Marvel Super Hero Squad Review: Wolverine & Phoenix

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This two-pack of the Super Hero Squad does two things: it completes the original roster of the X-Men and it shows that variants will be appearing in the set. Sure, the Thing and Mole Man showed that about variants but these packs were released at the same time. When I was young, under the age of 5, my cousin was one of my biggest influences. His comicbook collection was terrifyingly impressive and was my first exposure to the Marvel Universe. So I was introduced to famous heroes constantly but my first exposure to them still stands out in my head.

Like Spider-Man’s black costume, when I was first introduced to the feral mutant known as Wolverine, he was wearing his brown costume. So when the X-Men series took off in the early 90s, I was confused as to why Wolverine was in yellow and blue instead of yellow and brown. Of course now, I’m usually willing to accept close enough when it comes to costumes.

While Classic Wolverine is one of the weakest figures released in the Super Hero Squad, his brown counterpart is easily one of the best. Gone is the chubby face and claws that look like rods. This Wolverine looks good and looks right.

Further showing off the lines willingness to go beyond their Galactic Heroes roots, Wolverine’s pose is certainly unique. He’s leaning on his right leg which makes his whole body slant while one arm is outstretched. Throw in the smirk on his face and you’ve got a figure of Logan that looks like he’s ready for fight.

His adamantium claws are pointy and look like blades coming out of his hands, while his flared boots have sculpted detailing. Even the X on his belt is sculpted in! Wolverine moves at the shoulders, waist and neck, though his neck is limited because his shoulders are uneven.

Wolverine’s brown costume debuted in 1980 in Uncanny X-Men #139. At a time when all of the X-Men were ditching their uniforms in exchange for more personalized costumes, the grim and gritty Wolverine dropped the bright yellow and blues for the more subdued browns and yellows.

The paint on the figure is very well done. Wolverine’s boots, gloves, torso and undies are done in a dull brown while his cap and legs are goldenrod. His belt is red to add some color while his face and arms are bare. The silver on his claws is clean and stays on the claws, not on his gloves!

Paired with Wolverine is the final founding member of the X-Men in her grown up form (maybe). Originally calling herself Marvel Girl, Jean Grey was the female character in Xavier’s band of mutant misfits. Originally just a telepathic telekinetic, over the years Jean became one with the Phoenix Force that eventually consumed her, drove her insane, and killed her then she was reborn. Or maybe that wasn’t Jean but one of her clones. Or maybe it was.

I hate X-Men continuity.

Anyway, Jean Grey was a founding member of the X-Men and one-time wife of Scott Summers. Originally her character was prone to baking goods and not being helpful in fights. But in the 80s, she tapped into the Phoenix Force and discovered she had a whole different set of powers.

Phoenix continues the trend of female Super Hero Squad figures not getting articulation. Posed as if she were floating, Jean is clenching both her fists while her hair is blowing up behind her. The figure’s sculpt looks great with a good balance of adorableness and terrifying universe destroying power.

To help set Jean apart, she comes with a base that seems to be inspired by her impossible to find Marvel Legends figure. Phoenix is attached to a massive flaming phoenix that’s cast in translucent plastic. The varying thicknesses of the flaming bird help illuminate the figure with different shades of oranges and yellows.

Much like Wolverine, Jean got a brand new costume when she became the Phoenix. Decked out in yellow and green, it serves at a great contrast to the orange fire behind her. Jean’s wearing long yellow gloves, thigh-high yellow boots and a yellow sash that is actually sculpted. Even the yellow Phoenix emblem on her chest is both sculpted in and painted! The rest of her green outfit looks fantastic.

But what really sets Jean apart from the other female figures released is her face. Hasbro finally figured out the right balance of cartoony and prettiness. Phoenix looks good with her bright green eyes and pink lips.

Pairing these two figures up together not only is a great pack for X-Men fans, but they’re both excellent Super Hero Squad figures! Wolverine is my favorite version of the clawed mutant and Phoenix really shows what this line is capable of when it’s willing to just go that step beyond Galactic Heroes.

Marvel Super Hero Squad Wave 4
The Thing & Mole Man Beast & Iceman
Wolverine & Phoenix Nightcrawler & Juggernaut

Written by jestergoblin

May 28th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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