a ton of figures, I guess. This figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. The last two Black Knight figures I looked at were both based on Dane’s classic design, but this one opted for one of his more recent designs, which he sported in the back half of the ‘90s. It’s more armored than he usually is, and it ditches his cape, in favor of a loincloth sort of thing, and also loses the chainmail for a smoother under armor. I can’t say it’s my preferred look for him, but it keeps most of the important elements of his usual designs, so I guess it’s not an awful choice. After inheriting a lot of Toy Biz’s un-used sculpts, Black Knight marked one of Hasbro’s earliest in-house efforts for Legends. It’s definitely a product of its time, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got a lot of the hallmarks of Hasbro’s earlier work: the slightly less detailed nature, the smaller stature, and the kind of obvious articulation. Also, on top of the obvious articulation, there’s some serious limitation on most of the joints, especially at the elbows and knees. It was a serious step down from the double joints of the prior Legends. The legs in particular seem rather disjointed from the upper body sculpt; they’re not really to scale with the rest of the figure, and the sculpt just doesn’t feel as refined. With all that said, Black Knight’s sculpt actually isn’t bad, especially given how downhill the line went before the Return of ML re-launch. The proportions of the upper half of the sculpt are actually pretty solid, and the details on the armor and such are fairly sharp. The paint on Black Knight (and the rest of the early Hasbro Legends) was pretty by the numbers and bland, if I’m honest. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it, per se. It’s clean and all, but it lacks any real spark, and just looks rather dull over all. Dane’s design would have really been helped by some metallics and bolder accent work. The purely molded shades don’t really do the sculpt justice. Black Knight was packed with his Ebony Blade and a shield, as well as three of the Build-A-Figure Brood Queen’s legs.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When Series 3 was first announced, Black Knight was definitely at the top of my list. Of course, I was hardly the only one. I ended up finding pretty much every other figure I wanted from this series first, because that’s how these things seem to work out. I don’t actually remember the exact circumstances of how I got him. I want to say my Dad got him for me, and I’m pretty sure I got him at the same time as Bucky from the same series. I was happy to have him at the time, but I always knew he was less than stellar. He kind of marked a turning point for Marvel Legends for me: Series 3 was the last series I really sought out, starting a break from Legends that more or less lasted until 2014’s Infinite Series launch. He’s not a bad figure, and in fact he’s better than I’d remembered him to be. Still, he’s rather mediocre. I’m hopeful that Dreadknight’s presence in the SDCC Raft set might signify a new version’s in the works.