VENOM & DOPPLEGANGER
In the ’90s, Marvel was big into anti-heroes, and in a lot of cases, that meant refitting older villains into a newer role. The popularity of Venom outside of even his main hero pushed Marvel to take that slightly more heroic angle with him, with a prominent anti-heroic role during “Maximum Carnage,” where he and Spidey are forced to team up to face down a common foe. Over on Carnage’s side, he was building his own team of villains, which included a remnant of a prior crossover, the Doppelganger, who’d been brought into existence during “Infinity War” and had a hole in his schedule, I guess. Those two are the subject of today’s review!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Venom and Doppleganger were released as part of the 76th specialty series of Marvel Minimates, which was based on the “Maximum Carnage” cross-over. They and the rest of the assortment hit shelves in October of 2018.
Also included in this set is a piece to the Build-A-Mate Shriek. For this particular set, it’s the torso, belt, and pelvis. Not quite as distinctive as the head and hair, but it’s something.
No stranger to Minimates, DST sometimes seems to struggle with how to make each subsequent Eddie Brock Venom feel unique from the last. We gotten all manner of different mixes of bulking him up, and, well, here’s another one, I guess. Structurally, this Venom is really a mix of prior ones. He’s got a bulked up torso, upper arms, pelvis, and upper legs, and then a pair of clawed hands. The end result is…well, it’s different. DST was clearly looking to capture the artistic take in Venom at the time, which had his upper torso being rather large in comparison to his arms and legs, making him look like a bit V…you know, for Venom, I guess. Using just some of the power-house pieces is actually an idea that was suggested on the boards a few times, so there was certainly some demand to see it done. I’m not super sure how well it worked out ultimately, but this is far from the worst take on Venom. The paint on this guy does a decent job of capturing the art from the story, as well as selling him as distinctive from his prior figures. That said, it’s a shame that the highlights on the upper legs don’t continue to the lower, as this only further emphasizes the jump between the parts, making it look like he’s missing something. I do really like the print on that head, though. Venom’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which is kind of a shame. It would have been nice to get another unmasked Eddie, or possibly another of the sonic gun they included with Spidey. As it its, he’s very light, especially without all of the usual bulk-up parts.
The Doppelganger is an interesting enough concept, though he admittedly gets a little lost in a story with so many dark reflections of Spider-Man. It was at least nice that they didn’t totally forget about him. This is his first time as a ‘mate, which isn’t a huge surprise for a character that hasn’t been relevant since the ’90s. Of course, with the 6-arm tooling ready to go since Series 36, it’s perhaps a bit of a shock it took quite as long as it did. Like the standard Spidey, Doppelganger starts with the core body, but adds in the harness from 6-Arm Spidey, as well as a new set of hands and feet for more of a clawed appearance. I felt the harness bulked up Spidey a bit too much, but it ends up working out okay for the Doppelganger, who was typically depicted as a little larger anyway. I also appreciate that this guy got new hands and feet, rather than just re-using similar pieces from the likes of Nightcrawler. It makes him even more unique. His paint is generally pretty close to Sonic Attack Spidey, though the application’s not quite as good on my Doppelganger, with the eyes not really matching up quite right with the lines on the mask and a bit of slop on the base level of the work. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely a slight step down. Like Venom, Doppelganger’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but with the new hands and feet, it feels a little less frustrating here.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like I mentioned in my Spidey and Black Cat review, I’ve got no notable attachment to this storyline, and I was starting to fall out of Minimates by this point. I was grabbing the one set, and I felt compelled to get this one too. None of the others, though. As I said above, it’s hard to do a lot new and different with a Venom at this point. This guy gets points for trying something new, I suppose, and he’s ultimately not a bad effort. I’m even hard-pressed to say what DST could have done differently, but he still feels ever so slightly off. Doppelganger’s a decent new addition to the line, held back ever so slightly by some wonky QC, which has been afflicting Spidey for a while now. I guess it’s only fair it might hit his duplicate.