On Monday, I got to review a long-awaited DC Classics figure: Elasti-Girl. Today is a review of a figure I’ve waited even longer for: a Marvel Legends U.S. Agent. I can’t believe it took two companies, hundreds of figures, and ten years to get this guy. This is easy repaint territory albeit infinitely delayed.
On a “programming” note, I’m jumping ahead to review U.S. Agent here, but I’m still not quite done with Return of Marvel Legends Wave 2 reviews. I know it’s been awhile and some of you have been asking for quite a bit. I still plan on getting to the Wrecking Crew & Arnim Zola at least, so don’t think I’ve completely abandoned Wave 2 for Wave 3. However, I won’t be reviewing all of Wave Three. I’m in-between on a couple (I may waver when I see them in person), but I definitely don’t “need them all” for the next couple waves. We may hunt down some guest reviewers to round out the figures Vault & I won’t be able to cover, we’ll see.
Okay, so U.S. Agent. If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, then you should know of my perverse fascination with costume changes. Unlike many of my comic reading brethren, I get no sense of safety or an express train to my happy place when I see my costumed heroes wear the same “iconic” costume time after time. A little change will do you good (Note to DC: I said “little” change). So, new, temporary costumes are often fun, cool little diversions. I enjoy ‘em. Particularly when they paint it black.
I’m not sure why I have a fascination with the darker hues of the regular costumes, but I really do. I will always rank Spidey’s Symbiote suit as the coolest costume of all-time. I think Batman looks best in all-black. War Machine simply looks cooler than Iron Man. And, I have a bizarre fascination with U.S. Agent. (a Marvel Legends U.S. Agent received one of our first “Most Requested” figure nominations back in February 2010!)
If you’re unfamiliar, Captain America occasionally boils over and needs to go on walkabout. When that happens, you need a replacement Cap. Enter John Walker. Initially, John stepped into the ol’ red, white, & blue while Steve Rogers donned the suit seen here, calling himself simply “the Captain”. As is often the case, a lot of crazy stuff goes down, things explode, people die, and the march to the status quo charges on. Walker would ultimately insist that Rogers retake the mantle and then, wouldn’t you know, there’s this black version of the costume laying around, so… U.S. Agent sounds like a clever enough name, right?
U.S. Agent has pretty much been around in one form or another ever since. His costume has changed over the years, but nothing ever really quite captures the same appeal of the original look, so I’m glad that Hasbro went with this version for the figure. I’m not sure what he’s up to these days, but hopefully he’s out there taking names and kicking ass.
The figure itself is largely a complete repaint of the Bucky Cap from Series Two. I’m honestly completely fine with this – I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Hasbro putting out a regular Cap on this same body. It does lack the chainmail details, but I think it could look pretty sharp. Unfortunately, based on the Wave 1 Steve Rogers and Wave 4 Ultimate Cap, Hasbro feels that Steve needs to be a little larger than life. Those figures look good, but it leaves me wondering a bit about scale in the new ML.
But I digress. This body is a great basic sculpt. The guys could probably have a little more bulk for their stature, but I don’t find it too lean at the same time. I think it works great. The only thing I don’t like is that the flared out part of the gloves are glued on over the molded-black forearms. I managed to miss it in most of my pics, but in-hand the figure has black circles around the wrist peg and it’s a nitpicky annoyance.
On top of all that is a great sourpuss head sculpt. Yeah, Hasbro could technically reuse this as an angry Cap (or if they make a new, compatible Cap, we could swap in a call U.S. Agent), but I like U.S. Agent being cranky. I think it’s fitting for the character and goes right along with the “Dark Cap” theme.
As a reuse of the Bucky Cap, the articulation is exactly the same as what we’ve seen before. Two-pice ball-joints in the neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles, one-piece ball-joints at the hips, swivels at the biceps, waist, and thighs, double hinges at the elbows and knees, and the ab crunch. Everything works well. I still really love the new ankle articulation, but the limited one-piece ball hips could be better. Continue to Page 2…