Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting the Marvel Legends 2018 Spider-Man Wave 1 set of figures to arrive this early. I mean, we’re barely into the New Year! Then again, you certainly won’t hear me complaining. When it comes to anything and everything Spider-Man, to people like me, there’s no such thing as “too soon.”
As you can see, the packaging style hasn’t changed from previous releases, and certainly doesn’t have any solid reason to. It’s attractive, it’s efficient, and it tells us everything we need to know about whichever character’s inside it.
A small but noteworthy detail: Unlike other Spidey-themed waves, there’s a unique box for each character. No “Warriors of the Web,” “Multiverse Spider-Men,” or “Sinister Villains” cost-cutting shenanigans here. (I imagine, though, that in an alternate reality, Mysterio and Prowler share a box design emblazoned with “Crooks with Capes“, while Noir and Punk are probably labeled as “Shameless Spider-Cash-Grabs.”)
Anyway, on to the figures.
The Unbelievable Gwenpool (Lizard’s tail)
Let’s start with the character I give the least amount of f*cks about – Gwenpool!
Finding her way to Earth-616 from a reality much like ours (read: where the Marvel heroes and villains are just comicbook characters), Gwendolyn Poole quickly found herself suiting up and operating as one of the Marvel universe’s newest costumed adventurers: the unstoppable, unbelievable, totally-not-derivative Gwenpool.
Much like how that other ‘Pool guy was distributed in the Juggernaut BAF wave, Gwenpool’s packed two per case here. And rightly so, I suppose, since she seems to be the most sought-after character here (for reasons that escape me).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, she also comes with more accessories than anyone else in this wave. Gwenpool comes with an alternate tongue-out, Miley Cyrus-esque head, two swords (don’t quote me on this, but they appear to be the same ones that came with Juggypool), a smartphone, and two pairs of alternate hands (two to hold her swords, a right hand to hold her smartphone, and a left hand making a victory/peace sign).
The smartphone, which is basically an unpainted piece of black plastic, is small and easy to lose. I suppose that’s why her belt has a pouch specifically designed to hold it.
Her swords fit quite well in her hands. When she’s not out trying to eviscerate people, Gwenpool can store her swords behind her penguin backpack (which I forgot to take a picture of — oops!).
Gwenpool has a balljointed head, neck hinge, shoulder balls, ball elbows, ball wrists, a balljointed torso, hip balljoints, thigh swivels, double-jointed knees, ankle swivels, and the all-important ankle pivots. Oh, and her open palms can form a heart, because of course they can. Sigh.
The paint apps on mine are decent, with minimal slop and almost no bleeding. I think the pads on her forearms and lower legs were well-sculpted, and that both heads perfectly capture the essence of the character. I really wish they’d given the slot to a different character, though, like the Demogoblin that was initially rumored to be part of this wave.
All-New, All-Different Spider-Woman (Lizard’s torso)
After Jonathan Hickman smashed all the Marvel Earths together in 2015’s Secret Wars, many characters came out of the event sporting new costumes and relationships. One of these characters was Jessica Drew, otherwise known as Spider-Woman. We already got her classic red outfit in the form of a rather excellent figure in the Thanos BAF wave. Here, she’s sporting her All-New, All-Different look.
In the comics, Jessica became pregnant via artificial insemination, eventually giving birth to a baby boy. Sadly, she comes with no accessories, which means no alternate hands, baby, or clip-on pregnant belly.
Jessica’s vest is sculpted — kudos to Hasbro for resisting the temptation to just paint it on. There’s excellent sculpting work on her hair and shades as well. She and Gwenpool have similar articulation schemes, except Jessica doesn’t have ankle swivels (but has pivots, which is awesome). Also, whoever painted mine’s got steady hands, as the paint apps on this figure are quite clean.
Before I started fiddling with this figure, I couldn’t understand why Hasbro gave her a gripping hand, but nothing to grip. A few seconds later, I found out why.
I still wish she came with an alternate right fist, though.
Lasher (Lizard’s head)
Lasher is perhaps one of the best examples of a two-birds-with-one-stone sort of deal. Including him in this wave allowed Hasbro to throw symbiote fans a bone AND cut costs at the same time. This figure is essentially Superior Venom with the Raft Spidey head, which works surprisingly well.
For a character with a relatively straightforward design that nevertheless represents the worst of the ’90s, Lasher’s pretty eye-catching. The paint was well-applied on my figure; at the very least, Lasher doesn’t look like Spider-Man had a bucket of green paint unceremoniously dumped on him. His tendrils are detachable; I guess you can count them as accessories, though I can’t imagine why anyone would want to display him sans tendrils. (Unless they want him to represent, I dunno, Vegan Spider-Man or something.)
Lasher has the same articulation scheme as Superior Venom, which means you can get him in pretty much any pose you can imagine for a skinny, shamrock-colored symbiote.
Prowler (Lizard’s right leg)
Next up is Hobie Brown, a.k.a. the Prowler. He’s one of those Spider-characters who the Marvel Legends line snubbed for the longest time, and I’m glad that he’s part of this wave. He fills a hole in quite a few people’s collections, that’s for sure. Prowler started out as a Spider-Man rogue, but eventually became the webbed wonder’s ally.
Prowler appears to use the Spider-UK body, with new bracelets, boot cuffs, and clawed hands. As with the other figures I’ve covered so far, the sculpt work and paint job on this figure are superb. My only gripe is that his cape doesn’t quite sit well upon his shoulders. Hasbro came up with an interesting approach to capes this time around: Instead of gluing them to the traps, the capes now have plugs that fit in the peg holes on ML figures’ backs. The problem here is that the cape is a bit too long, causing it to get pushed out of the peg hole and up his neck whenever it touches the ground. Thus, Prowler occasionally looks like he’s wearing a very uncomfortable scarf.
Spider-Man Noir (Lizard’s left arm)
If it hasn’t been apparent yet, I’ve been working my way up from my least-liked to my most-liked single-carded figure in this wave. (I’m intentionally saving the BAF for last.) Now that we’re officially past the halfway mark, here’s the third out of my Top 3: Spider-Man Noir (pronounced as no-wah or no-war, with a very soft “r” at the end).
Hailing from Earth-90214, this Peter Parker lived and gained his powers during the Great Depression. This, of course, explains his no-nonsense attitude and affinity for guns. I can’t really say for sure, but he seems to share quite a few parts with the AIM Soldier from the Mandroid wave. I’m pretty sure his boots are different, though.
Gun-happy Peter Parker comes with, well, two guns. They look a bit too technologically advanced for my tastes, though. I suppose when you consider his steampunk roots, they kind of work. Maybe. This figure is predominantly black and gray, with well-applied silver paint where necessary. It’s worth noting that, in an effort to make him more visually striking, his vest, trenchcoat, and boots are glossy, nicely offsetting the matte paintjob everywhere else. Well done, Hasbro.
Spider-Punk (Lizard’s right arm)
Boy, when Hasbro decided to make it up to Hobie Brown for all the years the Marvel 6″ lines have snubbed him, I guess they really took it seriously. This wave features not one, but TWO versions of Hobie Brown: the aforementioned Prowler, and the Anarchic Spider-Man, affectionately (angrily?) known as Spider-Punk.
This version of Spider-Man stands out simply by virtue of how… punk it is. From the shiny silver spikes on his head to the high-cut sneakers on his feet, he’s probably the only version of Spider-Man who does the sign of the horns intentionally and unironically. He also wears a nicely tattered vest made out of soft plastic, with little spikes running down the shoulders.
Spider-Punk wouldn’t be much of a punk without his guitar, which is why he comes with one. The guitar is detailed, and even has a black plastic strap that Spider-Punk can sling over his head and shoulder. The guitar is almost solid white, save for a couple of blue-accented elements. Each fret and string is sculpted on this thing; you just gotta admire Hasbro’s dedication here!
He also comes with two right hands (one holding a guitar pick, the other a fist, presumably for protesting something) and two left hands (one to grip the frets of his guitar, and the other throwing the devil’s horns). Also, thanks to the new feet, he has two extra points of articulation over Pizza Spidey (from whom he borrows most of his body): ankle swivels!
While I have no doubts whatsoever that my Spider-Punk figure is a talented musician, I have a feeling that he’s not a very good dancer. That’s because my Spider-Punk has two right feet. It doesn’t bother me much, though, so I guess I can wait a bit longer before looking for a replacement. Or I could just fix it myself with a bit of epoxy clay and paint.
Mysterio (Lizard’s left leg)
Now, let’s take a closer look at my favorite figure from this wave: the fabulous, fishbowl-faced failure of a filmmaker, Mysterio.
I’ve been waiting for this guy so that I could have a complete Sinister Six in the 6″ scale (the old ToyBiz version, while nice for its time, really doesn’t fit in well with the newer MLs). Honestly, Hasbro could have just taken that tired old Bucky Cap mold, painted some squares all over it, added a pingpong ball and a cape, and called it a day.
Needless to say, Hasbro surpassed my expectations. By a mile.
Hasbro sculpted an all-new body for him, with the same level of articulation as the typical super-articulated buck bodies that the company loves to reuse. They even made him new gloves and boots! I’m so happy. The fishbowl is appropriately translucent, and is permanently attached to his rather intricately detailed cape.
Mysterio comes with two translucent green wisps of smoke, usable in a variety of ways (as seen in the photos).
But wait, there’s more! Remove the fishbowl, and you’ll see that the head underneath is actually…
…Pulled straight out of a horror movie. Man, I love this figure so much.
And now, the biggest figure from this wave (and the biggest reason why anyone would buy all of the figures here): the Build-A-Figure Lizard!
Assembling this massive reptilian horror is fairly straightforward. Just snap the pieces together, and you’ll have your very own BAF Curt Connors.
Many fans didn’t like the Lizard’s Spielberg-style Velociraptor visage when Hasbro revealed it. (The distinction is important, as we now know what Velociraptor and its ilk really looked like.) I like it, though, partly because I’m a bit dinosaur-crazy.
The paint apps on this huge thing are impressive, as well as the level of detail. His teeth are terrifying, his scales are sculpted, and his labcoat and pants are tattered and dirty — exactly how you’d envision a man-eating, sewer-dwelling terror. (Granted, his tongue’s a bit too long for my tastes, and it doesn’t seem to be removable; it’s not bad, though.)
Lizard’s head moves up and down, and his lower jaw is a separate, articulated piece. His head doesn’t move left-to-right, though; instead, the swivel is at the base of his neck. He also has balljointed shoulders, biceps swivels, double-jointed elbows, balljointed wrists, an ab crunch, a waist swivel, hip balls, thigh swivels, double-jointed knees, ankle pivots and hinges, articulated toes (!!!), and a tri-segmented tail. The articulation set-up on his tail is a bit odd: the joint closer to the tip moves left-to-right, while the one nearer to his butt moves up and down.
The million-peso question: Is he good enough to replace the current title-holder of Best Lizard Figure in the 6″ Scale, the Lizard from the Marvel Legends Fearsome Foes box set?
Well… I guess it depends on how big you think the Lizard should be.
Officially, the Lizard stands at 6’8″. Modern depictions, however, tend to make him look at least three times chunkier than Spider-Man. If you’re not a stickler for scale, I think there are many things about the Lizard BAF that you’ll appreciate. I’m keeping both: While I think the Fearsome Foes Lizard is a better fit in my Spidey rogues display, the Lizard BAF is just too darned cool to sell off. I’ll probably display the BAF fighting my Campbell/McFarlane Spidey or Snapshot Spidey on a different shelf or my work table.
All in all, this wave is a must-buy. Seriously. If you’ve ever been apprehensive about getting an entire wave, trust me: This one’s worth every peso. (Except for Gwenpool, but that’s just me, I guess.)