HELA & SKURGE
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
Thor: The Dark World‘s biggest flaw by far was its exceptionally weak villain, especially in comparison the the very charismatic villain of his first outing. For Thor’s third go at this movie-going thing, Marvel aimed to amend that issue. In tandem, they were also looking to address their lack of female villains up to that point. Enter Hela and her henchman Skurge, who proved to be a far more entertaining pair than the last movie’s walking nap and guy whose name is close enough to Skurge that I always confuse them.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Hela and Skurge are part of the MCU-based line-up of two packs for the “80 Years of Marvel” sub-line of Marvel Legends. This set more than the others really feels a lot like a leftover “Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years” set, with its one-new-one-retooled break-down. Given the lack of Ragnarok coverage in “The First Ten Years,” I wouldn’t be shocked to find out this was actually a displaced pairing.
“The ambitious Goddess of Death, Hela returns to Asgard to claim the throne after the death of her father, Odin. To further her dark goals, she raises an army of fallen Asgardian warriors to fight for her as her Berserkers.”
Unlike a lot of MCU villains, Hela actually did get a movie-based figure from Ragnarok‘s tie-in Legends assortment, and it was even a fairly accurate one. That said, anyone who wasn’t Thor or Loki from that line-up was actually pretty hard to find, so she’s been rather in-demand since. Additionally, Hela has quite a few variations to her look over the course of the movie, so another shot at getting a few more of those is certainly welcome. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation. She re-uses the body from the previous release, which seems fair enough. It’s fairly accurate to her appearance from the movie. She seems a little bit large if I’m honest, but the Thor figures are frequently a little over-scaled, and it’s not like Cate Blanchett is overly short or anything. The cape is also re-used, and I’m a bit less of a fan of this piece. It’s not badly sculpted, but it has a lot of trouble staying in place on her, which makes posing her while she’s wearing it quite tricky. The first Hela included two different head sculpts, but this one ups the ante with three of them, all distinct from the previous two. She comes wearing her “battle head” with the horns and all. It’s an impressively ornate piece, and I quite like the teeth-gritting expression. It’s outside of the realm of what we usually see on female figures, and works really nicely with this particular look. Hela also gets two heads without the headgear. The first has her disheveled appearance from her debut scene in the film, complete with messy hair and piercing stare. This one’s my favorite of the three, and a great piece for recreating that specific moment of the film. There’s also a slightly more cleaned up head, which isn’t quite as exciting, but is a solid piece in its own right. Hela’s paint work fixes a few issues with the prior release, namely a few inaccurate placements of color, as well as just making the whole thing look a little cleaner and brighter. I love the metallic green they’ve chosen, and this figure definitely highlights how quickly Hasbro’s improved on the face printing. In addition to the three heads, Hela also includes a spare hand holding Mjolnir (perfect for pairing with the first unhelmeted head) and the eternal flame (re-used from the Infinity War Scarlet Witch).
“An Asgardian warrior desperate to prove himself, Skurge’s survival instinct leads him to join Hela and become her Executioner. Skurge must wrestle with desire for self-preservation in the face of Hela’s violence against his home.”
In the comics, he’s a pretty straight-forward violence-loving brute, but for Ragnarok, Skurge took on a slightly different persona, slightly ineffective and a lot more cowardly. It was actually a pretty effective move (especially after Kurse pretty much occupied the character’s comic role in the prior film), and one very definitely helped by the character being played by Karl Urban, who can make pretty much anything work. I was quite bummed by his absence from the Legends line-up, so his inclusion here was certainly a plus. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. Skurge is sporting an all-new sculpt, which makes sense, because who exactly would he be sharing with. Stylisitically, he’s very similar to the movie-tie-in Ragnarok figures, with some slightly off proportions and a slightly more rudimentary construction in a few spots (which just further supports him being an older piece that was delayed). There’s still a lot of really strong work, though, especially on the various parts of the armor. The head’s also got a decent likeness of Urban, which is certainly a plus. His paint is on par with Hela. Again, the metallic colors used on the armor are really nice, and the face printing works well for the character. Skurge is packed with two sets of hands (in basic gripping and trigger fingers), his axe, and his twin M-16s “Des” and “Troy.”
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The initial Ragnarok hit when I was between jobs, so I was much more limited on what I could pick up from it, meaning I didn’t get that first Hela figure. I was holding out for a possible re-release, and this one was just the ticket, improving on a few of that figure’s flaws. I’m definitely glad I waited on her. Skurge was my most wanted figure that we didn’t get at the time, and I’m definitely glad that he found his way out. His figure’s not perfect, but there’s certainly a lot I like about him. Additionally, this is just a really solid pairing, and definitely feels like a really strong addition to the ever-growing Ragnarok line-up.