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Black Panther
by yo go re

It's time for another Hasbro Marvel Legends re-do!

With incredible strength and swimming speed, Sub-Mariner is a powerful force on land and sea.

Nice of them to not specify whether that's a force for good or a force for evil, since it kind of goes back and forth depending on how he feels at any time, and also who you're asking. Since this figure is in a Black Panther line, we can say for sure that T'Challa views him as a villain. While be-Phoenix-fied, Namor flooded Wakanda; later, he aimed Thanos at the country; BP, being a master strategist, played the long game, seeming to move past this event and willingly work with Namor again, before turning on him and taking the most epic personal revenge imaginable.

Hasbro made their first Namor in their first year with the Marvel license - which was before they'd really found their footing. The quality jump between that old figure and this new one is stunning. Although the upper arms and legs come from the medium body, and the forearms and shins were seen on the Walgreens exclusive, the entire torso is a new mold. It's similar to the bare chest seen on the SDCC-exclusive version of Odinson, but it is most definitely not the same. For one thing, this one has nipples! The scaly trunks are obviously not reused from anything else, and he's got bare feet.

Namor comes with two heads, and surprisingly, neither of them is the same as we got from Walgreens. Also surprisingly, neither of them has the same underlying sculpt - different shaped nose, different shaped ears... shouldn't digital sculpts make matching easier? The bare-faced one is a bit old-fashioned, with a wide lip and angular Spock eyebrows, while the bearded one is more modern. Even the way their hair sweeps back is different! Big props for that attention to detail, but it's still weird that they look like two different guys.

Naturally, the articulation on this figure is as good as it is on any Marvel Legend. After all, we've already seen most of the bodyparts in use, so as long as they remembered to include a waist and a chest joint, you know he's going to have all the good stuff. Unlike Walgreens' version, this release doesn't have a Doop hole in his back, so if you want him to swim, you'll have to find some other way to get him up off the ground. The right elbow on mine was slightly warped when it came out of the tray, but a little warm water should clear that right up.

Namor comes with a pair of flat "swimming" hands, and a new spear. Accounting for stylistic differences, this is the same spear ToyBiz's Namor came with, just done without the weird layout. It's got the points, it's got the fins, it's got the devil tail... it's the same item. Beats a repainted Odin spear, for sure!

He also gets the arms of Okoye, this series' Build-A-Figure. It's kind of weird that the shoulder joints (which will plug into the finished figure's torso) are done in "caucasian pink" plastic. Presumably they were gang-molded with some of Namor's parts? Still pretty conspicuous.

The Black Panther line may seem like a strange place for Namor to show up, even given their history, but Hasbro says he (and Black Bolt) were included because they're kings, just like T'Challa. Fair enough. Still doesn't explain Iron Man, though.

-- 07/30/18

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