MARVEL NOW! LUKE CAGE & MARVEL NOW! IRON FIST
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 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.
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.