MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
Venom’s a character that’s had a number of divergent design styles over the years. When he first appeared, he was a slightly bigger than average, but not particularly huge character. Like with Peter Parker, the symbiote didn’t initially do much to alter Eddie Brock’s physique at all. However, as art styles changed over the course of the ‘90s, Venom became more and more extreme. His proportions relative to Spider-Man became much more exaggerated, as he became an imposing figure rivaling the likes of the Hulk (who had, admittedly, undergone a bulk-up of his own over the years). Hasbro’s standard take on Venom does its best to be a moderate take on the character, but ultimately airs more on the smaller side. We haven’t seen a truly monstrous Venom at his most absurd in quite some time, if ever.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Monster Venom is the Build-A-Figure for the new Venom-themed assortment of Marvel Legends. He’s patterned not on an Eddie Brock version of Venom, but instead on Mac Gargan’s time in the symbiote from a few years back. He looks to be based on Mike Deodato’s version from Thunderbolts, as he lacks the actual “eyes” that most artists gave Mac. Of course, this allows him to keep the more classic Venom eyes, which I’m more of a fan of anyway. The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. Monster Venom’s nature as a Build-A-Figure allows him to not only be a much more massive figure than a single release, but also, by virtue of having his cost spread out across an entire assortment, allows for him to a completely unique mold. And what a mold it is! If you felt that the standard Venom was a touch too simplistic, or basic, or just not dynamic enough, hoo boy is this the figure for you. The head takes the tongue-flicking head from the last Venom release, and dials that up to 11, with a practically unhinged jaw, a wildly moving tongue, and everyone of his teeth out for the whole world to see. The body is covered in veins, just all over the place, to insane levels. On any other character, this would look ridiculous, but on Venom it’s nothing short of amazing. He’s got tendrils coming from his back and shoulders, and thanks to the unique sculpt, they don’t have to be one piece that plugs into a single port like on the smaller figures, allowing them to be worked in much more smoothly. And then there’s the general build of the figure. He’s absolutely huge, easily living up to the “Monster” part of his name. On top of that, though, his articulation’s not nearly as restricted as you’d expect it to be. In fact, there are a number of deep poses he can get into that his smaller counterpart struggles with. They definitely stepped up their articulation game here. Even Monster Venom’s coloring is a step-up from the standard version; rather than the straight black and white of the basic Venom, Monster Venom is done up in this sick metallic purple. It gives him a seriously alien vibe, and definitely is a good match for more recent depictions of the character. He also gets the slightly tweaked logo that Gargan’s Venom sported, which gives him a more unique appearance from the main Venom, but is still close enough for the casual observer to recognize. Monster Venom has no accessories, but given his size and status as a Build-A-Figure, that’s not a surprise, or a let-down.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When the figures from this assortment were initially shown off, the name “Monster Venom” started floating around for the Build-A-Figure, but exactly what that name meant was a little unclear, so I had no idea if I’d be getting this one or not. Of course, as soon as he was shown off, I was incredibly impressed, and knew right away I wanted one. Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys (from whom you can still order 5 of the 6 figures in this series) I was able to get a full set put together and get myself a Monster Venom assembled.
This assortment is kind of an interesting experience. Going in, I was only interested in the Build-A-Figure and two of the six figures required to build it. I wasn’t even sure I’d be completing this figure, but All Time got them in, and I’m an easy mark. Spider-Ham, the figure I most wanted, is the set’s biggest disappointment for me. Scream, my other big want, is decent, but nothing to write home about. Poison and Typhoid Mary, on the other hand, far exceeded my expectations, with Poison in particular being my favorite of the bunch. And, above all, I just can’t help but enjoy this set as a whole. They go well together.