Most Requested Figures: Marvel
Legends U.S. Agent + Poll

This suggestion comes to us from IAT reader, Adrian. So a quick thank you to him and an encouragement to anyone else with a character for this article! We will read them, and though we can’t do everyone, we do appreciate hearing your ideas! If you have a suggestion for the Most Requested feature, drop us a line and let us know!

If you’ve been around the blog long enough, you might know I really like alternate superhero costumes. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about a superhero switching up his costume now and again that appeals to me.

I’ve always loved the symbiote costume more than the traditional blue/red on Spider-Man. I found electric Superman a welcome break from the norm. I think the War Machine armor is cooler than most of the regular Iron Man armors. I really enjoyed Kyle Rayner’s unique GL costume and I’m always interested in how newly introduced GLs look. And finally, while it’s hard to say anything bad about the red, white, and blue of Captain America’s traditional costume, I’ve always had a soft spot for the black version, usually worn by U.S. Agent.

When I read Adrian’s e-mail, I knew this was the direction I wanted to go this week. I’m always a little hesitant with the superhero characters because we don’t want to feature one too obscure or one that would become a big heavyweight into our poll. But I think U.S. Agent is in that happy middle-ground between those two extremes. Plus, I want one. But more than that, U.S. Agent has an interesting toy back story. He’s had four figures if you count the minimate and the SHS. Of the two full size attempts, both from Toy Biz, one was a joke and the other one was a disaster. So, while there are tons of Marvel characters still waiting to gain entry into the exclusive “Legends” club, today’s the day to make the case for U.S. Agent.

Before we get to deep into talking about U.S. Agent, we should point out that we don’t need a figure of him per se to get him in figure form. The black version of the Cap costume was first worn by Captain America himself when he resigned from his position and became “the Captain” in 1988. John Walker replaced him as the new Captain America and after that storyline wore out, they basically switched places. Steve Rogers was once again Captain America and John Walker donned the tossed out black costume as the U.S. Agent. So, it wouldn’t be totally wrong for Hasbro to simply release a black version of the suit and call it Captain America. It’d always be John Walker to his fans, but I bet they’ll take what they can get.

U.S. Agent has a wonderful bio on the Marvel website, so I’m not going to go full throttle into that here. Basically, John Walker is a bit of a screwed up character. I don’t blame him or even the writers that have used him in the past for it though. He was conceived as a temporary replacement for Cap and it has been a struggle for his character to gain independence from that role. John first appears about a year before being given the Captain America job as the Super-Patriot, a corporate hero that was in deep debt to a villain that had given him super powers. They played him off Cap for a year, then made him Captain America for a year, and then gave him Steve’s leftovers once the story arc was said and done. He appeared a few more times in Cap’s book. He appeared in West Coast Avengers as their “Cap”. He was in ForceWorks for awhile too. He also got beat up a lot, almost killed, had to wear an exoskeleton, got shot in the butt, sent to be the Captain America of Canada, etc. Sometimes it seemed if there was something a writer wanted to do to Cap, but couldn’t, they would do it to U.S. Agent.*

* – Except for the exoskeleton thing, that was all the rage apparently. They both had to wear one in the 90s.

Despite his living in the shadow of Captain America, U.S. Agent has made it to store shelves three times (I know I said he had four figures. Don’t worry we’ll get there). The first was back in the early 90s as part of the vast Toy Biz 5″ line. You can see a picture of him in the second photo on the top row of our graphic. I have this figure somewhere in the toy cellar, but it’s a joke. It’s a repaint of the Captain America. This would be fine except that the scales and the star symbol were sculpted on the Cap figure and are visible underneath the paint apps on the U.S. Agent. I really hate that figure.

The second figure pictured at right was a real source of irritation for my youth. It was slated to appear in the Toy Biz Iron Man line in the mid 90s. Not only was my long awaited update of U.S. Agent given his ugly ForceWorks costume, but then they didn’t even bring him to market!

But it wasn’t the last we would see of the sculpt. It was planned for use again as the Living Laser, before he too went unproduced. The body finally did make it to market, as Astral Armor Professor X.* The muscular body was molded in clear fuchsia and given a tiny Professor X head (also in clear fuchsia) along with the metal armor intended for the Living Laser. It was horrible and amazing at the same time. Finally, and I don’t know the full story, some U.S. Agents were produced for overseas sales (that’s what is pictured at right). They weren’t Toy Biz sanctioned, I believe, and Toy Biz put the kibosh on them once they discovered their existence.

* – That Professor X is also in the toy cellar, though I might be too ashamed to go look for it.

Then, there was Marvel Legends, a line that redefined how companies handle action figure lines. While Toy Biz produced over a hundred Marvel characters in action figure form, they never revisited U.S. Agent – not even as a repaint of any of the Captain Americas (who didn’t all have sculpted details). During Hasbro’s stint, U.S. Agent was put in the Super Hero Squad (as a Cap repaint) and made it into the rumored list (even getting a UPC code in some instances) for the Target exclusive Red Hulk wave. When that wave was announced, however, only five of the six figures were correct – U.S. Agent having been replaced by… Wolverine #3,457.

That was in 2008 and U.S. Agent seems even more unlikely given the current state of affairs of the Marvel Legends line. He didn’t even make it into the poll of characters at SDCC. Still, Hasbro assures us that Marvel Legends isn’t in trouble. And with Toy Fair this weekend, maybe we’ll see something about the future of the line there. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, they’ll be room for U.S. Agent in those plans.

Update: It’s fair to say that U.S. Agent is one of my most wanted Marvel Legends, if not my No. 1. But which character is your No. 1 request for the Marvel Legends line? We’ve created a simple write-in ballot for you to tell us – the only rule is he/she can’t have been made before (Deadpool need not apply). Simply select “other” and type in the name of your pick – we’ll only take the first one named so make it count! And because the poll requires more than just an “other” box, there are two additional options if you don’t want anymore Marvel Legends: 1) if you’ve made the switch to Marvel Universe or 2) if you don’t but Marvel figures at all. Choose wisely!

We’ll feature the winner of this poll in a future Most Requested article and then they’ll be eligible for our 2010 Most Requested Contest. Thank you for your participation!

18 thoughts on “Most Requested Figures: Marvel
Legends U.S. Agent + Poll

  1. Every fan will have their short list of characters that Marvel Legends never got to… Modern Luke Cage, Jubilee, JL Jean Grey, Blink, any of the Inhumans, Dormammu, Warpath, Polaris, frickin’ Multiple Man, Crimson Dynamo, I could go on and on and on.

    I know your post was about this one specific character, but what the hell, Hasbro? Look at Mattel. Look at them. There’s an appointed fan intermediary that’s shepherding wave after wave of these figures into the hands of collectors. They’ve put together a method to get out obscure characters without having to do the big guns over and over and the whole time Hasbro sits idly by trying to push MU on us.

    I don’t want MU. I want the rest of my Marvel Legends collection!!! No amount of teasing me with Firestar, Jean Grey, & Enchantress will work. I want the big figures only.

    I want Quasar and Sauron and Constrictor! The 2pks were great, but now what? Those came out months ago before the christmas season that Hasbro let go past without any Marvel Legends. Just follow the Mattel formula. Tt’s working for them, why can’t it work for us?

    Ugh. I’m rambling, I know. But it just annoys me to no end. I love what Mattel is doing with DC Classics but I’m on the outside looking in because those characters don’t appeal to me. No offense, I know this is a DC heavy site, but they don’t.

    Marvel Legends shouldn’t be dead. There should be a U.S. Agent! He’s cracked the top ten in a few fan polls I’ve seen, not that Hasbro would care!

    1. The sad thing is, if Marvel Legends was still going, this wouldn’t be as heavy a DC site. We loved Marvel Legends. Between all of us, I think we might have bought all of them.

      You’re right though. It really stinks when you are so far into a collection and then the company changes directions or scale. I’ve dropped a few collections because of just that.

  2. Some more Marvel Legends would be nice. If Hasbro included Captain America in one of those two-packs where they do the repaints to make them profitable, USAgent would make perfect sense!

  3. Poor John Walker. He’s not exactly the most respected character in the Marvel stable. I think Rhodey is the only sub/fill-in character that gets much love. We know it ain’t Ben Reilly.

  4. U.S. Agent does not belong in the Marvel Legends line. Maybe after they make another hundred unique characters they can do him then.

  5. Jubilee is my MOST wanted, though there are plenty of other ML’s I want to have. I haven’t kept up with the two packs, but I would if they did an Infinity Gauntlet wave. We still need a Thanos even though the Marvel Select one is awesome.

    1. I recently finally got a Thanos off Amazon. How the heck do you get his hand off to put the Infinity Gauntlet on? mine turns, but won’t come off.

  6. Even though he’s a somewhat-unlikable jerk with some mental problems, damned if I don’t want a USAgent. How to sell him…do you watch Chuck? The character Casey, played by Adam Baldwin, would be USAgent: gruff, gung-ho, probably not above snapping your neck if his orders told him to.

    I’m picking up MU on occasion, but Legends is where it’s at.

  7. To this day I still really like US Agent’s Force Works costume. Him just wearing a slightly different Captain America costume made him boring. No matter what story was written for him, all I could ever see was a guy in a altered Captain America costume.

  8. One of the biggest disappointments is the death of Marvel Legends.

    Mattel is currently putting out DC Classics, Infinite Heroes, Brave and the Bold, Justice League Unlimited, and DC Movie Masters. All of them are different styles, all of them are different scales, and it’s apparently working.

    So why can’t Hasbro at least keep Marvel Legends going while also doing Marvel Universe?

  9. I’d actually consider getting U.S. Agent if they ever bothered to make him. As well as the 90’s ‘armored’ Daredevil, a costume that gets very little attention, personally always liked it.

    I voted ‘other.’ I want the Runaways made now!

  10. I want a Punisher Movie Line of figures so they can make Rebecca R. in her sexy waitress outfit so I can use her for fodder to make a hundred Nurse Joys from Pokemon…har har.

  11. doing a bit of peeking around the web today, and it seems assbro completely neglected ML in it’s toy fair presentations… i’m holding out hope that someone else may eventually post more thorough coverage and that ML was indeed repped… but at this point, it’s not great hope.

    as for the marvel legends vote, i went w/ rick jones. no one in the marvel universe has done more, partnered w/ more heroes, been a hero himself, moreso than rick. that cat actually deserves at least 6 figures i can think of that’d be flat out awesome.

    1. They basically confirmed the 3 2pks and who the other three halves are.
      Hulk/Valkyrie; Deadpool/??; and whoever the other pair is.

  12. You do know they have BLINK pictured on the inner cardback of the ML 2pks, right?

    I can see a couple of 2pks of:
    Blink + Mimic (re: Skrull with metal arms)
    Nocturne + Morph (swappable arm extensions)
    Quasar + Gladiator
    Vindicator (Heather) + Shaman
    Puck (MU body?) + Box (HBIM w new helmet/head, red/blue variants?)
    Boomer/Meltdown + Warpath (X-Force v1)
    Sunspot + Dani Moonstar
    Hyperion + Power Princess (King Hype variant = more EXILES!)
    Whizzer + Dr. Spectrum
    Nighthawk (NH2/blue var) + Lady Lark
    Jubilee + Dazzler (prefer Outback blue over silver)
    Jean Grey + Phoenix-Rachel (Hound/Excalibur)
    Madrox + Siryn
    Rictor + Shatterstar
    Strong Guy + Wolfsbane

    FA Storm (punk variant?) + ShadowCat (blue)
    Rogue + Magneto
    WCA Scarlet (Crimson) Witch + Safari Wonder Man
    White Vision + Master Pandemonium

    I could go on….

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