JEAN GREY, CYCLOPS, & WOLVERINE
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
Love triangles are far from uncommon in serialized fiction, with a good deal of narratives being built around at least one. The X-Men have been host to a fair number of them, but I don’t think any of them will ever beat out the Jean Grey/Cyclops/Wolverine triad…which is kind of amusing, because it was originally only a minor plot line, mostly meant as a way to give Logan a little character development, while also strengthening Scott and Jean’s relationship and solidifying them as the definitive couple. Then Wolverine’s popularity went through the roof, Jean died and came back a few times, and Scott became the X-writers’ favorite punching bag, and now they’ve got some sort of vague polyamorous relationship going on? Listen, the X-books are being written by Hickman, and he hasn’t deigned that they make any sort of sense yet, so we’ll all just have to sit back and wait for him to tell us whether or not we understand anything that’s going on, alright? While we’re waiting for that, let’s flash back to the ’90s, when things were simpler, and we just had your basic love triangle between a newly married couple and their surly 100-year-old friend. The basics!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Wolverine were released late last year as a Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends three-pack. Like the Havok and Polaris pack, they are loosely built into the “80 Years of Marvel” celebration, and also like that pack, the box is all themed around the trading cards of the ’90s. It’s a cool design, but as with most of my figures, these things could ship in plastic baggies for all I care–actually no, I do care! Paper bags! Let’s be a little more environmentally conscious! Until then, I guess a throwback to the ’90s trading cards is alright. What was I doing? Grand standing? No, wait–action figure review! Yeah, let’s go with that!
After being Marvel Girl, then Phoenix, then Dark Phoenix, then dead, then not dead anymore, Jean decided to ditch the whole supramyn concept and go with her regular-ass name. Seems fair, honestly. It does make marketing her a little tricky, though, since everyone else is using these really sweet code names and she’s just regular-old “Jean.” Whatever the case this particular regular old Jean is an important one, because she finally completes the core ’90s X-Men line-up (though we still need a proper Colossus)…well, for most fans, anyway. Some people were fortunate enough to have found the Rocket Raccoon Series Jean, which had this same costume, but to call that release “hard to find” would be something of an understatement. Plus, that was just before Legends really got the formula down, so an update is not unprecedented. So, here Jean is in all her head-band-wearing, Jim Lee-designed-glory. The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation. She’s built on a variant of the same body that Phoenix was built on, but with a new upper torso and thighs. She also re-uses the bracers and belt from the previous ’90s Jean, which seems pretty sensible. She does not re-use the head from that figure, instead getting not one, but two new ones. She gets one that’s a direct recreation of the last one, being the more comics-accurate hairdo (seen with Wilson on the right there), but also gets an X-Men: The Animated Series accurate head with her slightly tweaked headgear from the show. That’s actually a first for toys, and I’m genuinely thrilled that I can now have a cartoon accurate roster. Jean’s paintwork is mostly pretty basic, though I will say that there’s a little bit of slop on the blue portions of the costume on mine, and I had to check a few samples to get the best one. Hasbro was definitely having a more lax QC day on this figure. Jean doesn’t get any accessories beyond the extra head…well, I mean, unless you want to count the next two figures, which would be somewhat valid.
Cyclops has already gotten his modern-Legends-take-on-the-’90s-design due, with a pretty darn cool figure, I might add. However, in a similar fashion to the Jean situation above, said figure was never amazingly easy to find, and he’s kind of an essential piece to a ’90s X-Men set-up. However, Hasbro didn’t want to just do a straight re-issue, so they’ve given us a figure that works to fill in the roster for fans that missed the first figure, while still having something to offer for fans who already have him. What’d they do to change things up: bomber jacket. Yeah, Scott was prone to wearing a jacket over his costume in the ’90s (especially on the cartoon), so that’s what this guy replicates. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. He uses the same starting point as his predecessor, the Bucky Cap body, and also gets the same head and collection of straps as the previous, minus the wrist straps. He then gets the jacket from Old Man Logan and the arms from Punisher. The jacket works better with the straps than I’d expected it to, and while I’m still not sure it’s 100% perfect, it’s decent. I do wish the arms had a better range of motion, but that’s really the only thing. The other thing that this guy changes up quite a bit is the paint. While the last one went more for the Capcom colors for the costume, this one leans more heavily on those animated colors, so there’s a darker blue and a brighter yellow. I wasn’t sure about the change at first, but I kinda like it in person. The only downside is that now I want an un-jacketed version to match this and a jacketed one to match the prior. Oh darn. Cyclops is packed with two extra heads, one depicting his ’90s sunglasses, and the second his ’70s/’80s, allowing for some nice options on the civilian front. He also includes a second left hand in a standard fist, for those that don’t like the optic blast hand.
Did you know that Wolverines have an average lifespan between 7 and 12 years in the wild? That’s your fun FiQ fact for this tiger-stripe Wolverine review! Wolverine is *definitely* no stranger to the toy world, the Legends world, or even the modern-Legends-take-on-the-’90s-design world. We got his brown costume twice, and so now I guess it was time to even things out with the tiger-stripe design, especially since, even at two-to-a-case, the last release had really disappeared. This one acts as something of a smaller-scale companion to the 12-inch Legends Wolverine. I loved the heck out of that figure, so the prospects of it translating to the smaller line were definitely a plus for me. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. Structurally, he’s the same as the Apocalypse Series Wolverine, which makes sense, that being a very ’90s Wolverine and all. It’s also just a really solid sculpt, and Hasbro can hardly be faulted for getting a little more mileage out of it. The paint work changes up in a fashion quite similar to how it worked on Cyclops. In fact, the shades of yellow and blue appear to be identical. I don’t like the dark blue quite as much, but the yellow’s not bad. Wolverine gets the best accessory selection of the set, with two extra heads, a pulled down mask, and an alternate set of hands with bone claws. The two extra heads replicate the ones included with the larger figure, so there’s an unmasked head and an angry battle-damaged head. I really like that battle-damaged head, and I’m glad we got it at the smaller scale.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was fortunate enough to get both Wolverine and Cyclops’ original releases at retail pricing, but Jean pre-dates me getting back into Legends collecting, and honestly I probably wouldn’t have found one anyway. As I got more and more of the ’90s team, the lack of a Jean was more and more of an issue. I was hoping for at least a re-issue, but when Hasbro announced an all-new figure, I was definitely happy, even more so when I saw that animated head. I know a lot of people weren’t thrilled about the prospect of having to re-buy the other two, but I don’t mind so much, and find that both figures have something to offer even if you’ve got those previous releases. All in all, this is a great set and I’m glad we got it. Now I can finally stop using Phoenix in my X-Men display!