#1543: Black Bolt

BLACK BOLT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Supercharged powers and a quasic-sonic scream let Black Bolt destroy enemies with a single utterance.”

You might think you’ve caught on to my little running theme the last three days, where I review Marvel Legends with the prefix “Black.”  You might think you’re clever, noticing this trend.  But you’re wrong.  Today’s figure doesn’t fit that trend, because the first half of his name isn’t actually “Black,” it’s “Blackagar.”  Because, as I’d like to remind you all, dear readers, Black Bolt’s real name is Blackagar Boltagon, the stupidest name in comics.  Nah, I’m just kidding! I totally picked Black Bolt to do the whole running theme thing.  But who can resist the chance to make fun of Black Bolt’s real name?  I certainly can’t.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Bolt is part of the latest series of Marvel Legends, which is themed around next month’s Black Panther movie.  Why is Black Bolt in a Black Panther-themed assortment?  Your guess is as good as mine.  They both certainly like the same predominant color on their costume.  They were also both part of Marvel’s Illuminati team at one point, but I don’t think there was ever any overlap between them.  But hey, if it gets me a new Black Bolt figure, I guess I won’t complain too much.  Black Bolt is one of three comics-themed figures in the assortment (all of whom have questionable ties to Panther at best).  Like the Panther figure I looked at earlier this week, a lot of this figure is just a slight re-working of a previous figure, specifically the Black Bolt from 2014’s SDCC-exclusive Thanos Imperative boxed set.  That set was pretty difficult to acquire outside of the con, and Blackagar here was probably the most sought after in the set (since Star-Lord got a pretty quick re-release), so the re-release is much appreciated.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like his predecessor, he’s built on the Bucky Cap body, which seems a reasonable enough choice for Mr. Boltagon.  His upper arms are the same pieces used on the last figure, which, admittedly, isn’t a huge point in this figure’s favor.  The wings are solid plastic, and jut straight out of the back of the biceps.  They’re sculpted to rest flush with the sides of the torso, but it only works in a very specific pose.  move the arms any other way, and the wings are just sticking straight out.  I would have liked to see this handled similarly to the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman, where there are two different sets of wings that can be swapped out.  As it is, they’re more than a little limiting.  This figure also gets the same head as the last one, which is a solid piece of work, and a good fit for the character.  However, Hasbro was also kind enough to throw in another head, this time depicting Black Bolt screaming and all powered-up.  There’s a lot of of fun expressiveness to this one, and I love the Kirby Krackle effect on his tuning fork.  In addition to the new head, the other change between the TI Black Bolt and this one is his paint.  It’s really just a minor shift, with a dark blue in place of the straight black, but I like it.  I do wish the silver detailing was a little cleaner, but it’s not awful.  Black Bolt is packed with the previously mentioned extra head, as well as the right leg of the Build-A-Figure, Okoye.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Black Bolt caught me by surprise.  Tim and I were out and about, and we stopped by Walgreens, mostly to see if I could find the new Legacy Gold Ranger.  I didn’t find him, but I did find the remnants of this assortment, which I didn’t even know was hitting yet.  I missed the TI set, so I was definitely getting this guy.  He’s got a few flaws, but I’m still happy with him overall.

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#1477: Black Bolt & Medusa

BLACK BOLT & MEDUSA

MARVEL MINIMATES

The Inhumans have come into a bit of notoriety recently, thanks at least in part to their currently running live-action mini-series on ABC.  It’s gotten mixed reviews, but I’ve been generally enjoying it.  The characters have been getting a push in most media for a little while now, including cartoons, such as Marvel’s Avengers Assemble.  Cartoon appearances in turn lead to Minimates, which the Inhumans really seem to have been left out of.  Today, I’ll be looking at the heads of the Inhuman Royal Family, Black Bolt and Medusa!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Black Bolt and Medusa were released in the sixth Walgreens-exclusive series of animated Marvel Minimates.  Both figures included are based on their appearance in Avengers Assemble, where they sport slightly tweaked designs from the usual comics garb.

BLACK BOLT

“Blackagar Boltagon is the King of the Inhumans, granted abilities by the Terrigen Mists.  Even the merest whisper from his lips is a highly destructive force.”

Blackagar.  Boltagon.  Man, is that a stupid name.  That’s a very high contender for stupidest name in comics, and there are a lot of stupid names in comics.  Blackagar Boltagon’s on a whole other level, though.  There’s dumb, and then there’s Blackagar Boltagon dumb.  Yikes.  This is ol’ Blackagar’s second time as a Minimate, though it’s his first in a good long while.  The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  Black Bolt is built on the standard ‘mate body, which unique upper arms, which add his little glider wings.  The pieces are decent, and they work well enough for what they are, but they do restrict movement of the arms a little bit.  Everything else on this guy is handled via paint, which is decent enough.  I do like the choice to go for the mask painted on the standard head, which I find looks a bit better than the sculpted piece from the last one.  That being said, I’m not a huge fan of his overall colorscheme; there’s a lot of grey, and not a lot of actual black.  I pretty much always prefer black areas of costumes to be done in actual black, with highlights, rather than lightening the whole scheme.  As it is, he looks a little washed out.  Black Bolt includes an extra head with a screaming expression, a sound wave effects piece, and a clear display stand.

MEDUSA

“The Queen of the Inhumans, Medusa was given long, prehensile hair, which can obey her commands and even carry her from place to place.”

This marks Medusa’s first time as a Minimate, which is a little bit surprising, since she’s usually one of the better known members, and certainly the one with the most appearances under her belt.  She uses the same basic construction as Black Bolt, but gets a new hair piece, recreating her prehensile mane in all it’s lengthy glory.  The piece is designed to hold her aloft, as she’s frequently depicted in the comics.  It’s a nice piece; obviously animated in style, but very cool.  The paint on Medusa’s pretty decent.  She’s more colorful than Black Bolt.  I miss her usual mask, but Medusa’s look has always been more subject to change than Black Bolt, so it seems less weird to get her in a non-classic design.  Her only accessory is a clear display stand, which feels a little light, but the hair piece sort of makes up for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been out of Minimates for a little while, but I stopped in Walgreens recently, and I saw this set sitting there, and I just had a hard time turning it down.  The Black Bolt isn’t quite as much of an improvement over the last version as I’d hoped, but I do prefer him slightly, and he’s certainly  a solid take on the character.  Medusa’s actually pretty fun, and it’s nice to have her at long last.  Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait quite as long to get the rest of the Royal Family.

#0013: Black Bolt

BLACK BOLT

FANTASTIC FOUR (TOYBIZ)

BlackBolt

Today’s figure is yet another figure from the 90s Fantastic Four toy line.  So far we’ve looked at Mr. Fantastic and his nemesis Dr. Doom, now we’re going to look at another corner of the FF Universe: The Inhumans!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The figure in question is Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans.  Black Bolt was released in the first wave of the Fantastic Four line.  He stands about 5 inches tall, and he has 9 points of articulation.  The figure’s sculpt is pretty decent, though his shoulders are a bit slender for a character like Black Bolt.  The facial expression is okay, but it might be a bit too sly for such a serious character.  Like Dr. Doom, Black Bolt has an action feature, and also like Doom, it’s a bit useless.  When you press the button on his belt, his arms spring up, extending his wings.  While I suppose it makes more sense than Dr. Doom’s, it still mucks up the figure’s articulation for a feature with fairly minor results.  Unlike Dr. Doom, I don’t feel Black Bolt’s action feature ruins the aesthetic of the figure, it just hiders his articulation slightly.  Also, while subsequent figures of this character depict him clad in black with silver highlights, this one went with a dark blue/light blue color scheme.  It actually looks fairly striking, but it is odd that a character named BLACK Bolt doesn’t have any black on him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By the time I started collecting, Black Bolt was pretty much gone from stores.  But I really wanted one, so my dad tracked one down for me on ebay.  It marks the first time I ever sat eagerly awaiting the end of an ebay auction, which was a thrilling experience!  I’ve gotten other Black Bolts since then, but this one is still my favorite by far.