MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Originally a member of the Squadron Sinister, the wealthy Kyle Richmond has a change of heart and joins the Defenders.”
In the past, I’ve briefly touched on the Squadron Sinister, Roy Thomas’s Justice League pastiches created in 1969 for an unofficial crossing over of the Avengers and the Justice League. While the Champions of Angor, the Avengers parody that the Justice League fought in their own book shortly after, weren’t particular successful in any fashion, the Squad was successful enough to get not only their own heroic spin-offs (the Squadron Supreme), but also to have a couple of its original members worked into the mainstream universe proper. The team’s resident Batman expy, Nighthawk, actually did alright for himself, going on a path of redemption and eventually becoming a mainstay of the second-tier superhero team the Defenders!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nighthawk..sorry, *Marvel’s* Nighthawk is figure four in the first series of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends. He’s the second comics-based figure in the assortment, and I guess if I ragged on Living Laser for his spot being questionable, then I have to rag on Nighthawk too, since he’s really more a Defenders character, despite starting off as an Avengers villain. Despite all that, I can’t really complain too much, since I doubt there are going to be any dedicated Defenders assortments anytime soon. Plus, we got three other Defenders back during the tie-ins for Age of Ultron, so I’d say there’s some precedent. Nighthawk is based on his second costume, following his turn to the heroic, which is definitely sensible, since he spent most of his career in variations of this look. It also further removes him from his Distinguished Competition counterpart, which I’m sure makes the legal department extra happy. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Nighthawk returns to the tried and true method of building figures on the Bucky Cap body, even re-using that figure’s buccaneer-style boots. It’s a good fit for Nighthawk’s stature, and still a very good body, though I imagine it’s nearing its retirement. The figure gets a new head, hands, and forearms, as well as brand new cape add-on. The newly sculpted parts are nice and clean, and fit well on the body. The head is a pretty basic piece. It’s a guy in a cowl, so there’s not a ton of unique work to do there. It’s a good adaptation, and I do prefer the streamlined mask design they went with. I appreciate that they actually sculpted the ends of his gloves, rather than just painting them on, and I also dig that they made his claws distinctly different from Wolverine. The cape is big and bulky, but it’s also really dynamic, and certainly the best interpretation we’ve gotten of it in three dimensions. I was expecting it to be a lot more cumbersome than it ended up being, so I was pleasantly surprised to be sure. Nighthawk’s paintwork is clean, bright, and bold, which is pretty much everything you’d hope for. I definitely like the palette here more than the Marvel Universe figure from a few years back, and the application is overall pretty clean. I did see some slight variance on the coverage of his logo on the few figures I looked at, but for mine it looks pretty solid. Nighthawk includes no accessories for himself, which, while slightly sad, isn’t a huge shock. An unmasked head would be cool, as would some non-clawed hands, but they aren’t the sort of thing you expect to see on a character like Nighthawk. He does include the right arm of Thanos, as well as Thanos’s bladed weapon.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been a fan of Nighthawk ever since Kurt Busiek made him a prominent player in his late ’90s Defenders series, and I’ve wanted him in figure form for pretty much just as long. He and the rest of the secondary Defenders are some of my favorites, and he’s the last one I needed for a true classic Defenders set-up, so I was pretty stoked for his release. The final figure lives up to my expectations, and I’m happy to have him. He’s sort of Living Laser’s counterpart in this assortment, another formulaic lower tier character release who’s actually a pretty solid toy. The difference between the two is that Nighthawk is actually a character/design I wanted, so he resonates just a little bit better with me.
Nighthawk came from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.