Marvel Universe SDCC Exc:
Masters of Evil 3pk Review

It’s been awhile since my last Marvel Universe review. Truth is, MU and I seem to have had a falling out. Space, budgeting, the return of Marvel Legends, & just finding the damn things have all affected my MU purchases of late. I haven’t bought many, but I did need the SDCC Exclusive Masters of Evil 3pk.

With NYCC around the corner, I do note the irony in doing a SDCC exclusive review. Hopefully you will all forgive me! Part of the delay in the review kinda goes hand-in-hand with my enthusiasm for collecting the line. There is my internal conflict between collecting a 6” and a 4” line at the same time, but the Avengers line seems to have eaten up all the local peg space for MU. I’d love to have Beta Ray Bill, She-Hulk, FF Spidey, and the chance to consider the new Hulk, Kang, and some of the others – but the local stores pretty much have me on ice. It’s either pegfulls of white Iron Fist or no pegs at all round these parts. But I digress…

Since I’m a little more caught up on the stuff I normally cover, I wanted to jump back to this SDCC set before it was obscenely late. I said in the teaser that I really wanted this set – that’s partially true. I really wanted one of the figures, kinda wanted another, and then really didn’t care about the third. That’s the nature of a good multi-pack though. I don’t mind being “forced” to give some time to a character/figure I might not have otherwise bought.

If you guessed that the must-have figure for me was… the Radioactive Man, you were right! I know that may sound odd, but if there is one thing that MU has simply outclassed ML on, it’s the Thor Rogue’s Gallery. I’m still disappointed the Thor movie didn’t deliver any comic-based merch (Odin, Sif, Heimdall), but Marvel Universe has been great for Thor villains including the Wrecking Crew, the Enchantress, three versions of Absorbing Man, a classic Loki, a Frost Giant, and now the Radioactive Man. It is awesomeness that I would love to see translated to 6” (I’d buy them all again), but it’s also one of ways that MU will always have some hooks in me – Executioner, Grey Gargoyle, Mister Hyde, Cobra, and that orange Fin Fang Foom please!

So, yes the Radioactive Man is my must have for the set. He’s a Lee & Kirby original that first appeared nearly fifty years ago in 1963. After Thor run afoul of the Chinese government, nuclear physicist Chen Lu was given the task of finding a way to defeat Thor. His plan? He irradiated himself in larger and larger doses until he become a living (that’s the important part) radioactive man. Did I mention he’s translucent green? My heart melts.

Radioactive Man the figure is recreated here in his translucent green glory and is executed well despite the parts reuse. He features the basic oversized body (used on most of the Wrecking Crew) cast in clear green plastic with a reused head and a new… toga to get the job done. I thought the head might be new at first, but even with the details getting a little lost in the unpainted plastic, I’m pretty sure those are Professor X’s eyebrows in there. The toga restricts the articulation somewhat, but the figure still has good poseability and looks sharp along the way. Just don’t peak under the toga of the Radioactive Man. You’ll burn your eyes out.

After I was done with my Radioactive Man, I turned my attention back to the other figures. Being a DC fan (I’m retired nowadays), I didn’t really know anything about Tiger Shark. I still don’t know much – Tiger Shark was a paraplegic who had his DNA bonded with Namor so he could regain the ability to walk & swim, but the crazy scientist also threw in some Tiger Shark DNA (why not?) and our angry & predatory friend here came about.

While the character doesn’t do much for me, I do have to say that the figure is impressive. Tiger Shark uses the Cable body. The figure is overall bulkier, perhaps too big for some characters, but the articulation that’s been added (waist swivel, thigh & boot swivels, and those swanky ball-jointed ankles) make this one of my favorite bucks in the line. The hips are still annoying, but all the new pieces make him a joy to pose. He makes me jealous that Radioactive Man couldn’t benefit from this new body as a matter of fact. Continue to Page 2…

15 thoughts on “Marvel Universe SDCC Exc:
Masters of Evil 3pk Review

  1. I was lucky and got my regular SDCC contact to grab me a set (thanks, Matt!) just before they sold out at HTS. I’m a huge 80’s Marvel fan so this set was a must for me. I love translucent figures myself (Radioactive Man reminds me of Warbow from Remco’s Crystar line) and Hasbro has done a really nice job here. (Still gotta get that astral Doc Strange variant.) Baron Zemo II had long been requested by fans and Tiger Shark is simply badass. (Check out Roger Stern’s 80’s Avengers run for further proof, preferably sometime around the Fall of Hank Pym and Under Siege story arcs.)

    My only wish is for these three guys to be released on single cards so more fans could have a chance at ’em. Maybe we’ll luck out and see the remaining Masters released at some point. I’m anxious enough waiting for Wave 20 to be solicited as it is!

  2. When I was a kid, my friend told me his Baron Zemo figure was Spider-Man’s girlfriend, and also that SuperPowers Dr. Fate was a guy named Ax-Face. I don’t know if he genuinely believed these things or just liked making stuff up.

  3. Great review and excellent pics, as always!

    My buddy Dave collected the old Secret Wars when we were young (I only bought the Doc Ock), and I got it into my head somehow that Zemo was called Cosmic Spider-Man or somesuch.

  4. That is one of characters I know just a little on. Zemo being the main one I know from Cap books. Tiger Shark has always had a cool design. Radioactive man I just learned about via a dark avengers trade.

    The review was good but, I don’t collect these but do buy for a cuz that digs them all. This set I saw but the price was out of my budget.

  5. Dude, your Baron Zemo story closely mirrors my own! My grandfather actually gave him (loose, he found him on the ground somewhere) to my brother and I when we were kids. We didn’t know who he was until we started collecting the MU trading cards in the early ’90s.

  6. as a fun aside… tiger shark’s fin? it’s actually smaller than it appears in most of his comic appearances. obviously there are some variations based on the artist, but it’s usually higher up on his head and extends almost to his ass.

    as for zemo, my first experience was likewise secret wars, but i loved him and hit the comic shop tout suite to start learning more about this oddly colored and be-masked dude. those were good times, i loved that zemo fig. LOVED him. yet, somehow, when i lost him in a tragic little brother accident, i have never replaced him. don’t know why, i’ve seen him pretty reasonably priced loose several times, but it feels like cheating on him. if i get him in that outfit in legends, i would likely pull the trigger. actually, i need this whole three pack in legends. get on that, will ya? 😉

  7. Yeah, buying MUs has been annoying lately, pretty much online premium price or old retail dregs . . .

    So with Baron Zemo, that pretty much completes the MU redux of the Secret Wars line, no?

    Radioactive Man is cool, he could be like the IAT spokesperson in future reviews. 🙂

  8. re: 1pc review: so your middle name is Henry? ;p

    Radioactive Man: he was a D-list villain nobody for me until I read his early run with Thunderbolts. I got to like him a bit from that and even did my own custom with a spare random WWE figure and tried to go over it with GitD paint. it didn’t work so well. (I think I still need to add his yellow star?)

    This guy does look cool with the plastic, just his face doesn’t carry over too well without any details (painted eyebrows? maybe a bit of wash over the face to delineate the eyes/nose/mouth?). He looks like a simple figure to make for the 6″ ML line, with the tunic being the main new piece, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been done by Hasbro (or TB!) before now.
    (can I say I’m GLAD they didn’t do him in his hazmat suit? UGH!)

    Tigershark: isn’t he also the brother-in-law of Stingray? (the Iron-Falcon-Mariner dude) He’s another one I know very little about, but looks cool. I’m surprised that TB/Hasbro haven’t done him, either, as so many customs popped up using the Venom/Sabretooth body (even tho it would be Ultimate Sabretooth who had a mouth like that!). the hard part would be the head fin and how to attach it to the figure, as it is shown in comics to run the length of his spine. Soft rubber, vinyl or whatever they used, the other thing would be where to attach it. I guess they compromised a bit by shortening it that much, while still giving the impression it was longer.

    Zemo: Why is HE “Marvel’s Baron Zemo”?? I would almost expect it of Tigershark (esp as there are TWO whole other toy lines out there with the name), but don’t recall any “Zemo”s outside of Marvel, much less Baron Zemo’s. I never thought of him in SW as a “spidey-variant”, but I guess it may have been seeing him in one of Firstborn’s Captain America or Avengers comics, so I had an idea of who he was?

    I do remember the slight uproar when TB did his father Heinrich over the then popular Helmut, who was in Thunderbolts at the time, and does carry the pinks slightly better. Still, Helmut somehow still pulls it off and makes it look badass.

    He’s another common custom when the Black Panther figure hit, which is really ironic they would make a NAZI out of an African character! Somehow, I never got around to making him, thinking they would give him the ML treatment before too long. And now we finally have him…in 4″. D’OH! (Don’t worry, I still have plenty of BPs in the fodder boxes!)

    All that aside, I’m still waiting for more Masters and T-bolts!

  9. The weird thing is I actually ALMOST kept this set (I picked up a ton of stuff at the Hasbro booth for friends) just for Tiger Shark and I don’t even collect these. I’ve stopped collecting Marvel Legends but would totally pick up a Tiger Shark if they got to him finally.

  10. Nice review.

    So, word from Hasbro says that US stores are currently ordering -anything- with “Avengers” plastered on it much MUCH more than anything that -doesn’t- have that logo… Which is why the current MU and Marvel Legends waves are hard to find in a lot of places. Retailers are usually crazy about riding the coattails of a movie (remember how much shelfwarming Green Lantern stuff they all had, or Dark of the Moon), but Jesse Falcon -did- say that both ML and MU are going strong and will return once the mega-fad of Avengers dies down a bit.

    That aside, this is a great set. A classic Thor villain (though he’s now much more famous for his Thunderbolts membership), a classic Namor villain (he looks great with the recent superarticulated Namor!) and a very classic Cap/Avengers villain all in one go! Now if only this had been easier to get. I was lucky enough that an American friend of mine snagged a set from HTS when they went up, and I was even luckier to get a set with no significant quality control issues.

    I also find it interesting that these three are from two separate groups of Masters of Evil. Radioactive Man was never in the MOE when Helmut Zemo ran the organization, but Tiger Shark was. That’s fine, though. I like all three characters enough to want them all. However Tiger Shark and Radioactive Man were both in Egghead’s MOE together, so they also have a connection. They just were never all -three- together at once.

    As for the individual figures, Radioactive Man is a great parts reuse that still manages to be comic-accurate. I’m not so concerned about his missing bicep swilves, since Chen Lu has never been a very agile or acrobatic sort. Zemo looks great, and affixing his collar-thing makes him even better. He’s probably my favorite from the set due to his important role in two of the best Marvel storylines of all time: Roger Stern’s “Under Siege” arc of Avengers, and Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza’s Thunderbolts. Tiger Shark is a nice, basic villain who has been well-executed. Mine is a little floppy, but nothing I can’t fix. As Dayraven noted above, his fin is often portayed as being even -larger- than it is on the figure, but it looks fine here. I’m missing the tiny barbs running down his costume, but that’s a minor quibble at best.

    Now my only real problem with this set (apart from the distribution issue) are the accessories. I applaud Hasbro for even including accessories in a set like this, but man, I do wish they could have chosen other ones. That Luger pistol and the sword are both re-uses from the Indiana Jones line, and the Luger was previously used for both the 2-Pack Dr Doom and Taskmaster, and it fit as badly for them as it does here. Taskmaster had the sword as well, with the exact same paint app. The problem of course is that the Indiana Jones figures are a true 3.75″ line, like Star Wars, whereas Marvel Universe is more of a 4″ line. Thus the accessories are too small, too thin and don’t fit.

    Instead I wish they could have given Zemo a newly-sculpted sword he could actually hold. Or failing that, maybe giving Radioactive Man the adhesive-X gun he used in the first Masters of Evil story.

    But again, those are minor issues. A good set and a good review.

  11. @Brainlock: Yeah, Tiger Shark is Stingray’s brother-in-law. I always thought that made for some interesting family dynamics, kinda like Molten Man being Liz Allan’s stepbrother over in the Spider-Man books.

Comments are closed.