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Black Widow
by yo go re

Wow, an old character who even ToyBiz never made!

An undercover opperative skilled in sabotage, Spymaster possesses superb fighting capabilities.

You can tell a character is going to be boring when all the bio can say about him is "knows how to fight, I guess?" The original Spymaster (like many villains, several people have used the costumed identity) was a student of Taskmaster who specialized in corporate espionage - he's the guy you'd send in to find KFC's 11 herbs and spices (⅔ tbsp. salt, ½ tbsp. thyme, ½ tbsp. basil, ⅓ tbsp. oregano, 1 tbsp. celery salt, 1 tbsp. black pepper, 1 tbsp. dried mustard, 4 tbsp. paprika, 2 tbsp. garlic salt, 1 tbsp. ground ginger, 3 tbsp. white pepper, plus a sprikle of MSG on each piece right before eating) or the recipe for Coca-Cola (dirty toilet water + sugar). His first appearance involved sabotaging a Stark Industries lab and then attempting to steal secret documents while everyone was distracted dealing with that.

Just like Naruto must be the greatest ninja in the world if he can be stealthy while wearing blaze orange, Spymaster has to be one hell of an infiltrator to sneak into places wearing a WVU football uniform. Head to toe, he's bright blue and yellow. His mask makes it look like he's wearing a skull cap and crying his eyes out, thanks to its patterns.

Spymaster's costume may be a garish eyesore, but it doesn't have a lot of fancy pieces on it - thus, a plain body. (Marvel did try giving him a new costume a couple times, but it never stuck.) The comics reveal that his suit has all sorts of features, like a bulletproof kevlar weave, the ability to absorb and redirect repulsor blasts, and even limited flight, but since none of that has anything to do with the sculpt, this is just paint. The edges are crisp, which is important when you've got two such strongly contrasting colors, and he has his insignia right in the center of his chest: a dagger crossing the Earth. (Well, more accurately, a dagger crossing a diamond mesh pattern, but it's supposed to represent the lines on a globe; the need to draw faster just usually rendered it this way.)

Continuing his trend of looking super-anonymous, Spymaster wears a bright yellow belt with a gigantic blue S belt buckle, and carries a candy apple red pistol in a holster on his hip. In the comic, the gun has lots of different attachments to deal with Iron Man's armor - razor discs, an energy siphon, metal softeners, magnets, etc. - but this is just a single weapon. The sculpted details on the mask's forehead represent a small blaster he wears there in the comics, so technically the toy includes two weapons. The articulation is exactly as it is on other uses of this base body.

He comes with a part of this series' Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure, the right leg.

Spymaster is such a minor character, I forgot I'd already reviewed him once. So as much crap as we may give him for his costume, apparently he is fulfilling a spy's prime directive to be anonymous, even out here in the real world. Even in the books, his real identity has never been discovered, just aliases. Spymaster may be this series' mandatory "plain repaint" figure, but he is a longstanding Iron Man foe who's never had a figure before, so he's not without a certain appeal.

-- 07/13/20

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