MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“From the darkness, the vampire Morlun hunts Spider-Man in an effort to slay the superhero and feed on his powers.”
In the early ’00s, writer J. Michael Straczynski took over as the main writer for the Spider-Man books, and decided to add his own lasting impact to the mythos with…well, let’s just call them some questionable ideas. Everyone remembers the messes that are “Sins Past” and “One More Day,” two stories that Marvel’s been trying to shake for a while now, but one that gets overshadowed by those two a lot is “The Other,” a story that reveals that Peter getting bitten by the spider was no accident. No, apparently the spider did it on purpose to pass its powers onto Peter and turn him into a Totem, a bridge between animal and man. It only gets weirder from there, honestly. The central villain to this very odd story is Morlun, a rather generic vampire guy, who’s a generic vampire and also…I mean that’s really it, I guess. Maybe Straczynski forgot that Peter already had a vampire-themed adversary? When Dan Slott took over the book years later, he decided that rather than just ignore all of this stuff, he’d try to make it actually a little more worthwhile, and made Morlun part of a whole family of multi-universal hunters called the Inheritors, who are all far more interesting than he is. It makes him suck less on the whole, but it also makes me like him less by comparison, so it’s certainly a catch-22. Now he’s got a figure, so there’s that. Guess I’ll get that reviewed.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Morlun is figure 5 in the Armadillo Series of Marvel Legends. He’s the first of the two comic-based figures in the assortment, and also marks Morlun’s first time in figure form. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Morlun is built from a mix of a few different parts, as well as a few new parts mixed in. He’s got the arms from the male Hellfire Club members, as well as the core and legs of the larger suited body, mixed with a new head, hands, and jacket/torso cover. It does a perfectly fine job of capturing the character’s, admittedly, rather generic design from the books. The parts mesh well together, and they do at least give it there all on the detailing. He’s even got the little life-force suckers on his hands, which is kinda cool. The standard head has a toothy grin that’s fairly appropriate to the character’s depictions over the years, so that’s a cool touch too. Morlun’s paint work is decent enough. Certainly not crazy-eye-catching or anything, but it does what it needs to, and the application is generally pretty clean and sharp. Morlun is packed with an alternate head, this time with his lips pulled back to reveal more of his upper teeth. This is…imposing? Or maybe it’s supposed to be? It’s a near miss, I think. It kind of just looks like he’s got indigestion. Maybe something he ate is disagreeing with him? Morlun is also packed with the right arm of Armadillo.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
In case you hadn’t picked up, I don’t really care for Morlun. My first exposure to him was an off-hand mention in the bio of a Minimate, since I wasn’t a regular Spider-Man reader until well after he appeared, and I remember looking him up, only to discover how bland, disappointing, and out of place he was. I didn’t hate what Slott did with the Inheritors, but Morlun himself has never stuck with me. I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down about his inclusion here, nor does the figure do much to sway me on the character. It could be worse, though, and at least this one means we might see the other Inheritors down the line.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.