MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“A chance encounter with a demon gives petty thief Parker Robbins a mystical cloak and transforms him into a true criminal menace.”
Hey, remember how I don’t like Bendis? I’m pretty sure it’s come up a few times. If ever you wonder to yourself why I hate his writing, you know, beyond the whole “he’s not terribly good at it” bit, I’d point to his tendency to take a more minor character, completely re-work them with no regard to prior stories, and then try to shove that regurgitated broken version of the character down everyone’s throats for way longer than anyone’s comfortable with. One such character was The Hood, created by Brian K Vaughn, Kyle Holtz, and Eric Powell. He began as a self-contained, very much supernatural type character, but Bendis decided to grab him, change him to make him generally less interesting, and generally more present, shoving him into just about every crossover for like 5 years, and building him up as this ultimate badass that was so ultimate and badass, because he totally said so you guys. He’s like frickin’ Poochie, but with a hood. Well, now he’s got a figure. Yay.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Hood is figure 2 in the Xemnu Series of Marvel Legends. In a series of otherwise classically-inspired villain choices, he’s kind of out of place, being from the 00s, and also not being all that noteworthy anymore. He’s certainly the most oddball choice in the line-up, but not in a fun way, like Frog-Man or something. In a bland way…like The Hood. Sorry, I don’t have any other examples there. I try to think of someone else that disappoints me, and I just keep thinking about The Hood. There is no escaping it. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. From the neck down, he’s the same as last year’s Stan Lee figure, which I guess is okay, since it’s just a normal dude in a wind breaker and slacks. Not very imposing, but why start now with The Hood, right? He gets a new head, as well as the eponymous hooded cloak. The head is…well, it’s very angry, I guess. He’s very rage-y. Combined with his rather average attire and build, a number of people have brought up that he looks a bit like a fanboy throwing a temper tantrum. It’s again not the most imposing thing, but there it is. Not sure why this was the expression they went for on The Hood, but if nothing else it’s different. And also very comical. So, good on them for that, I suppose. The hooded cloak is a nice enough looking piece on its own, but that ends when you place it on the figure. Since it’s all one piece, it really just sort of sits there, and it’s actually a bit too long for this figure, so it winds up sitting up too high, which looks really goofy. Given recent trends toward hooded characters with capes, I’m not sure why they went for this set up over the hood and cape being separate pieces. Yes, that would more than likely mean permanently affixing the hood to his head, but it’s not like there’s a lot of call for having Robbins without the hood. It’s really the only thing that makes him remotely distinctive, you know? And he definitely would have benefited from the two-part construction. Oh well. His color scheme is surprisingly bright and colorful for the character. I’m not entirely sure why, but it doesn’t look terrible, I suppose. He’s at least a little less drab this way. Not much in the way of actual paint, but what’s there is reasonable enough. The Hood is packed with a pair of pistols, plus some somewhat unfortunately shaped effects pieces for them, and the right leg of Xemnu. Definitely light compared to the prior two figures in the set, especially given how little new tooling there is here.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My first introduction to The Hood was rather unfortunately during Bendis’s time with him, which was also when Bendis was essentially running the Marvel Universe. It also coincides with me almost entirely quitting reading Marvel, because it was so abysmal. So, I don’t have the most pleasant associations with the character. As such, I wasn’t thrilled by his presence in this line-up, but I was willing to go along. Hasbro’s given good figures to characters I’ve been iffy on before. That said, my expectations were low. And even based on those low expectations, the figure still wound up being quite a letdown. That’s a shame. The figure’s not without value, but it’s all chopped up, and not about the actual figure they’re selling here, which is too bad. I foresee this guy sticking around for a good while, but maybe I’m wrong.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review. If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.