MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“After the death of his father T’Chaka, T’Challa must assume the Black Panther mantle as the next king of Wakanda.”
Following his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther was one of the hottest things ever. It was little surprise that his Marvel Legends release from that movie proved to be by far the most difficult to track down of the series that included him, leaving Panther fans without a figure, at least until his solo flick came along. But, of course, his main costume for the film, so if you wanted the (admittedly slightly superior) Civil War Black Panther, you were still going to need to find that figure. Until now, anyways.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Black Panther is figure 4 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends. There’s actually no name distinction between this figure and the Kinetic Energy variant, so I can foresee referring to them getting a little confusing in the long run. Though not his main costume, the CW design’s appearance early in Black Panther gave Hasbro enough leeway to include him in this second Panther-based assortment. Let’s cut to the chase here: this figure’s sculpt is 100% identical to the Civil War release. Same height, same articulation, same detailing. I’m not complaining, mind you, because I loved this sculpt when it was new, and I still really like it now. Sure, in retrospect the shoulder articulation is a bit more restricted than I’d like, but beyond that, it’s a sculpt that still really holds up. There are some very minor, and I mean *very* minor, tweaks to the figure’s paint. The eyes follow the sculpt a little more closely this time, and he does seem to be generally cleaner looking, but there aren’t any really intentional changes. The only true change to this figure are the accessories included. Obviously, he swaps out the Giant Man piece for one from M’Baku, but he also trades out the somewhat generic unmasked head for one that looks a fair bit more like Chadwick Bosman. I don’t like this one quite as much as the one included with the Kinetic Panther; the expression makes him look really goofy. Still, it’s better than the one we got originally.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
There’s not much to say about this guy. I’m not surprised by Hasbro’s move to reissue him, since the original was still tricky to find. He’s a good enough figure that he doesn’t feel out of place among his peers and the new head’s certainly an improvement. That said, I bought this guy solely to finish M’Baku, and having already gotten the unmasked head with Kintetic Panther, there’s just not much this guy has to offer me. But, like Carnage, he’s not really for me, so I guess there’s that.