This set is just awkward. Remember four years ago after Brand New Day when Eddie Brock ended up becoming Anti-Venom? Or how about in the last four years how Venom went from being Mac Gargon to Flash Thompson and now Eddie Brock has no powers and hunts the remaining symbiotes? This set would have been awesome if it was released during the height of the Super Hero Squad, but now it feels even more awkward than the Flashpoint Action League series.
Two symbiotes and one super hero collide as Spider-Man and Anti-Venom team up to battle Venom!
Venom has definitely become a more interesting character over the last few years. After Eddie Brock got diagnosed with cancer, he sold the symbiote to the highest bidder and donated the money to charity. The symbiote wasn’t too thrilled and abandoned its new host in the middle of jumping between skyscrapers, allowing Angelo Fortunato to plummet to his death. Then the symbiote met up with Mac Gargon, the original Scorpion, and became the new Venom (and Spider-Man for a time). But this was all so long ago that now Flash Thompson is Venom in the comics.
That would be all swell and good, but this figure is clearly based on the classic Venom! Which makes this very weird because classic Venom is Eddie Brock but Anti-Venom is Eddie Brock! I thought only Spider-Man had clones!
As a figure, Venom is a repaint of the wave 7 figure which hasn’t been seen in ages. Based on his classic look that Todd McFarlane created, Venom lacks some of his characteristic attributes like the long tongue and white “web shooters” on his hands. But that doesn’t stop this figure from being great.
To call Venom massive would be an understatement thanks to the hulking figure. The design is simple but works well. Only the spider emblem and his face are painted. To give him a new look, the figure is painted in a shiny blackish-blue color that works well and reminds me of the Spider-Man 3 figure. Venom still moves at the shoulders only.
Stuck in the middle of this mind breaking train wreck of a set is Spider-Man! It’s weird seeing this figure again because it was one of the first ones I officially reviewed for JesterGoblin.com. Unarticulated, this version of the Webhead actually looks really good. Thanks to a dynamic sculpt and both hands ready to shoot webbing, this version of Spider-Man makes for a great display piece.
But to probably save on costs once again, Hasbro decided not to bother with a wash on the figure which leaves him looking very much like a cheap toy. The sculpt stops feeling as crisp. There are far worse versions of Spider-Man out there.
Finally there is Anti-Venom! In a storyline that resulted in Eddie Brock getting cured of cancer, attacked by Venom and somehow getting an Anti-Venom symbiote and becoming kind of a hero. Basically he showed up when Marvel was trying out a bunch of new takes on classic villains to see what would stick.
Over the last few years a handful of Anti-Venom Super Hero Squad figures have been leaked from various eBay sellers in China – all of them being repaints of different Venom figures but colored in reverse. But instead of just repainting Venom and calling it a day, Hasbro repainted Carnage! It’s a minor change but makes a lot of sense given how fluid Anti-Venom’s design is thanks to the tendrils, claws and freakishly large jaw.
Carnage’s sculpt hasn’t been seen since wave 8 of the Super Hero Squad, so it’s great to see it getting back into the wild. Originally, I felt Carnage’s figure was too bulky and feral but it works really well for the larger Anti-Venom. Anti-Venom moves at the shoulders and neck.
The paint is what really sets this figure apart and visually; there isn’t anyone else who looks like this. The white figure with a large black spider emblem looks really good. The face is terrifying with yellow eyes and a bright red mouth which I really like because it means kids can use him as either a hero or a villain with ease! The only issue is since this figure is so black and white, any mistakes are very noticeable so be sure to check for smudging.
The value of this set really comes down to how long you’ve been collecting Super Hero Squad figures. For someone like me, Anti-Venom is the only reason to pick this up. But if you’re after Spider-Man and Venom to round out your “characters that appeared in the films” then this is a fine addition. While Anti-Venom may not be the most timely release in the world, he’s a welcome addition to my slowly growing Super Hero Squad universe.
Amazing Spider-Man Super Hero Squad 3-Packs
Super Villain Surprise
Green Goblin, Ultimate Doc Ock & Spider-Man with Web Shield
Battle Against Venom
Anti-Venom, Spider-Man & Venom
Escape from Lizard’s Lair
The Lizard (movie version), Gwen Stacy & the Amazing Spider-Man