MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Merged with the toxic Venom symbiote, Cletus Kasady hones his psychopathic tendencies as the merciless villain, Carnage.”
When a single dark reflection of Spider-Man wasn’t edgy enough, Marvel responded by giving us Carnage, a spin-off of a spin-off. But he’s way more violent, way more dark, and way more in line with the “not your daddy’s comics” sensibilities of the ‘90s. Yay? Like Venom before him, Carnage has, pretty much since inception, been a marketing success. So, it’s no surprise that he’s co-headlining the new Venom-themed assortment of Marvel Legends!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Carnage is figure 2 in the Monster Venom Series of Marvel Legends. Like yesterday’s Venom, Carnage is largely a re-release of a prior figure, in this case the Ultimate Goblin Series Carnage from back when the Infinite Series was first launched. He uses the same basic assortment of pieces, with minimal changes. I did notice that the joints are less floppy on this release, which is a notable improvement. Beyond that, he’s the same, and that’s honestly okay, because that original release was quite a strong offering. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There are also some rather minor changes to the paint work. In addition to generally being a little cleaner than the original release, the red has also been given a very slight metallic hue. Not a huge change, and it honestly comes down to personal preference. The main difference between this figure and the last is the selection of included accessories. Where the last Carnage only had his Build-A-Figure part, this one gets a spare head and hands. The head is an unmasked Cletus Kasady head, which does quite a nice job of capturing Cletus’ unhinged psychopathy. The paint on mine has the eyes ever so slightly askew, but other than that, he looks pretty good. The spare hands showcase the fluid nature of the symbiote; the left is just a more intense claw, but the right goes for a wholly different shaping, giving him an axe-hand, which is kind of a classic look for Carnage. The hands definitely inject an extra bit of character to the figure, and are a very strong addition. Lastly, Carnage gets the head to the Build-A-Figure Monster Venom.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve got mixed feelings about this Carnage figure. As with Venom, I have the original release, so I don’t need a re-issue. But, unlike Venom, who does actually do some things to make him different, Carnage’s changes are all external, which sort of makes this figure a somewhat expensive accessory pack. Were it not for the included BaF piece, I would have most certainly passed this one up. On the flip side, I can completely see Hasbro’s reasoning on this figure, since the original Carnage release was hard to track down even when it was new, and has carried one of the heftier after market values of the modern Legends run. Had I not been fortunate enough to find the original, I would undoubtedly be thrilled by this one. And at least Hasbro was nice enough to give us long-term collectors *something* to warrant the second purchase.
Carnage was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and is still available here. If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.