#1849: Archangel

ARCHANGEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Forever racked with internal conflict and dark urges, Archangel nonetheless strives to be a hero, saving the world from grim forces of evil with the aid of his impressive metallic wings.”

Back when Hasbro was first dipping their toes in the “what if Marvel Legends didn’t have to suck?” pool, I will admit, I was somewhat skeptical.  I bought exactly one of the Return of Marvel Legends era figures new, because I was totally, seriously committed to keeping to the Marvel Universe scale, you guys!  Yeah… that worked out well for me.  Though it certainly reignited interest in the line with the fans, ROML was less of a smash success with retailers, in part due to late joiners like me.  That resulted in the last two assortments at retail, the Rocket Raccoon Series and the Hit Monkey Series, to be rather under-ordered, and by extension a little on the rare side, especially now that people are looking to go back and fill in the collection.  One of the most expensive figures from the Hit Monkey Series was fan-favorite Archangel, a pretty important piece of that Jim Lee X-Men line-up that Hasbro’s really been pushing.  Fortunately, for those of us that missed out on him, Hasbro just put out a fancy new reissue!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel is a standalone release, the first figure in Hasbro’s go at deluxe releases for the Marvel Legends line.  He was originally slated for a December release, but started showing up at various establishments a few weeks ago.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 40 points of articulation.  Like the prior release, this Archangel is built on the Bucky Cap body, with an additional plug-in piece for his wings.  The base body is a good fit for Warren, just like it was the first time, so no complaints there, and they’ve even swapped out the slightly mismatched boot feet from the original with the more aesthetically matched feet from Carnage.  The add-on wings are definitely an imposing and very impressive addition to the figure.  These are definitely a far-cry from the oddly-shaped, strangely bird-like thing we got on Toy Biz’s first 6-inch Warren.  The one real downside to them is that they do make the figure rather top-heavy, so he can be a little difficult to keep standing if you don’t get the wings and the legs positioned just right relative to each other.  Of course, this is something that’s kind of an issue with literally every Archangel figure (seriously, I had a hell of a time getting my old Toy Biz 5-inch figure to stand for this review’s comparison shot), so I’m willing to give Hasbro the slightest bit of a pass on this one.  Archangel also makes use of the same head as the last figure (and by extension, the X-Force Boxed set version), depicting his usual cowled look.  I’m not sure it’s aged terribly well; it’s definitely suffering from some primo Hasbro-scowl.  Fortunately, if you don’t like that head, there are three, count ‘em three, more to chose from.  The two fully unmasked heads, depicting both Warren’s more angelic and more demonic sides, are quite smartly re-used from last year’s Adam Warlock figure.  They’re surprisingly close matches for Warren’s unmasked appearances from the ‘90s (the angelic head especially), so that’s a good catch on Hasbro’s part.  And, if your problem with the standard head is that it doesn’t cover *enough* of his head, then Hasbro’s got you covered there, too!  A repainted Blizzard/Eel head serves to depict Warren’s Death-mask from his earliest appearances as Apocalypse’s horseman.  It’s not as ingenious a re-use as the other two, but it works better than I’d expected it to.  The original Archangel’s paintwork was heavier on the metallics, which made some of the details of his costume blend together a bit more than they should have.  This new figure goes for something more on par with the very first Toy Biz figure from back in the day, which is very ‘90s, and makes the details stand out from each other much better.  In addition to all those extra heads I mentioned up above, this Archangel also comes with an extra piece that’s not actually for him, but is instead for the recent Apocalypse Build-A-Figure.  Its a clamping hand, which swaps out for the standard right hand.  Its a pretty classic way of showing off his shape-shifting powers, and I definitely appreciate being given the extra option here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as I noted above, I totally missed out on the original release Archangel, and I wasn’t about to pay his usual going rate.  But, my X-Men display has been becoming more and more complete, so Warren’s absence was more and more noticeable.  This re-release was definitely something I was very excited for, and I’m very happy with how he turned out.  I love all of the new display options, and I’m quite happy to be able to recreate the old Archangel II figure from back in the day, since that’s long been my favorite look for the character. 

Like most of my recent Legends purchases, I got Archangel from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1734: Archangel

ARCHANGEL

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Archangel is the high-flying X-Man with a knock-out secret weapon– wingtip darts filled with paralyzing fluid! Archangel can fire these darts with uncanny accuracy from any height and speed. With his amazing metal wings, Archangel is able to fly faster than the speed of sound and silently attack like a striking eagle. This ability strikes terror in the hearts of evil mutants, for their first warning of Archangel’s attack is usually the impact of one of his darts!”

In the late ’80s/early ’90s, there was a trend in comics, of taking characters with formerly passive powers and either creating a new character with those powers plus an offensive component, or even just reforging the original into something more “kick-ass.”  Founding X-Men member Warren Worthington III, originally known as Angel, found himself on the receiving end of one of these make-overs, become the war-ready Archangel.  It was a lasting look, and one that was at the forefront when it came time for Warren’s first action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  His presence is somewhat interesting, as he’s the only X-Man in the line-up who wasn’t from the “All-New, All-Different” lineup.  Archangel was still wearing his hideous “Death” togs he got from Apocalypse at the time of this figure, so that’s what he’s wearing here.  Boy, was this costume ugly.  I mean, I love it, but it’s ugly.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation (his wings can also move, but it’s tied into his action feature, and they don’t really hold poses or anything).  His sculpt was unique to him.  It’s not terrible, but I do think he’s a fair bit more dated than some of the others in the set.  His head’s kind of large, and his facial expression is sort of goony. I think it’s the eyes; they seem too close together.  The body is rather stiffly posed, and his proportions are definitely a little off.  The arms are probably the worst part; they just look so scrawny when compared to the rest of him.  The wings are okay, though they suffer a bit from the comics’ lack of consistency on the exact shaping of them.  They’re also slightly marred by the “missile launching feature” at the tops.  I use the quotes because there’s no actual spring-loaded feature or anything; you just pushed them out with your thumb.  Kind of disappointing.  The torso is also impacted a bit by the wings.  Toy Biz wasn’t sure how to attach them, so they went for this this big honking block on his back.  Elegant it is not.  Archangel’s paintwork is decent enough; it’s a little brighter than a lot of interpretations of this costume tend to be, but it’s not like it was going to get *less* ugly.  There were two versions of this guy’s colorscheme; the original release had white wings, while the re-release offered both white and grey wings.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Archangel was one of my earlier additions to my collection.  Though the Invasion series had hit right when I started collecting (and given me my first three X-Men figures in the process), the Archangel variant included there wasn’t quite as plentiful, so I ended up getting this guy’s re-release instead.  He’s not aged particularly well, and I definitely prefer other Archangel’s, but he still has a quaint sort of a charm to him.

#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.