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Superior Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man 2
by yo go re

Remember when the Scarlet Spider got a Marvel Legend figure just as his series was cancelled? If the pattern holds true, this doesn't bode well for Superior Spider-Man.

Doc Ock prolongs his life by implanting his mind in the body of Peter Parker! Using Parker's powers, will Doc Ock erase Peter's legacy and become the superior Spider-Man?!

Actually, yeah, he will. Ever since taking over Spider-Man's body, Dr. Octopus has actually lived up to the whole "power and responsibility" thing. Sure, he's a bit more violent (and a lot more underhanded) than Peter Parker ever was, but it's not like he's ignoring crime in order to focus on his own desires. He's out there, on the streets, acting like a real hero; he's going to Peter's day job, and using his scientific knowledge to improve lives; he goes back to school, he works alongside the police, he maintains a relationship... and he does it without all the constant moping that Peter was known for. So yeah, Otto Octavius is kind of an evil bastard, but he's also better at being Spider-Man than Peter Parker was.

This figure introduces an all-new body, if we're lucky this will signify the end of the Bullseye body and its variants - it's way overused, and Hasbro's version(s) of it had endemic problems. Spidey stands exactly 6" tall, and is appropriately slender. The hips are slightly too wide, but at least that can be hidden by clever posing - it's a better flaw than the diaper waist the figures have been coming with for more than half a decade. He has very large muscles on his back; considering that the rhomboid muscles help hold your arms onto your torso, having them be highly developed on a guy who spends all his time swinging on webs makes a lot of sense. The lenses of his mask are raised (like goggles), and there are bumps on his thumbs representing the small claws he has on his fingers. The stock photo on the back of the box clearly shows him with a claw on his toe and tabi boots, but the final product has plain feet.

Superior Spider-Man comes with something no Hasbro Spider-Man has come with before: interchangeable hands! The ones he's wearing in the package are curled, "accessory-holding" hands (though he has no accessories to hold), while the replacements are in a webshooting pose; the hands just pull out at the wrist, popping in and out with no trouble. The bonus hands still have the small thumb-claw, and complement it with two more on the index finger and pinky.

When Otto first took over as Spider-Man, his costume was pretty much the same as Peter's: it just traded the blue for black. He later made a more drastic change, and that's how this toy is painted. It looks, as Rustin joked, like Alex Ross's concept art or the Ultimate Spider-Man suit, with a large red diamond over the shoulders, and black everywhere else. The large spider on his chest and back look good, even having to line up over the joints, and the web lines aren't sculpted in, but they look okay (when you really start examining the toy you can see all sorts of incorrect spacing, but it's not something you'll notice under regular conditions). The lenses in his mask are dark gold, rather than the black they're depicted in the comics.

The articulation is... well, it's not "superior," but it is just as good as you expect from a Marvel Legends figure. Which I guess makes it superior to anything from other companies, but still not to the rest of of Hasbro's output. He has a balljointed head, hinged neck, lateral pec joints, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge rocker ankles. Technically these are all the same joints that the recent Spider-Man figures have used, but on this new body them seem to work better.

A Marvel Legend without some kind of pack-in isn't much of a Marvel Legend at all, but the Spidey-themed line does have a Build-A-Figure: Green Goblin. We assume it's Ultimate Green Goblin, but there's a chance it could be the new movie Green Goblin. This figure gets the right leg, which is already enough to let us know the figure is going to be a retool of Avengers movie Hulk.

Superior Spider-Man is, no pun intended, an amazing figure. He has a new, unique sculpt and excellent articulation. The web paint on his upper body could be better, and the pins in his elbows stick out slightly, but this is an excellent toy.

Now, watch Peter Parker come back in a week.

-- 13/13/13

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