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Hasbro: Marvel Legends Cull Obsidian Series Malekith and Black Knight

I will admit that, as good as the Marvel Cinematic Universe figures are getting in Marvel Legends, and they ARE amazing, the comic-based figures are still the ones that I look forward to the most in new assortments. The Hasbro team has been doing a great job balancing comics and the MCU, but the past few assortments have been pretty movie-heavy, so I am glad to get the comic figures as they come. There are two in the Cull Obsidian wave, a Malekith for a larger audience, and the long-awaited Black Knight.

I guess this is TECHNICALLY an Avengers wave, even though Ant-Man and Wasp are out in support of their own movie, so getting an actual comic-based Avenger, and an adjacent villain makes for two solid entries to my ML collection. Now sure, I was able to get my hands on the Thor set from SDCC last year, so I have technically had Malekith for a minute by now, but I definitely prefer this new version (repaint with a new/old left hand), so I am glad to have this. That said, you will have to excuse my focus on Black Knight for most of this article, he is so shiny and new, and long overdue, even if you have not been able to get your mitts on last year’s Malekith model.

Now, this Malekith share a lot in common with the X-Men Legends Apocalypse series Gladiator in that both characters got SDCC-exclusive figures with different paint schemes prior to their mass release. For me, I actually prefer the mass release of both figures, but while I think that Gladiator was a marked improvement over the one from a few years ago, I am less enthusiastic about this release. That is not because I don’t think it is great, because it is, but I think the previous Malekith is a stronger figure than the previous Gladiator was, if you take my meaning. Meaning, if you have a chance to own both of these Malekiths, you cannot go wrong with the paint scheme that you prefer, and if you have not been able to obtain the SDCC version, this new one should fit your needs just fine.

Let me tell you, I am all about getting more Thor stuff in ML. I am a huge fan of his mythos and character/rogues gallery, so bring on more for the Odin Son, all right? While Ulik stole my heart last year, I always have room for dark elves in my display, so this new Malekith is going to look great in my Thor display. Now, aside from the inclusion of the Cull Obsidian bit, this is technically a straight up re-release, so I don’t want to take this further than it needs to in terms trumpeting the release of this figure, but hey, I DO like the tone of getting SDCC-exclusive figures in other forms down the line.

Yep, same figure as before (with that swapped out grip hand), and that is fine because I think Hasbro offered us a great sculpt and the clean, classic look is the best for Malekith in my opinion. He is tall, blonde, and pretty, just like an elf, but he is also dark an imposing, so getting this look to represent a “Dark Elf” is not a stretch in the least. The “split” look is interesting and looks very nice, and as I said, I like the maroon and vermillion colors in the costume of this version just a bit more than the color scheme of the previous version. It is going to be strictly about preference here, but at the end of it, we get two very nice Malekith figures out of this deal.

So, like I said, if you have both, congrats, you can take your pick and not lose, if you missed SDCC, you still come out ahead because you no longer need to sweat getting ahold of that expensive set. At least for Malekith.

 Moving right along, let’s consider this: we had a black hole in the Toy Biz days with no Black Knight figure, and then we Hasbro took their first crack at the character, well, the less said about that, the better. So, while the back of this figure’s packaging boasts the character having a checkered history, so too is his ML figure history. That is, until now. We finally have a fantastic Black Knight figure in ML, so if you are a comic fan, make sure that this is the one figure from this assortment that you do not miss, because you will certainly regret it.

I know I went on and on about Malekith being a 99% repaint, but Black Knight uses a lot of previously-released parts, too, and that is just fine because the ML parts library has gotten so damned good. Yes, there is a LOT of the Hobgoblin base in use here, but it is all appropriate. The scaled arms and legs work great for the armor, the tunic belt is just the tickets and, of course, the glorious boot cuffs. The hands and feet are reused as well, but I kind of wish they weren’t in this case. These are the “tiny” feet, and at first, they did not bother me, but over time, and as better feet have come along, these make balancing the figure a lot harder than it needs to be. The hands aren’t inherently bad, but the “trigger finger” grip is a bit too wide to hold the sword well.

For new parts (I think) the cape is new, and, of course, so are the heads. This is where the figure really shines because we get THREE different heads with this figure. That stands to mean that a very high percentage of fans will be able to use their preferred head for this figure, and that kind of option is ALWAYS very welcome. My preference is the winged helmet version (the bucket head reminds me too much of the “other” Black Knight of Monty Python fame), but as I said, take your pick because you have the options. You also get his fairly nondescript sword, as well as the Cull chunk, so this figure definitely carries a lot of value.

Yeah, I am a comics figure guy, so these two are great additions for me. Yes, I already had Malekith, but I like this one better, and if you have not gotten the previous version, you are in luck with this assortment. Black Knight FINALLY gets a winning figure, too, so be sure to track him down, too. If you don’t want to hunt, go to Dorkside now for Malekith, and BBTS for BK, and wrap it up, you won’t regret it.