For awhile there, I thought for sure Toy Biz & Hasbro were out to get me. I was sure they’d snuck into my brain, extracted a list of my favorite Marvel characters and built their “do not make” list around it. I mean, think about this. The Marvel Legends line is twelve years old! Twelve years. And yet I still don’t have a proper Loki, or Firestar, or Grey Gargoyle, or Dormammu or Hellcat. Okay, they’re not huge household names here, I know. But, y’know what we did get? The Living Zombie, Vengeance, & House of M figures just to name a few. My wants are fair game, dammit!
More killer though, was when Toy Biz & Hasbro made some of my favorite characters and gave them terrible figures. My collection still boasts a wide-faced, Magneto-based War Machine, a wonky-articulated, stick-armed Rogue, a rough-textured, “which way to the gym” Captain Britain, and silver Moon Knight. They were out to get me, I tell ya.
There was one favorite that hurt more than most. Well, maybe second most, I’m chomping at the bit for Hasbro to revisit Captain Britain. But, at least second most painful was Nova. It took years to even get to Nova. I don’t know if it’s because Marvel’s Cosmic section wasn’t terribly strong or popular (at least back in the day) to warrant ML selections or if the folks in charge of character selection just thought so, but Marvel’s Cosmic segment was rarely seen in the early days of ML.
Toy Biz did maybe 4-5 cosmic characters during their years with the line. Since then, Hasbro has done about twice as many not counting the upcoming SDCC set (which I’ve got to figure out how to get Star-Lord at least! Sigh.). It was Hasbro that finally added Nova to the line back in 2009. It wasn’t pretty. It used the gangly diaper buck. The gold… wasn’t. The emblem on the helmet was gigantic. It was terribly disappointing. I think I even sold it – I know I couldn’t find it among the packed up Marvel figures today. One of my favorite Marvel characters and I sold the figure. That about sums it up.
The worst part of getting a bad figure of a favorite character in a line like Legends or Classics is that that’s pretty much it. If you’re not Wolverine, Spider-Man, or Iron Man anyway. That was the Nova we got. I was resigned to it, particularly after he was killed off in the comics not too long after.
But this year is a great year for Nova fans. Next month features his imminent return in the comics (We don’t know how he survived or where he’s been, but I’m excited) and he was included as one of the two non-movie characters in the (deep breath) Marvel Legends Infinite Series Guardians of the Galaxy Groot Wave. The figure features him in his modern look – which is not as groovy as the old 70s costume, but it is spiffy.
If you’re not familiar at all with Nova, he’s a Wolfman/Buscema creation from the mid-70s. To do that horrible thing that makes it sound derivative, he’s akin to what might happen if you gave Peter Parker a Green Lantern ring. Richard Rider is a high school kid inducted into the intergalactic Nova Corps, but uses his power (flight, strength, durability, energy absorption/redirection) to fight crime on Earth. He basically disappears for the 80s, comes back as a bit player in the 90s, but really hit his stride in the 21st century as Marvel published the fantastic cosmic event, Annihilation and its sequels. Nova was a huge part of that right up until it ended badly for him (until next month!). Continue to Page 2…