MARIA HILL & CHITAURI FOOT SOLDIER
“And that, kids, is how I met your Aunt Robin”
Wait, are the How I Met Your Mother jokes not in vogue anymore? My apologies, my calendar’s still back in 2012! Well, I certainly can’t wait for this up and coming Avengers movie! Maria Hill’s sure to steal the show.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Maria Hill and the Chitauri Foot Soldier were released in Series 45 of Marvel Minimates, which was a whole assortment dedicated to the Avengers movie. This was the “variant” set for the specialty line-up, packed at one per case. Despite being the variant, the set isn’t denoted as such, likely due to a general confusion about which set was going to be the variant until the last minute. It was one of the two sets exclusive to the specialty line-up.
Compared to the rest of the characters in The Avengers, Maria is a rather recent addition to the mythos, first appearing during Bendis’ New Avengers run. She’s had rather heightened visibility since very early on in her career, so her inclusion as a part of SHIELD in the movie was fairly natural. The figure is built on the basic post-C3 Minimate body, so she stands 2 1/4 inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation. Maria makes use of three add-on pieces, for her hair, belt, and holster. All three were new pieces to this figure, well-sculpted to match her appearance from the film. The holster would see immediate re-use on the TRU-exclusive Nick Fury and Black Widow, and has subsequently seen reuse on a large number of figures later in the line. It’s a very versatile piece, and certainly an improvement over the much bulkier pieces we saw on prior figures. The paint work on Maria is a little simpler than some of the other figures from this same assortment. It’s in line with her more basic design, though. Her face sports a respectable likeness of Cobie Smulders, at least for the style. I also quite like the detailing on her SHIELD logos and on the tops of her boots. Maria is packed with a pistol (re-used from Blackhawk) and a clear display stand.
CHITAURI FOOT SOLDIER
There was much mystery surrounding the Chitauri prior to the film’s release. All initial solicitations simply listed the figures as “REDACTED,” which led to all sorts of rampant speculation, and spoiler-filled theories. In the end, they were just the Chitauri, an Ultimate-universe-knockoff of the Skrulls, chosen because the Skrulls were caught up in all sorts of legal troubles. Ironically, here in 2021, we’re three years past seeing the MCU-debut of the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, and looking towards seeing them show up in their own story for Secret Invasion. This standard Chitauri Foot Soldier was constructed using five add-on pieces. The helmet and torso cap were both new to this figure, and have since then remained unique to him as well. By virtue of the smaller window of lead time necessary for Minimates, these pieces end up being perhaps the most accurate versions of the Chitauri design available. They’re perhaps a little restricting to movement, but otherwise pretty good additions. He also makes use of the torso extender piece, as well as the dreaded “duck feet.” The feet, admittedly, look a little better on an inhuman design such as this. That being said, it’s a shame we couldn’t get a set of more movie accurate feet, and even perhaps a unique set of hands as well. The Foot Soldier’s paintwork is a decent offering. Not as detail oriented or precise as most Minimate offerings, but fairly clean and colorful, and definitely a good match for the movie’s design. This guy was packed with a long blaster rifle. It’s not the arm-mounted piece that we saw most of them carrying in the film (a variation of that was included with the General), but it’s accurate, and well sculpted. Oddly, there was only one display stand in this pack, so Hill and the Footsoldier will forever be made to fight for it.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked this set up when it was new, from my local comic book store Cosmic Comix, in eager anticipation of the movie’s release. Though perhaps not this assortments most colorful or exciting release, Maria was a new character release at the time, and is a solid “civilian” addition to the line-up. I didn’t think much of the Foot Soldier, or the Chitauri in general, at the time of its release. However, this is a pretty solid offering, and it holds up decently 9 years later.