Yes, 2015 is most definitely the year of the MARVEL LEGENDS. Even the casual action figure Junkie is getting in on the craze that has been building for the past almost 15 years. I am a very big fan of the new LEGENDS packaging as I am mostly a MOC (Mint On Card) collector but can easily remove the BAF (Build-A-Figure) piece and make my seventh figure with ease while maintaining the integrity and minty freshness of the main figure. The package is very easy to remove and tape back up and takes less than two minutes to do so. So, did we need even more SPIDER-MAN figures in a year with no movie just months after the disappointing sequel? Probably not and most Junkies could have lived without more of MARVEL's flagship character. But I do believe in overexposure considering it seems like just yesterday we were building the Ultimate Green Goblin with the first two waves in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 series. However, those first two waves did not have the Hobgoblin; this wave does. And for me, that is the equivalent of a must have because Hobgoblin is my all-time favorite Spidey villain. Plus it is probably the coolest looking version of Hobgoblin in figure form that I have ever encountered. But before we get to that, let's break down the case figure by figure.
WARRIORS OF THE WEB: SPIDER-GIRL
I have never been a huge fan of SPIDER-GIRL. It just never added up to me in the SPIDER-MAN canon and that is why I think that the character, in general, was never exactly an A-Lister. She is all well and good and a nice female addition to the MARVEL U but it was not like any of her solo adventures were ever required for me. In this new iteration of SPIDER-GIRL in Legends form, the figure does a very nice job of capturing the shapely web-slinger. I have always liked the uniform on her and I especially dig them on the outside of her wrist web shooters. For some reason, it just looks cool and reminds me of Black Widow in its appearance. The articulation is there but if not for two of the main pieces in making the Hobgoblin and me being an obsessed completist in having to own every single figure in every single wave, I would normally simply pass on this figure.
This SPIDER-MAN is an excellent reflection of the classic wisecracking wallcrawler that we have grown to love over the years. With its alternate sporting just half his mask and a big old grin that we always see when he is taking a break on the side of a Manhattan skyscraper, this figure is an excellent primer for the new collector looking to build a foundation of core MARVEL LEGENDS figures. The figure also comes with an excellent two extra sets of hands which is always great to have and a random slice of pizza prop reminding us that Spidey will always be the joker of the Marvel Universe. The colors really pop on this figure and while not Ultimate Universe looking, it captures the iconic hero in all his glory. A welcome addition even if you already have 100 Spider-Man figures already. Which I do.
Although this newer villain is being traded and sold left and right on the secondary market, I think it is the real winner in this wave. I was never such a huge fan of regular VENOM but I happened to really enjoy reading the origin of ANTI-VENOM a few years back. The scope of the figure appears much larger but not overwhelmingly big or clunky. There are no extra hands or interchangeable parts but the figure really does not need any extra bells and whistles. The paint job is solid and really stands with what I consider to be an excellent head sculpt, particularly around the JAWS-like mouth. I always thought that when you looked at regular VENOM, he resembled the black Spider-Man costume too much. Obviously, the black costume was the symbiote, I just mean that VENOM and Spidey in the black suit are two different entities. That being said I just flat out dig ANTI-VENOM. When I first heard about the character being introduced into Spidey's world, I was hesitant thinking that it would be too similar to an already over-saturated villain. Instead, we got a fresh new villain that picked up the mantle of VENOM and embarked on a new villainous direction. The figure is pretty jacked with long claw hands and he definitely stands out amongst the bright colors of the rest of the wave. Well done indeed for his LEGENDS debut.
There hasn't been a SPIDER-MAN 2099 for quite some time and this new one was definitely worth the wait. The most notable 2099 figure was a KB Toys Exclusive from years ago that flooded the aisles of the mall chain whose aisles looked like a dirty bomb went off daily. Although they were readily available back then in spades, I never picked one up only to regret it now when I see the original going for beaucoups bucks on eBay. This new one has become a very hard to find figure for the non-case buying crowd and is fetching about double its retail price on the secondary market. The sculpt is sleek and fit and I actually think that the costume and paint job lends itself excellently to the look and feel of this particular character. The spider "wings" that are added to the back of the figure look just plain cool and add a touch of comic book authenticity in its attention to detail. I also really dig the red gauntlet spikes that come on the character's wrists. It is Batman-esque giving Spidey's favorite son a futuristic Gotham-like feel to it. Definitely a big winner in my book.
WARRIORS OF THE WEB: SPIDER-WOMAN
Although I like this figure better than the aforementioned SPIDER-GIRL, SPIDER-WOMAN is just second from the bottom of the list for me. I do like the way that they did her hair in a way that it looks like it is blowing in the wind. However, the costume makes the hero in the superhero world and SPIDER-WOMAN's is a bit of a dud. I am far from a fashion critic but there is a reason that we do not have many heroes that wear maroon well. Like SPIDER-GIRL, I was just never a fan of the origin of the female wallcrawler and to me, this figure is just kind of a throwaway to fill out the wave. There are definitely other women in the Spider-Man universe that I would have rather have seen made before this character. Hell, I would take a modern day Aunt May in a heartbeat over this babe. Sure May is not in as good a shape as SPIDER-WOMAN but May's got spunk, and spunk goes a long way in my book.
Although most definitely a MARVEL A-List character, I always felt like DAREDEVIL was a bit of a sleeper hero. He is far and away one of the coolest characters to me with one of the best origins in the MU. His exploits out of the costume rival those in when he is dealing with his life as attorney Matt Murdock, his love life and his reputation in NYC. In the suit, he is an insane bad ass using superhuman sonar and bad ass ninja skills to patrol the streets of Hell's Kitchen. A few years ago when he became king of Shadowland, I became even more impressed with The Man Without Fear. The figure does a nice job of capturing the robust red of his classic costume. It is not that bright red that Spider-Man has and is more of a very dark, earthy red. DD's costume has always been a less is more type suit and it deserves to stay that way. The figure has an excellent number of points of articulation and you can really pose him in those type of gymnast poses that we have come to know the devil as doing with ease. If there is one figure in the wave that I would buy a stand for to give the impression that he is soaring through the air, it is most definitely DAREDEVIL. This piece has also vaulted to the top of the pack in value going for $40 and up in some places. No doubt, DAREDEVIL fever is going to hit a fever pitch next week when the new original series of the same name premieres on NETFLIX. That being said, if you find this on the pegs, pick it up because it is going to soar even higher if the show is a hit.
This is where all my hangups about this wave washed away like a wave of water from Hydro-Man. Finally, we get a modern update of my favorite Spidey villain, HOBGOBLIN. This is probably my favorite rendition of the character and is most definitely my pick for the best HOBGOBLIN figure in history and that is saying something. It even eclipses the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN figures on the baby blue card from years ago. This urban suit is just sick and the only thing missing is the Goblin Glider. The wings are an awesome addition and the figure even comes with a fire sword and a pumpkin bomb. This BAF is an epic win!