MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)
The X-Men are known for their tendency to change up the line-up a lot. Now-a-days, the team is rather large and nebulous (necessitating at least two X-Men titles to be running consistently since the mid-80s, just so everyone can get a fair shake), but when they first started, there were just five members. The team’s first additional member, Mimic, only lasted for three issues, before being de-powered and written out. Eventually, they would acquire their first full-time addition Lorna Dane (later Polaris) in X-Men #49. Just six issues later, the team would also gain Havok, aka Alex Summers the younger brother of Cyclops. Havok’s sort of been a peripheral member of the team for a lot of his career, but has served as team leader for both the X-Men and X-Factor on a few occasions. He also happens to be my personal favorite member of the X-Men, which is why I own just about every figure of him in existence, including the one I’ll be reviewing today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Havok was part of the Giant-Man Series of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends. It was the first Walmart-exclusive series of Legends, though it would hardly be the last. This is also Havok’s first Marvel Legends figure, though it’s the fourth Havok figure Toy Biz released. The figure stands 6 ¼ inches tall (not counting the headgear), and has 40 points of articulation. Havok is based on his classic Neal Adams-designed costume from the 60s (my personal favorite). The initial prototype for Havok had him in a more modernized design, but that figure was ultimately shelved for this more classic look. The figure is built on Series 9’s Bullseye body, in one of the earlier attempts at moving ML to a system of base bodies. As I noted in my review of Iron Fist (the final figure to be built on this body, released a full ten years after it debuted with Bullseye), this body was one of my favorites from Toy Biz’s run. It’s become a little clunky when compared to the more recent stuff, but it still holds up pretty well, certainly a lot better than some of TB’s other Marvel Legends. The only real issue I have with this particular iteration of the body is the shape of the lower legs and feet. The legs are clunky and tube-like, and the feet are large and sit too far forward at the ankle. Havok’s only truly unique piece is his head, which does quite a nice job of capturing the early depictions of Havok’s face. I like that the expression is angry without going too overboard, and I’m especially glad that they were able to make the headgear look okay in three dimensions. Havok’s paintwork is pretty straight forward. The costume is just straight black and white (excepting, of course, the silver collar). There’s no accent work, but I actually much prefer it that way. The face has a nice, clean paint job, with some great little subtleties to the coloring, making it stand out nicely from the costume. Havok included the left leg (but NOT the left foot) of Giant-Man, as well as a copy of X-Men #97, which is one of Havok’s few focus issues during the “All-New, All Different” era (also one of his best appearances). It should be noted that the issue actually rather deceptively uses the cover to X-Men #58, which is the first appearance of the classic costume and the name Havok.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Pretty much as soon as Marvel Legends started doing X-Men figures, Havok was at the top of my list. I even made my own Havok custom (albeit in his ‘90s costume) from a spare Gambit, just to hold me over. I was beyond thrilled when this guy was announced. Of course, then the Giant-Man Series ended up being rather hard to come by, which acquiring Havok none too easy. Fortunately, my Dad just happened to find this guy the day before my birthday in 2006. Words cannot begin to describe how excited I was to open him. Ten years later, this guy shows his age, but still holds up remarkably well. I think I’d still rank him in my top 10 Legends.