You know what the plan was for 2012? Spend less money at retail. Limit the impulse purchases. Try to budget in a Hot Toys figure or two. You know what blew that to hell? Marvel Legends. One, cause they’re awesome. Two, because they released two waves on top of one another!
We knew Marvel and Hasbro intended to restart Legends in a big way, they hinted at it over a year in advance, they plopped “The Return of Marvel Legends” right on the front of the package (when was the last time a toy line was awesome enough to do that?), but what really got everybody buzzing was when the second assortment started hitting hot on the heels of the first. Marvel collectors wallets screamed in unison. I was able to build Terrax completely before I saw my first Arnim Zola figure, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case with everybody. I bet there’s some of you out there right now with a mishmash of Terrax limbs and Arnim Zola parts waiting to be assembled. That’s crazy.
As a casual fan, the second wave is a little less impressive to me. With Wave One, it was mostly characters I wanted, building a BAF that I knew little about. With Wave 2 Hasbro got my attention with Arnim Zola, ensuring that I will snap up individual figures I don’t much want to build the android. There were some “Marvel Must Haves” in Wave 2 though, perhaps none more so than Captain America, though not the Captain America of years past, but rather the one from the past few years.
I’m still not sure how to refer to him exactly. Heroic Age Cap? Bucky Cap? DC doled out roman numerals for legacy heroes (and has since completely discarded them because, y’know, reading comics is hard), but Marvel doesn’t really seem to do much with legacies. I’m not even sure what roman numeral he’d even end up with considering John Walker or any of the retconned Captain Americas… so I’m just going to stick with Bucky Cap in this review to keep things simple.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I love change in comics. I like spicing up the status quo, exploring the idea of not having to go back to square one, a base line after each story. Now, granted, DC has totally flipped my willingness to accept change on its ear with their revamp, so I should clarify that I love change in comics when it comes as part of a natural progression in storytelling, not just $@#!ing everything up for sales/leaving your mark/whatever. There’s “killing Bruce Wayne” to delve deeply into Dick Grayson and Damian being Batman & Robin, to explore Batman as a larger figure calling the shots and then there’s the nU Justice League which features so little storytelling I’m left wondering why my favorite characters all had to bite the dust (it also leaves me wondering how I could enjoy other books from the same writer).
But, I’m undaunted. I still like change in comics. I’m enjoying what New 52 titles I can, I’m enjoying the new Ultimate Spider-Man, and I’m enjoying the current direction of the X-Men in Uncanny. And, in recent years, something that drew me back to Marvel was another change. I mentioned the recent events in the Bat-books above because it more or less mirrors what happened to Captain America. Marvel brought Bucky back from the grave (well, they it turned out he was never in it), made him an antagonist, then an anti-hero, and finally brought him into the fold as Captain America when they “killed” off Steve Rogers. He would continue in that role even when Steve returned and operated without his familiar moniker. That piqued me interest even though the status quo must be ultimately maintained (Steve is since back in the familiar red, white, & blue). The whole story sounded like something I’d like, and what’d ya know – it was well written. And in my world, that pretty much leads to one thing: needing the figure.
And that’s exactly what we have here. A plastic representation of Bucky’s Captain America duds. This is Hasbro’s fourth figure of Bucky Cap, but the first in this scale. The Marvel Universe line originally packaged the 4″ version in a Gigantic Battles 2pk (that I never saw… you still mock me Goliath!!) and then repainted it a couple times for various store exclusives. I missed the first version, and passed on the rest as my MU purchases have largely wound down once I knew Marvel Legends was on the way.*
* – And have completely stopped at the moment. I want Psylocke and the AoT Thor, but Marvel Legends is sucking my wallet pretty dry this month and I’ve still got three figures to go. I’m not sure how many more MUs are in my future.
When Vault found Wave 2 (he lives at TRU), he called me up and I was more dismayed than excited. I hadn’t even finished reviewing Wave One yet! He asked which ones I was likely to buy, but I wasn’t sure. I knew I’d build Zola, but I didn’t really want to blow the extra $3 a piece at TRU, let alone $100+ that particular day. When I made my way to TRU a bit later, Piledriver was gone (who buys just Piledriver?), but I got to choose from the rest. Despite my wanting to be patient and save money, I ended up with Fantomex, Future Foundation Spider-Man, and Captain America here. I wavered a bit on the first two, but I was sold on Cap right away. Honestly, I don’t know why Vault hadn’t bought one himself. I mean, I did want the character as a figure already, but it just so happened that I’d be buying a great figure to boot.
I’m not as well-versed on Marvel Legends bucks, but I do believe Bucky Cap here is completely new. But even if it is reused from somewhere before and I’m just missing it, it doesn’t matter. It’s pretty much completely awesome, but that gushing should be held off until the articulation section. For the sculpt, we’ve got some Bucky Cap specific pieces in the form of the new large-cuffed boots, the short-cuffed gloves, the glued-on belt, and the new head. These pieces all work in concert for a great finished look, particularly the head with its determined expression (don’t piss this Cap off) and the belt which has sharp details and perfectly holds two of the figure’s three accessories. If I had to nitpick, I kinda wish the feet were a little bigger. That’s really the only flaw I see with this sculpt, but seriously, how often do you really look at a man’s shoes? Continue to Page 2…