#1918: Havok

HAVOK

MARVEL UNIVERSE (HASBRO)

“Separated from his brother Scott — who would eventually grow into the mutant Cyclops — and cut off from his own powers by Mr. Sinister, Alex Summers grew up ignorant of his mutant heritage. As a result, he wasn’t trained in the use of his powers until late in life. He has since overcome that obstacle and turned into a powerful hero in his own right, leading a team of mutant adventurers into deep space against the insane despot Vulcan.”

For the seventeenth, and I do believe final, entry in this year’s roundup of post-Christmas reviews, I’m touching on one of the little quirks of my collecting habits: owning every figure of certain characters.  There are just some characters that really resonate with me, and are minor enough that owning all of their figures is actually a totally attainable thing*.  One of those characters is my favorite member of the X-Men, Alex Summers, also known as Havok!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Havok was released in Wave 8 of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line, which was the third assortment of the line’s second year.  He was numbered 018, following the relaunched numbering stucture of 2010, and was also one of the five Fan’s Choice figures released in the line that year.  There were two different versions of Havok to be had.  The regular release was his then-current costume, while the variant release, which I’m looking at here, was his classic gear.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation.  Havok made use of the body originally used for Black-Costumed Spidey, one of Hasbro’s favorite bodies from this line.  It was one of the better bodies from the line’s debut year, but it was still a little wonky.  It feels a bit like the antithesis of the body Moon Knight was on; this figure seems to have gained the segment of torso length that was missing from the former.  Also, the very skinny nature of this figure’s legs had a tendency to give him some stability issues.  A later variant of this body added swivel joints to his thighs to aid somewhat, but no such luck this early into the line.  Havok sports a brand new head sculpt, which is definitely the highlight of the figure.  Early MU sculpts weren’t the most detailed, but Havok’s actually looks pretty decent, and I certainly applaud their choice not to go with a screaming look, while still giving him that proper Alex Summers pout.  His distinctive headgear is actually a separate piece, and it’s not held in place by anything more than some rather shallow pegs, meaning it’s a little on the floppy side.  I found that a small touch of super glue was needed to keep the figure from being too frustrating.  I’m not entirely sure why it wasn’t just glued down in the first place, but there you have it.  Havok’s paintwork is rather on the simple side, but the application is all pretty clean, and his design looks just as striking as it should.  Havok was packed with an energy effect piece (borrowed from the prior year’s classic Iron Man), as well as a display stand with his name and number on it. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure is the last Havok figure I didn’t own, and he’s kind of been my white whale for a little while.  I mean, not in a crazy, ranting and raving, risk my life to get him sort of a way, but more a “always be the one that got away” sort of a way.  I grabbed the standard Havok when he was new, and I knew this guy was supposed to be showing up in revision cases, but I never once saw him.  Then the line was done, and he was going for some crazy high prices for a while, and I just sort of gave up and accepted my little Havok collection as incomplete.  Of course, my parents, who got me into this whole Havok-collecting thing in the first place, weren’t going to stand for any of that nonsense, and so this guy was among my presents this past Christmas.  Is he the greatest Havok figure ever? Nah, but I do sure like him a lot, and I’m happy to have the whole group together!

*To date, I’ve attained this with three characters of note.  Havok, of course, as this review indicates, as well as Wonder Man and Elongated Man.

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#1222: Havok & Storm

HAVOK & STORM

MARVEL MINIMATES

havokstormmm1

Hey, it’s been a month since I reviewed any Minimates.  That’s statistically too long a period given the make-up of my collection.  Guess I better review some more.  Today, I once again turn the Marvel license, looking at some comic-themed ‘mates (a bit of a rarity these days), based on more classic designs no-less!  So, let’s dive head-in and take a look at Havok and Storm!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Havok and Storm were released in the 14th series of TRU-exclusive Marvel Minimates.  This pair in particular was designed to complete the Outback X-Men line-up released in Series 47 of the main line, which hit right around the same time.  Why they chose to pack these two together is anyone’s guess, since it’s not like Havok and Storm have a lot of history, but I’m not really going to complain.

HAVOK

havokstormmm2This marked Havok’s third entry as a Minimate, and his second comic-based ‘mate.  He’s more or less wearing the same costume as his first comic ‘mate, though if you want to get *really* technical, that ‘mate was in his ‘60s costume and this one is in his ‘80s one.  Not a lot of differences, but they’re there.  Also, it had been almost a decade at this point since his first ‘mate’s release, which would have made completing the team a bit difficult for newer collectors.  The figure is built on the usual ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s got one add-on piece for his mask, which is a separate piece this time, as opposed to being just painted on.  I like the sculpted design a bit better, and I also appreciate that they’ve gone for the slightly more splayed design of the antenna he was sporting in the ‘80s, thereby making him more specific to this team line-up.  In terms of paint, he’s a step-up from his predecessor in some ways, but a step down in some others.  The mask is rather on the sloppy side, which is frustrating.  Also, he’s saddled with a screaming expression again, although at least this time you can swap out the head under the mask for a calmer one for another ‘mate if you want (I find that the Series 38 Iron Fist works pretty well).  The added muscle detailing on the torso and legs is definitely nice, as is the clean detailing his energy tracker on his torso.  I do somewhat miss the printed energy detailing of the last figure, but the accessories make up for that.  He included a brand-new effect piece to simulate his powers, which is the same piece that would be modded to be Banshee’s scream effect.  He also includes a spare hair piece for an unmasked look.  He does NOT include the pictured display stand; I just forgot that wasn’t always a standard piece when I was taking this picture.

STORM

havokstormmm3As much as I love Havok, there’s no denying that this set’s heavy hitter is Storm.  This marked Storm’s seventh time as a ‘mate.  Unlike Havok, this isn’t a repeat of an earlier design, although it shares a few design elements with a few prior ‘mates.  This is her post mohawk look, but her pre-90s-shoulder pads look.  It doesn’t quite have the staying power of a lot her designs, but it’s decent enough, and shown up in a few toy lines over the years.  The figure uses add-ons for her hair, glove cuffs, and cape.  The cuffs are re-used from Battle-Damaged Spirit, but the rest of the pieces were new.  Both pieces are decent enough.  The hair doesn’t have the ears sculpted like most ‘mate hair pieces, which is a little odd, but it’s otherwise pretty solid.  The cape is okay, but seems a little on the stiff side.  In terms of paint, she’s not bad.  The glossy sheen on the black is a nice touch, and I like the bright grey detail lines.  The gold could probably stand out a bit more, and the skin tone could do with a more organic hue, but the application’s all pretty great.  Storm includes a pair of electricity effect pieces (the same ones included with six of her other ‘mates), as well as a flight stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so Havok’s one of my favorite X-Men, so as soon as these figures hit, I made it a point to get this set.  I ordered them from TRU’s online store, which, as with most of the times I’ve done so, was quite an ordeal.  Of note, neither they, nor the other set I ordered (Heather Hudson & Box, for those who are curious) was actually listed under their name, instead being given the generic title of “Marvel Minimates 14: Figure.”  Fortunately, a kind soul over at the Minimate Multiverse provided the group with the SKUs, so I was able to determine which set I was ordering that way.  Havok is awesome.  A definite improvement over the prior release.  Storm is alright; hardly my go-to version of the character, but a solid ‘mate nonetheless.

#1045: Marvel’s Havok

MARVEL’S HAVOK

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES (HASBRO)

HavokNow1

“With control and precision, Havok processes cosmic energy to send plasma waves blasting from his super-charged body.”

After 10 years, my boy Havok’s finally gotten another Marvel Legend! Alright! It’s actually sort of odd timing, really, since he’s been absent from the comics since Axis left him as an “inverted” villain. I guess his presence in this year’s X-Men: Apocalypse made him a good choice. Regardless of the reasoning, I’m just happy to have another Havok figure. Let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HavokNow2Havok (who, like Phoenix, gets the “Marvel’s” preface) is figure 4 in the Juggernaut series of Marvel Legends. This time around, Havok is sporting his Marvel Now! attire. It’s not my favorite Havok look, but it’s a reasonable choice, since it’s still technically his current costume, and it fits in with all of the other Marvel Now! figures Hasbro’s done since the Infinite Series re-branding. It’s also pretty close to his classic appearance, so he fits in alright with some of the more classically inspired figures. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. Havok is built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a fair choice. His brother has also been built on this body and the two of them are typically depicted as being about the same build. Also, fun fact: this marks the second time that Havok and Daredevil have been built on the same body (they shared a body in Toy Biz’s 5-inch scale). Havok gets a new head sculpt, which is a pretty nice piece. It’s a much calmer Havok than we usually see on HavokNow4figures, but still in line with his comics depictions. It’s nice to get some variety in his expressions. Havok’s paintwork is overall pretty solid. The colors are nice and bold, and I particularly like the way they handled his chest emblem/power measurement thingy. The faint blue hue makes it look like it’s actually the energy he’s emitting, as opposed to just a tacked on logo. There’s a bit of slop on the edges of the headgear, but nothing too terrible. Havok includes a pair of energy effect pieces that clip onto his wrists and demonstrate his powers. They’re a really cool extra, and help make him a much more dynamic looking figure. Havok also includes the right leg of Juggernaut. It would have been nice to get an unmasked head, since he spent a lot of his Marvel Now! appearances unmasked, but he doesn’t feel particularly light, so I can’t really complain.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My parents brought Havok back from a trip they took to Philadelphia a few weekends ago. I was quite excited to get him, since he was one of my most anticipated figures from this set (being my favorite X-Man and all). He’s sort of the reverse of Phoenix, if I’m honest. Where I wasn’t really excited for her and she ended up pleasantly surprising me, Havok here isn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped. He’s not bad in the slightest bit, mind you, and I’m still thrilled to have him. He’s just not top of the line; more middle of the pack.

*Want a Havok figure of your own?  He’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check him out!

HavokNow3

#1044: Havok

HAVOK

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

HavokML1

The X-Men are known for their tendency to change up the line-up a lot. Now-a-days, the team is rather large and nebulous (necessitating at least two X-Men titles to be running consistently since the mid-80s, just so everyone can get a fair shake), but when they first started, there were just five members. The team’s first additional member, Mimic, only lasted for three issues, before being de-powered and written out. Eventually, they would acquire their first full-time addition Lorna Dane (later Polaris) in X-Men #49. Just six issues later, the team would also gain Havok, aka Alex Summers the younger brother of Cyclops. Havok’s sort of been a peripheral member of the team for a lot of his career, but has served as team leader for both the X-Men and X-Factor on a few occasions. He also happens to be my personal favorite member of the X-Men, which is why I own just about every figure of him in existence, including the one I’ll be reviewing today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HavokML2Havok was part of the Giant-Man Series of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends. It was the first Walmart-exclusive series of Legends, though it would hardly be the last. This is also Havok’s first Marvel Legends figure, though it’s the fourth Havok figure Toy Biz released. The figure stands 6 ¼ inches tall (not counting the headgear), and has 40 points of articulation. Havok is based on his classic Neal Adams-designed costume from the 60s (my personal favorite). The initial prototype for Havok had him in a more modernized design, but that figure was ultimately shelved for this more classic look. The figure is built on Series 9’s Bullseye body, in one of the earlier attempts at moving ML to a system of base bodies. As I noted in my review of Iron Fist (the final figure to be built on this body, released a full ten years after it debuted with Bullseye), this body was one of my favorites from Toy Biz’s run. It’s become a little clunky when compared to the more recent stuff, but it still holds up pretty well, certainly a lot better than some of TB’s other Marvel Legends. The only real issue I have with this particular iteration of the body is the shape of the lower legs and feet. The legs are clunky and tube-like, and the feet are large and sit HavokML3too far forward at the ankle. Havok’s only truly unique piece is his head, which does quite a nice job of capturing the early depictions of Havok’s face. I like that the expression is angry without going too overboard, and I’m especially glad that they were able to make the headgear look okay in three dimensions. Havok’s paintwork is pretty straight forward. The costume is just straight black and white (excepting, of course, the silver collar). There’s no accent work, but I actually much prefer it that way. The face has a nice, clean paint job, with some great little subtleties to the coloring, making it stand out nicely from the costume. Havok included the left leg (but NOT the left foot) of Giant-Man, as well as a copy of X-Men #97, which is one of Havok’s few focus issues during the “All-New, All Different” era (also one of his best appearances). It should be noted that the issue actually rather deceptively uses the cover to X-Men #58, which is the first appearance of the classic costume and the name Havok.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Pretty much as soon as Marvel Legends started doing X-Men figures, Havok was at the top of my list. I even made my own Havok custom (albeit in his ‘90s costume) from a spare Gambit, just to hold me over. I was beyond thrilled when this guy was announced. Of course, then the Giant-Man Series ended up being rather hard to come by, which acquiring Havok none too easy. Fortunately, my Dad just happened to find this guy the day before my birthday in 2006. Words cannot begin to describe how excited I was to open him. Ten years later, this guy shows his age, but still holds up remarkably well. I think I’d still rank him in my top 10 Legends.

HavokML4

#0365: Havok

HAVOK

X-MEN (TOYBIZ)

Havok

So, it’s been a whole year of reviews. I already did the big discussion of that earlier, but I wanted to touch on it here. For my very first review on this site, I took a look at Night Hunter Batman, my very first action figure. For the big one year review, I needed to come up with something special, so I’ve chosen to go with Havok from Toybiz’s X-Men line in the 90s. I’ll get into why I chose this figure shortly.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HavokWilsonHavok was released in the “Invasion Series” of Toybiz’s X-Men line. The series hit not long after the third season of X-Men: The Animated Series, which featured Havok’s sole appearance on that show, so he makes sense here. The figure is a little over 5 inches tall and features 8 points of articulation. He’s based on Havok’s 90s appearance, which he sported in the 90s X-Factor and the aforementioned cartoon. It’s a bit of a departure from Havok’s traditional look, but it was what he looked like at the time, and it definitely fits in with the rest of the 90s X-Men line. Havok comes from the line when it was at its bulkiest, so to speak. The figures were originally much thinner, but eventually they bulked up as the line continued. Eventually, they reached sort of a breaking point, which was right around this series. As such, Havok’s sculpt is a little on the hefty side, but it’s not far outside of what he looked like in the comics at the time. The sculpt was all new to this figure, and as far as I know, it wasn’t used for any future figures. It’s certainly a well detailed sculpt. The coat has lots of really great folds and details, and the face is just perfect for Havok. Admittedly, the figure does have some odd proportions. The waist is really thin, the thighs are pretty big, and the arms stick out pretty far. That being said, he’s based on a 90s design, and odd proportions tend to go hand-in-hand with that time period. Can’t fault them for being accurate. The sculpt is topped off with a pretty decent paint job. It’s not super detailed, but its clean and well applied, so that’s good. Havok includes an action feature: when his upper torso is twisted right, his right arm goes up, and when the torso is released, it springs back. The figure also included a small energy blast piece that can be placed in his right hand to work with the action feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Havok is an important figure to me because he was my one of my two first X-Men figures (the other was the previously reviewed Eric the Red.) The “Invasion Series” was released just as I was getting into super heroes and action figures. For Christmas that year, my Dad got me these two figures, which in turn brought me into the world of X-Men. Thanks to this being my first official X-Man, Havok has to this day remained my very favorite member of the team (I own all but one of his action figures). While this figure has, perhaps, not aged as well as some of the other figures in this line, I still love this figure. It’s also one of the few figures I have more than one of, as I picked up a spare over the summer from Yesterday’s Fun (The spare is seen in the picture with Wilson 4). Man, this is a cool figure!

#0155: Havok & Polaris

HAVOK & POLARIS

MARVEL MINIMATES

Image

Continuing the X-Men theme from yesterday, and Minimates theme from… all the time, today I’ll be looking at some X-Men Minimates.  Yay!

The two Minimates in question today happen to be two of my favorite X-Men, Havok and Polaris.  Havok is Cyclops’s younger brother who has a similar power set.  Polaris is sometimes Magneto’s daughter, and sometimes not, but she has the same powers regardless.  The two are frequently portrayed as a couple, and have been X-Men from time to time.  They’re biggest break, however, is probably Peter David’s run on X-Factor which featured both of them as prominent characters.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as a set in Marvel Minimates wave 20.

HAVOK

Havok is shown here in his classic costume from the 60s, designed by the great Neal Adams.  It’s essentially the look that the character sported for about 30 years, and is also the look that most of his subsequent designs were derived from, so it’s a good choice.  Havok is built on the basic Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has two sculpted pieces: his headgear that channels the solar energy to his powers and a specially designed version of the Minimate head to accommodate this.  The rest of the detail work is handled through paint.  The face has a lot of detail, and does look kinda like a Neal Adams drawing, but I’m not really sure how well that works.  He’s permanently screaming, and since the mask is painted on, you can’t even sub in another head, which means he has to be displayed in attack mode.  What really sucks about this is that Diamond actually did a neat thing so that his torso is detailed on both sides, allowing you to depict him fully charged up or more controlled.  However, with the facial expression, it’s a bit difficult to utilize.

POLARIS

Polaris, like Havok, is depicted in her classic 60s costume, designed by Werner Roth.  She went back and forth between costumes depending on the artist, but this was the costume that most people remember.  It’s a really cool look, so no complaints there!  She’s got two separately sculpted add-ons: hair/headband, and cape.  The cape was a reuse from the C3 version of Superman, but the hair is a new piece, and is beautifully done at that.  The hair is sculpted with a bit of a wind flow to it, but not too much to make it quite as pose specific as Havok’s face.  The paint on this figure is rather nice, with a great set of details on her torso and legs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I said above, these are two of my favorite X-Men, so I was pretty thrilled when they were announced, and I bought them as soon as I could.  While Havok isn’t perfect, he was a pretty good hold over until I got one I was a little happier with more recently.  This is Polaris’s only Minimate, but given the quality of this Minimate, that’s not the worst thing ever.  She really makes this set worth having for sure.