#1711: A-Force

SHE-HULK, SIF, MARVEL’S SINGULARITY, LADY LOKI, ELSA BLOODSTONE, & MONICA RAMBAEU

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Spawning out of 2015’s Secret Wars event was an all-female super team dubbed A-Force.  Gimmicky?  Perhaps, but of course, so was the whole event.  I appreciated it for what it was: a chance to focus on some of Marvel’s fun secondary characters, who maybe get overlooked a little too often.  The event-tie-in got its own spin-off, and ongoing that went 10 more issues.  And, in 2017, the group even got an exclusive boxed-set of Marvel Legends, which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The A-Force boxed-set was a partnered offering between Entertainment Earth and Toys R Us, which first hit at SDCC 2017, before eventually making its way to Toys R Us retail establishments.  Well, for a little while, anyway.  The set includes six figures: She-Hulk, Sif, Singularity, Lady Loki, Elsa Bloodstone, And Monica Rambaeu.

SHE-HULK

A blood transfusion from Bruce Banner leaves Jennifer Walters with the gamma-powered abilities of the Hulk.

She-Hulk is the one character in this set who’s had a Legends release before.  Three of them, in fact.  But the most recent of those was still a decade ago, so we feel overdue for the update.  She’s also the biggest name in the set, and one of the easier to produce figures just based on parts.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  She-Hulk is built on the same body used for both Thundra and Valkyrie, which was debuted on a She-Hulk figure, just not a Jen Walters one.  It’s a decent enough body, though it’s a little out dated compared to the others in the set.  Ultimately, it’s not bad, of course, but the articulation scheme’s a bit archaic.  This body’s definitely the next one that needs replacing.  She-Hulk’s got a new head sculpt, which is very nice.  The expression is perhaps a touch bland for Jen, and nothing’s ever going to top the original Hasbro release for me, but this one’s still very well crafted.  Jen’s paintwork is nice, bold, and colorful.  The paint on the face is very clean, as are the costume’s color transitions.  The metallic purple looks very slick, as well, but then I’m a sucker for metalic purple.  She-Hulk included no accessories, but what would you give her, really?

SIF

As a gifted warrior goddess of Asgaard, Sif traverses time and space through teleportation.

Sif is an important character in the world of Thor, but rarely travels outside of that particular realm.  Seeing her interact with others in A-Force was admittedly pretty cool.  Though she may not be the heavy hitter here, Sif is very much this set’s star.  She stands 6 3/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Sif is one the newest body in this set, making use of parts from last year’s Angela figure (which I’d predicted back when I reviewed that figure).  She does, however get a new head, upper torso, upper arms, and cape and skirt piece add-ons, all of which add-up to a very different looking figure than Angela.  My main complaint about Angela was not liking the character, so Sif gets an extra leg up here.  This gives the body a new chance to shine, and I find myself really enjoying this figure.  Her paint is very clean, the colors are very bold, and that bright red helps her to be the most eye-catching member of this set.  The blue wash on the fur lining of the cape is perhaps a touch heavy, but I’ve seen worse, and it helps to distinguish it from the rest of the white.  Sif is packed with a sword, which seems pretty sensible to me.

MARVEL’S SINGULARITY

Singularity is a multi-dimensional being whose powers of energy manipulation grant her unique psionic abilities.

Singularity is probably the most obscure of the figures in this set, by virtue of being the only character in the set to have no existance outside of A-Force.  Singularity is sort of a personified walking pocket dimension, and is something of a gender-flipped Beyonder from the original Secret Wars.  While she’s perhaps not the most known character, she’s important to the specific event this set was commemorating, and has the added bonus of an appealing design.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation. Singularity is built on the Spider-Girl body, which is always a good one, though its mold might be starting to show its age a bit.  She gets a new head sculpt, which captures the art style of the book pretty well, while also melding well with the rest of the body.  The big thing that sets her apart is her color scheme.  She’s molded in clear blue plastic that has these little metallic flecks all through it, and then has a little metallic purple airbrushed over that in a few key places.  It makes for quite an interesting look, and it’s a great way of capturing how she looks in the comic.

LADY LOKI

A being of Frost Giant descent, Loki also possesses Asgardian powers of shape-shifting and sorcery

Lady Loki is sort of a confusing character in the context of this set, since she’s technically the same person as the usual Loki (who was still running around elsewhere during Secret Wars), and she’s also technically in Sif’s body, but Sif is also in this set.  Best not to think about it too much.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Black Cat body, which means she’s a fair bit smaller than Sif, who she supposedly shares a body with.  Of course, the armored details and such on the Sif body would have made this impossible to do here, and I’d much rather have an inaccurate Loki than a slightly diminished Sif, so I’m letting it slide.  She *does* share a cape with Sif, though, so there’s at least that.  Her head and her skirt add-on piece are both new to this figure, and they’re both quite nicely sculpted, though as with She-Hulk, I might have liked a little more expression in the face.  My figure had a slight molding issue, which left some noticeable flashing at the bottom of her chin, but an X-acto blade cleared that up fine.  Loki’s paint is probably the most complex in the set, with all the scaling detaining and such.  It’s all pretty clean, and once again the metallic colors are looking pretty cool.

ELSA BLOODSTONE

A gun-toting, foul-mouthed monster hunter, Elsa Bloodstone follows in the family tradition of fighting supernatural evils.

Originally a pretty thinly-veiled rip-off of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Elsa Bloodstone was re-purposed by Warren Ellis for his cult hit Nextwave series, which completely changed the character, making her far more absurd, and far more entertaining.  Her placement in this set continues the Nextwave appreciation that began with the Dirk Anger head included with Nick Fury.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on the medium-sized female body, but since no member of Nextwave is truly complete without their trenchcoat, she also gets the arms and jacket pieces from Scarlet Witch.  In addition, she gets a new head, knees, and feet, as well as a belt add-on with a holster.  The whole thing adds up to another very unique looking figure that’s surprisingly true to her Nextwave appearances.  Elsa is the best accessorized figure in this set, getting both her twin shotguns, as well as an oversized revolver.

MONICA RAMBEAU

Gifted in her control of the electromagnetic spectrum, Monica Rambeau uses powerful blasts of energy to shut down her enemies.

Ah, it’s Monica Rambeau, aka Captain Marvel, aka Photon, aka Pulsar, aka Spectrum, aka the most unlucky superhero ever when it comes to keeping a code name.  She’s a favorite of mine and a lot of other fans, and probably one of the bigger draws for this set.  Also, like Elsa, she’s a member of Nextwave.  Two members in one set!  Alright!  Of course, Monica’s not quite in her Nexwave gear, instead wearing her Ultimates costume that she had at the time of the event.  Still, that’s a costume that’s very Nextwave-inspired, so I’m calling it a win.  Monica uses the same basic construction as Elsa, but with standard leg pieces and without the holster.  She also gets a new headsculpt, which is tied with Sif for nicest in the set.  Monica’s paintwork is mostly black and white, which looks very striking, and is in keeping with the design.  There’s a slight pearlescent finish to the white sections, which adds a nice energy-like quality to her design.  She came with no accessories, which is a little disappointing.  Not even an energy effect?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, you saw who was offering this set, so you probably know how I got it.  Yep, this was another Toys R Us liquidation purchase.  I’d seen the set when it was new, but only felt like I really needed three of the six figures included, so the price was a bit prohibitive.  I decided I would wait it out, and if the set ever came down in price, I’d get it.  I firmly set my entry price at 25% off and waited.  When the liquidation began, my store still had a whole stack of this set, and they didn’t really move any faster, but I stopped by one day and they only had a single set left.  What was the discount? 30% off.  So, home with me it came.  Sif is this set’s star, with Elsa and Monica picking up right behind her.  They were the three I wanted, and I’m very happy with them.  Loki and Singularity are both pretty nice as well, but as more event/time specific characters, I have less need for them.  She-Hulk’s the real weak link here, but even as the weakest, she’s still a very nice figure!

#1016: Nick Fury

NICK FURY

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

NickFuryMLS1

Alright, let’s keep moving steadily through Giant-Man week. Today, we go back to the comics side of things with Nick Fury. Though the general public is familiar with Samuel L Jackson’s performance from the MCU movies, Fury spent the first 38 years of his existence as a middle-aged white guy (he was also once played by David Hasslehoff, but the less said about that, the better). The SLJ Fury has gotten a couple of Marvel Legends figures from Hasbro, but it’s been a fair while since we’ve seen a figure of the original Nick. Fortunately, Nick’s one of the figures in the latest round of Marvel Legends. On to the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NickFuryMLS3Nick Fury is figure 5 in the Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends. He’s the second of the three comic-based figures in the set. He’s a slightly odd choice, since Fury isn’t much of a player in either the comic or movie Civil War stories, but it’s not like Nick’s exactly an off-the-wall choice. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Fury is seen here in his classic SHIELD uniform. It’s a slightly more recent incarnation of the uniform (the color of the boots gives it away) but the changes are minimal enough that this Nick could really fit in just about anywhere. He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a pretty good fit for the character. He’s got a new head, as well as add-ons for the shoulder holster, belt, glove cuffs, and thigh strap. This Fury’s head seems to go more for suave super-spy over the Toy Biz Fury’s grizzled old warrior. While I don’t mind it, and I think it may be one of Hasbro’s nicer unmasked heads, I can’t help but miss some of the character from that old sculpt. Comparing the two bodies is no contest, though: Bucky Cap is a huge improvement over the old Namor body, and all of the add-ons look really nice. It’s too bad we’re back to a permanently attached gun on the shoulder holster, but I won’t deny it looks better that way. The paintwork on Nick is all pretty solid. They’ve gone for the solid patch of grey method of handling his 5 o’clock shadow, but it doesn’t look atrocious on this figure. I quite like the SHIELD logos on the shoulders, and I really appreciate the accent work on the white parts of the uniform. Definitely some solid work from Hasbro here. Nick includes two spare heads. The first is a fully helmeted one, allowing for him to double as a generic SHIELD agent, which is much appreciated. The second (and more fun) head is Dirk Anger, Director of H.A.T.E., the Fury parody from Nextwave. Technically, Dirk should have a different uniform, but seeing as this is probably the only way he was ever going to make it into figure form, I’m hardly going to split hairs. Nick also includes a pistol (which can be holstered on his thigh) as well as the left arm of Giant-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember what I said in my Red Guardian review about how finding these guys in stores was happening with increasing frequency? Well, it applies here. I was out with Super Awesome Girlfriend and Tim for my birthday, and we stopped by my local TRU, which had apparently just put out a case of the Giant-Man series. Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on getting this one for me, so here he is. I can’t say a re-done Nick was high on my wants list, but this guy turned out pretty well. Add in the Dirk Anger head, and I’d definitely call this guy a winner!

NickFuryMLS2