CYCLOPS & MARVEL GIRL
The X-Men may not be the merchandise powerhouse they once were, but they still maintain a decent hold on the market. One of the things that makes old fans of the series love the team while simultaneously scaring away new fans is the sheer level of backstory involved. In an effort to help make the team a bit more approachable, Marvel has done an interesting move: they brought back the original X-Men. Yeah, the founding five have been brought forward in time, allowing for the series to present them in a more innocent, less complicated form. Diamond has decided to base their most recent series of Marvel Minimates on this incarnation of the team. Today, I’ll be looking at Cyclops and Marvel Girl.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Cyclops and Marvel Girl were released as a two-pack in Series 59 of Marvel Minimates, which is based on the team as they’ve appeared in recent issues of All-New X-Men.
Perhaps the character to benefit the most from a “continuity reset” is the team’s leader Cyclops. Cyclops is a character who writers don’t really seem to know what to do with, resulting in a lot of questionable things being done with him in the last 20-30 years. Recently, a lot of those things have piled one, leading to the character coming off as a tremendous jerk and becoming essentially a villain. A Cyclops without all of these things is a breath of fresh air. Cyclops is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s based on All-New Cyclops’s second costume, designed by Staurt Immomen. It matches the rest of the team without being too similar, and it’s all-around not a bad design. Cyclops is built on the traditional Minimate body, with an add-on for his hair/visor. This is an all new piece, and it does a pretty great job of capturing the design from the comic. The rest of the figure is reliant on paint. It’s not bad overall, but it could be better. The base paint is rather sloppy, especially on Scott’s visor. Fortunately, the detail lines are all nice and sharp, which helps to offset the questionable base paint. Cyclops includes two alternate hair pieces, one sans-visor(a re-use piece, seen on numerous figures) and one with his optic blast in full force. He also includes a standard clear display stand. The sans-visor hair is nice, as it allows for you to display the sunglasses painted under Scott’s visor, and the optic blast head makes for a lot of fun setups. I am hopeful that the optic blast piece is the new standard for Cyclops Minimates going forward.
Marvel Girl, aka Jean Grey, aka the Pheonix, aka the Song that doesn’t end, also benefited from the reset. Her present day counterpart is dead and all, plus now she just has the one code name, as opposed the 37 or so she had before. Marvel Girl is about 2 ½ inches in height and she sports 14 points of articulation. Like Scott, she is based on her second, Immomen-designed costume. I really like the green accents on hers; they really make her pop. The figure makes use of the base Minimate body, with the addition of a hairpiece. The piece is a re-use, first seeing use on The Spirit’s Sand Serif. It was also used on the first appearance Jean from a few years ago, so it’s a nice call back to see it here. I think it’s one of the nicer female hairpieces. The paint on Marvel Girl is similar to that of Cyclops: the base work is sloppy, but the detail lines are nice and sharp, which helps save the figure. I do wish the patterns on her legs were actually mirrors of each other, but they aren’t terrible. Marvel Girl includes a spare head/hair for a full “powered-up” effect (I’m gonna assume it has something to do with the Phoenix, but I haven’t read All-New X-Men, so I can’t confirm), a “jumping stand” and a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Cyclops and Marvel Girl were picked up from my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. Initially, this was the only set I had planned on getting from this series. I don’t read All-New X-Men, but I have been following Cyclops, which stars this version of the character. Ultimately, I ended up getting the rest of the series, but these two still remain my favorites. There are a few paint issues that could stand to be worked on, but other than that, this was a really strong set.