In what may be the longest and most torturous delay of gratification ever, Iron Man 2020 still has not made a comic-con debut. Sure, we saw more toys, but the wait for Arno persists.
The best news to come out of New York Comic Con is a brand new actual Fantastic Four wave. It has been well over a decade since we got a full-fledged FF wave, up until the very recent run of Walgreens figures, the team that kicked off everything we now think of as the Marvel Universe has been woefully short-sheeted. With the FF due to (eventually) make their official MCU debut at some point in the very near future, hopefully this is the beginning of much more to come.
With all four members set to appear in the wave, there will be no waiting around with only pieces of the team. The Walgreens Wait was agonizing, and, while I’m glad to finally have them all, I am beyond tired of waiting for teams to be completed over the course of two years or more. This way is much better: one wave, bam, complete set.
Unsurprisingly, with the Walgreens Fantastic Four members taking care of the most classic or iconic looks, the ML team chose a different set of costumes to anchor the wave. As usual, fandom opinion varies. Some want the black and white “Negative Zone” costumes, some the blue and white, others the Future Foundation, and still others might want one of the other more shorter-lived eras, like the one where they had short-sleeves for some reason.
Instead of any of those, these are going to be a fully modern set, taken directly from the current run being written by Dan Slott. I am completely fine with this, as the Slott run is probably the most enjoyable the FF have been since maybe the Waid run, and these are the best the costumes have been in a long time. They take the familiar theme of blue and black and juxtapose them just enough to make them feel recognizable and yet fresh. There have been malcontent rumblings about this version of the team, but as usual I never know why. I think these look great and rank up there with what is thought of as iconic.
These aren’t straight side-shoots of the Walgreens wave, as there are a few differences. Sue gets a new shield effect and reed gets a new bearded head to go with his on-page beard. I guess he saw Namor had grown a beard there for a while and decided to follow suit. Anything to keep Sue’s attention.
Speaking of keeping Sue’s attention, this Reed has a pair of hands with insane Spirit Fingers. Luckily, for those of you that are creeped out by this, he does come with a pair of fists as well. I’m assuming he’s not coming with any other stretched out parts, which is a shame, as some crazy stretched heads or other parts seem like they should be almost mandatory, but it is what it is.
Johnny comes in flamed down form, which, admittedly, is not all that exciting for me. I know people are always clamoring for powered-down Johnny, but for me partially flamed Human Torches just don’t…light my fire, is where I should be going with this. A fully flamed on Johnny Storm is THE HUMAN TORCH while a partially flamed Johnny is just a blonde dude that looks like he should be starring in a safety video shown to high school students.
Granted I do have the Walgreens Johnny if I wanted a fully flamed on version, but I’d still like to get one that’s not translucent.
Thing gets a new belt and a hew head, this time with better brows but more of an underbite. I like the brow, and I’m ambivalent about the underbite. I ended up with 5 or 6 Walgreens Things so I’ll no doubt be picking up a few of these. At least this one should be easier to get. I still need to make myself a sexy spiked Thing, because I just don’t see Hasbro doing it.
Unless you’re up for it, Hasbro, in which case…spike my Thing, bitch. Spike the hell out of it.
Counting on my fingers, that is now all four FF members. On to other characters who were shown off in pictures at SDCC. The grey She-Hulk remains an odd choice, but I’ve read the story she appeared in since her figure was shown off, so I’m cool with it. I like having different variations, and she did turn grey back in a storyline a while ago as well, so it’s an interesting look, although I’d have vastly preferred a green version to be getting a brand new sculpt like this. There’s always green paint, I suppose. Either way, at least this will be an actual good she-Hulk figure, even if the color-choice is odd.
Dr. Doom is another I’m kind of torn on. I dig the figure, but I also agree with some of the complaints that he’s almost a little too detailed. I would have preferred less of the actual knight embellishments and more traditional Doom stylings, especially if such a thing could have lent itself to an Ultron, much in the same way was done with the marvel Universe line.
Regardless of the amount of detail, that skirt just feels too long. It’s less “regal” Doom and more “prom dress” Doom. Maybe it’ll feel better in-hand.
We’re getting a blue-and yellow Deadpool. I think we’ve had a version of this before, but I can’t remember if I ever got him. Was he in a two-pack? Maybe I have the old version. I can’t remember. I’m going to say no. Yes, I’m pretty much just talking to myself at this point, but I’ll be damned if I can remember. Either way, that was in old bad Hasbro times, so this updated upgraded Deadpool is going to be infinitely better than that other toy that I can’t remember whether or not I have. And I am not going to go pulling through my old toys to find out. You can’t make me!
And finally, X-panding our X-Force rosters comes Sunspot and Warpath, both done exactly the way they should be done and in era-accurate costumes to go with X-force figures we already have.
This particular era of comics—Liefeld and pouches and metal arms and hash marks and gritted teeth and big hair and all of that stuff—gets massively derided, but I think enough time has passed that we can all stop looking down our noses at it. To be honest, it all has a very specific feel that might not be endearing to a lot of people, but if you were reading it at the time and not weirdly pretentious about illustrated adventures of superheroes, there was a lively, kinetic feeling to it all that signified the spirit of comics even if it wasn’t the best of what comics could be. In other words, sure, none of it was going to be winning any awards, but it had a fun beat and you could shake your ass to it.
Warpath is Liefeldianly huge–without all the anatomical drawbacks—and will look great punching people. Now let’s finally get his long-dead brother on a completely different and far smaller body!
I’ve always been a fan of Sunspot’s black energy form juxtaposed with this red and blue costume with the yellow collar popping out perfectly. Those very familiar effects parts return and actually feel more appropriate than usual, emulating Sunspot’s black crackle (blackle?) perfectly. A little bit of yellow paint on some of those bubbles will complete the effect. Yellow paint sold separately, because you’ll have to do that yourself, but it’d probably be worth it.
Anything Fantastic Four is a cause for celebration, so these were some pretty good showings. While nothing really blew me away, it’s more about what it might mean—more waves of FF-themed figures—than what was actually shown.
Now if I could just see an Arno, 2020 will be looking pretty good.