#1125: Spider-Man – Black Costume




It’s a rare occasion for a character to have not one, but two of the best known looks in comics under his belt, but that’s the case with everyone’s favorite web-head, Spider-Man.  His original design is clearly his best known, and the one that most people will associate with him.  But, in 1984, Marvel decided to give him a new design.  Coming out of their (toyline tie-in) Secret Wars maxi-series, they introduced a new, black and white costume.*  Obviously, it was never going to replace the original, but it did stick around for a surprising amount of time.  It’s also made quite a few reappearances in comics and other media adaptations, and even gotten spun off into a totally new character, because, let’s face it, it’s a badass design.  Due to the aforementioned badassery of the design, it’s also shown up more than a few times in action figure form.  Today, I’ll be looking at the very first one ever released.


symbiotespideysw2Spider-Man was released as part of the second series of Mattel’s Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars line.  He was the second version of Spider-Man in the line (following Series 1’s standard Spidey), and it should be noted, he’s the only repeat character that the line produced.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Structurally speaking, he’s the exact same figure as his Series 1 counterpart, which in turn means he’s very similar to just about every other figure in the line, for good or for bad.  This means the general quality of the sculpt is rather on the soft side.  In their defense on this particular figure (oh my gosh, I’m defending Mattel.  Kill me now), it’s not like the are a lot of really sharp details that should be present.  A generally smooth sculpt is the way to go.  Why Spider-Man is sporting the same build as Captain America and Iron Man is a different question entirely, though.  Spidey gets his own set of legs. You can tell because there’s sort of a pre-posed nature to them. He’s doing some sort of brisk walk or maybe a lunge.  I’m not really sure.  Also, his right arm seems a bit longer than the left.  It’s weird.  All that being said, the overall appearance of the figure’s not bad.  Even his paint’s not awful, although that’s mostly by virtue of the design being rather simple.  It’s worth noting that he’s missing the white blocks on the backs of his hands, admittedly a minor detail, but missing nonetheless.  Also, his logo rather abruptly stops for about 1/4 of an inch on his sides before starting on the back, which is a little weird looking.  And, as with so many Secret Wars figures, the paint is incredibly prone to wear.  Spidey’s only accessory was the big, goofy lenticular shield that every figure included.  His was bright red, because why bother to match the figure, right?


Okay, you know how I kick off this section of every Secret Wars review by swearing up and down that I’m not trying to collect this line?  Yeah, you can scratch that on this guy.  He’s a figure I’ve been eying up for some time, mostly due to the coolness factor of the costume.  He ended up being purchased for me by my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who picked him up this summer from Yesterday’s Fun.  I know I’m down on Mattel, and I’ve never been particularly kind to their Secret Wars figures, but this guy is very possibly the strongest entry from the line.  Yeah, he still showcases many of the same problems that plagued pretty much every single figure in the line, but if you view him as his own, standalone figure, he’s not awful.  He’s almost kind of charming.


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