Super Hero Squad Review: Winter Soldier Saga

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Sometimes the Super Hero Squad doesn’t make much sense. Some of the packs seem so mainstream that they’re clearly pandering to the most generic audience possible. Other packs though seem to be so absurdly specific; you’ve got to wonder how they ever got made. Of course, four of the packs never did get released in the US, but I’ve finally tracked down the Winter Soldier Saga.

Cap’s old partner Bucky is back, but he’s been brain washed by the bad guys, and became the dangerous Winter Soldier! Captain America and Falcon rush to find him, hoping to stop him before he gets into real trouble. Unfortunately, Crossbones is waiting for them, and he can’t wait to tear into the two Super Heroes.

The ultimate street-fighting thug!

Crossbones went from being a thug who could go toe-to-toe with Captain America to becoming best known for being the guy who killed Captain America. A man lacking super powers, Crossbones trained with Taskmaster and serves under the Red Skull.

Wearing a knock-off lucador mask, Crossbones reminds me a lot of the Punisher. Crossbones’ mask painted to look like a cartoony skull while the rest of his outfit is kind a boring. He’s wearing a Kevlar vest, combat boots, and some cargo paints. But it’s pretty accurate to his modern look. Crossbones is clutching a Tec-9 machine gun in his left hand..

The pose is exceptionally generic. Crossbones is standing in the Hasbro Heroes squat and looks like he’d be right at home among the original Galactic Heroes. His articulation is only at the shoulders. Like the rest of his costume, the paint isn’t very exciting. Mostly just black and gray, and his mask looks way too friendly. Instead of being a scary skull, Crossbones looks kind of like a little kid wearing a mask.

Super soldier armed with a bionic arm!

For years, there was a rule in comics: Bucky, Jason and Uncle Ben stayed dead. Of course, death seems to be fleeting in comic books. Between Captain Marvel’s return and Deadpool being “cursed with life,” death doesn’t feel as permanent. But then Ed Brubaker said he was bringing Bucky back. And he managed to pull it off.

The original kid sidekick of the First Avenger, Bucky Barnes was thought to have been killed in the same explosion that put Captain America into suspended animation. But in reality, his body was recovered by the Russians and he was turned into a super assassin with a bionic arm.

Winter Soldier doesn’t have the most exciting design. In fact, if you saw him in a bunch of Combat Heroes, he wouldn’t look that out of place. He’s a guy in a blue jumpsuit with some oddly intricate belt buckles. His left arm looks like he stole it from Colossus, except for the giant red star on the shoulder.

Bucky’s shaggy hair and young face really make him to be from a different time. A lot of his face is covered by a blue domino mask too. In the right hand, he’s holding a giant assault rifle while his left is shooting an oddly skinny pistol.

Like Crossbones, Bucky’s pose screams classic Hasbro Heroes with the iconic squat. His shoulders rotate too. Paint isn’t too exciting. But it’s all clean and muted. The colors really set him apart from the more colorful Marvel characters.

High-tech wings let him fly like a bird!

Sam Wilson has been released two other times, though technically this was his first release. Dressed up in his modern costume, Falcon looks good but isn’t the most exciting figure. Rotating only at the waist, he just kind of stands there with a smirk on his face and horribly uneven eyes.

The paint is fine but his skin is really glossy which looks odd. Besides the eyes, which aren’t that noticeable given his leaning downwards stance, he looks good but neither of the Falcon sculpts released so far really impress me.

Ultra strong super hero with an indestructible shield!

Captain America is a repaint of his original wave 1 figure and this may be the best repaint yet. He’s posed with his shield out and a wide set stance, like he’s bracing for impact. It’s not a perfect sculpt, and feels a tad on the small side now when compared to other figures – like Winter Soldier. I’m sorry, but Bucky shouldn’t be bigger than Cap! Captain America moves at the waist and shoulders.

The paint is exceptionally vibrant though and is the perfect shade of red and blue. His first release was too lightly colored, while his Secret Wars version was too muted, but this one is bright, vibrant and looks great.

There are only two issues with the paint. First, Steven suffers from crazy eyes too. Second, the blue on his shield doesn’t match the blue of his costume which is rather odd (but it does match his eyes).

Near impossible to find, it’s remarkable that this set even got released. It’s a four-pack that jumped right out of the pages of a modern comic that isn’t exactly intended for kids. All four of the figures are good, but it probably isn’t worth the hassle of trying to track this down as a must have. There are over a dozen different Captain America figures, and Falcon is easy to find in the Collector’s Pack. Even Crossbones was shown off at NYCC 2010! Only Winter Soldier remains absent, but we’ve already got Bucky Cap! But if you find it, it’s a good four pack.

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