For a great many years (more than I often like to admit) I have loved superheroes. Regardless of company or creators I love the genre with a passion. In that I was around in the old Mego days and wanted more than anything to have my favorite heroes and villains to be able to interact and play around my Star Wars and GI Joe figures. Mego did have the pocket heroes but those were less than stellar. Point being is that in the past few years I have had my wish in spades. Finally, Marvel Universe is really getting to the point that most of my favorites are out and what few are left are getting done little by little.
The recent crop of Marvel Universe Greatest/Gigantic battles is a great cross section of my favorite characters. Classic, Neo-classic and modern characters all appear in (mostly) unique looks and outfits. Thus I jammed this group together as sort of an introduction to my loves in life.
Look at your computer keyboard, specifically the right hand corner. Notice if you start at "L" and go up, down, and up you spell Loki, the god of mischief. What does that mean, Loki made the techno crutch we all have to lean on now a days, he won, HAHAHAHAHA!
OK maybe not, but I always thought that was an odd coincidence.
I was surprised Loki was not single packed. He has the clout to be in a single pack, much more than some of the upcoming figures like Darkhawk (and don't get me wrong, I love Darkhawk but has he done anything in a decade?) Loki's figure is pretty cool though. It is one of the few times that the thin body reused to death in the MU line works. Loki should be tall and lanky after all.
Loki's paint is cool, the scale mail is panted on and to be honest I would have preferred something molded on, but I can settle with this. The head sculpt is darn near perfect. A super grin that just matches Loki's personality and honestly makes the whole figure look as if he has much more going on. At first I was confused at the blonde hair (rather than black as is more common) but when I read the classic comic included with the pack I remembered that Loki did have blonde hair out the back of his helmet for a long time. Thus nothing major.
Beyond the painted scale mail there is nothing at all wrong with this figure. He is very cool and is good to see since the Loki's for the Thor line are less than stellar until King Loki finally arrives.
Now to his pack mate, and WOW what a pack mate.
Gigantic Battles was made for this figure. He is what I wanted to see from the Thor movie line. Hell he is what I wanted to see in the Thor movie actually. He has a vicious looking skull helmet as well-
Which to me is just perfect. Another great point is the huge axe
Very cool, this figure is great and not like the previous Gigantic battles which appeared to be the same bodies. This one is clearly different and even is just a bit bigger than previous GB figs. On top of that he is loaded with detail.
The detail on the fur and the rope holding his skirt up are great. Someone told me this was at least in part made using the 12 inch Thor body, and it is noticeable at the calf, but if someone hadn't of told me I would have never noticed.
My one gripe on this set, the comic. In actuality the Thor comic features Hill Giants, not Frost Giants. Loki is of course in it, but I was wondering if the Frost Giant was based on a specific giant or intended to be many, I guess we will never know
With this pack it's an easy call, buy. You get Loki and who couldn't use a close to scale Frost Giant for Thor to defeat.
Now on to a set that made many groan, but I was ecstatic about.
Up front I admit this is one of the few Wolvie looks I would consider grabbing at this point. This is from the beginning of his first series way back when. Honestly I have always loved the first couple of issues of that series and this is the look he wore in that time frame. I would like to see a "Patch" version as well but nothing seems to be on the horizon yet.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time the shorter stature XMO Wolvie has had separated claws which is a huge draw for me. His scowl on his face is perfect for Wolvie and his stances he can reach are very cool as well. The ankle articulation on this figure is much easier to work than the previous Wolverine Origins figures IMO and I think they improved the design slightly, which is a great thing.
While many groaned when another wolverine was available, I do say you should check out at least 1-10 of Wolverine. It was a cool series and a different take on the character, in a good way. I grant you that it is easy to argue the best point of Wolverine, but to me that was on of the biggest highpoints of them all. But his pack mate makes this pack all come together.
Silver Samurai is one of those characters that when I saw he was coming out I said "cool." It's kind of odd cause I actually like him but often I forget about him until he is mentioned. Not sure why that is, I do think he is a cool character and is a fun bad guy. Whatever it is I am glad someone else thought about him so he could make it into my collection cause he is cool.
Samurai looks like an accurate version of his name sake. He looks great beside of historical versions of the samurai. This matches his comic design perfectly but what really wins on this figure is the mold.
When I first saw pictures of this figure I thought it was just another use of the "big guy" mold we have seen used a dozen or so times. However, quick examination reveals this is an all new figure with rivets in the armor and great details in the forearm and shin guards. The sleeves are new and I thought that maybe Hasbro reused the thighs but when I compared them it turns out that they are new as well. As far as I can tell this is an all new mold. In addition it's a mold I can't see being recycled too easily as it is very distinct and unique. Another great feature to this figure is the holders for the swords, just fabulous.
As I said I thought this was the typical big guy mold from the photos and Samurai was always drawn as being a pretty big guy so it all works. My one knock on this set is the fact that the comic included is not the one indicated on the cover (Wolverine #3) in which Wolvie and Samurai are fighting over a black blade that had possessed Wolverine. In fact, the comic included doesn't even have Wolverine in that outfit. Still it's a cool set, but that comic was one of my favorite solo Wolverine stories. Still it's great to have Wolvie in the outfit.
To me, this set is a no brainier, grab it. Samurai is enough to be worth the purchase even if you don't want another Wolverine.
Of course I saved the best for last:
Deadpool got two comic based releases two years ago in the XMO: Wolverine line. This year he is getting two more this year. However it looks like they are mostly repaints of the previous releases. This one appears to be a straight repaint of the single pack release, but the figure does have some unique qualities.
The swords on the back is the best part of this figure. He does have an extra knife and scabbard on back as well. The knife stays in quite well unlike some recent Hasbro releases (*COUGH* Shadow Tracker *COUGH*). Also I am not sure if it is purposeful but Deadpool has a new hand and if you look at it closely it appears to be in the position for the sign of "play" in sign language.
Of course you have to compare this one to the last two figures released. Overall I will say I like the paint on the single packed (especially the face) but there is some extra details added to the comic pack release. Another thing is that many have said Marvel Universe has been lacking in accessories, while I argue some characters don't need an abundance of accessories, Deadpool is not one of those characters. He comes with two swords, a knife, and a pistol as well as a belt and a new chest piece which holds the swords on the back. To me that is a good amount of for one figure and also fits the character quite well.
I admit I probably wouldn't have gotten this if it weren't for his pack-mate. Still I don't regret for one second picking him up. He is cool and has enough added on to make him worth the purchase.
Now for quite possibly my favorite figure in quite a while:
Let me explain something first, Taskmaster might just be my favorite villain of all time. I honestly believe he should be the anti-Batman of the Marvel Universe. His powers of "photographic reflexive memory" is pretty unique and cool, but also he is a crafty and dangerous character. Probably the only other character that resonates with me as much is Deathstroke The Terminator (BTW did you know Taskmaster and Deathstroke were created by the same creator). This figure is a great representation of the character. It took me a bit to figure out which body was being used for him, but then I realized it was Hawkeye and the same extra calf articulation is there as it was with Hawkeye.
Once again this figure has a good amount of accessories, he has a repaint of what appears to be Caps shield, a repaint of Hawkeye's quiver and bow, as well as a gun and a sword and holster/scabbard for each. While some of the accessories are recycled, when you consider the figure and his character it does work. Honestly this figure is pretty perfect. The one knock I can think of is the cape is a bit heavy and sometimes forces the figure to lean back.
Personally, this one is a must have if there ever was one. Taskmaster is one of those characters that is just straight awesome and should be much higher on the list of top villains. Grab this and if you are unfamiliar with the character hunt up some info, he is worth it.
That is all for now, until next time-Stay thirsty my friends.