DEATH ARCHANGEL, APOCALYPSE, & ARCHANGEL
Jeez, didn’t I just review a set of Minimates a few days ago? Is it already time for another one? <looks at randomized list from which I may not break> Yep, guess I’m reviewing Minimates again. Worse things have happened. Next year will see the release of the next installment in the X-Men movie franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse, which will feature, you guessed it, X-Men villain Apocalypse. It’s also set to feature Warren Worthington III as Archangel. And, would you look at that, they’re both in today’s review. How about that?
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
This trio was released in the 19th Series of Marvel Minimates, way back in 2008. Death Archangel and Apocalypse were the standard, heavier packed set, and Archangel was the one-per case variant, also packed with Apocalypse.
Following losing his natural, feather-y wings in a battle, Warren got a replacement pair of metal wings, courtesy of Apocalypse. Of course, he didn’t read the fine print and ended up becoming one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen, Death. And he got saddled with a hideous costume to boot. Rotten luck, right? This figure depicts him in said look, which was Warren’s primary look for a few years. He stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has a whole 16 points of articulation, thanks to the wings. The figure is constructed on the basic Minimate body, with add-on pieces for his wristbands, and, of course, his wings. The wing harness is the same piece we saw on the Avengers #1 Wasp ‘mate, though they did actually show up here first. The wings themselves are all-new pieces, shared between the two Archangels (and a third that came a few years later). They’re bigger than the figure himself, and give him quite an impressive presence on the shelf. They’re also quite accurate to the source material and sport some very nice, clean detail work. They do have an unfortunate habit of getting a bit warped over time, but they regain their shape pretty easily. A lot of Archangel’s design is dependent on paint, which is quite nicely handled, even if it is a hideous costume. The pink lines are nice and sharp, and I quite like his stern expression. It’s very in-character. The only drawback is the faint gold lines on his face, which are transfer lines from his death mask, which happens to be his one accessory. It’s an okay sculpt, but the paint really hasn’t stood the test of time.
So, uh, this is the guy that turned Warren into Archangel. And gave him that hideous costume. Also, he’s tied to Kang the Conqueror, a guy from the future, but the two met in the past, and then Apocalypse turned out to be immortal and may or may not have been from the future, some of the time. It’s a little confusing, and, if I’m totally honest, I don’t care enough about the guy to sort it all out. Apocalypse is presented here in his original look, which has been his main design on and off for quite some time. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall (thanks to some added height from the boots) and he has 12 points of articulation (also thanks to the boots). The movement is rather limited on this guy, due to the various sculpted parts interfering. The worst offenders are the tubes connecting his arms to his torso, which are just solid plastic, rather than something more flexible. Apocalypse has six sculpted add-ons, for his chest piece, gloves, belt, and boots. The pieces are all pretty well sculpted, with plenty of great detail work. It’s worth noting that this guy predates the move to bulk up larger characters, but he’s actually not too badly held back by it. Apocalypse does a bit of size-changing anyway. The paint on this figure is pretty decent. The leg muscles are somewhat ridiculously defined, but it works for the character. The head exhibits some excellent work, with tons of great detail. Apocalypse included no accessories.
After getting past that whole being a henchman to ultimate evil bit, Archangel was still stuck with the blue skin and the metal wings. However, he had a choice in the whole costume manner, so he moved to get rid of that hideous thing that Apocalypse stuck him in. Truly a sign that he had returned to good. So, he started wearing a variant of one of his older costumes, which is what this figure is wearing. Structurally, he’s not far off from the Death Archangel. The wings and harness are the same setup, and they’re just as cool here as they were on the other figure. He ditches the wristbands and gains a hairpiece, which was all-new to this figure. It’s a pretty good piece, which does a decent enough job of capturing Warren’s hair of the mid-90s. The rest of Archangel’s detailing is done via paint. It’s, admittedly, not as good as the other two. The blue doesn’t continue onto the harness, which is quite distracting. Also, he’s got some serious muscle detailing on his torso, but nowhere else. To top it off, the face is oddly angled and set too high, which just makes it look really odd. Archangel included no accessories.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got Death Archangel and Apocalypse on their day of release, courtesy of my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. I ended up picking up Archangel from a vendor at Comic Con a few years later, and gave the spare Apocalypse to my younger brother. These guys are a little dated (mostly just the basic Archangel), but they’re still pretty good, and they mark one of the earliest instances of what most would consider “modern” Minimates.