#0885: Beetle




From one legacy to another, I suppose. The subject of today’s review is Beetle, an identity originated by Abner Jenkins. Back in the 90s, Jenkins pulled a heel-face turn and took on the identity of Mach II (later Mach III, Mach IV, and Mach V), leaving the Beetle identity vacant. Recently, Janice Lincoln, daughter of Spidey villain Tombstone, took on the name, and had a prominent role in Spencer and Lieber’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man. She seems to be something of a pet character for Spencer, as she’s most recently found herself with a recurring role in his Ant-Man run. Now she’s got her very first action figure!


BeetleAM2Beetle is figure six in the fourth series of the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Series line. She is the other half of the shared “Superior Foes of Spider-Man” title, which is sensible, given the she’s one of the titular foes. Though she hasn’t been around as long as some of the other characters in this series, Beetle has a few changes to her look. The one presented here is her more streamlined, basic look from Superior Foes. Though her earlier look was a little more interesting, this is the one that fits with the other “Foes” and it also allows for a bit more parts re-use. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and has 33 points of articulation, counting the wings. Beetle is ostensibly built on the mid-sized female body, which has been used for the likes of Hellcat and Wasp. She only actually uses the arms and legs from that particular body, along with the wings from the aforementioned Wasp figure. These pieces are all pretty good, but I did notice a slight bow-leggedness, presumably caused by the packaging. The head, torso, and (as far as I can tell) hands are new pieces. The head is basic, but striking, and hits all the right details. At first glance, I thought the upper torso was Scarlet Witch’s, but a closer look revealed it to be new. It’s a pretty well done piece, but, as with Wasp, I wish the connecting point for the wings weren’t so darn obvious. The lower torso is actually a pretty cool piece, with some fun detail work. Plus, they managed not to make the hip things too silly looking. I do wish it weren’t so flat from the side, though. The hands are hands; they aren’t too big or too small, and that’s what counts. After getting that weird red and silver thing a couple series back, it’s nice to get a Beetle in the proper green and purple. The purple’s a bit too magenta-y for my taste, but other than that, the paint application’s pretty decent. The one area where this figure is somewhat lacking is accessories. All she gets is the Absorbing Man piece (his right leg), which feels really light. An unmasked head would have been cool, since we see her that way several times over the course of Superior Foes.


Okay, so here’s the thing: I like this figure, but it’s not what I wanted. Let me explain: when this figure was first found out about, it was via a list of solicited figures. All we had was the name “Beetle.” As a pretty big fan of Abner, I was hoping for a non-Ultimate version of him. But, we got Janice instead. It makes sense, especially when paired up with Speed Demon. Plus, Janice is a pretty cool character in her own right. The figure isn’t perfect, but she’s still pretty cool, and I’m glad to have her. Now, Overdrive and Shocker can’t be far behind, can they?


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