MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
After sorting out their issue of not ever being able to hold onto a character named Captain Marvel by promoting the original Ms. Marvel to Captain, Marvel ran into another problem: what do they do about the Ms. Marvel name they just vacated? They kind of need to have a character using that name, lest some distinguished competition steal it out from under them. While they had solved the first problem by promoting an old character, the Ms. Marvel problem was solved be creating an all-new character entirely. Enter Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager, who also happens to be an Inhuman (though that doesn’t really get brought up much; if she’d been introduced five years prior she would have just been a mutant) who possesses shape shifting abilities. Not gonna lie, I like shape shifters, so that was a good start. She hit the ground running with one of Marvel’s better solo books back in 2014, and she’s even made her way into the Avengers and the recently re-launched Champions. And now, she’s got the very best thing of all: an action figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ms. Marvel was released in the Sandman Series of Marvel Legends. It’s either the last 2016 series of Spider-Man Legends or the first 2017 series, depending on how you want to look at it. The figures started hitting at the tail end of December (which is how I got Spider-UK), but a lot of places are only just starting to see them show up. Why is Ms. Marvel in a Spider-Man series? Your guess is as good as mine. As far as I know, there aren’t any strictly Avengers-themed sets planned for a while, and she certainly fits in better here than with the X-Men or Guardians stuff. A figure’s a figure; I’m certainly not going to complain. Her figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation. Kamala is built not the Spider-Girl body, which is always a good starting point in my opinion, and is a good fit for the character. She gets a new head, and upper and lower torso pieces, as well as add-ons for her bracelet and scarf. All of the new pieces are really solid additions; Ms Marvel has a pretty distinctive art style, which kind of informs how the character should look, but can also be tricky when trying to have her fit in with an established line. You never want to go too artist specific with a line like this, but you also don’t want her to end up too bland and generic. She walks the line pretty well; she’s clearly taking inspiration from her solo book, but she also feels right at home with the rest of the line. I sort of wish her face were a little more expressive or goofy, since that’s sort of her character, but I can see why they’d want something slightly more neutral. It’s a nice sculpt regardless. My one minor complaint is just an issue with my figure; one of her ankle joints is pretty well stuck, and it’s made keeping her standing quite the difficult task. Kamala’s paint is nice, bold, and bright, which is definitely appropriate for her. The gold in particular is a really nice shade, and doesn’t appear to be the sort of gold that will start to degrade over time. Application is mostly pretty sharp, with only some minor slop, mostly around the edge of her sleeves. Shapeshifting can be a difficult power set to show off in toy form, but Hasbro’s given it their best go. Kamala includes an alternate pair of foreams, which are enlarged and stretched out. While they loose the wrist movement, they are otherwise really fun pieces. This is probably the best way of handling the shapeshifting thing, and I hope they do something similar when they tackle Mr. Fantastic. In addition to the extra arms, she also includes the torso the the Series’s Build-A-Figure, Sandman.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Kamala was definitely at the top of my want list from this series. I’ve been following her comic since issue 1, and I’ve really enjoyed the character. I was bummed back in December when I thought I’d missed her figure. Fortunately, I ended up finding her and the rest of the series at a local K-Mart. Unfortunately, K-Mart seems to have started hiking up their prices, and were asking for an extra $5 per figure. Not worth it for the others, but I didn’t mind so much in Kamala’s case. This is definitely a solid figure, and another win for Hasbro!