#1771: Big Time Spider-Man & Shadowland Iron Fist

BIG TIME SPIDER-MAN & SHADOWLAND IRON FIST

MARVEL MINIMATES

Shadowland is an event I think most of us would like to forget, and most of us kind of have.  However, the event is notable for a few of the good things that came out of it.  Firstly, it led to a hard relaunch of Daredevil, thus giving us Mark Waid’s phenomenal run on the character.  Secondly, it gave us Marvel Minimates Series 38, which, despite its questionable origins, was a pretty exciting assortment, at least at the time.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Shadowland Iron Fist and Big Time Spider-Man were available in both the 38th specialty series and the tenth Toys R Us-exclusive series of Marvel Minimates.

SHADOWLAND IRON FIST

This was only Danny Rand’s second Minimate, hitting shelves a whopping 7 years after the first. By this point, the character had been successfully re-launched by Matt Fraction and David Aja in the pages of Immortal Iron Fist, so a new version was overdue. DST took advantage of his appearance during Shadowland to finally get us Danny’s current (at the time) design.  Iron Fist used add-ons for his mask, sash, and wrapped hands.  The sash was re-used, though not from the original Iron Fist as you might think.  Instead it came from the PX-exclusive Dark Phoenix, which had a much more simplistic piece.  Honestly, I think I’d have preferred the old Iron Fist piece, which had more detailing, but I guess a sash is a sash.  The mask and hands were new to this guy.  The mask actually gives Danny hair and ears, unlike the first one, and is generally just a solid piece (hence why it’s still in use another 7 years later).  The hands, on the other *hand* (heh), I’ve never been much of a fan of.  They’re just oddly shaped, and definitely far too long and skinny.  I think the wraps would have looked better as a painted on detail.  The paintwork on Iron Fist is actually surprisingly dull.  Like, I get wanting to maybe downplay the colorfulness of the costume a little bit, but this always seemed to take it a little far.  It still looks fine, though, and I suppose isn’t too far off from how he looked during the Immortal Iron Fist run.  I’ve always found the face to look a little old for Danny.  I think there are a few too many lines.  With the mask on, he looks decent enough, though.  The one detail that really frustrates me is that his sleeves go all the way down to his wrists.  He had extra unwrapped hands to swap out, but without the exposed skin on his forearms, he just ends up looking wrong.  In addition to those previously mentioned extra hands, Iron Fist also included a hair piece for an unmasked look (re-used from Series 27’s Ultimate Iron Man) and an energy effect piece for his “iron fist.”

BIG TIME SPIDER-MAN

Right around the same time that all that crazy stuff was going on in Daredevil, Dan Slott began his legendary run on Spider-Man, kicking things off with a storyline titled “Big Time,” which finally brought the focus back to Peter Parker’s prowess as an engineer.During the story, he starts building newer, more advanced Spider-suits, including the stealthy suit seen here. Though the suit was rather short-lived, it was a very sleek look, calling back to the fan-favorite symbiote design, as well as throwing in a bit of Tron for good measure, so it had a lasting impression with fans. This would be the first of a handful of figures based on this costume. This Spider-Man, like a lot of Spider-Men, is a completely vanilla ‘mate, making use of no extra add-ons or anything.  It’s nice to get the occasional vanilla ‘mate to remind you of how good the standard body is.  All of the important details are handled via paint, which is handled pretty well overall.  The slight highlights are a very effective way of detailing the all-black suit, and capture Humberto Ramos’ illustrations of the suit well.  My only complaint is the shade of green used; I think something brighter would have popped more against the suit.  It’s not bad as is, but it could be better.  Spidey was packed with a web-line piece.  It’s the same piece used with other Spider-Men, but molded in translucent yellow plastic, which gives it a nice, unique feel.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iron Fist was a much anticipated figure, but also a somewhat flawed one.  It fixed some of the issues from the first Iron Fist ‘mate, while at the same time introducing new ones of it’s own, making the whole thing a bit of a wash.  The later Best Of version ended up being the one most of us were actually waiting for.  Big Time Spider-Man is one of my favorite Spider-Man designs, and this ‘mate does a pretty exceptional job of translating it into plastic.

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#1680: Luke Cage & Iron Fist

MARVEL NOW! LUKE CAGE & MARVEL NOW! IRON FIST

MARVEL MINIMATES

There’s not really a better cut and dry pairing of heroes (at least on the Marvel side; back off Caped Crusaders!) than Luke Cage and Iron Fist.  Amusingly, they’re only paired off because both of their comics were on the verge of cancellation.  It ended up being pretty perfect, though, and the pair’s lasted a good long while.  They’ve been paired off two times prior for Minimates, and this time marks the third.*

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Luke & Danny are the second set in the milestone 75th Series of Marvel Minimates.  Unlike yesterday’s set, they’re both centrally placed in the recent street-hero incarnation of the Defenders, so they really fit the theme.

Like yesterday’s set, this one also includes a piece of the Build-A-Figure Quake, specifically the torso, pelvis, and harness.  It appears to match the Series 51 Maria Hill, which is good for consistency’s sake.

LUKE CAGE

Luke Cage seems to be kind of cursed to the most dated costumes ever.  While I’m partial to his classic poofy-sleeved, tiara-sporting look, it’s fair to say it’s not easily taken seriously in this day and age.  He went through more of a thuggish look a few years back, but now he’s moved up to a more polished vested look.  Less super-hero-y than his original, but a sharp look nonetheless.  The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Luke is built on the standard ‘mate body, and has add-ons for his vest and rolled-up sleeves.  The sleeves are re-used from the Spirit set, and the vest is a new piece.  It’s a little bit bulky, and perhaps a little blocky, but it’s overall a decent piece.  It helps keep Luke from being too shrimpy, like most of his prior figures have been.  The rest of the work has been done via paint.  The application is pretty clean, though it would appear that the white application on my figure’s face has been slightly offset.  It’s not enough to be overly noticeable, but it’s a minor annoyance.  Beyond that, it’s pretty solid.  Luke’s expression is intense, though less so than the Best Of release, so it’s a little more versatile.  Luke’s light on the accessories, with only a clear display stand.  I’m not really sure what else he could be given, though.

IRON FIST

Like his partner, Danny Rand’s had his fair share of dated costume designs.  This one actually seems to play that up a bit, giving him a track-suited design, inspired by Bruce Lee’s yellow and black get-up from Ascension.  I think his David Aja design’s still his best, but this one’s certainly got character, and it’s his most recent look.  Iron Fist has add-ons for his mask and his collar.  Though they both have definite similarities to prior pieces, both are all-new to this figure.  They’re alright, I suppose.  I’ve never been much of a fan of how the collar pieces hide the neck.  The mask looks okay, but doesn’t have any of the shaping that some of the others had.  Iron Fist’s paint work is a little cleaner than Luke’s.  My only minor complaint would be that the eyes on the mask seem a little too high-set, but they don’t look terrible.  The gold detailing works surprisingly well, and I appreciate that the track-lines go all the way up his sides.    Iron Fist makes up for Luke’s lack of extras, with a spare hairpiece, a pair of nunchucks, and “Iron Fist” effect piece, and a clear display stand.  Not a bad little assortment of extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was acquired at the same time as yesterday’s, courtesy of a joint partnership between Cosmic Comix and Tim.  Luke Cage has had some troubles with getting a decent Minimate.  This one is perhaps not as exciting as others, but it’s still probably his best.  Iron Fist’s design isn’t quite as versatile as older versions, but this figure still translates it pretty well to ‘mate form.

*It’s worth noting that they’ve both actually had four comics-based ‘mates.  Each of them got one release without the other.  The less said about those particular releases, the better.

#1114: Iron Fist

IRON FIST

MARVEL LEGENDS

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Hasbro seems to have a lot of trouble placing Iron Fist.  Why?  Well, the guy’s now gotten two different figures from their re-branded Marvel Legends line, and in both cases, he was the one figure in the set whose connection to the overall theme was tenuous at best.  I’m not complaining, mind you.  I like me some Iron Fist.  And, since he’s got his own Netflix show on the horizon, it’s not exactly a huge surprise that Hasbro opted to get out another figure of him sooner rather than later.  Now, if someone can explain to me what he’s doing in a Dr Strange set, we should be all good to go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ironfisthas3Iron Fist (who, like so many figures in this line, gets that “Marvel’s” possessive added to his name, just so you don’t mistake him for someone else’s Iron Fist) is part of the recent Dr. Strange-themed Dormammu Series of Marvel Legends, where he’s figure 8 in the lineup.  He’s seen here in the green jump-suited look he had during Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker’s defining run on the character.  It’s one of those modern updates I can get behind, where it takes all of the important elements of the character, but also removes some of the sillier, more dated bits, like the huge collar, deep, deep, (deep!) neckline, and slippers.  It’s also nice to see it here because, despite being the character’s main look during a very popular run on his series and for some time after, it hadn’t yet gotten the Legends treatment (it got the Marvel Universe treatment, but the less said about that, the better).  The figure is about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Iron Fist is built on the Pizza Spidey body, a choice that surprised a few people.  Generally, Iron Fist is depicted a little larger than this body (it’s been a story point that he can convincingly double for Daredevil, who was on the Bucky Cap body).  That being said, this body allows him a wider range of posability, and it’s not too far removed from the build David Aja gave him when he first started wearing this costume.  Danny gets a new head sculpt and sash, which are similar to those seen on the prior Iron Fist, but notably improved in a few ways.  The head in particular is less boxy and smooth than the last one, which is a definite step up.  He also gets a new set of forearms, with two sets of swappable hands.  Sadly, he doesn’t have the huge selection of hand poses that the last figure possessed, but he does get a pair of translucent fists demonstrating his power, as well as a pair in thick wraps.  I prefer the wrapped look myself, but both sets are pretty cool.  Iron Fist’s paintwork is pretty solid.  The colors match up pretty well with those seen in Immortal Iron Fist, especially the slightly muted green.  In addition, everything is pretty solid in terms of application, and the wrapped fists even have a nice wash to bring out more of the details.  In addition to the previously mentioned swappable hands, Iron Fist also includes a pair of flame effect pieces, which can easily fit over either set of hands, as well as the shoulder pads of Dormammu.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t 100% sold on this figure, since I already had the Allfather Series version of the character.  When I found Mordo at the store, I also found this guy, but I had planned on leaving him there for a later time.  Of course, Super Awesome Girlfriend wouldn’t stand for this and ended up buying him for me anyway.  I’m actually really happy I got this guy.  In hindsight, I’ve realized that the last Iron Fist was already pretty dated when he came out and has become even more so in the last year and a half.  Plus, this costume is more linked with the character for me, and the new choice of body is pretty solid.  Now, if only we could get a decent Luke Cage to go with him…

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

ironfisthas4

#0653: Misty Knight

MISTY KNIGHT – HEROES FOR HIRE

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

MistyKnight1

Not everyone will agree, but I think the 70s may be one of the best eras of comics. It’s a decade that gets a lot of crap for being dated, and perhaps rightfully so, but it it’s also the decade that gave us All New All Different X-Men, Denny O’Niel and Neal Adams on Batman, and even some of the hokier series, such as Luke Cage and Iron Fist, Heroes For Hire. The 70s (at Marvel at least) also gave us some tremendous supporting casts, including a few who were passed back and forth between different series. One such character is today’s focus, Misty Knight, who began her comics career as Jean Grey’s roommate, before hooking up with Iron Fist, got a robot arm, and became a spy. She’s also very 70s, but in a cool way.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MistyKnight2Misty Knight was released as part of the latest series of Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Officially, she’s named Heroes For Hire, a name she shares with Ghost Rider, though the two don’t share anything but the name. Given her association with Iron Fist and Luke Cage, the name fits. The figure is 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation. She looks to be based on one of Misty’s more recent designs. I myself am still partial to the black turtleneck look she sported in the 70s, but a) this look is more sensible in a reuse heavy line and b) I’m just thrilled to have gotten a Misty Knight action figure at all. The figure uses the most recent female base (seen on Scarlet Witch, Hellcat, and Wasp) as a starting point. I still don’t like the pelvis piece, but other than that, it’s a good starting point. Misty gets an all-new head, hands, and upper torso, as well as an add-on piece for her belt and holster. All of the new parts a nicely handled. The hair is a tad on the ridiculous side, size wise, but not terribly so. On the plus side, it’s very well textured, which is always nice. The face seems a bit on the gaunt side for Misty, but it’s passable. The new torso gives Misty an unzipped zipper, as well as a shoulder strap with pouches. I can definitely see Hasbro repurposing this for another figure down the road. For her hands, her left has a trigger finger, so she can hold her gun, and the right is robotic, so as to showcase her bionic arm. Both are well sculpted, but the robotic piece definitely steals the show. Paint wise, Misty is, at the very least, vibrant. The reds and golds are nice and bright and give her a nice warm look. The face is definitely the weak point, though; the eyes are just a touch out of sync, so she looks like she has a lazy eye, and the lips seem way too bright a red. Other than that, her paintwork is nice and clean. Misty is packed with a pretty cool golden revolver, as well as the torso of Rhino.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Misty is definitely the figure from this series that excited me the most. I honestly never thought I’d ever see a figure of her, given her relative obscurity and somewhat out of date design. She ended up being one of my main reasons for ordering a set right off the bat, as I was anxious to get her. The figure isn’t perfect. The paint on the face could stand to be better. And, if I’m petty, it’s not my preferred design for the character. That said, she’s still really well put together, and this is likely to be the only time we see her in action figure form. That fact alone warrants the purchase.

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

MistyKnight3

#0487: Iron Fist

IRON FIST

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

The latest series of Marvel Legends from Hasbro is definitely based on the Avengers, and all of the figure’s I’ve looked at so far have attested to that. Today’s figure, Iron Fist is probably the one most removed from the team. Admittedly, Iron Fist has been a member of the team in the past, but he’s never really been a member of note, and even when he was on the team it was more due to his connection to Luke Cage. But, Iron Fist’s prototype was sitting there unreleased and that’s something that Hasbro doesn’t like very much! So, here he is!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Fist is a part of the first series of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Like the Hawkeye figure, he’s a figure that got displaced from one of the last regular Marvel Legends series. Iron Fist was originally intended as a swap figure for the Protector figure from the Hit Monkey series. The figure is about 6 inches tall, with 34 points of articulation. The figure is based on Iron Fist’s most recent comic, which is a variation on the costume he’s had for a few years now, just with white in place of the green. It’s the costume the character’s had for a little while, so it’s a reasonable choice for a figure. The figure is built on the body that started its life as Bullseye back in the ToyBiz days. Over the years, it’s gotten a new set of shins, feet, and forearms, but it’s the same basic body. It was one of my favorites from the ToyBiz years, and it’s a decently proportioned and articulated body, but it’s a little clunky and outdated compared to the newer base bodies like Bucky Cap. Iron Fist also features an all-new head sculpt and an add-on sash piece. Both are well sculpted and look good on the base body, though the sash does sit weird in some poses. The figure’s paint is pretty good. The gold is a nice shade, and most of the line work is clean. There is a fairly noticeable bit of bleed over at the edge of the mask, but other than that things are pretty well done. Iron Fist is one of the best accessorized figures in the series, with an pair of fists, knife hands, grabbing gesture hands, and two-figure gesture hands, as well as the leg of Odin/Future Thor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iron Fist is really one of those figures I got because I was getting the rest of the series. I wanted that leg for my Odin. I have to say, he’s not the most fantastic figure in the series (in fact he may actually be the weakest), but he’s not a bad figure, and he’s certainly an improvement over the original ToyBiz figure. Plus, it’s really great to see a figure with a large selection of hands. That’s a rarity in domestic release figures. Let’s hope Hasbro does more of that in the future!

#0383: Luke Cage – Power Man & Iron Fist – Dragon Attack

LUKE CAGE – POWER MAN & IRON FIST – DRAGON ATTACK

MARVEL MINIMATES

So, I do really try to space out the Minimates reviews a little bit more. Really, I do. However, between my already enormous collection of them filtering into the backlog reviews and Diamond’s steady stream of new releases, they tend to be a rather frequent sub-set of reviews. Today, I’ll once again be dipping into the expansive Marvel Minimates line, with the ,most recent versions of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, Heroes for Hire. Both characters are slated to be getting their own mini-series through the Marvel/Netflix deal, and it’s been a little while since either one has seen a release, so this is a good idea for a set.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as a two pack in the third series of the Best Of off-shoot of the main Marvel Minimates line.

LUKE CAGE – POWER MAN

Luke is the character in the set that’s most clearly in need of an update. Luke’s previously had two figures of very differing looks. They’re both from way back in the line, so they’re pretty dated (and one of them wasn’t particularly good even when he was released). Luke also marks a bit of a change for the Best Of series; he depicts the character in a look previously not seen in Minimates. Luke’s look is the one he sported while leading the Thunderbolts a few years ago. It’s probably my favorite of his recent looks, so no complaints there. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard Minimate body, with additional pieces for the hands/gauntlets, the belt, and the tops of the boots. All of these pieces are re-use; the hands are from Series 47’s Colossus, the belt is from the X-Factor boxed set Iceman, and the boot pieces were first used on the two Iron Men is Series 25. The gauntlets sit a little too low on the arms, but other than that, these pieces off a pretty spot on take on this version of Luke. The paintwork on this figure is pretty topnotch. Everything is clean and even, the colors are nice and bold, and the detail work is nice and sharp. Under the sculpted belt, there’s a painted one, with a “CAGE” buckle, which looks really great. It’s little details like this that ca make or break a figure. Luke includes a spare set of arms and hands, an extra sunglass-wearing head, a knit cap (from the TRU exclusive Vigilante Spider-Man), a jacket (from Knight Rider’s Michael Knight), and a clear display stand. The extra pieces allow you to switch Cage into his early 2000s look. This is nice, because it was his main look for several years, and the previous ’mate was pretty bad.

IRON FIST – DRAGON ATTACK

Iron Fist isn’t quite as desperately in need of an update, but both of his prior ‘mates were just a slight bit off. Iron Fist is presented here in the look he sported when his comic was relaunched a few years ago. He’s had this look on and off for a little while, and it’s a nice update on his original costume. The figure is about 2 ½ inches in height and he sports 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the usual body, with add-ons for his mask and sash. The mask is from the Series 38 Iron fist and the sash is from the very first Toyfare exclusive Iron Fist. Both pieces are well done, and reusing them for this particular version is a smart move. Just like with Luke, Iron Fist’s paint is really superb. One of my issues with the previous Iron Fist was how washed out the colors were, and that’s certainly not an issue here. The colors are all very bold, and all of the detail work is nice and sharp. Iron Fist definitely one-ups Luke in the accessory department, and since Luke wasn’t lacking, that’s a pretty great! He includes a spare torso and arms to allow for a bare-chested look, bandaged wrapped hands (hailing from the Tomb Raider line), a pair of wrapped wrist pieces (which were previously seen on Street Fighter VS Tekken’s Heihachi), an extra hair piece (originally used on Terminator 2’s Kyle Reese), a pair of “iron fists” so to speak (first seen with Series 48’s Human Torch), a flame base (also from Human Torch), a jumping base, and a clear display stand. That’s quite a lot of extra pieces, and they allow for a huge selection of different looks. In particular, I’m happy to see the new bandaged hands included, as they are a big improvement over the pieces used on the last Iron Fist.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got these two courtesy of my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. The original Power Man and Iron Fist set was long one of my grails, after missing out on its initial release. I actually just acquired that set last year. While it certainly still has some sentimental value, it was definitely a set that showed its age. This set, while it doesn’t offer direct updates to those two, offers a very nice set of replacements. The sheer volume of extra pieces included with both figures is truly amazing, and I really hope this is a trend that Diamond continues. This is a really great set, and I’m very happy to have it.

#0082: Power Man & Iron Fist

POWER MAN & IRON FIST

MARVEL MINIMATES

Day 4 of my post-Christmas Review is now here, and shocking absolutely everyone, it’s more Minimates!  This time around, it’s another set of Marvel Minimates, though it’s actually one of the older ones that I missed on its initial release.  It’s everyone’s favorite Heroes for Hire:  Power Man and Iron Fist!

I just recently reviewed another figure of Power Man, so I won’t go into great detail there, but this time he comes with his trusty partner Iron Fist, who’s a guy with an…iron fist.  Okay, not literally, but he’s got a complicated origin I don’t feel like getting into here.  He’s a guy who’s really good at martial arts.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as a ToyFare exclusive 2-pack, released around the 7th series of the Marvel Minimates line.  For those of you paying attention, the last set I reviewed here was a Toys R Us exclusive set released to coincide with the 51st wave of the line, so these guys are from quite a ways back.

POWER MAN

First up, it’s the original Hero for Hire, Luke Cage, aka Power Man.  Power Man is depicted here in his original costume from his series in the 70s.  He’s built on the usual Minimate body, so he has the standard 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  He has four sculpted pieces:  his hair, belt, and bracelets.  These pieces were all new to the figure, but have been used a few times since, particularly the bracelets, which have seen rather frequent reuse.  These pieces are all well sculpted, but are very definitely a product of the much more simplistic look of Minimates at the time.  The paint is alright, but definitely not up to par with the current offerings.  The detail lines are sparse and fairly heavy, and there’s a sizeable amount of slop around the boots.  Power Man includes no accessories.

IRON FIST

Next, it’s the master of Kung-Fu, Iron Fist.  Iron Fist is also depicted in his original costume from the 70s.  Like Power Man, he’s on the usual body, so he’s got the typical stuff there.  Iron Fist features three sculpted pieces: mask, torso cover, and sash.  These were all new to the figure at the time, but the mask and sash have both seen reuses within the line.  These pieces are all pretty well done, though the torso cover is a bit on the bulky side for Iron Fist, who shouldn’t be that big of a guy.  The paint on Iron fist is a bit better than that of Power Man, though he still has some pretty noticeable slop on his shoes.  One cool detail is the ability of the torso to be reversed, so Iron Fist can be displayed with or without his dragon tattoo.  Iron Fist is accessorized with a little translucent piece that slips over his hand and simulates his chi being transferred through his “iron fist.”   It’s a well done piece that would later see monumental reuse.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These guys were yet another Christmas gift from my uber-supportive parents.  I had wanted this set for a good long while after missing out on ordering it from ToyFare, so I was very happy to unwrap it on Christmas morning.  It’s certainly not on the same level as some of the more recent releases in the line, but it definitely reminded me of cool the line still was, even at this point.  It’s so cool to see how far the line has come.