BLACK PANTHER & 90s STORM
The subjects of today’s review, Black Panther and Storm, have actually been on my review docket since February, believe it or not. For one reason or another, they’ve been on the chopping block no less than five times since they went on the schedule. Fortunately for them, the original item I planned to review today has itself been bumped. Gotta love that, right?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Black Panther and 90s Storm were released in the 29th Series of Marvel Minimates. At the time of their release, Panther and Storm were still married, so I guess this pairing made some sense, though the choice of costumes was sort of incompatible.
“The leader and defender of his native Wakanda, T’Challa became the Black Panther afther his father’s demise at the hands of the villainous Klaw. His blend of physical prowess, mental discipline and scientific study makes him a truly formidable opponent in any setting.”
This wasn’t Black Panther’s first Minimate, but it was the first complete one, since the Marvel Zombies variant that preceded it was missing an arm and a leg. He’s based on his at the time current design from the comics, which was certainly a sensible choice. The figure uses the standard ‘mate body, with the standard 14 points of articulation and an approximate height of 2 1/4 inches tall. Panther came from a time in the line when the necks had gotten kind of short and the feet had become shallower, which isn’t 100% ideal, but not the end of the world. He has add-on pieces for his mask, cape, belt, and wrist bands. The mask was re-used from the Zombies variant, and it’s an okay piece, but in conjunction with the shorter neck, and shallow feet, it kind of makes him look a little bobble-headed. Fortunately, it’s masked (heh) a bit by the cape piece, which was new to this particular figure, and is a pretty decent piece. The only problem it has is how top-heavy it made the figure, so it can be a little difficult to keep him standing. As far as paint work goes, Panther was ambitious in idea, but ultimately rather flawed in execution. There’s a lot of detail work on the mask and torso, which would look really great if it were actually visible, but the shades are just too close together. Similarly, there is detailing on the shins and wrists, which is meant to capture the striped gloves of Panther’s classic costume, if you take off all of the add-ons. But, as with the other details, these are essentially lost on the final figure. T’Challa included a hairpiece, allowing for an unmasked look.
“The leader of the X-Men’s Gold Team, Ororo Munroe’s weather-altering abilities are powered by an innate control over nearly all forms of energy – limited only by her emotions and fears.”
This marked Storm’s fourth time as a Minimate, and also the fourth ‘mate in the ‘90s X-Men sub-set that ran for a few years. This depicts her white Jim Lee-styled costume, which has a fair bit of notoriety, being on the cartoon and everything. She has add-ons for her hair and cape/shoulder pads, and she was the fist ‘mate to have the unique puffy sleeved upper arms. All of the pieces were pretty well sculpted, airing heavier on the detailed side of things. She’s a bit on the bulky side, and a little hard to pose (those upper arms don’t stay in place quite as well as the standard ones), but a decent recreation of the design from the comics. The paint work on Storm is a bit better than T’Challa’s, by virtue of not having all those issues with contrast. The pearlescent white is pretty great looking, and the details are pretty sharp. The shading on the torso was an interesting experiment. It was a style they were trying in this series, but it was pretty quickly abandoned. Also, like the rest of the ‘mates in this assortment, the color palette is a little washed out. I’d have at least liked a more yellow-y gold. Storm was packed with a pair of electricity effect pieces, which are a little tricky to get in place, but pretty neat nonetheless.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As with most ‘mates of this era, this pair was picked up brand-new, on the day of release from Cosmic Comix. I was excited for them when they were announced, given how much I like Black Panther, and my at the time lack of a Storm Minimate. With that said, I’ve never been as happy with these two as I’d hoped to be. In retrospect, they’re better than I remember, but they both have some notable flaws.