#1291: Marvel’s Angela

MARVEL’S ANGELA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A master of hand-to-hand combat, Angela is known throughout the galaxy for her battle prowess.”

On the next installment of figures of characters Ethan knows next to nothing about…

Back in the early ‘90s, a group of poplar comic book artists, headed by Todd McFarlane, left Marvel Comics over issues of creative control and maintaining the rights to the characters they created.  They founded Image Comics.  Each artist was given their own free reign to do as they liked with the characters they created, and would each maintain the rights to their own creations.  What does this all have to do with Angela?  Well, Angela was born out of Todd McFarlane’s series Spawn.  Todd started delegating the creation of the actual comic pretty quickly, passing the reigns to a number of writers.  Among them was one Neil Gaiman, who wrote Spawn #9, which introduced the character of Angela, a co-creation of Gaiman and McFarlane (who was still handling the art duties).  Gaiman was initially told he would retain creator rights for Angela (as well as the other two characters created for the issue), but McFarlane later tried to back out, claiming Angela was the result of a “work for hire” contract (a tactic virtually identical to that used by Marvel to deny McFarlane rights to characters he’d created. Way to go, Todd).  Gaiman took the case to court, and was eventually granted full ownership of Angela, whom he promptly sold to Marvel.  Marvel integrated her into the main universe as a side-effect of Age of Ultron’s mucking with the timeline.  Now she’s apparently the sister of Thor and has also joined up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Yay?  Anyway, she got a Marvel Legend, so here it is.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Angela is figure 4 in the Titus Series of Marvel Legends and is the final single figure in the set to be reviewed on the site.  She’s another figure with the “Marvel’s” bit in front of her name, but this is one time I think it’s totally justified.  They paid good money for her, might as well let people know.  She’s based on her Joe Quesada-designed look that she got when she was introduced at Marvel, which seems like a pretty sensible choice, especially since it’s the look she had with the Guardians, and she’s in a Guardians-themed series.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Angela is built on an all-new body.  I would imagine we’ll be seeing some of it again pretty soon, as it looks like the upcoming Lady Sif figure is built on the same base.  Beyond that, it’s not really going to be getting much use as a base body, since most of it’s got pretty character specific elements.  It’s a decent enough body.  The build isn’t too much on the impossible side, at least as far as comic book characters go.  She does seem rather leggy, but that’s not entirely off when you’re dealing with the Asgardians.  The character-specific elements are decent enough, though some of the armor (especially the shoulder pads and the one weird elbow thing) is rather restrictive of the articulation.  The head’s actually pretty nice; the face is fairly attractive and fits well with the other Asgardians in terms of basic features, while the hair has a nice, lively flow to it, which makes it look like she’s doing more than just standing there (but it also doesn’t go too overboard, a la the Ultimate Spider-Woman figure).  There are add-ons for the belt/loincloth and the…uhhh, scarf?  Straps?  Neck belt?  Leash?  I don’t know what that thing around her neck is, but it’s a separate piece.  It also kind of sits weird.  It’s not really the fault of the figure, but I’m not really a fan of the loincloth’s design.  Why is it only at the back?  Is it supposed to be some sort of butt cape?  I don’t know.  I really feel it would look much better if it were also present at the front.  As it is, she looks sort of half dressed.  I mean, I know she’s already somewhat on the scantily clad side of the spectrum, but that one bit just looks…unfinished.  It’s accurate to the comic and everything, so Hasbro’s not to blame, but it bugs me.  The piece also has some difficulty sitting properly, which seems to be a trend amongst her add-ons.  Angela’s paintwork is generally pretty solid, so that’s good.  The colors are all pretty vibrant, and all of the application is nice and clean.  There’s no real accent work to speak of, but it actually doesn’t seem that odd here.  Most of her artwork has her looking pretty clean, so this is consistent with that.  Angela is packed with a sword and a pair of axes.  The sword on mine is malformed into that weird wavy shape, but I actually kinda like it.  The axes are kind of goofy, but accurate to the comics, so that’s what that is.  She also includes the right leg of the Build-A-Figure Titus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I didn’t plan on getting Angela.  I don’t really have any attachment to Angela, like, at all.  Even less than Darkhawk, who I also wasn’t gonna get.  But I did get him.  Remember in Wednesday’s review, where I mentioned that whole barter system, doing IT work for action figures thing?  Well, while Super Awesome Girlfriend’s mom was in town a few weeks ago, we were all at a Books-A-Million, and SAGF’s mom was buying her some books.  Since I’d done quite a bit of IT work for her, she asked if I wanted another action figure.  This was one of two Marvel Legends in the store that I didn’t already own, and Titus was exactly one piece away from completion.  So, home with me she came.  She’s not a bad figure at all.  Were I a fan of the character, I’d probably be really happy with her.  As it is?  I’m still not totally sold on the design, and there are a handful of minor issues with the figure.  But, she’s overall pretty fun.  So, now I own *two* Angela figures.  Yippee.

#0130: Age of Ultron Minimates

CONQUEROR ULTRON, NICK FURY, IRON MAN, & ANGELA

MARVEL MINIMATES

 

I mentioned yesterday that I just got a new shipment of Minimates, so I’m gonna continue looking at those today.

I’ll be going back to old faithful, the Marvel line, this time looking at a boxset based on the recent Marvel crossover “Age of Ultron.”  I won’t go into my thoughts on “Age of Ultron” itself, because I’m trying not to go all nerd-rage-y too often.  Suffice to say, I did not care for it.  But, they made Minimates, and Minimates have the ability to make most things better, so I bought the set.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These guys were released late last year as a 4-pack centered around the aforementioned “Age of Ultron” story.  They’re all based on the looks of certain characters from the series.

CONQUEROR ULTRON

First up, it’s the title character, Ultron.  He’s not actually based on a look from the series itself, but rather from one of the variant covers to the series.  It’s a decent design, so I have no issues with them deciding to use it here.  Ultron is built on the basic body, but thanks to a new set of lower legs and a few other add-ons, he stands roughly 3 inches tall and features 24 points of articulation (The 6 arms really help him there).  Ultron has a buttload of sculpted pieces: head, upper arms, 3 different hand sculpts, torso, upper legs, and lower legs.  The upper arms and one of the sets of hands are shared with the Marvel Now! Iron Man that was released in the 16th Toys R Us wave, but everything is brand new to Ultron.  The amount of new pieces present is impressive.  I had assumed, due to the quantity of sculpted pieces, that Ultron would be a bit more lax on the painted details.  This is definitely not the case.  He’s got a detailed face, both on the Ultron head, and on the translucent red standard head underneath it.  Plus, he’s got full detailing on the torso under the sculpted piece, allowing you to display Ultron in a more classic two-armed state if you so desire.  Ultron’s only accessory is a display stand, which he can’t use due to the new foot sculpt.  I’m willing to be a bit forgiving on that front, given how many add-ons he features.

NICK FURY

Next, it’s Nick Fury, Agent of Shield.  What’s that you say?  He doesn’t look like Samuel L Jackson?  Yeah, this is classic Nick Fury, before the Ultimate Universe recast him in his more SLJ state.  Specifically, this is the look Fury was sporting during the crossover.  It looks to be a “business casual” style SHIELD uniform, with a polo shirt, combat boots and a tactical vest.  I still prefer the basic SHIELD uniform, but this doesn’t look to terrible, and I suppose it does add some variety to the SHIELD line-up.  Fury is built on the usual Minimate body, so he’s got the standard 14 points of articulation, and he stands around 2 ½ inches tall.  Fury features 6 sculpted pieces: hair, vest, gloves, belt, and a holster.  The hair and holster are definitely reused, with the hair hailing from the Tomb Raider line, and the holster first appearing on the Avengers Movie Maria Hill, Fury and Widow figures.  The belt and gloves might be reused, but I can’t say for sure.  The vest is a brand new piece, and it looks really cool, and has the jetpack previously seen on Hope Summers and the Heavy SHIELD Agent attached to it.  Apparently, the jetpack was supposed to be a removable piece, but a mix up at the factory led to it being glued to the vest.  It’s too bad it can’t be removed, but it doesn’t ruin the figure.  The paint detailing is pretty good.  All of the detail lines are nice and sharp, though he does have a fair bit of noticeable slop, particularly around the sleeves and on the hands.  But, the logos all look great, and he even has a fully detailed shirt under the vest.  Fury includes a large gun, a hand gun, a blast base for his jetpack, and a clear display stand.

IRON MAN

Next up, it’s the biggest name in the set, Iron Man.  He’s shown here in his slimmed down armor from the series, which also bears a resemblance to the armor he was sporting towards the end of Matt Fraction’s run on Iron Man.  He’s built on the usual body, so he’s got all the typical stats.  Iron Man is the most basic of the set, with only a single sculpted piece: his helmet.  I think the helmet is a reuse from the Marvel Now Iron Man from TRU wave 16.  Since he’s only got one sculpted piece, the figure mostly relies on paint.  Fortunately, the figure delivers on this front.  All of the paint work is nice and sharp, with none of the slop that was seen on Fury.  Iron Man’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

ANGELA

Last, and very much least in my opinion, it’s Angela.  Angela!  The big, highly kept secret from the end of the series!  Oh boy, I’m so glad that was a thing.  Yeah, I have, like, no interest whatsoever in this character.  But, since she was packed in a set with other figures I wanted, I got her anyway.  So, she’s built on the basic Minimate body, with all the usual stuff.  She’s got 5 sculpted add-ons: hair, one shoulder pad (because kids dig asymmetry!), two separate hand sculpts, and a belt with a sheath.  Near as I can tell, all of these are new pieces.  From a purely technical standpoint, all of its well-handled, with some pretty decent detailing.  The paint on the figure is neither the best nor the worst in the set, which is fine.  Angela includes a newly sculpted sword, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this set in a recent order from my favorite place to get Minimates, Luke’s Toy Store!  I really only bought this set for the Ultron and the Nick Fury, and after having the set in hand, I pretty much still only got the set for those two.  Ultron is, without a doubt, the star of this set.  I’d be hard pressed to find something I don’t like about that figure.  Fury isn’t quite as good as Ultron, which is due mostly to the sloppy paint that plagues him.  Still, he’s a nice update on the classic Nick Fury, who’s been in dire need of an update for a while now.  Iron Man’s actually not too bad.  I enjoy him more than I thought I would, and he really is well put together.  But, at the end of the day, he’s just another Iron Man variant that is gonna get tossed in a box.  Angela is Angela.  This set has in no way swayed me on the character.  I’m happy for those who wanted her, I guess, but she’s just not for me.