BEETLE – SINISTER VILLAINS
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“When the battle for justice is underway, artificial enhancements make these villains stronger, faster, and even more of a threat.”
Freaking finally! That took forever didn’t it? Can we address the insanity that is having to get four Legends-style figures of admittedly lower tier villain the Beetle before we actually got the version of the character that 99% of people who have any clue about the Beetle would be expecting? Because it’s kind of nuts. All I can figure is that Hasbro’s just a real big fan of running gags, and consistently delivering the wrong Beetle was just the best one they had going. But it’s finally over now, and I finally have the Beetle figure I’ve been patiently waiting for. Yay!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Beetle is figure 7 in the Homecoming-tie-in assortment of Marvel Legends. He’s officially named “Sinister Villains,” a name he shares with Tombstone. I guess it works okay for Beetle, though I’m not sure sinister’s at the top of the list of words I’d use to describe Abner. I got the figure, so I’m not gonna complain about the name. This Beetle figure is based on Abner Jenkins’ Mark II Beetle armor. It’s the design he sported throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, and even into the ‘90s. It’s definitely his most prominent design, as well as his strongest. This marks only the second time this design’s appeared as a toy, following the one from the ‘90s Spider-Man line. This figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Beetle is built on the Bucky Cap body, or at least a lot of parts derived from it. The legs and most of the arms are the standard Bucky Cap pieces. In addition, he’s got Taskmaster’s shoulders, as well as the lower torso of Darkhawk. On top of all that, he’s got a new head, upper torso, and pelvis. The head’s a fantastic piece, even better than the old Toy Biz figure’s. It’s sharp, clean, and very nicely scaled for the body. The pelvis piece is really just a slightly tweaked version of the pelvis used on Darkhawk, just with Beetle’s belt added on. The new torso mimics the slightly squared-off nature of the shoulders (aiding in selling this as armor, rather than a spandex jumpsuit), and has two sets of ports on the back for Beetle’s wings and forewings to plug into. The basic wings are the same ones used on the last Beetle, who in turn got them from Wasp. They were good pieces both times before, and that certainly hasn’t changed now. The forewings (which, fun fact, are also known as “elytra” or wing cases) are new to this figure, and can be used in conjunction with or independently of the larger wings. Personally, I kind of dig the folded up look. Beetle’s paintwork is really great. He’s done up in all metallic shades, which looks super sleek, and all of the application is really sharp. Beyond the wings, Beetle has no real accessories of his own, but he does include one of the Vulture’s wing-turbines. That’s pretty nifty, I guess.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This assortment’s line-up was actually leaked a little while before the prototypes were shown off at Toy Fair. All we had to go on was the names. When Beetle showed up on the list, I was pretty sure it was this version, but not certain. I’ve been tricked before. Maybe Hasbro would drag us along one more time and roll out a first appearance Beetle. Maybe they’re sadistic like that. So, when this guy was shown off, it was like a great weight had finally been lifted. I was pretty pumped.
Beetle’s actually the very first figure I found from this series. I didn’t buy that one, due to not having the money on me at the time, but I found this one about a week later, right after seeing Homecoming for the second time, in fact. After Moon Knight, he was my biggest want from this series. I’m glad I found him before Moon Knight, because it allowed me to enjoy him on his own, and not just play second fiddle. This figure’s really great. Another strong figure in a line-up of very strong figures. And now I finally have the Beetle figure I’ve been waiting on for twelve years.