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X-Con Luis & Ghost

Ant-Man and the Wasp
by yo go re

Don't they make a cute couple?

The best friend of Scott Lang, also known as Ant-Man, Luis is a fast-talking, wise-cracking former thief. After he, Scott, and two of their other friends are hired to help Hank Pym steal his own technology, the group bands together to form their own company, X-Con Security Consultants.

Luis was a high point of the first Ant-Man, and we still say Marvel is missing a major opportunity by not releasing special features with every movie and TV show having him provide recaps. This figure shows Luis Noapellido in his business suit, ready to meet with the Karapetyans, so he's built on the body you'd expect. Like Klaue, he still doesn't get the improved Nick Fury ankles, so he's still as pigeon-toed as everybody else. At least he has new shoes? Black sneakers, instead of uncomfortable dress shoes. The central part of his jacket is new, because no one else has been wearing theirs closed. The light pants really underscore how inhumanly thin this body is, though: like, his arms are legs look like twigs compared to his torso.

Luis was played by Michael Peña, and the toy's likeness is just aces! He's flashing a big grin, which means a lot more than just sculpting a plain face and then dropping a smile on it: they had to redo the cheeks, the chin, the eyes... and then of course the Photo Real paint has a lot more facial real estate to deal with, too.

The set includes two accessories, but neither of them really feels like it belongs only to Luis. First, there's an oversized ant, about as big (in scale) as a beagle would be. The same one from the first movie, just sans wings this time, it has no articulation and its butt is so heavy that it can't keep its front legs on the ground. The other is Hank Pym's mobile lab, the building he converted into rolling luggage. It's detailed pretty well for its size (this is the shrunken version, not full-scale), with the appropriate number of windows and even some ventilation/mechanical plant structures on the roof. There should be some doors near ground level, but who'll miss them? The important thing is the handle can be extended! Too bad it's too long to fully collapse into the building. Still, not since the days of Perry White and the Daily Planet have we gotten something like this as a pack-in.

Ava Starr gained the ability to become intangible after a quantum accident. She began working for SHIELD at a young age, under the codename Ghost. Years later, she realizes that she is slowly dying, and makes plans to harness the energy of the Quantum Realm, getting her into direct contact with Hank Pym, Hope van Dyne, and Scott Lang.

Ghost was an inspired choice for the movie's villain: while the 616 character was generally an Iron Man foe (and also a dude), being all shifty and intangible is a great way to balance the Ant-Man and Wasp powers without being a direct copy - plus having SHIELD be behind the tech of her suit means the movie doesn't have to introduce yet another high-tech conspiracy group. This figure has to be a totally new sculpt, because no one has dressed like her before. She's wearing her full techno-harness, with the mask that presumably helps focus her vision into a single reality, and her hood up. The head and hood are glued together, so they move as one. Splitting the difference between the original "Moon Knight knockoff" and modern "white Psycho Mantis" designs has made for a very MCU-friendly costume.

Ghost was played by either Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen. I know, you thought she was played by Hannah John-Kamen, from Killjoys and Ready Player One; I thought the same thing, but the sculpt on this toy's alternate unmasked head says different: a hispanic Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen. We kid, but the likeness could be better. The two-tone hair is nice, and they thought to include a "hood down" piece to put under it, but Ghost doesn't look as much like Ghost as Luis looks like Luis.

There's no way for an action figure to portray Ghost's abilities, but at least being a Marvel Legend means she's got good articulation: swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips (which, unlike the suit body, allow you to turn the legs far enough to the side so her feet point in a human direction), a balljointed chest, swivel/hinge wrists, elbows, and shoulders, a hinged neck and a balljointed head. And obviously, she can interact with either of the set's accessories, as well.

This was the first of the new movie two-packs I bought - mainly because it was the first one I found, but also I was looking forward to it. I mean, Luis is hilarious and Ghost was a great villain, so why wouldn't you want to get them bundled together?

-- 10/28/19

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