#1748: Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Apocalypse is the evil mutant who has used his sinister genius and mutant ability to turn himself into a merciless one man army! Apocalypse is incredibly strong, able to change his size at will, and has created for himself a weapon system designed to destroy the X-Men. Apocalypse is the most frightening evil mutant on Earth when he turns himself into a giant, puts on this deadly arsenal and attacks!”

Following Magneto’s turn to the side of good in the ’80s, the X-Men spent quite a bit of time in search of a new over-arching big bad.  They found a number of potential offerings, none of whom quite hit that same spot, but perhaps the most successful of them was En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse.  He was a consistent foe in the back half of the ’80s, up into the ’90s, so his place early into Toy Biz’s run was certainly sensible.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Apocalypse was one of the three villains released alongside our heroes in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He served as a rather sensible counterpart to the same series’ Archangel figure.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he had 11 points of articulation (though two of those points can be somewhat debated, since they’re tied into his “action-feature”).  Apocalypse’s sculpt, like many others in this assortment, is definitely showing its age.  What’s interesting is that it’s due to slightly different factors than some of the others.  It’s not that he doesn’t quite live up to his comics appearance the way Archangel or Storm or Cyclops do, it’s actually that he’s too faithful to an Apocalypse design that itself has fallen out of fashion.  He depicts Apocalypse as he is seen in his earlier X-Factor appearances, when he was still rather lean, and still rather square and stiff.  It’s a very different take on the character, and his beefier revamp design from just a few years later would end up being the prevailing design and informing how the character was depicted for the three decades since his creation.  As such, this guy definitely looks out of place amongst the others, but paired with the Cyclops and Archangel from this assortment, he starts to fit in a bit better.  Ultimately, the actual sculpt is one of the more competent one from this first set.  I think I’d place him in the number three slot, after Nightcrawler and Magneto.  His proportions are certainly believable for this incarnation of the character, and his construction is quite sturdy.  Apocalypse’s paintwork is fairly standard stuff.  It’s rather limited, and the application is messy in some spots, especially the belt.   Apocalypse included a staff, which is supposed to have a “gem” at the top of it.  Mine’s gone missing, so my Apocalypse just looks like he’s holding a broken ball-point pen.  He also has an “Extending Body” feature, where his torso and legs extend outward, in sort of a stretching sort of fashion.  It’s rather goofy, and not really worth much extra, but it’s not like it impedes the figure overall.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not 100% sure how I got Apocalypse.  He was an earlier addition to the collection, I know that much, most likely gotten during my parents early efforts to expand my collection.  I was watching the cartoon by that point, so I knew the character.  Regardless of how I got the figure, he’s stuck with me for quite some time, despite my not being super into Apocalypse.  As I noted in the review, he’s a somewhat dated figure, based on an out-dated design, but he’s actually one of the stronger figures in the first assortment, and he depicts a version of the character we don’t often see.

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#1069: Future Apocalypse

FUTURE APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

futureapocalypse1

The X-Men were kinda big in the ‘90s.  Not sure if you guys knew that.  They were big enough to serve as a pretty good kick-off for the still fairly new to the market Toy Biz, who made quite an empire out of those merry mutants.  Early on, the figures were pretty straight-forward translations of the comics designs (with one or two Animated designs, such as Morph, thrown in for good measure), but as the decade progressed, they started running out of characters to scrape from the bottom of the X-Men barrel, and headed towards some slightly more gimmicky concepts, which allowed them to rehash some of the previously released characters in different and exciting ways.  One such gimmick was “Missile Flyers,” a series of four wing-ed variants released in 1997.  Today, I’ll be looking at Apocalypse from that series!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

futureapocalypse2As noted in the intro, Apocalypse (or “Future Apocalypse” as the box refers to him) is one of the four figures in the “Missile Flyers” series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  The figure is about 7 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  His design is a bit removed from the usual Apocalypse look.  He’s far more exaggerated and mechanized than usual.  I think it’s still a comic-based design, but I honestly don’t know exactly where it hails from.  It’s certainly an interesting look for him, though it does make him look more like a Spawn villain than an X-Men character.  It’s probably all that crazy exaggeration on the proportions.  The actual quality of the sculpt is pretty top notch.  There’s a lot of great detail work throughout, especially on the mechanics of the neck.  That looks pretty darn cool!  He does have a little trouble standing, mostly due to the sheer size of his upper arms, but you can get him to remain fairly sturdy with some careful posing.  While most of the Missile Flyers figures had separate, removable pieces for their missile-firing wings that earned them their name,  Apocalypse actually had his wings worked into the main figure.  Each of the wings is on a rotating hinge, allowing them to either be deployed over his shoulders or brought down over his front to form a sort of a robe type thing.  The two halves even form a cool A symbol, like Apocalypse is prone to sport, which  is a cool touch.  The paintwork on Apocalypse is decent enough.  It’s a lot of blues, greys, and silvers, which is right for the character.  My figure’s a little worse for wear, but still pretty good.  He’s not the most colorful figure ever, but it works for him (and was a good contrast to the other figures in the set).  Apocalypse was packed with a large missile, which can be fired from the hole in the middle of his torso (that’s gotta hurt!).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Apocalypse isn’t one of my actual ‘90s purchases.  As a matter of fact, I never got any of the Missile Flyers when they were initially released, despite quite liking them.  I ultimately ended up finding Future Apocalypse at a Goodwill this past Father’s Day (along with the bunch of Masters of the Universe figures I reviewed about a month or two back).  I’ve never been the biggest Apocalypse fan, but I like him well enough that I was urged to pick up this figure, and I have to say, he’s actually pretty cool!

#0703: Death Archangel, Apocalypse, & Archangel

DEATH ARCHANGEL, APOCALYPSE, & ARCHANGEL

MARVEL MINIMATES

Archangel&Apocalypse1

Jeez, didn’t I just review a set of Minimates a few days ago? Is it already time for another one? <looks at randomized list from which I may not break> Yep, guess I’m reviewing Minimates again. Worse things have happened. Next year will see the release of the next installment in the X-Men movie franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse, which will feature, you guessed it, X-Men villain Apocalypse. It’s also set to feature Warren Worthington III as Archangel. And, would you look at that, they’re both in today’s review. How about that?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This trio was released in the 19th Series of Marvel Minimates, way back in 2008. Death Archangel and Apocalypse were the standard, heavier packed set, and Archangel was the one-per case variant, also packed with Apocalypse.

DEATH ARCHANGEL

Archangel&Apocalypse2Following losing his natural, feather-y wings in a battle, Warren got a replacement pair of metal wings, courtesy of Apocalypse. Of course, he didn’t read the fine print and ended up becoming one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen, Death. And he got saddled with a hideous costume to boot. Rotten luck, right? This figure depicts him in said look, which was Warren’s primary look for a few years. He stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has a whole 16 points of articulation, thanks to the wings. The figure is constructed on the basic Minimate body, with add-on pieces for his wristbands, and, of course, his wings. The wing harness is the same piece we saw on the Avengers #1 Wasp ‘mate, though they did actually show up here first. The wings themselves are all-new pieces, shared between the two Archangels (and a third that came a few years later). They’re bigger than the figure himself, and give him quite an impressive presence on the shelf. They’re also quite accurate to the source material and sport some very nice, clean detail work. They do have an unfortunate habit of getting a bit warped over time, but they regain their shape pretty easily. A lot of Archangel’s design is dependent on paint, which is quite nicely handled, even if it is a hideous costume. The pink lines are nice and sharp, and I quite like his stern expression. It’s very in-character. The only drawback is the faint gold lines on his face, which are transfer lines from his death mask, which happens to be his one accessory. It’s an okay sculpt, but the paint really hasn’t stood the test of time.

APOCALYPSE

Archangel&Apocalypse4So, uh, this is the guy that turned Warren into Archangel. And gave him that hideous costume. Also, he’s tied to Kang the Conqueror, a guy from the future, but the two met in the past, and then Apocalypse turned out to be immortal and may or may not have been from the future, some of the time. It’s a little confusing, and, if I’m totally honest, I don’t care enough about the guy to sort it all out. Apocalypse is presented here in his original look, which has been his main design on and off for quite some time. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall (thanks to some added height from the boots) and he has 12 points of articulation (also thanks to the boots). The movement is rather limited on this guy, due to the various sculpted parts interfering. The worst offenders are the tubes connecting his arms to his torso, which are just solid plastic, rather than something more flexible. Apocalypse has six sculpted add-ons, for his chest piece, gloves, belt, and boots. The pieces are all pretty well sculpted, with plenty of great detail work. It’s worth noting that this guy predates the move to bulk up larger characters, but he’s actually not too badly held back by it. Apocalypse does a bit of size-changing anyway. The paint on this figure is pretty decent. The leg muscles are somewhat ridiculously defined, but it works for the character. The head exhibits some excellent work, with tons of great detail. Apocalypse included no accessories.

ARCHANGEL

Archangel&Apocalypse3After getting past that whole being a henchman to ultimate evil bit, Archangel was still stuck with the blue skin and the metal wings. However, he had a choice in the whole costume manner, so he moved to get rid of that hideous thing that Apocalypse stuck him in. Truly a sign that he had returned to good. So, he started wearing a variant of one of his older costumes, which is what this figure is wearing. Structurally, he’s not far off from the Death Archangel. The wings and harness are the same setup, and they’re just as cool here as they were on the other figure. He ditches the wristbands and gains a hairpiece, which was all-new to this figure. It’s a pretty good piece, which does a decent enough job of capturing Warren’s hair of the mid-90s. The rest of Archangel’s detailing is done via paint. It’s, admittedly, not as good as the other two. The blue doesn’t continue onto the harness, which is quite distracting. Also, he’s got some serious muscle detailing on his torso, but nowhere else. To top it off, the face is oddly angled and set too high, which just makes it look really odd. Archangel included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Death Archangel and Apocalypse on their day of release, courtesy of my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. I ended up picking up Archangel from a vendor at Comic Con a few years later, and gave the spare Apocalypse to my younger brother. These guys are a little dated (mostly just the basic Archangel), but they’re still pretty good, and they mark one of the earliest instances of what most would consider “modern” Minimates.