MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Drafted as a Soviet operative on a nefarious mission, Laynia Petrovna eventually broke free from the system and began to use her super-secret skills to her own ends.”
Marvel’s Russian super-powered characters have gotten a little bit of focus recently, thanks in no small part to Black Widow’s recent turn in the spotlight. Not quite up to bat on that front, at least yet, however, is Laynia Petrovna, also known as Darkstar. Darkstar was a member of the Soviet Winter Guard, but after being sent to recover Natasha, she instead wound up defecting herself, joining up with Widow’s current super team, The Champions. The Champions wound up rather short-lived, and Darkstar wound up kind of in the background of the Marvel universe. Not the best spot for getting toys, but she’s finally crossed that line, and had her own official Marvel Legend.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Darkstar is figure 3 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends. The set is generally Iron Man-themed, which isn’t really that much of a fit for Darkstar, but I guess she’s not entirely out of place. I do think it’s a little amusing that, after Widow borrowed a few of Iron Man’s related characters for her assortment, Iron Man in turn has gotten a character that would make sense in a Widow assortment. Not that I’m complaining about any of it, mind you. Darkstar has had a few designs over the years, but this figure goes with her second one. It’s not her Champions one, so I’m predisposed to not like it, but it’s also the one that got used in X-Men: The Animated Series, so I’m also predisposed to like it. What a conundrum. In all honestly, it’s probably the cleanest and boldest of her designs, so I can get the choice. The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation. Darkstar is built on the Phoenix body, which is honestly a good match for how she’s usually depicted in terms of build. Her head is an all-new piece, and it does a pretty respectable job of capturing how she’s usually drawn in the comics, as well as differentiating the body from the rest of the characters built on it. I like the slightly different way that the hair hangs over her left shoulder; it’s a small touch, but it gives her a little extra character. In terms of color work, Darkstar is pretty straightforward. The black and yellow makes for a nice contrast, and she’s got quite a bold appearance to her. The application is all pretty clean, and in general she looks quite nice. Darkstar includes three sets of hands, in fists, gripping, and open gesture, as well as the torso to the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure. It’s a little odd that she doesn’t get any energy effects or anything, but I do like getting the full assortment of hands.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Darkstar is one of those characters I wasn’t sure I’d ever see in figure form, though admitedly, it seemed more and more promising as the line progressed. She’s a solid deep cut sort of character, and I’m always down for having more characters to fill in more of those slightly obscure teams. I suppose it might be too much to ask for her Champions costume, though? Yeah, probably. Well, this one is nice too.