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Marvel Legends Guardians
of the Galaxy Nova Review

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…

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21 comments to Marvel Legends Guardians
of the Galaxy Nova Review

  • Black Arbor

    Good review, but you have two copies of your first paragraph up. 😀

  • Brainlock

    Not a big fan of the ChrisCross redesign of Nova (or QUASAR!), but the coloring on this one does stand out better to me than the drab, darker colors of the previous Nova. Maybe if that one had this color scheme, he would come off better?

    and hey, Rich also had an animated figure from one of the recent Spider-Man cartoons a year or so ago (Spectacular? open box “deluxe” figure). I finally picked one up on clearance for $7. Other than the articulation, he looks better than the previous ML Nova, as well.

    as far as parts go, this may be an all new sculpt? I was going to question the lower half, but the lower legs/boots and ankles are definitely new and the foot stamp has “2014” n it, as well. A reuse would have the original mold dating.
    (and yes, I have a list of redesigns/do-overs they need to get to instead of IronWolvieCap #938!)

    Honestly, I’m thinking about repainting my spare red, for a modern “Kid Nova” custom. One has gold spatter in random spots, so…?
    (I bought a GotG case from HTS when they first hit, then lucked into the other locals passing on Nova for both StarLords (and Rocket and Gamora)! LOL I keep wondering if it was the guy who runs the St Charles Toy Show? as he does live in the area.)
    .
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    (btw, that was RONAN from the ML F4 BAF you missed. Ronin was the green/black Hand ninja 2pk redeco with Clint head. yeah, I got lucky in finishing mine, thanks to that line being one of the first “split cases” Hasbro did. oy.
    AND that TB War Machine was re-using the ML s1 Iron Man body, which Magneto also shared in s3!
    and speaking of Iron Man, wtF is up with that hideous armor in this wave?? UGH! yeah, yeah, it’s the “Marvel Now! space armor” update he was in GotG with, but still….maybe the black/gold that got a Masher?)

    and happyjoy: first reports of TRU Stryfe w/Jubilee head hit tonight. yay. >_>

  • I’ve been waiting since 1980 for Jack of Hearts. Still waiting.

    I thought this figure was scarce since I can’t seem to luck upon it in my area, (the O.C.) which isn’t a great place for brick and mortar finds to begin with.

    I like the classic 70’s look better but this one is nicer than the previous version instead of sculpting. Except for the fact that his armor makes him look more a New 52 Nova than anything else out there. LOL. 🙂

    • Oh! Low blow! lol I’m really a costume change junkie. I admit it. Bring on the Electric Supes, Iron Man Armors, Symbiotes, Etc.!! With Nova here it felt good too; in context with what was happening around him.

      Even in the New52, the costumes are the easiest part to accept. Superman being married is a lot more important to me than if he’s wearing underwear. 😀

  • Jester

    This might be my favourite costume of any comic-book character ever.

  • Paul

    I don’t know much about he Marvel Cosmic stuff. I always kept to the more earth-based comics for some reason. What’s the difference between the SDCC Star-Lord and the Star Lord released in this wave? Is SDCC a comic version vs this Chris Pratt version?

    • orionpax636

      SDCC Star-Lord is a more comic based version.

      http://thefwoosh.com/2014/05/sdcc-2014-marvel-legends-exclusive-announcement

      He has a more overtly militaristic costume (based off the AIM soldier base, I think). Pratt’s Star-Lord looks a little more casual with only the mask resembling the comic, but from the trailers I think they get uniforms that more closely resemble Star-Lord’s comic costume in burgundy.

      • Brainlock

        yep, everyone who saw the AIM Scientist chest immediately knew that comic StarLord was likely near with the GotG movie coming. (LESS THAN A MONTH!) Too bad he’s a con exclusive most of us will never see. I mean, we’ve been promised several single figures out of the last couple SDC ML sets and we’re still waiting for those and more announced figures to show up at retail. At least the Jubilee BAF (UGH) is starting to hit with Stryfe, who was first “officially” announced in …2012? or was it back in 2011?

  • orionpax636

    From what I’m hearing, finding a lone Nova at Target is never a bad day. Supposedly he’s this wave’s Black Widow, though the whole wave wipes out pretty much everywhere around here. Groot is a lovely figure though, and I like the loveable design from the movie. Drax is another highlight from the wave if you can find one with a straight painted gaze.

    I think the hinged shoulder pads are okay this time out, much better than with Neo-Classic’s (I’ve been considering hacking those off and just gluing them in place). I’ll confess, my biggest interaction with the Intergalactic Everyman was his time with the New Warriors, when Mark Bagley gave him a killer mullet.

    • dayraven

      nova as a cosmic character i find only kind of interesting… nova as part of a new warriors boxed set, THAT i would not be able to resist. i know, it’s dumb, but it’s true.

    • Brainlock

      case packout:
      2x StarLord, Iron Man
      1x Rocket, Gamora, Nova, Drax

      so yeah, Nova and Gamora are the two “hot” picks with Rocket a close third.
      then again, as I said above, I managed to miss most of the first case at retail here last week, but they left Nova behind? then the other day, a StarLord in a damaged box is suddenly on the peg with the remaining three from before = return!
      (maybe that’s why I’m feeling crappy now? they pulled it out, ripping the box tab, coughed on it, then closed it back up. it looked like a dropped case and hasty pack/pull out at first, but now that I think about it…?)

  • Nova and Iron Man are the two figures from this line I’d be okay with never getting. Nove never did anything for me as a character, and I think that’s one of the fugliest Iron Man armors ever made (and we still can’t get the damn black and gold armor, which predates the space armor by half a year). I’d be happier with comic versions of the Guardians, but I’ll take what I can get.

    I really want to assemble Groot, so I’ll probably either have to break down and get IM and Nova at some point, or get their parts solo off of eBay or something. Of course, it’s not like I’m in any real danger of finding them in stores. I think every Target in my area got one case, which have almost all long sold out (I could probably find a Star Lord and an Iron Man if I needed to). TRU got a decently sized Guardians section, but no Legends. Not even a spot for them.

  • Mikey

    YAHHHH!!!!!!!!

    For Captain Britain love.

  • J. Lee

    Looking for this guy and yes I would love a new warriors set classic team with Justice, Speedball, Namorita(fleshtone), Firestar, Night Thrasher, Rage, and Silhouette.

    Man I dig this more I see him. Seen the GotG legends once then poof.

    On Captain Britian yes a new is nice thing to see. Had the old and was okay. Hmm excalibur team set? Like to see Meggan, blue suit Shadowcat, new Nightcrawler and hmm, man forget who else was in the team.

    Yeah easy to please.

    • Mikey

      Rachel Phoenix made up the core team of 5

    • Brainlock

      classic green one-piece suit or later white bra/pants suit for Namorita? I’d like both.

      and a big SECOND! to both teams, as well as classic X-Force! (blue Sam, Boomer, Sunspot, Shatterstar, among others like that DANI we’re still waiting on!)

  • J. Lee

    Classic green, with a swap ponytail and short hair heads.

  • Speedball

    I have been waiting my whole life for a Speedball action figure. If they released a new warriors set with Speedball, Night Thrasher, Justice, Firestar, Namorita and Nova… I would probably have a heart attack. PLEASE Marvel!??

  • Jester

    Reading through this review again, it occurs to me that the eccentricities of Rogue’s headsculpt give her the profile of a Brian Froud character.