Whew! It has been awhile since I worked my way through an entire Marvel Legends series for feature here on the old Fwoosh, but, hey – I made it! I have loved a lot of figures over multiple different recent waves, but I find this Abomination assortment (supporting Captain America: Civil War) to be particularly interesting as it features figures of characters from all walks of the larger Marvel Universe. I decided to bookend this series with the bad dudes, and since the Abomination Build-a-Figure kicked things off, Iron Skull and Eel are going to bring it home.
Like I said, this assortment of Marvel Legends is interesting to me because it is not only kind of all over the place, but I have been met with realized expectations for some figures and surprises with others. Wonder Man and Captain Britain were just what the doctor ordered for me in terms of characters and needed redos, but Secret Wars Captain America and MCU Scarlet Witch have been nice surprises as figures from categories (variants and movies) that I am not usually enthusiastic about. Iron Skull and Eel were put together because they are the heavies, but I find them to be the biggest mixed bag in terms my take on each of them.
I am going to start with Iron Skull because, frankly, he has ended up as my least favorite figure of the wave, and I want to start with the bad news first. Well, it is not actually “bad news” because this is not a bad figure per se, but the construction and variation on Red Skull this provides really isn’t my bag. It seems as though everyone has a suit of Tony Stark armor these days, so I suppose the diabolical Skull should be no exception. I get the rationale behind it from a storytelling aspect: it is one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe, so everyone is going to want it; however, at this point, it is pretty played out, and I find it REALLY detracts from Iron Man himself when you have a whole group of dudes running around with a take on his armor.
Of course, I would have much preferred getting the Red Skull in his classic green jumpsuit (something we have never had in Marvel Legends), but suppose I can see the support for this more recent costume. However, since it is (literally) a repaint of an Iron Man figure, I am not buying the argument that this armor makes for a more “interesting” or “relevant” choice for a toys, because it is not, but, again, I get the point. Red Skull is a perennial powerhouse villain in the Marvel Universe, so hopefully we will get a chance to come to the plate in his green duds at some point.
With this figure you get an “evil” repaint of one of the modern Iron Man armors, so, naturally, a lot of black and silver are used. I still find all of the current Iron Man bases to be too skinny to have a guy inside of them, but in Hasbro’s defense, they are really just following the form of the movies. So, the work being done here is true (from what I can tell) to the source material, and since this base was already out there, it helped keep this figure in check from a cost perspective. The black (almost more of a pewter color) and red highlights complement the red of the Skull head and helmet nicely, so it has that going for it, and from a design standpoint, the details are handled well for being on armor we have known for a long time.
Speaking of the helmet, I find that to be the best part of the entire figure, and I will most certainly be keeping it on the figure. It is kind of funny that it is a metal recreation of the face of the guy under all of that armor (so like if Stark gave his Iron Man mask a mustache, which would actually be really awesome), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look cool. It is very geometric in terms of the skull recreation, and it kind of has a Deathstroke vibe to me, so that is a thing. I actually really dig it, so maybe I will repurpose this to be a “Skull Sentry” or something, a kind of generic robot trooper in the Skull’s employ. Plus, the included Red Skull head is the older one, and while it is fine, the one included with the Red Onslaught figure is so much better in terms of sculpt, that I really don’t have a place for this, so the helmet will stay on.
I know, I had to nitpick this wave somewhere, and since I still stand by the belief that we have not gotten a good figure of the iconic look for Red Skull, it was going to be here. Like I said, I get it. This one has been in the comics and on TV, too, so I do not begrudge the variant pick here at all, it just doesn’t rings as very exciting to me, but your thoughts on that are bound to vary.
Eel, on the other hand, is a unique character who has NEVER had a Legends figure (did he even have a figure in the old ToyBiz 5-inch figure line?), and despite not being very high up on my personal want list, he actually turned out very nice. We seem to have an unofficial/official Serpent Society thing running in Marvel Legends now since Cottonmouth came out a few months ago, so if Hasbro is planning on working through that roster, I would be in support of it, but it is a pretty tough row to hoe with its large membership and unique tooling requirements. I imagine the will focus on the heavy-hitters, and that is fine, so Cottonmouth and Eel make for two great first entrants.
Eel’s look is actually kind of cool for being, more or less, a “nude suit,” so I dig the color combination of light blue and (almost) iridescent purple, and the design patterning is unique, too. For new pieces, he gets exactly NONE (unless his head is not Blizzard’s, as I am thinking it is, but I have to be honest, I am having a heck of time telling for sure), but looking over the construction, he did not require anything new. I am usually VERY much against repurposing heads for reuse on different characters, but the Blizzard head (if it is really that) is actually masked and it fits Eel well enough, at the very least to make an all-new part not really needed.
Past that, you get the “Bucky Cap” (or, you know, Blizzard) base, and two sets of hands: standard fists, and the now well-used movie Electro hands. Fists are good, I love fists, and most characters can have a need for them at some point, so good choice here. The Electro hands are also a good choice because they do a great job of illustrating Eel’s powers (at least in the hands area), and the electric portions are painted very dynamically on top of clear plastic, so they look cool. Now, the BIG thing about the inclusion of these hands is that they are not the ONLY hands included. We just saw comic Electro in the last Spider-Man wave include these same hands for his powers, but unlike Eel, he did not have an alternate pair. That puts Eel ahead of him in this game because, while I like these, I don’t like only having them as the sole option for display. I have options for Eel, but I am on the prowl for an alternate set of hands for Max.
Eel and Iron Skull are kind of on the opposite ends of the lineup for this Abomination wave; Eel is the only new and unique character as a first-timer into Legends, and Iron Skull is a variation that I am not overly keen on. Eel is a great figure, even as a completed part rehash, and Iron Skull has some nice features, like his helmet, but not enough to put him anywhere but at the bottom of my rankings for this assortment. That is okay, SOMETHING has to be there, and really, with the stiff competition of Abomination, Wonder Man, Captain Britain, MCU Scarlet Witch, Secret Wars Captain America, and Eel, it was going to be a hard fight for him from the get-go. That further speaks to the overall strength of this wave though, and I really dig it, so if you have not secured your set yet, go out there and find these toys!