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Hasbro: Marvel Legends Retro Series Negative Zone Spider-Man

“Spider-man in a costume variation” is a long running theme that seems able to produce an infinite number of different configurations of the same general idea. The 90s five-inch action figure line was full of things like Aqua Teen Bunghole Spider-Man and Pimple Popper Spider-Man, most of which were invented to be action figures built around a certain gimmick.

It’s worked for Batman and Iron Man. To varying levels of success.

Nowadays, we’re way more likely to get things that were actual in-comic costumes, even if they were extremely short-lived. Storylines like Spider-verse have, in a way, legitimized literally every costume variation of Spider-man’s as as possibly being a multiversal equivalent—a separate character. All the costumes can interact. Peter Parker Picked a peck of Peter Parker. Peter Peter Peter.

But really, you don’t need an excuse. It’s a costume, it’s a different look, I’m probably in for any of them they want to make as long as they’re out of a comic. Or, now that I think about it, out of a video game, because some of those were cool also. So yeah, I’m an easy mark, I guess.

The Negative Zone Spider-man is a perfect example: It’s a different costume and it’s not absolutely necessary for anybody’s collection. It’s simple, but effective. Putting it on a retro card so nobody has to buy it to get a Build-A-Figure part—something that would no doubt create gnashing of teeth among many—was a perfect move, and fits in well with the theme of recent offering like Cyborg Spider-man, itself a costume variation without a large shelf life but still solidly unique in appearance.

The Cyborg figure kind of spoiled me before I opened the NZ Spidey. While that figure was on the Sunfire body, the NZ Spidey uses the Pizza Spider-Man. I don’t have an issue with that body overall, but in the wake of Sunfire and the Retro Spider-man body, this one feels a little overly lanky for what I have in my mind as the definitive Spider-Man physique. But it does evoke a certain look and era, so it’s not necessarily bad, there are just other bodies I currently prefer.

Regardless, I do like the overall look of the black and white on this figure. The stripped-down aesthetic gives it a very otherworldly appearance, fitting since the Negative Zone is a weird place. I like that there are no weblines, since that would obfuscate the stark feeling of the costume.

NZ Spider-man comes with fists, web-crawling hands, thwipp hands and a negative-themed slice of Pizza. Why does he come with a negative-themed slice pizza? I think the better question is why wouldn’t he come with a negative-themed slice of Pizza. I bet it tastes like Youtube comments.

So to sum up, this is a simple figure that retreads some familiar ground, but there’s a surreal difference about it that makes it fun for exactly what it is, which is a black and white-themed Spider-man costume.