Marvel Universe: Spider-Man
& Captain Britain 2pk Review

Did you get Captain Britain anything for his birthday? No? Well, that’s alright. The good Captain from across the pond turns thirty-five this month and, even if you didn’t get him anything, Hasbro’s got us covered; they’ve just released the first figure of his classic threads in their Marvel Universe line.

Captain Britain was initially a character that appeared strictly in the Marvel UK books, Captain Britain Weekly & Super Spider-Man & Captain Britain, but one of the strips from the latter title was also published as a Marvel Team-Up here in the States. That firmly entrenched Captain Britain in the Marvel Universe (and led to some of my favorite Marvel stories). That team-up story is reprinted with this two-pack and features the usual superhero meet-up: a misunderstanding leading to a fight. Despite that silliness (and the convenience of Peter Parker & Brian Braddock ending up as roommates, each with no idea of the other’s dual identity), it’s a fun read. Captain Britain gets a great introduction, confronting Spider-Man because he’s concerned the webcrawler may have done something to the MIA Peter Parker. The two heroes faceoff for most of the issue, but readers are treated to a quick recap of the good Captain’s origin and a great cliffhanger for their 35 cents. In this reprint, we also get some extra “Who’s Who” pages on Captain Britain and the villain Arcade. It was cool to read it again, but now I need to track down my copy of the second-half of this crossover…

Ok, so apparently there’s a little known rule at Hasbro that Spider-Man must appear in one of the comic 2pks every year. I got my first Spider-Man (below, left) when I picked up Thunderball to complete my Wrecking Crew and narrowly avoided a second when I decided against picking up the Sentry 2pk (which still mocks me pegwarmingly every trip to the store). It turns out, Hasbro still had me in their sights and again packaged Spidey with Captain Britain this year. This figure appears roughly identical to that Spidey from the Sentry 2pk, but the chest symbol is different and the eyes are painted a bit smaller. The latter of which is definitely an improvement.

I don’t know what to think about this Spider-Man figure. I’ve read it both ways. Some collectors are happy to finally pick up this version with painted lines and slightly different articulation while other collectors are put off by the distended body and odd hips. I’ve read that this will finally be the go-to Spidey in the MU line while others are sticking with the original. Truthfully, I don’t know if I need a basic red/blue Spidey on my MU shelf, but if I were, I’d still be waiting.

Sculptwise, I’ve still go gotta go with the Spidey from the Thunderball 2pk simply due to the body proportions, particularly around the midsection. I hate the molded “web-shooting” hand, but the new Spidey doesn’t do much for me either; neither the curved-in fist or the open hand are really exciting. Paintwise, I love the etched lines, but I can’t argue with the painted lines looking better. Even with my new Spidey having some slop between the edges of the red paint underneath the lines, it’s just a lot more visually appealing. Finally, the articulation – I think that’s the one that keeps me from truly enjoying either Spidey. The original had the waist joint while the new one has thigh swivels. Can I get one with both? And when is Hasbro going to listen to collectors and stop using these awful hip joints? They don’t pose well (they hardly stand-up straight well) and they pop-off like nobody’s business. Personally, I want to see Joe Hips + Thigh Swivels, but I’d even settle for those ugly-ass ball-jointed hips to make a comeback.

Spider-Man also includes a web attachment. I kinda hate it. Let’s go talk about Captain Britain instead…


9 thoughts on “Marvel Universe: Spider-Man
& Captain Britain 2pk Review

  1. As usual you’ve done me a service Noisy, I’ve got this in my pile of Loot at BBTS but honestly they look like return fodder. I’ve got enough Spideys already and that Cap is really disappointing. A shame.

  2. I actually like this Spidey. I wouldn’t mind picking up the set, but I don’t want Captain Britain.

  3. Thanks for the review and pics, Noisy! I like the fact that this Spidey has the original chest symbol which he wore from Amazing Fantasy #15 up to the late 70’s. Thigh swivels are also appreciated as this would be the first Spidey I get that has ’em. The smaller eyes also help give him a 70’s Romita/Andru look which is my favorite version of ol’ webhead. I dig Captain Britain’s second costume (Alan Davis era) but I actually prefer this one with his Amulet of Right and Star Sceptre. That’s how he looked when I first discovered the character in the Contest of Champions miniseries. I think his weapons were neater as actual objects rather than infused as a part of his costume. Looking forward to this and the PM/IF set!

  4. I do want a basic red/blue Spidey, and yes, I am still waiting.

    I’ve been using the Showdown one, which is pretty good, but I’d prefer something a little more vivid, and slightly more solid.

  5. i really, really want legends to get this version of the cap b outfit sooner rather than later. that god awful britain we already have is kind of bogus. like, i have nothing against that look, but the execution had bad range of motion for the buck (some for reason that buck wasn’t executed well again after it debuted on black panther… i don’t get that.) but the lack of neck and oddly shaped head made him a failure.

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