From the very first images of this Wolverine, it was pretty clear that it was going to be something unique and not perhaps the “go-to” Wolverine for everyone. It was always going to be a mash-up of a classic costume with some movie-style elements. Even among us One:12 guys at Fwoosh, there are degrees of how well received that mash-up has been.
Fundamentally, this is the same figure as the “classic” version the cool kids got last year and the rest of us got around Christmas, so for this review we’ll spare you our thoughts on articulation and such, since he’s just as good in all those regards. Interestingly, this version was the first Wolverine we got to see, and he has shipped as that version, albeit with one substantial change:
Initally, Wolverine had biker shorts-styled trunks that came partially down his thigh. After some mixed reaction, Mezco decided to revise them, bringing them closer in to the more comics-consistent length. Hat’s off for being flexible to the changes and responsive to the feedback, but I have to admit, I miss those shorts, just a little.
Other than that, this Wolverine is for the most part a modification of the “classic” costume, swapping out the blues and stripes for brown pleather. The material is a bit different than the vinyl-ish one used on the other’s trunks; this is more like Daredevil’s. As such, it doesn’t lay in the same ways, and there can be a little bunching here and there. I can’t say it bothers me, but I can see where it might annoy other folks.
The other change in costume is the shoulder armor. These are much more “pauldron” in design, covering most of his shoulder completely, but as this is the layout it was probably intended for, the hinged system works really well with them. It’s possible to rotate the shoulder and extend the arms a bit without any moving of the hinge, which is something the classic version surprisingly struggles with.
The color palette is one of those things — it’s like blue or black Batman — it’s either your definitive … or it’s the other one. Honestly, this is what I think of first, due to the comics I started with and the awesome Konami arcade game. There is some debate over the yellow vs tan (again, Batman stuff), but I would say the yellow has precedent in at least half the original appearances. As the costume would return over the years, it became decidedly more orange. Mezco’s version of that suit has a lot of nice detailing and texture added to it, especially on the sides of the torso and trunks. In fact, the only part I don’t prefer of this version is the belt — more specifically the buckle, or lack thereof. This version feels right without the “X” on it, but the red seatbelt buckle just feels a little out of place.
Accessories are a little different for this version: he oddly just has one closed grip and one fist apiece, but otherwise those and the heads are essentially the same with the appropriate color variance. I did notice the open hands are a little more pliable, and that has made for a lot of fun in having him sneaking around ledges and stuff. Both masked heads are here, but sadly not the unmasked. Which is a shame, since it looks pretty damn good on there. The new inclusion this time would be the Muramasa blade and sheath. It is awesome. ‘Nuff said.
For me (Dis) this version is tied right up there with the classic, maybe edging over in some areas. But that’s because I think I enjoy the idea or the spirit of that look more than any of its specifics — which is probably why I enjoy this line like I do. But I wasn’t the only one who took the plunge on this one …
Canonball here — I preordered this guy with the quickness because the brown costume is my default, go-to favorite look for Wolverine. While not the character’s creator, John Byrne’s tenure with the X-Men solidified what and who “Wolverine” is for me permanently. That said, I have some pretty mixed feelings about this figure. At first I didn’t like it, but it’s been growing on me.
As Dis mentioned, this works as a kind of hybrid of the comic brown costume and how that costume may have looked had it been adapted to the screen for the Fox movies. It’s got the colors mostly right, but it’s way more “tactical” than traditionally “superhero.” It’s almost as though it’s trying to be all things to all people, and I just can’t seem to make up my mind in terms of what I actually think of it.
The tactical traits add a ton of detail to the sculpt and make it look a bit more interesting than, say, a Marvel Legends Wolverine, but, at the same time, I went into this wanting a One:12 purely classic Wolverine, so I think my own preferences and expectations could be holding me back from fully embracing this.
I do like the figure, and I have definitely warmed up to it since that initial unboxing a week ago, but I almost have to think of it as an “Elseworlds” design or something. But it’s a great complement to the One:12 modern Captain America, for example. It fits the aesthetic, and it seems Mezco will be building their own interpretation of the Marvel Universe within this aesthetic. It’s not a “definitive” Wolverine figure, but it succeeds as a “real-world” interpretation of the brown costume, and that’s a tricky thing to pull off since there’s really been no previous examples for such a thing. If you’d like to pick one up for yourself, you can place an order with Mezco directly.