#1369: Spider-Woman

SPIDER-WOMAN

SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TOY BIZ)

“Once an illegal operative, Jessica Drew left the group called Hydra to fight crime as the original Spider-Woman! With the ability to climb walls and emit bio-electric spider-blasts, Spider-Woman put many super-villains behind bars. Eventually giving up her identity as Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew now fights crime as a private investigator!”

When does a spin-off character have nothing to do with the original?  When they’re Spider-Woman, of course.  The first Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, was introduced in 1977 as little more than a way of preventing Filmation from putting out a cartoon with their own Spider-Woman.  She had a similar power set to everyone’s favorite wall-crawler, but there the similarities ended.  The two characters wouldn’t even meet for quite a long time after her creation.  Which makes the fact that her very first figure came from a Spider-Man toyline all the more amusing.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Woman was released in Series 7 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series tie-in toyline.  She wasn’t based on a cartoon appearance (likely to avoid viewer confusion; her successor, Julia Carpenter, was a regular on the Iron Man cartoon at the same time).  In fact, Series 7 was right about the time that the series stopped focussing on following the cartoon, so Spider-Woman was not the only non-show figure in the series.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and she has 8 points of articulation.  Jessica’s sculpt is a reworking of the Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman from Series 1 of the Iron Man line.  This would be the first time they’d share a sculpt, but far from the last.  Given the similarities in design, it’s a rather practical way of getting an extra use out of the molds, I suppose.  She’s been tweaked to add in elbow joints and also to remove Spider-Woman II’s action feature.  Sadly, they didn’t go as far as to add back in the neck movement lost due to the action feature, but that would have been a more hefty re-working, I suppose.  The sculpt is a pretty decent one overall.  The proportions are fairly balanced, and pretty decent for the time.  The hair has a pretty nice sculpt, and sits nicely, and the face isn’t too terrible.  The one main drag with this sculpt is just how stiff it is.  She doesn’t really look natural in any pose.  It’s largely to do with the arms, or more specifically, the hands.  She’s got this karate chop thing going on, and it just looks rather out of place.  The paint is really the key part of this figure, and it’s pretty decent.  The colors match well with her comics counterpart, and the work is generally on the clean side.  Some of the black lines are a little fuzzy, but it’s not terrible.  In terms of accessories, Jessica was about on par with most of the other figures of this time, which means she has a bunch of random stuff that doesn’t amount to much of anything.  There was like a shield and a weird gun-thing I think?  Mine has neither piece, and that’s just fine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Spider-Woman wasn’t one of my childhood figures.  My dad had one, but I didn’t, largely due to not being overly familiar with Jessica Drew.  I’ve since picked up some knowledge and appreciation for the character, so I’ve been on the look out for this figure.  I found her at Yesterday’s Fun last week, but ultimately put her (and a few others) back in favor a few other things.  My Dad apparently took note of this, and presented me with the whole lot the next day.  He’s nice like that.  She’s a decent enough figure, I suppose.  Nothing amazing, but certainly entertaining.

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#0538: Spider-Woman – Warriors of the Web

SPIDER-WOMAN – WARRIORS OF THE WEB

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Wait a second, didn’t I just review the Marvel Legends Infinite Series Spider-Woman a week ago? Ah, yes, eagle-eyed reader, I did indeed. However, that one was the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew. This is the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew. They are very different. No, really, in all seriousness, they are. See, the last one was the main Marvel universe’s version of Jessica Drew, who has no connection to Spider-Man. This one is based on the Ultimate universe’s version of Jessica Drew, who’s actually a female clone of Spider-Man. It’s kind of complicated. Anyway, she’s got a figure, and I bought it, so I’m reviewing it. Let’s get to it!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

UltSpiderWoman2Spider-Woman is from the second series of Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. Officially, she’s titled “Warriors of the Web,” which is a name she shares with series-mate Spider-Girl. However, she’s neither a swap figure, nor does she share the same or even similar Build-A-Figure pieces with the other half of the name-sake. Both figures are essential to completing Hobgoblin, and both are packed equally with most other figures in the series. So the shared name thing is a little odd here. Oh well. Spider-Woman stands just shy of 6 inches tall, with 29 points of articulation. As stated in the intro, this figure represents the Ultimate universe Spider-Woman. She’s only had the one look, and that’s the one that’s presented here. It’s a take-off of Spider-Man’s symbiote costume, which is always a good starting point. As far as the sculpt goes, Spider-Woman uses the Spider-Girl body as a base, along will an all-new head. I’m not gonna lie, I think the Spider-Girl body is my favorite base body in Hasbro’s inventory right now. It’s fairly well proportioned, has sturdy construction, and it works in the articulation very nicely. Fantastic basis for a figure. With this body, all you need is a head that doesn’t suck. So, how’s that head work out? Well, it’s not bad, that’s for sure. But I can’t say that it’s exceptional work either. The actual “head” part is actually pretty great work. The eyes are well defined, and there’s a slight hint of a nose and mouth UltSpiderWoman3under the mask, which looks pretty sweet. The biggest issue with the head is the hair. It’s fine from a purely aesthetic standpoint, but the windswept look ends up holding the figure back quite a bit. It makes her harder to pose and it really limits the display possibilities. Spider-Woman’s paintwork is passable, and on par with the vast majority of Hasbro’s recent offerings. The pearlescent white is a nice touch, but the edges are rather fuzzy, and areas like the hands have a few spots of slop. Like Anti-Venom, this figure is light on the accessories, only including the torso of Build-A-Figure Hobgoblin.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, dear reader, do you care to guess where I got this figure? If you guessed Big Bad Toy Store, you’re correct. I actually was fairly interested in this figure. The story from which she originated isn’t one of my favorites, but I do kinda like the character, and she does have a pretty great design. Plus, the idea of getting another figure on the Spider-Girl body was pretty cool. Ultimately, I find the final product a little bit disappointing. It’s not a bad figure at all, but the head, specifically the hair, ends up being rather limiting to the figure, which is a shame.

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#0531: Spider-Woman – Fierce Fighters

SPIDER-WOMAN – FIERCE FIGHTERS

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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When any male comicbook character reaches a certain level of popularity, there inevitable comes the female counterpart. The reasoning for such characters is really just a shrewd business move. See, if Marvel is publishing Spider-Man, and he’s really popular, it’s totally fair game for a completely different company to come along and claim Spider-Woman. In fact, the cartoon studio Filmation almost did, before Marvel stepped in and created a Spider-Woman of their own, just as quick as they could. Now, what’s interesting about Spider-Woman is that she actually doesn’t have anything at all to do with Spider-Man. She just has a vaguely similar power set. Also, a super complicated backstory. It’s easier just to not get into that. Anyway, she’s had more than a few figures over the years, including one in the most recent series of Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Let’s have a look at that one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpiderWoman2Spider-Woman is another figure in Hasbro’s Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She shares the name “Fierce Fighters” with Hellcat, though they’re both in initial case shipments, so they aren’t technically swap figures. What’s interesting is that both characters are actually listed by their individual names on the back of the box, which I do believe is a first. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and sports 28 points of articulation. As there are two main versions of Spider-Woman, it’s important to note that this figure represents Jessica Drew, who is both the first and the current person to bear the name. She’s only really had the one costume, though initially her hair was contained by the mask. This figure opts for the more common hair out look. As far as the sculpt goes, Spider-Woman makes use of the Moonstone body, with a unique head, bicep pieces, and funky pose hands (previously used on Satanna). The Moonstone body is one of Hasbro’s better sculpted bodies. I don’t personally like it quite as much as the Spider-Girl body, but it’s serviceable. The biggest issue with it is that the waist is really flat, which makes the figure look odd when viewed from the side. A lot of the figures that have used this body have had some sort of belt or something to mask this issue, but Spider-Woman doesn’t, so it’s just kind of there. The hands are sort of pseudo “web-shooting” hands, though they are a little different. They’re decently sculpted, but they seem to be just a bit on the large side. The biceps aren’t much different from the Moonstone arms; they’ve just been retooled to accommodate Spider-Woman’s web-wings. The head is easily the shining point of the sculpt; it’s very attractively sculpted, with lots of nice fine detail work. The hair is a little restricting to the neck movement, but the quality of the sculpt makes up for it. Spider-Woman marks the first figure I’ve looked at from this particular series of Legends who hasn’t disappointed me when it comes to paint. She’s not anything amazingly spectacular, but the colors are nice and bold, the application is even, lines are sharp, and there’s minimal bleed over. There’s even a little bit of darker airbrushing on yellow parts of the costume to help bring out the sculpt, which manages to look pretty good, especially for yellow. Spider-Woman includes two sets of web-wings, in both extended and folded layouts, as well as the head and left arm of Thanos. While the new web-wings are certainly better than the thick rubber pieces on the ToyBiz version, they’re still a bit of a pain to deal with. They figure ends up working a lot better with them removed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Spider-Woman was purchased from online retailer Big Bad Toy Store, along with the rest of this particular series. While I had a pretty decent interest in the other figures in the series, I wasn’t really expecting much of anything out of this figure. I’m happy to say I am pleasantly surprised by the final figure. She’s got one of the best female head sculpts I’ve ever seen, she’s got pretty good paint, and she’s on one of Hasbro’s better bodies. This figure is just a whole lot of fun!

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