#0842: Patriot




The early 2000s were a bit of a dim time for Marvel, at least for me. For almost a decade, they decided to do their very best to make fans looking for more “classic” interpretations of the heroes unwelcome, by giving just about every major series a dark, brooding, paranoid tone. There were a few series that managed to not suck, though, and one of my personal favorites was Alann Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s Young Avengers. The team has, unfortunately, been pretty scarce in the toy world: there was one boxed set at the end of Toy Biz’s run with Marvel Legends, a Vision 2.0 (released as a variant of the original Vision) in Marvel Minimates, and then today’s figure, Eli Bradley, aka Patriot!


Patriot2Patriot was released in Series 17 of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line. It’s actually Patriot’s second figure, which gives him twice as many figures as half the team, and infinitely more figures than the other half of the team. Yay for him, I guess. The figure stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall and has 23 points of articulation. Eli had two distinct looks in the comics; this figure (like his Marvel Legend) is based on his first costume. He spent far less time in this costume than the other, but it’s a slightly stronger design and it’s got a lot in common with Bucky’s costume, which allows for some part re-use. Part re-use is probably the real reason this figure even exists, since he’s 100% re-used from other figures. His body is (unsurprisingly) from Series 7’s Bucky figure, and his head is from Series 5’s Union Jack (oh no, conflicting patriotism! What will he do?). The tricky thing with these re-used parts is that, while Bucky and Patriot’s designs are similar, they aren’t identical. So, Patriot ends up with a very different collar than his comics counterpart, the front of his jacket has buttons on both sides (as opposed to just the right side), and his boots are cuffed. It’s a bit frustrating that none of these were fixed for this figure, but it is what it is I suppose. At the very least, the overall look of the figure is a close approximation. The paint does do its fair share to try and mask some of these issues as best as possible; the front of the jacket, for instance, only has painted piping on the right side, allowing the other side to sort of “fade in” to the torso. The paint also adds the small stars on his forehead and torso, as well as the striping on the sides of his legs. Unfortunately, the figure lacks the proper white piping on the edges of the gloves. Also, some of the paint, especially the red, is quite sloppily applied, though this is only really noticeable up close. Patriot was packed with Captain America’s original shield, which, like the rest of this figure, is a reuse, though it’s completely excusable here, since it’s supposed to be the exact same shield.


Being an avid Young Avengers fan, I bought Patriot as soon as I found him (which was at my local comic book store). Of the six Young Avengers figures in existence, this is probably the weakest. That being said, he’s not terrible. The parts he re-uses, while perhaps not 100% accurate, are at least good pieces. That makes this figure a good figure, if not an accurate one. Plus, viewed through the lens of “inaccurate or not at all” I’ll happily take inaccurate.

#0136: Young Avengers



Today, I’m once again venturing into the land of Toybiz’s Marvel Legends.  I’ve actually stated to dread these reviews a little because I was quite fond of these figures when they were released, but looking back at them takes away all the nostalgia.  It doesn’t help that most of them are also accompanied by a story of how difficult they were to acquire.  Some of the figures still hold up, though, and occasionally some of them even lack the frustration inducing stories.  The Young Avengers set is actually one of those.


These guys were released as a boxed set during the final year of ToyBiz’s possession of the Marvel license.  They’re based on their appearance in the first issue of the original Young Avengers, which was also included with the set.


First up, the effective leader of the team, Patriot.  Patriot was Eli Bradley, the grandson of Isaiah Bradley who was the “Black Captain America.”  He acquired the Super Soldier serum thanks to a blood transfusion from his grandfather.  He’s shown here in his original costume, which was patterned after Bucky’s costume.  It’s not the costume he spent the majority of his appearances in, but it’s actually my favorite of his two costumes.  Patriot stands about 6 inches tall and features 38 points of articulation.  Amazingly for a Marvel Legends sculpt, everything is actually well proportioned.  My only complaint would be that his feet are probably at tad too big, but the rest looks good.  The detail on the uniform is great, with lots of great little wrinkles and folds.  The head is also spot-on to Jim Cheung’s art on the series.  The paint work is all nicely done, with no real issues.  I do wish they had used differently colored pins for the lower knee articulation because the black actually ended up bleeding into the white plastic around it.  Patriot included the original Captain America shield and a display stand with his picture on it.  Small issues aside, Patriot’s my favorite figure in the set, in spite of being my least favorite of the characters.


Ah, yes Iron Lad.  Remember how Patriot was my favorite figure and least favorite character?  Iron Lad is the exact opposite.  I loved the character, but the figure’s just eh…  Anyway, Iron Lad is actually a young Kang the Conqueror.  For those of you not in the know, Kang is one of the Avengers’ greatest adversaries.  Iron Lad found out who he was destined to become and rebelled.  The first arc of the series largely deals with the ramifications of this.  Iron Lad stands about 6 inches tall and features 30 points of articulation.  He doesn’t put his articulation to very good use, as some key points are missing, leaving him stuck in some awkward positions.  Iron Lad’s armor did have a tendency to change around a little bit, so I guess he was a bit hard to capture.  The head is great.  It looks just like the character.  Sadly, the body’s a mess.  The proportions are a mess, and the articulation is incredibly obvious.  The paint is also quite sloppy, which doesn’t do the sculpt any favors.  Iron Lad included a display stand with his picture on it.  I don’t hate this figure, but I wish it had turned out a little better.


Next up is Asgardian, or as he’s been known in every appearance following the first arc, Wiccan.  He’s Billy Caplan, and he’s the reincarnated spirit of one of the Scarlet Witch and Vision’s deceased children.  It makes more sense in context.  Billy stands about 6 inches tall and features 35 points of articulation.  The sculpt looks pretty good, and his body sculpt is probably the best in the set.  All the proportions look about right, which is cool.  His head sculpt isn’t quite as nice as the other two, but it’s not terrible by any stretch.  The paint isn’t the best in the set, but it’s passable.  There’s a few spots with some noticeable slop, and the paint on the arms is super thick, but it doesn’t look too bad.  Asgardian included a staff and a display stand with his picture on it.


Lastly, it’s Billy’s boyfriend Hulkling.  Hulkling is also the offspring of Kree Captain Mar-Vell and the Skrull Princess, so there’s that.  Hulkling stands closer to 7 inches and features 34 points of articulation.  The sculpt is pretty good, and super textured.  Like, there are no smooth areas on this guy.  Even his arms have a pretty cool skin texture.  The head is spot on to Jim Cheung’s drawings of the character, and all the proportions look appropriate to the character.  My only real complaint is that the hands look oddly flat, which looks a bit weird from certain angles.  Hulkling’s paint is all very well applied, with no noticeable slop, and some rather nice dry-brushing.  Hulkling includes a stand with his picture on it.


I was very excited for this set when it was released.  I had been following the comic and was very happy to see them on display at Toy Fair that year.  I received this set form my parents for Christmas and have greatly enjoyed it since.  When I packed up my Marvel Legends a few years ago, it was amongst the very last of the items put away.  My greatest complaint about this set is that we never got the remaining members of the team.