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Hasbro: X-Men Marvel Legends Apocalypse Series Gladiator and Storm

Moving right along with all of these new slick Mutant figures, for today, we have two characters in Storm and Gladiator who have had Marvel Legends figures in the past, but that is about where the commonality ends. The new Storm figure is just that, pretty much 100% new in terms of construction, and Gladiator is a total reuse repaint of his previous figure.

So, this puts me in a spot where I have an automatic need/desire/preference to focus more on one figure over the other. That is not a slight to Gladiator in the least, it really is not. Sure, I have had the figure (for the most part) for several years now, but that does not diminish my appreciation of this new version because it is absolutely better than the SDCC Thanos Imperative set version. But, for what is new, I don’t need to take as much time with it because I can direct you to a previous article where all of the rest has already been covered in great detail by Pabs. So, I know that this figure is new to many people because SDCC sets are hard to get, but even if that was not the case, Gladiator is still mostly a repaint of a figure you likely have already anyway. So, let’s get to it.

GLADIATOR

Even if you don’t have the SDCC version of this figure, if you have Hyperion, Venom, Sentry or any other of the many figures built on this large base body, you know how most of this figure will turn out. If you like that base, if you hate that base, or if you call somewhere in between, this figure is not likely to change your stance one way or another as it is just a head and cape on a blank canvas. That said, I feel like this is a fine base for Gladiator and most certainly the most appropriate of all of the blanks that are currently in the Legends library. Gladiator is a big dude who towers over most other in the MU, and this figure gets that part right for sure.

Now, I know this is mostly a rehash of a previous figure, but that does not keep it from being better in just about every single aspect over that last version. Sure, the parts are consistent, but the paint production value are much better here. That last Gladiatory was kind of floppy in some of the joints, and due to his is large size, gave him a tendency to take dives off of the shelf. That was not at all helped by the fact that he also has a big honking cape, so structural integrity and balance are better here because this new particular figure does not have any loose joints.  I still find this base to be somewhat awkward and, at times, difficult to pose due to the proportions, but it is engineered better this time around.

That said, the real improvements with this version come via the new paint job, and not only is it cleaner, I like the colors better as well. Don’t get me wrong, the gold and metallic colors used on the other version look cool, but this version is much more in line with what Gladiator looks like in classic comic panels. The flat colors are more effective here, and I appreciate the brightness of the reds and yellows over the gold. His face is also painted more cleanly this time, and the eyes in particular look better to me and the flat color brings out more detail than the shiny finish used before. 

Make no mistake, this is a much better version of this Gladiator figure than what we got before, and for those of you who missed the SDCC set, you are better off at this point. However, that pretty much wraps up what is new about it, so add a nice looking figure to the shelf, and let’s move on to…

STORM 

STORM! Yes! Now this is what I am talking about! Storm is second place in this series only to Wolverine for me, but it is really, really close. Wolverine is a more fun action figure overall, but in terms of being accurate and just plain awesome looking, O here keeps it a dead heat. This punk look is right at the top for my favorite looks for Storm (along with her original First Appearance look), and this is what she was sporting when I was introduced to the character a youngster. So, I have been waiting for this figure for a long time. No, this is not the first Mohawk Storm we have had in ML, but it is definitely the best, and by far the most accurate in terms of overall figure to this 80s era. Yeah, I missed the Jubilee figure, but really, due to the look and execution, I already know I like this figure better. 

The Hasbro design team has really gone all-in on this Storm figure, and since there is minimal reuse here, this unique look is given the proper treatment to get all of the details across. Storm is sporting the classic punk notes of the 80s, so not only does her hairdo show that, but the belts, earrings, gloves, and spiked collar are all present as well. The boots are an important element as well, and as silly as it might sound due to everything else going on, Storm’s boots are some of my favorite elements of the figure. No, they are not complicated, and they are the same color as the rest of her clothes (black clothes are the BEST), but they are just perfect to me. Maybe I am a shoe horse and I don’t even know it, but I will take a kick ass woman in a pair of boots like these any day over some high heels. Storm is boss.

Of course the likeness is great here and that has been a major strength for most of ML as of late. As much as I feel like Psylocke missed the likeness, they really nailed it with Storm. Yes, it looks like her, and the mohawk and earrings really help sell the particular look, but the expression is perfect, too. It is confident, defiant, and ready to kick Cyclops’s ass. Storm might have lost her powers during this era, but she more than makes up for it with her attitude, and her expression is aces. Additionally, all of these parts work together to give Storm some real height, and I appreciate that. She is generally portrayed as one of the taller females in the MU, so the fact that is represented here deserves some praise to the Hasbro Marvel team. Oh, and she also gets the same effects as Magneto, this time in yellow, and these are much more appropriate here in terms of illustration of Storm’s powers. Yes, Wolverine is a really fun figure, but damn, this Storm is really, really nice.

Hey, these are both strong figures, but I cannot help to be more excited about Storm, not just because she is “newer” to me, but Hasbro went all out with her, and appreciate that for a look I really love. Hopefully her waaaaaaaaay overdue first appearance costume will be along soon, and we will definitely need that 90s look, too.

Whew! We have made it though all of the standard figures, so come back tomorrow to see the impressive build-a-figure.

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