#2984: Shriek



“Frances Louise Barrison, a.k.a. Shriek, escapes from captivity and forms a twisted family with like-minded villains to terrorize Spider-Man.”

In the ’90s, Venom was all the rage, so Marvel spun-off Carnage from him.  And then Carnage became all the rage, so, in 1993, Marvel used him as the central player in a Spider-book-wide crossover, “Maximum Carnage,” which teamed him up with his own band of super villains.  Mostly, they were repurposed from elsewhere, but brand-new to the crossover was Shriek.  Though certainly prominent within the story, Shriek has struggled to do much of note since then, so she’s not had much in the way of toy coverage.  She did get a Minimate three years ago, and now she’s also has a Marvel Legend.  Lucky her!


Shriek is figure 6 in the Armadillo Series of Marvel Legends, where she is the second of the two comics-based figures.  Her spot in the line-up is no doubt due to the character’s presence in the Venom sequel, since it did elevate her profile at least a little bit.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Shriek is built on one of the smaller female base bodies, but it’s been slightly tweaked to update some of the aesthetics, removing the visible pins on the knees, as well as updating the elbows to double joints.  The elbow construction is a little bit iffy, at least on mine. I wound up having to do a little bit of clean-up on the excess plastic at the edges, as it was causing the joints to get stuck and risk tearing.  After the clean-up, she was just fine, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on when taking her out of the package.  In general, Shriek’s sculpt is a rather basic and straight forward one, but that’s something that Hasbro’s come to excel at, so she looks pretty good.  She’s quite clean and sleek looking.  A look like Shriek’s requires a very well-executed paint job, since it’s all just black and white.  Fortunately, she’s got some of the sharpest paint in the assortment, so her look winds up really sticking the landing.  Shriek is packed with a whopping three sets of hands, in fists, gripping, and open gesture poses, as well as the largest section of the Armadillo Build-A-Figure, the torso and backplate.  I suppose some effects might have been cool, but it’s hard to do sound as a visual thing, and I do really appreciate the extra hands.


I’m not the world’s biggest Shriek fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I won’t deny that the character has a pretty cool visual, so the fact that she’s been such a rarity in the toy world is kind of sad.  I wasn’t really rooting for her to get a spot here, but I also was definitely not opposed, and I do have to say that the final product turned out rather nicely.  She may be a rather by-the-numbers figure, but she follows those numbers well.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2909: Shriek Unmasked



“Walter Shreeve was a skilled audio engineer living in Neo-Gotham, trying to fund his research in the field of sonics. Unable to do so, Shreeve used his highly advanced sound technology to build an armored suit capable of demolishing buildings with sonic blasts. Going by the name Shriek, he was soon hired to destroy Batman and nearly succeeded, but lost his hearing in the ensuing battle. He was then sent to Blackgate Penitentiary where he was able to continue his research behind bars. Since then, Shriek has managed to break out on occasion, each time seeking revenge against Batman and wreaking havoc on the citizens of Neo-Gotham!”

It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose.  After two days of McFarlane DC reviews that weren’t Batman-related, we’ve circled back to what Todd truly knows best about DC.  I mean, it’s not specifically a Batman, of course, but it’s a Batman villain, and it’s also got a stupid variant structure, so we’re right back in that McFarlane comfort zone!

Batman Beyond‘s creator’s strove to give Terry his own unique cast of villains, which wouldn’t just be cheap re-hashes of Bruce’s old foes.  Introduced early on, and becoming a rather recurring opponent, was Walter Shreeve, aka Shriek.  He’s got one of the most distinctive and memorable designs of Terry’s foes, making him a solid choice for toy treatment.  That said, he never did get it during the show’s original run, with his McFarlane figure being his very first…or second, I guess, what with there being two of them and all.


Shriek Unmasked is a solo release within McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  As with Batman Beyond, he was preceded by a Target-exclusive release, which also included a Build-A-Figure part, and was fully armored, rather than unmasked.  Yes, in classic McFarlane form, rather than giving us one figure with an extra head, they’re selling us two of the same figure with different heads, and thereby making both figures less valid than one single figure with an extra accessory would have been.  Greeeaaaaat.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  It’s largely the same as the usual set-up, but the movement on the arms is predictably kind of restricted by how the armor works.  To McFarlane’s credit, the movement is all pretty decent, and the arms work better than you might expect at first glance.  The sculpt is a pretty decent piece of work.  He’s technically based on the comics, as was the Batman Beyond, but it’s a good merging of the aesthetics.  The armor’s detailing is pretty sharp and cleanly detailed, and there aren’t too many extra details shoved in to really mess things up, so it’s generally a nice piece.  The head is likewise a very nice piece of work.  It’s real world-styled version of Shreeves, but it really still feels like the character as depicted in the show.  There’s just the right level of slimy sleezebag, and I love it.  Shriek’s paint work is well handled; the suit has some nice contrast on the black/white, and the clear blue parts are definitely fun.  His head has a rather involved paint deco, which gives Shreeves his usual sickly pallor.  He’s clearly a guy who doesn’t get out much.  Shriek is packed with two sound effect pieces, a display stand, and a collector’s card.


This guy reminds me of exactly why I don’t like how McFarlane does things, because the splitting of the two looks just really sucks all around.  I certainly was down for a Shriek to go with my Batman, but I wasn’t really big on how the helmet looked on the first release.  I wanted an alternate head of some sort, which this figure gave me, but, of course, at the cost of him never actually being helmeted now, which is limiting in its own right.  Sure, I may not be thrilled by the helmet’s design, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the potential option of displaying it.  Ultimately, I was going to feel he was lacking either way, but I felt slightly less so this way, so it’s what I went with.  I do really like this figure, and I think he turned out really well.  He’d be better with the extra head, though.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.