MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“A product of the Red Room’s ruthless training program, Yelena Belova is a fiery assassin.”
Though initially a name purely associated with Natasha Romanov, in 1999 it was revealed that “Black Widow” was actually a title used by Russia’s top assassin, who, following Natasha’s defection to the US, was Yelena Belova. Yelena made her debut as an antagonist to Natasha, and has gone back and forth over the years. For her MCU debut, she appears to be coming in on more friendly terms. Of course, we won’t really know for sure until October now, so I guess we’ll just have to wait on that. Well, might as well review the figure, I guess.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Yelena Belova is figure 2 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends, and the second of the MCU-based figures from the set. It’s also our first Legends Yelena under Hasbro’s tenure, though we did get one previously waaaaay back in the Toy Biz days. To say there have been advances since then is a bit of an understatement. Yelena is sporting what appears to be her primary design from the film, an all-white suit similar to the one we’ve seen Natasha in, topped by a vest that looks suspiciously like the one Natasha had during Infinity War. The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation. The height seems a bit much, because while Florence Pugh is taller than Scarlet Johannsen, it’s only by an inch, and given that this figure has flats, while Natasha is wearing heels, the height difference shouldn’t quite work out the way it does. In terms of articulation, she tries out a slightly different articulation scheme, at least for the neck, which is a little more similar to how Black Series has been doing it recently. I didn’t find the joint on mine to be quite as useful, however, and the neck ends up looking a bit longer than it should because of it. Points for effort, though. The sculpt on Yelena is a pretty solid one. The likeness is respectably close to Pugh; perhaps a little thinner than in real life, but not by much. The body sculpt is fairly realistically proportioned. Interestingly, they’ve opted to sculpt the vest right onto the torso, instead of a removable one like on IW Widow, but I think the end result looks a little bit better. Her paintwork is all pretty respectable. She’s got the face printing, which looks better here than on Natasha. The inclusion of the vest also helps break up her coloring a bit better than the all-white Natasha, making for a slightly more aesthetically pleasing figure to my eyes. Yelena is packed with two sets of hands (fists and gripping), plus two more Markovs (though only one can be holstered this time; the other side has permanently sheathed knives instead), and the torso and shoulder pads to Crimson Dynamo.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Classically, I’ve never had much attachment to Yelena as a character, so I didn’t really have much of an opinion about her introduction to the films (I was honestly fine with IW Widow serving as a nod and leaving it at that), but I did like the look of the figure. In-hand, she’s quite nice, and a good match for Natasha.