X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Archangel is the high-flying X-Man with a knock-out secret weapon– wingtip darts filled with paralyzing fluid! Archangel can fire these darts with uncanny accuracy from any height and speed. With his amazing metal wings, Archangel is able to fly faster than the speed of sound and silently attack like a striking eagle. This ability strikes terror in the hearts of evil mutants, for their first warning of Archangel’s attack is usually the impact of one of his darts!”
In the late ’80s/early ’90s, there was a trend in comics, of taking characters with formerly passive powers and either creating a new character with those powers plus an offensive component, or even just reforging the original into something more “kick-ass.” Founding X-Men member Warren Worthington III, originally known as Angel, found himself on the receiving end of one of these make-overs, become the war-ready Archangel. It was a lasting look, and one that was at the forefront when it came time for Warren’s first action figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Archangel was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line. His presence is somewhat interesting, as he’s the only X-Man in the line-up who wasn’t from the “All-New, All-Different” lineup. Archangel was still wearing his hideous “Death” togs he got from Apocalypse at the time of this figure, so that’s what he’s wearing here. Boy, was this costume ugly. I mean, I love it, but it’s ugly. The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation (his wings can also move, but it’s tied into his action feature, and they don’t really hold poses or anything). His sculpt was unique to him. It’s not terrible, but I do think he’s a fair bit more dated than some of the others in the set. His head’s kind of large, and his facial expression is sort of goony. I think it’s the eyes; they seem too close together. The body is rather stiffly posed, and his proportions are definitely a little off. The arms are probably the worst part; they just look so scrawny when compared to the rest of him. The wings are okay, though they suffer a bit from the comics’ lack of consistency on the exact shaping of them. They’re also slightly marred by the “missile launching feature” at the tops. I use the quotes because there’s no actual spring-loaded feature or anything; you just pushed them out with your thumb. Kind of disappointing. The torso is also impacted a bit by the wings. Toy Biz wasn’t sure how to attach them, so they went for this this big honking block on his back. Elegant it is not. Archangel’s paintwork is decent enough; it’s a little brighter than a lot of interpretations of this costume tend to be, but it’s not like it was going to get *less* ugly. There were two versions of this guy’s colorscheme; the original release had white wings, while the re-release offered both white and grey wings.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Archangel was one of my earlier additions to my collection. Though the Invasion series had hit right when I started collecting (and given me my first three X-Men figures in the process), the Archangel variant included there wasn’t quite as plentiful, so I ended up getting this guy’s re-release instead. He’s not aged particularly well, and I definitely prefer other Archangel’s, but he still has a quaint sort of a charm to him.