BLACK PANTHER & EBONY MAW
“Hear me, and rejoice. You are about to die at the hand of the children of Thanos. Be thankful, that your meaningless lives are now contributed to the balance…”
It’s black on black in today’s set, as Black Panther faces off against Ebony Maw! Prepare to imagine a world where these two characters actually met…
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Black Panther and Ebony Maw are part of the second assortment of the Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates. These two were supposed to be the Toys R Us exclusive set for this round but…well, we all know how that one went, right? The set actually still has its TRU-exclusive sticker, presumably because it was too late in the process to get it removed before it started shipping to specialty stores.
Black Panther has been no stranger to Minimates. Heck, this is his fourth just this year alone. Since Panther’s IW design was the same as his suit from his solo outing, this figure uses that same design, and is quite similar to the basic Panther from those tie-ins. He’s built on the usual body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Like his solo counterpart, he’s got an add-on for his mask, as well as Cheetah’s clawed hands. The paint on Panther is pretty solid work, and again, virtually identical to the last one. The biggest difference between the two is what’s under the mask. We’ve gotten yet another Chadwick Boseman likeness, this time with a much angrier expression than we saw even on the more energetic powered-up Panther. I guess he’s taking things more seriously with it being the end of the world and all. For accessories, Panther is packed with an extra hair piece to display his unmasked look, as well as the standard clear display stand.
As the member of the Black Order with by far the most dialogue and the most focus, Ebony Maw certainly stood out. However, for whatever reason, it was Proxima Midnight who got all of the initial focus in the toy realm. Fortunately, at least in the case of the Minimates, Maw wasn’t too far behind. Ebony Maw is almost a completely vanilla ‘mate. The only thing that mixes him up a bit is his skirt piece, which is a new offering. It works well enough, adding the extra tails to his torso, while avoiding bulking him up too much. I’m not for overly building up a ‘mate if you don’t have to, but I do feel Maw is missing…something. Maybe a sculpted collar? Certainly a hair piece of some sort. His hair may have been thinning in the film, but it certainly wasn’t close-cropped, and it doesn’t look right being relegated purely to painted detailing. I think something along the lines of Morgue’s hair piece would have really helped this figure out. Maw’s paintwork is certainly his strongest suit. The face is definitely the best part; it’s a pretty perfect recreation of his features from the movie. The fact that he already lacked a nose probably helped. The details on his uniform seem perhaps a touch bright for my eyes, but they are at least cleanly applied, and quite extensive. Ebony Maw’s only accessory is a clear display stand. It might have been nice to get some of those funky glass daggers or an energy effect of some kind, especially since he’s already light on the sculpted pieces as it is.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
There’s no denying that this Black Panther feels more than a little bit redundant. There were two costumed versions of T’Challa in his own line, both of which are still quite readily available. This one does attempt to be a little bit different, but not by much. If you didn’t get any of the Black Panther movie Minimates, then I suppose this one’s a nice addition. If you did? Well, you’re really just here for the other half of the set. As I noted with Corvus, the Black Order are really the only “new” part of the Infinity War assortments, which places some extra weight on them. Unfortunately, I think Maw is another design that doesn’t translate all that well to the aesthetic, making this ‘mate somewhat middle of the road in terms of quality, and unlike Corvus, he doesn’t have a stronger pack ‘mate to carry him.