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Marvel Universe Reviews
Thanos & Captain Marvel

I admit that when I think of Captain Marvel, I picture a magic word, a bolt of lightning, and one of the cooler DC superheroes. But when it comes to toys I always have to call that guy Shazam because of this other Captain Marvel. You gotta be careful about letting those trademarks lapse.

I’m not terribly familiar with this (original) version of Captain Marvel. A creation of comic legends Stan Lee & Gene Colan, Mar-Vell was an alien soldier sent to spy on Earth. He became a superhero reluctantly, but after a few adventures he did that thing protagonist spies tend to do, switch allegiances. He book never really sold very well, getting two revamps and a costume change in short order, but Marvel kept publishing him. If nothing else, it ensured they kept the trademark to the name Captain Marvel.

His most notable story just might be his death in 1982. Published as Marvel’s first graphic novel, The Death of Captain Marvel depicted Mar-Vell discovering that he’d contracted cancer from exposure to a nerve gas years before. The book featured other heroes of the Marvel Universe paying their last respects and ferried Mar-Vell into the afterlife. A place where he’s more or less stayed for my entire life.

I don’t have a lot of Marvel figures, but I’m going to guess that Captain Marvel is reusing someone’s body. There’s really nothing remarkable here on the body itself aside from a new nitpicks. His left forearm and hand are slightly oversized compared to the rest of him and the biceps interfere with the chest, leaving Mar-Vell unable to put his arms down to his sides. The other thing is he just looks oddly proportioned, particularly from the side. I’m not sure quite what’s wrong there, but it looks off.

The head sculpt is what really makes the figure Captain Marvel and I’m fairly certain he has most perfectly coiffed hair in the entire line.

I really appreciated the subdued colors on the figure. I know these muted tones might not be the most popular choice with long time Captain Marvel fans, but I think they contrast great with the painted-on bands and symbol. Marvel’s head is molded yellow and painted. It came out nicely this way, but I did get some uneven paint lines on the edge of his cowl and the paint on the eyes slits makes him seem a little sad. He’s dead though, so maybe that’s fitting.

Articulation is really the one place where I wasn’t that happy with the figure. He gives me flashbacks to the figures I bought back in 2009. The head is decent as a one-piece ball joint, but the two-piece joints used on some of the newer figures makes it feel more lacking than normal. The arms are articulated well with ball shoulders, swivels at the bicep & wrist, and hinge elbows. They move well, but they’d better if they could go into a neutral pose at his sides. The upper chest articulation has good range, but I still wish there was a traditional waist joint on the figure (the prototype used for the packaging picture has one). I don’t know how much movement it would add, but it’d make me feel better.

My real problem with him is his legs. I’m not a fan of the way the ball joints are seated in the hips and the lack of any swivels above the ankle really limit the figure in my eyes. Newer MU figures have thigh cuts and I’m looking forward to picking up more figures like that and less like this. I am hoping for a few redos on the newer bucks, but Captain Marvel isn’t one of them. The double knee and the ball-jointed ankles let him get into a few decent enough poses and the rest of the figure is nice enough that I can overlook his legs.

Both Thanos and Captain Marvel included the regular black Marvel stand with white lettering for the name and their figure number. Thanos, as a 2010 figure, also included his “Hammer File”. The 2011 figures, like Captain Marvel, no longer include those.

I like Captain Marvel enough, but he got really outshined by Thanos. Both figures feature decent sculpting, but the details on Thanos outshine Captain Marvel (Marvel could’ve really used sculpted Nega-Bands) for this review. Paint was pretty decent on both figures, but the newer articulation on Thanos again bested Captain Marvel. This might be the only time that Thanos ever beats Mar-Vell.

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my new Marvel Universe figures. It really feels like that Hasbro is on the right track, but I’m still conflicted with how many I’ll buy with the return of Legends imminent. One thing is for certain though, I’m really excited to see MU get into the cosmic section of the Marvel Universe with Thanos, Mar-Vell, Galactus, etc. They can’t do enough of those characters. Bring on Starlord, Gamora, Nova, Drax, and heck, I’d buy a Rocket Raccoon for sure.

For more Marvel Universe reviews, check out our
Marvel Universe Collector’s Guide.

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21 comments to Marvel Universe Reviews
Thanos & Captain Marvel

  • dayraven

    now if only they can replicate the MU thanos in ML…

    • He-Mullet

      The Old MS Thanos fits quite Well with ML… Now If Hasbro would make a Shuma Gorath… Want to complete a Marvel Superheroes Display…

    • orionpax636

      I love MS Thanos too, but being a Thanos fan I wouldn’t mind seeing Hasbro take a shot at him. They could do some decent part-swapping with the Red Hulk mold, or maybe do a BAF down the line.

      I for one would dig seeing multiple versions of Ol’ Purplepuss, though I’m pretty sure I’m alone in that. I’d even dig getting him in his “civilized” attire, sporting the simple tunic from the end of IG.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Can’t wait to get this!

    Congrats on the find, Noisy!

  • Henry

    It’s a shame they dropped the paper accessories. I know a lot of people weren’t big fans of them, but it was nice to get a little snippet of story with a figure and a copy of the card art.

    On Thanos though, his wave is a bit of a ghost wave, similar to Jean Grey’s assortment. So you’re a lucky bugger for finding him.

    • I have enjoyed the few files that I have. Constrictor stands out, but yeah, I won’t really miss them.

      I’m still surprised to hear the the Jean Grey wave was a ghost wave. There were a couple characters in that wave that tempted me a few times. I was clueless that it was a harder to find wave.

      I had been waiting for a long time to find Thanos though.

  • Adrian

    The internet is rejoicing if you’re going to be doing Marvel reviews from now on!

    I still haven’t been able to find a Thanos locally. You made that suck just that much more today.

  • Maximus

    We definitely need more Cosmic Marvel characters. We spent forever with just the Silver Surfer. And I agree with you, he just isn’t that good of a digure.

    • Are all the Surfer’s the same mold? That Galactus is awesome, but I was disappointed by the Surfer. He needs a few figure that can get into some cool surfboard poses.

  • Superdadd2

    See, this is what happens when you start posting so many awesome pics… we just start taking you for granted…

    Sweet use of the argonauts ‘skelly as Lady Death! Awesome words and pics, as usual.

    I found Thanos early and really like him. ML is returning? I hadn’t a clue… great news!

    Keep it up, Noisy… you’re going to make a toy review lover ‘outta me yet! Thanks again!

    • Thanks! I was really happy when I remembered I had that Skeleton for that pic! LOL

      Marvel Legends is on tap for a 2012 return. They’re expanding the 6″ Iron Man line this year to make way for it. Some movie and some comic versions in that lineup.

  • orionpax636

    Dude, what IS IT with you and super-powered gloves? First you have Darkseid emulating the King of Pop and now Thanos is the Infinity Grab-A$$? Well played, fiend, well played indeed.

    They’re getting really good use out of that Juggernaut buck, and it’s worked well every time (Juggernaut, World War Hulk, Thanos). They might be able to get a decent Ron Lim Drax the Destroyer out of it, if they wanted to go deeper into the Infinity Gauntlet theme.

    • I’d completely forgotten the Darkseid jokes… good thing I didn’t repeat! Apparently, I just find gloves dirty. 😀

      Don’t mention World War Hulk… I don’t need that figure… really…

      I’m definitely down for a Drax. Even ML never really got Cosmic enough. I was disappointed with both Nova & Warlock and we didn’t get many beyond that.

      DC Classics is doing the same thing right now too. They just don’t want to do space figures it seems.

      • Heli

        Well, maybe space figures other than Green Lantern. You’ll be swimming in those soon enough.

        • LOL

          Yeah, I should’ve put that caveat in there. We are getting Green Lanterns, but I guess I mentally file those under a different heading. I was thinking more like Captain Comet, Darkstars, the Faceless Hunter, Ultra, etc.

  • Ooh, ooh, this bugger is tough to get–I too, have found him elusive despite apparently having been released 2 weeks back.

    Great pics! And at the risk of temtping you further, NoisyDvl5, I just did a review of World War Hulk over on Chase Variant. Go on, click it if you dare…:P Heheh. 😉

  • Iok

    I’ve never been able to find Thanos anywhere. Indeed, I think I was lucky to find any of the other figures from his Wave, as I’ve never seen any of them on the shelves since… 🙁