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Personal Goals and the Path to Controlled Insanity Concerning Marvel Legends, or If We’re All Crazy Then None of Us Are Crazy

Most everyone has some version of a personal goal when they’re collecting. Maybe some people want all the characters from when they read comics as a kid. Maybe some only want all the X-men animated series characters, or just X-men in general. Maybe some only want the characters that will be in next month’s comic. Some people only collect movie, some only Spider-Man related characters. I have a larger goal of “the entire Marvel Universe” but that’s a ways off from where we are now. Also, it’s a path that leads to utter madness. That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

That’s what Ultron looks like. Just FYI.

So in the interim, I compromise. To stave off the inevitable shattering of my fragile little mind, I occasionally break up that large goal into smaller goals, the way eating an entire bag of doughnuts but leaving the holes is being “calorie conscious.” Sometimes it’s a team. Sometimes it’s the entire main cast from a favorite comic book. Or sometimes it’s even a panel or a page. For instance, one thing I’ve wanted since 1984 was to get the entire villain roster that appeared in the first issue of Secret wars. I’m still missing a couple, but Legends has done a pretty good job of it.

The horse doesn’t look like he’s enjoying this!

A larger goal I have—in the sense of “larger than a team but not as large as the entire MU”—is to get everyone that appeared alongside the Thing in the 100 issues of Marvel Two-In-One.

With the brand new Thing figure that has been hitting the foreign lands and now seems to be hitting Canada, this minor goal has moved to the forefront of my mind. After all, you can’t complete a goal of such magnitude without the star attraction, and every other Thing figure before this one has been reduced to unappetizing orange plastic. And I don’t even have the new one yet!

Even without hitting those “classic Thing” notes as hard as I’d like, I’m still anxiously anticipating this new one. But how much of that venerable Two-In-one lineup can stand side by side with him? It starts off okay, with Man-Thing, Sub-mariner, Daredevil and Captain America. But then it hits a wall with the classic version of the Guardians of the Galaxy and then spirals out from there. As we move further down the list of guest stars, the vancancies read like a who’s who of missing figures, with such luminaries as the Son of Satan, Shang-Chi and Nighthawk showing up among the usual suspects of Spider-Man, Black Widow and Thor. In some places we have a more modern variation, and in a lot of other places we either have figures from the Dark days of Hasbro, or from way back in ToyBiz’s reign. Some of those I can’t even count as “good enough.”

At this point I’m wondering if we’ll ever get a Stingray, Jack of Hearts or Triton, but then I turn right around and am surprised that we actually have a Machine Man, Hyperion or a much improved Deathlok. So you win some you lose some. I can guarantee that I won’t be getting a Rom at any point.

Regardless, it’s an interesting minor goal that will no doubt leave me a crumbled shell of a man.

Teams are always a popular goal, especially if you’re slavish towards the completion of a singular iteration of a team. But it can also be one of the most frustrating goal as well, by the nature of the beast. And sometimes, by the nature of the Beast. As in, isn’t it time for a new Beast?

For instance, even after sixteen years of Marvel Legends, we still are missing the necessary ingredients for a Giant Size X-men team. And I’m not sure how much faith I have in Thunderbird ever making it out.

It’s not just the Giant-Sized team either. I’d have to do research, (I am not doing research) but offhand I’d say that there’s probably a major component missing from just about every potential X-team out there. If anything, I’d say the Jim Lee era might be the closest to completion, but even then there are some missing figures. I think the First appearance X-men might be the only group that we can actually kind of call “complete,” but even then the Iceman we got in that set doesn’t have that snowman look of the original version, so many might think that’s not quite right either.

I’m personally drawn to villain teams, chief among them teams like the Masters of Evil, the Sinister Six, and the Sinister Syndicate. Many of these teams are either missing one member, multiple members, or good figures of a few members. Even something as simple as the first version of the Brotherhood of Mutants is missing decent figures for Magneto, Toad and Quicksilver, and a figure for Mastermind entirely.

Or at least, that’s what he’d have us believe…

So basically, trying to have a team-completing goal is another path to madness. It’s best to aim small, which is why I’m looking at the recent Cloak and dagger as a minor miracle. No splitting them up, no making us wait a year between releases, just two figures showing up in one wave and we’re done. Huzzah!

Maybe, in this crazy mixed up world where the hobby you love is dependent on the decision-making of others, that’s the best type of goal to have. Small, manageable goals. No big teams, not huge comic runs, no entire universes. Just something small that you can hold up as an accomplishment. Little snapshots, little microcosmic parts of a much larger whole. Whether it’s a hero and his greatest villain, or a pair of lovers destined to be forever united—even if it’s only in your mind. One Cloak, one Dagger: done. Daredevil, Bullseye and Elektra: done. Wolverine, Sabretooth: done. Reed, Sue, Namor: sexily done.

Do you have any personal goals? Are they crazy? We dig crazy. Let us know!