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Thunderbolts, Hercules and Other Random Thoughts About Marvel Legends

As you’ve guessed by the title of the article, you’re getting a random smorgasbord of topics today, because none of these mini-topics really deserve their own full article. It’s like trash day for my brain and the random Marvel Legends thoughts that are rattling around in there. If that’s not the least enticing reason to click on an article then I don’t know what is. I’ll probably be fired pretty soon. Goodbye cruel world.

Let’s just start off by talking about how cool the recent Hercules figure is. Now, I’m a green skirt kind of guy, and I’m talking about Hercules. At least, I’m pretty sure I’m talking about Hercules. Either way, when you say the word “Hercules” to me, I picture him in a green skirt, a strap across his chest and those banded legs that go all the way up to his nether-region. It’s my default setting. Hasbro’s initial attempt back when they first took over the Marvel Legends brand captured this look, but it was…let’s just say a crappy figure. It had a lot of faults, is what I’m saying. I’ve been hoping they’d revisit that costume. But instead, they did his modern look. Which is fine, that seems to be standard Hasbro tactics. I was bummed for a half-second, but warmed up to the look, and having it in hand, can say it is in the upper-tier of Hasbro figures, which as anybody knows is getting to be a crowded plastic parking lot.

With the modern one having received so much TLC, I hope that somewhere down the road a second attempt at the green-skirted version gets just as much love and devotion. Plenty of the upper portions of this figure could be used, he’d just need new legs. And while we’re talking about different versions of Hercules, I can’t leave out the 80s Avengers version with the shorts and my least favorite aspect—the sandals. I guess immortal demigods don’t worry about banging their toes on things. This was the costume he wore during the Under Siege era of Avengers, when he was dedicated to being the biggest asshole on the planet. Hercules gets his ass handed to him, and he kind of deserves it because he is a TREMENDOOUS asshole in the story.

If both of those versions could be knocked out, then we could get to my underdog desire, which is the red and black costume he wore in his early 80s mini-series. This one does not remotely have a chance, does it? Don’t answer that!

Speaking of various costumes, She-Hulk has worn a variety of costumes, and has had a handful of figures, up to a recent one included in the A-force box set. The sad, terrible fact of it all is that I don’t like any She-Hulk figure for a variety of reasons—bad hips, bad articulation, no fists, terrible terrible hips. Hasbro had not yet nailed down a great “larger female” body for their last attempt at She-Hulk. She has upward pegging hips. Those are awful.

If a brand new fully articulated body were to be made for larger females, I’d be up for buying any of a variety of her costumes, from a standard variation to the savage version to a Fantastic Four version. All of them have to have fists—the one thing the previous figure did right—and they need to have decent hips. If I had a list of “favorite female” and “favorite male” Marvel characters, She-Hulk rides very high on the list of favorite females. From her Savage days to her Sensational days to the Dan Slott and Charles Soule stuff, she’s been the focus of a lot of good stories. Just keep Bendis away from her, because everything he does to her is shit. We’re getting what looks to be a fantastic Hulk figure coming up, his cousin needs an equally excellent offering.

She-Hulk has a big wardrobe, but nobody’s wardrobe is as big as the Wasp. Janet has changed clothes so often she qualifies as an X-man, and you know how often those mutants change their wardrobe. We’ve had two pretty good Wasp figures recently, but—and there is a but—they’re too tall. Wasp has always been diminutive, even before she shrinks. Hasbro needs to stick the Wasp on a smaller body if they’re going to pump out costume variations, and it wouldn’t hurt if they made a better articulated smaller body. I think there’s a problem with the hip clearance in those bodies. And the torso has very little mobility outside of swiveling.

For pure novelty, I’d buy a twelve pack of Wasps. Just twelve Wasp figures in a random assortment of costumes. Make it the most ridiculous SDCC set ever. I don’t even know what the hell I’d do with twelve different Wasps. Twelve wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the amount of costumes she’s worn.

Carrying forth the theme of changing clothes…it looks like the original Thunderbolts are finally gaining some traction with the recent release of Citizen V following up Songbird. Hasbro has focused on a different era of Thunderbolts before, even going as far as releasing an SDCC set themed around a latter-era Thunderbolts, but the original team has been MIA for far too long. Of course, I’m still waiting around and hoping that we get a more classic variation of Baron Helmut Zemo with the furry collar and all to complement the Citizen V, but this is a team I hope they start peppering in more and more. Mach-whatever would need a white guy head and a black guy head.

An early hope I had was two-packs featuring a member of the the Thunderbolts and their Masters of Evil variation, but that is more a pipe dream than legitimate hope. Of course, that would leave Jolt and Charcoal out in the cold, but they could be a two-pack all on their own.

As I say this I realize how tired I am of slowly piecemealing teams together at a snail’s pace, sometimes never guaranteed to get the entire team at all. And I’m not one who is obsessed with “team displays” at all. I don’t keep displays of figures. I do appreciate a finished team, of course. A finished Alpha Flight or Inhumans, for instance, seems like something that is so far off as to be completely impossible. At one member a (seeming) decade, I’m going to be buying that last Alpha Flight member with my senior citizen discount—and that’s being optimistic. By then it will be time for a new Puck, who I never managed to get anyway.

One of my fondest toy desires is an impossible one, which is to break free of the shackles of retail waves and have a venue that offers entire teams at once. Boxsets have done this in the past with things like the original X-men from Toys R Us, but often the execution suffers when this is attempted. Budgets, donchuknow. Walgreens thankfully delivered unto us a complete Fantastic Four, but how much better would it have been to be able to buy the complete thing all at once, without the searching, the haunting and the hoping? It would be nice if SDCC wasn’t the only chance at getting some cohesive

teams or groupings. The upcoming Magneto/Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch is a good start, but even that set would have been cooler with Toad and Mastermind. Instead of waiting a year to complete the Black Order from the movies, we could have had them all at once. And I have no idea which version of X-Factor we’re going to be finishing, if any at all. Someone free us from the tyranny of the retail pegs!

Yeah, that won’t happen.

And in conclusion: Squirrel Girl soon, please.