MARVEL LEGENDS AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 FIGURES WAVE 4 REVIEW!
By Jarrett Kruse
Now that summer 2015 is coming to an end and Hulkbuster fever has waned, you would think that HASBRO would give our wallets a break, right? No sir! Get ready to lay out another $160 plus for a whole new wave of "AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 WAVE 4" figures with a RHINO BUILD-A-FIGURE with alternate heads which is seriously a lot of fun. It is definitely one of my favorite BAF's of 2015 especially with the super psychotic looking alternate head. More so than that, MARVEL again picks some random characters that you would not think would be obvious calls for a new wave of LEGENDS. However I like that they continue to defy my expectations and throw us a bunch of curveballs with their lineups in every new wave. So lets have at it with the WAVE 4 review of all eight figures including the BAF RHINO!
Although she is the fourth person to don the moniker of the WHITE TIGER, Angela del Toro is the niece of the original character taken on by Hector Ayala. Angela's powers stem from the Jade Tiger amulets that she inherited from her uncle. Angela was more prominently moved into the MARVEL U during Bendis & Maleev's seriously epic run on DAREDEVIL about a dozen years ago but while living as a federal agent and working with Matt Murdock, Hector Ayala was cut down in cold blood. Afterwards, del Toro left her life as a Fed wondering why someone would take on the life of a vigilante. Left with the stones and amulets that gave her late uncle power, Angela decided to team up with Daredevil to understand the life of the vigilante and found it to be greatly rewarding.
I really like what they did with what I think is the first 6-inch iteration of WHITE TIGER in figure form. In an understated body suit that does not leave much to the imagination, I am not sure if this is a new sculpt/mold or not. Still, the trademark stripes are there as is the long signature ponytail. What stands out is that around her neck is the beautiful green amulet that is loose enough to remove should you need to. Still, overall I dig them picking a B-List female character that will definitely look cool on display.
Misty Knight has always been one of those cool characters to me and celebrates her 40th birthday this year. But you wouldn't know by the way they draw her! Originally breaking out during the 70's Blaxploitation era of Pam Grier films and other classics like SHAFT, Misty spent most of the 70's as a muscle for hire type with kung fu skills that everyone seemed to have at that time. She lasted over the years and even appeared in the return of HEROES FOR HIRE which I loved before appearing in the DAREDEVIL epic series "SHADOWLAND." After those events, Tony Stark gave Misty a new bionic arm after preventing a New York City bomb attack. However with the figure, I think they are going a little more for the original look of the 70's and I couldn't be happier. Even though she has had major roles in big time MARVEL storylines, I actually do not remember Misty every really changing her look to suit the times and to me that's what makes her such a bad ass figure to own. She has advanced police training and such plus is very skilled with hand to hand combat but it was not until Stark furnished her with a special cybernetic arm that could, you know, crush things that made her that more powerful.
I really like the body-suit that HASBRO decided to put Misty in. The reds and golds really compliment each other, especially her cyber-arm that has a dope looking gold fist! She also has an awesome INDIANA JONES looking gun and holster that is positioned sideways along her teeny tiny waist. Plus she appears to be carrying what is a large caliber piece in her holster. Overall, another winning woman addition to the LEGENDS canon of femme fatales.
I have always loved the GHOST RIDER as a character but have never been an avid reader of the title. However I have a great deal of respect for those that have been die hard Johnny Blaze fans since day one. Its the same old story, Johnny Blaze, in order to save his father's life sells his soul to the devil who turned out later to be Mephisto. However, over the years their have been many iterations of the GHOST RIDER such as Blaze, Daniel Ketch and Robbie Reyes. The Rider is a human but can transform into a skeletal superhuman with not just a flaming skull (his calling card) but some pretty sweet supernatural superpowers. The Ghost Rider's cycle is no regular bike and is more like the Batmobile of cycles being able to riding up vertical services, across water and jumping distances that would make even Evel Kenieval jealous. Not just the bike but the Ghost Riders are equipped with virtually indestructible bodies and superhuman strength some said to be on the level of the HULK. Yes, the HULK!
I am really digging this new GR figure. It is very compact and I could have done with a couple of more chains for my taste. This head sculpt is definitely my favorite version of GHOST RIDER LEGENDS thus far. The flames on his head are just high enough, flickering over to the side as well with his trademark leather jacket looking its shiniest best. He does look a little on the small side height wise but I think if you find a good custom bike to put him on, it will all scale out better than what I am seeing.
A few years ago, I had to make the heartbreaking decision of having to choose between toys and comic books. My weekly pull list at my LCS (Local Comic Shop) was killing my wallet, plus I was always at least six weeks behind on my reading. However at SDCC '11 while waiting in the hot sun of San Diego for over four hours for a HASBRO Exclusive toy, I realized that I probably would not have been doing this for some super variant cover of my all-time favorite comic book even if there was the rare possibility that I could get the cover personalized. So I made the choice and realized that Amazon will always be there and they will always have trade paperbacks for me to catch up on one day. And if I hit the lottery, which I am sure that I will, I will pick up all of the original issues. My point is that it was about this time in 2011 that I fell off the track with the narrative of my favorite comic book character, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. All I knew was that somehow Doc Ock had become the wallcrawler in yet another odd twist that would surely lead back to PP being Spidey. The point is, I was now off the grid and had to take the heat of missing a few comic book details and settle for the awesome plastic goodness instead. I justified this by realizing that just one figure would only really score me three issues that all tolled would be read in under an hour. Still, the sacrifices we Junkies have to make.
The simplest way to tell the story is that after a scuffle with Agent Venom, Otto Octavius found out that it was Flash Thompson behind the symbiote that was making him "Agent Venom." In a naive move on Flash's part, Doc Ock convinced the former high school football star to do a developmental procedure that would enable him to use robotic leg implants. But bad guys stay bad guys and during the procedure, the Doc went and basically ripped out the Symbiote from Flash making the black goo somewhat frightened and in need of attaching itself to someone and that just happened to be Octavius. If possible, it manages to get even more confusing from there.
The figure is pretty dope looking. It is like a hybrid of Symbiote Spider-Man, Venom & Agent Venom all rolled into one. It is sinister looking; so much that he is like a one man Sinister Six! I love all of the extra arms that attach and the slight hints of red on his wrists. The widened white Spider-Man logo stretches across his chest to his shoulders that meshes right into his lower neck and chest that has super tight meshing with a menacing teeth and deadly looking eyes. To me, the extra set of legs is just gravy as this bad boy is going to be the pose-able figure of the year. A+ on this one!
KRAVEN THE HUNTER
My first encounter with KRAVEN THE HUNTER was at sleepaway camp in 1987 when I was 10. My parents sent me the newest issues of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with the story arc "KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT." I was addicted. It was really my first time as a kid that there was a narrative and a story line that I actually wanted to finish. His real name is Sergei Kravinoff and he has been around since I believe '64 and is one of the original Sinister Six. Kraven is the son of Russian nobility whose decree as such was taken away with the collapse of an early 20th century Russian Tsar. He sees himself as the world's greatest big game hunter until he comes upon Spider-Man. While most hunters that want to take down the "big five," Kraven prefers to do it without the aid of arrows or guns and does it the old fashioned way with his hands. Fun fact that a lot of people do not realize, but Kraven's half brother is none other than The Chameleon. At one point, Kraven takes on the moniker of the "Grim Hunter" to prove to the world that he is the foremost hunter in the world and not Spider-Man. Kraven has always, as long as I can remember had one of the biggest chips on his shoulders because of Spidey and having to always outdo everything the wall-crawler can do. Through herbs and potions ingested over the years and despite being over seventy years in age, he has the superstrength and resilience of a 30 year old man.
This figure was one of the ones that I was most looking forward to (that and his half-bro THE CHAMELEON coming up next). The sculpt is pretty ridiculous and there is not much space left for, well, anything. From head to toe, except for his finely coiffed hair, sideburns and goatee, Sergei is in head to toe battle regalia ready for a kick ass fight. His signature lion's vest is quite large and he has a utility belt that might make even BATMAN jealous. Kraven's spear is as tall as the figure itself and his bone necklace is a nice touch that actually moves and is not just plastered on. The coolest thing on the figure has got to be his skull knee plates that are just totally badass. All in all, this is another one in the wave that is close to a five star figure.
THE CHAMELEON might be called the villain that started it all when he first appears in the very first issue of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 in March of '63. CHAMELEON will always be recognized as the very first "supervillain" that Spider-Man took on outside of Uncle Ben's assailant. Like his half brother Kraven, CHAMELEON was born a Soviet citizen by the name of Dmitri Smerdyakov. He was always looked down upon by his older brother before emigrating to the USA. Dmitri used his panache for impersonations and impressions and took on the role of The Chameleon. It was actually Kraven's younger brother that inspired his sibling to first using Spider-Man as his first big game. Dimitri even disguised himself as the brilliant Dr. Henry Pym at one point famed for the ANT-MAN serum and Pym Particles. It was after Kraven's suicide, that THE CHAMELEON became obsessed with killing Spider-Man. Dimitri created and took a serum that made his face permanently malleable.
Although he originally did not have any superhuman powers but was gifted in theatrical performance and costuming allowing him to impersonate his "marks." Eventually Dr. Spencer Smythe created a very cool device in THE CHAMELEON's belt buckle that allowed him to use holographic tech that gave him the ability to get the facial features of anyone he saw and have it programmed with their facial features. As one of my favorite old school Spidey villains, I am very impressed with the rarely made CHAMELEON by HASBRO. The figure comes with the same creepy pale white blank face and average looking blue suit. Along with the figure, CHAMELEON comes with a total of three different guns all in different sizes which is a nice touch. But not as nice as the two interchangeable heads that include none other than gangster HAMMERHEAD and boss of the Daily Bugle, J. JONAH JAMESON. Totally awesome.
MARVEL'S SCARLET SPIDER
If I get going on the SCARLET SPIDER (BEN REILLY) and the Clone Saga, we could literally be here forever. And possibly longer. Seriously. So lets just stick to the basics. Ben Reilly was the very first and original clone of Spider-Man aka as the SCARLET SPIDER. The clone that should have been one of those kinds of "one and done" characters, was created by The Jackal. The villains original intentions was to assist himself to make a double of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man to battle and eventually defeat the original Spidey. The Jackal did not count on the fact that the clone he had created and Peter Parker shared the same memories, the confusion during the much hyped battle was confusing to say the least starting what MARVEL fans would shudder to be only known as. the "CLONE SAGA." After the clones defeat, he was able to establish himself as Ben Reilly (his late Uncle and Aunt May's maiden name) he went on to walk the Earth like Caine from Kung-Fu for years before returning to the city deciding that with his own costume he could help out Spider-Man as the "Scarlet Spider." From there on, it is probably best just to analyze the figure! It is probably the best LEGENDS style figure I have seen since the KB TOYS Exclusive from many, many years ago. I love the on the outside webshooters and belt and although never a big fan of his blue sweatshirt (its a little 90's), it is tolerable here. The figure comes with four separate set of interchangeable hands and this is the figure you get two of in the case. That means you get a total of four RHINO BAF heads!!
BUILD A FIGURE RHINO
Here he is. Here is the big guy! Its Aleksei Sytsevich in all his glory as the raging RHINO! This is a terrific BAF in my opinion. Easy to put together, great for the kids, multiple heads, one that is just freaky insane. All in all, a big winner.