Marvel Super Hero Squad Review: Samurai Wolverine & Hand Ninja

without comments

Wolverine has done a lot over the years. Between being old enough to have fought in both WWI and then WWII with Captain America and spending years in Japan being trained as a samurai, he’s actually pretty interesting. So when the Wolverine Origins pack was announced, a lot of fans were hoping for something more along the lines of this set.

Martial arts master with super sharp claws!

After WWII ended, Wolverine went to Japan and ended up married to Itsu. Though in an accident, Wolverine stabbed a villager with his claws and was banished. Before leaving, he discovered Itsu had been murdered while pregnant. Later it was revealed that his unborn child lived and he became Daken, but that’s a story for a different time.

But when Logan lived in Japan he wanted a more normal life and this figure doesn’t exactly show that. Samurai Wolverine is wearing little more than sandals and keikogi (often just called a gi in the states). He’s clutching a short sword in his right hand that could be either a katana or a wakizashi but it’s near impossible to tell with this line’s style and has his claws popped on his left.

This sculpt is Wolverine’s second unmasked look and it works so much better than the Pointy-Haired Boss version that came with the Sentinel. Since Wolverine is shirtless, it gives the sculptors a chance to show off their skills at doing muscles and Wolverine looks really good. While the sculpt is very well done, the articulation isn’t. Wolverine only moves at the neck and right hand allowing him to only pose the sword, nothing more.

The paint is well done for the most part. Wolverine’s gi and scabbard are well detailed and he’s even got hair painted on his arms (but not his chest or back, which is odd because Wolverine is hairy). But the gold paint on his sword’s hilt is sloppy and ended up on his fingers.

Fearsome warriors from the Far East!

The Hand is a group of Japanese Ninja and the direct influence for the Foot Clan in the Ninja Turtles. But then again, pretty much everything in the first issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic is inspired by Frank Miller’s legendary run on Daredevil when the Hand was introduced. The toxic chemical that blinded Matt Murdock was the same ooze that mutated the turtles! Daredevil’s mentor Stick was turned into the turtle’s rat father, Splinter.

The first real army builder figure in the Super Hero Squad, the Hand Ninja isn’t a bad figure by any stretch but feels much worse than he really is because of a certain Combat Heroes figure: Storm Shadow. Both are ninjas, but Storm Shadow is so excellent, it’s impossible for comparisons not to come up.

The Hand ninja is clad in classical “ninja” clothes. A wrapped up face with only the eyes showing, billowing clothes for silent movement and he’s wearing a pair of tabi. A sheath is attached to his back and he’s holding a kodachi in one hand and a brass knuckle on the other. One odd choice with the pose though is how he’s holding his sword; he’s pointing it downwards which makes it look kind of odd. Another oddity is the articulation, he only moves at the waist and right shoulder but not the left even though it is clearly designed to be a joint!

The paint is minimal since the figure is mostly just a dull, red color. There are some gray details painted and his sheath and sword are painted just like Wolverine’s. Though like Black Bolt’s silver, it seems to rub off easily. But in the case of the Hand Ninja, it is red underneath and just looks like blood so it’s not as bad. He’s also sporting red eyes.

This pack makes a lot of sense as a pairing since Wolverine has had multiple run-ins with the Hand over the years. Getting an army builder is always appreciated but it would be such a better figure if it were just a repaint of Storm Shadow. On the other hand, if you’re looking for some of the rival ninja gang, Storm Shadow is a great stand-in for a member of the Chaste.

Super Hero Squad Wave 8
Carnage & Ben Reilly Spider-ManModern Thor & Ares
Samurai Wolverine & Hand NinjaSpider-Man & Hobgoblin

Written by jestergoblin

August 28th, 2010 at 12:00 am

In addition to commenting, be sure to stay up to date by visiting the Hasbro Heroes Forum!