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Captain America

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
by yo go re

...and now it's nine.

Science made Steve Rogers a super-soldier, but his heart makes him a hero!

So Captain America 2: Cap Harder opened this past weekend, and it's the best movie Marvel's made yet. Perhaps that's because it was so non-superheroic; it was more of an political thriller/espionage action movie, in the vein of the Bourne movies. Hell, there's even parkour and an epic car chase! The only thing missing is a shadowy government program with a name like "Treadstone" or "Insight," headed by a well-known older actor, and the main character being hunted by his own agency and operatives who have his same kind of advanced, specialized training. Oh, and a Chemical Brothers Moby soundtrack.

As excellent as Avengers was, Cap's new costume for the movie really wasn't very good. That's why it's so nice that the new movie has changed it again, this time giving us a live-action version of the comics' "director of SHIELD" costume. It's a suit designed for stealth operations, not for fighting aliens in the middle of Manhattan. It's still red, white and blue, just in darker shades. The suit is textured like kevlar, and has a few overlapping panels to suggest it's still flexible. He even has a pair of pockets on his butt, the first superhero who can actually carry a wallet! His boots, gloves, belt and shoulder harness are all a rich, dark brown, while the raised star on his chest and the stripes leading out to his arms are all silver. He's looking pretty bad-ass.

The WWII Cap from the first movie (and also, conveniently, rereleased in this line sans Tommy gun) was initially shown with an unmasked head, but that never showed up anywhere. This figure does have a second unmasked head, but it really doesn't look very much like Chris Evans. It does look very "Steve Rogers"-y, and that's what matters.

The articulation is very good. Cap has a balljointed head; hinged neck, elbows, torso, and knees; swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles; and swivel biceps, waist, thighs, and boots. That's even better than the Marvel Legends shot at this costume - and at 6¼" tall, he's not oversized, either! None of the joints are stuck or impeded at all, so he's ready for all the "running around and beating ass" poses you could want.

Steve comes with his shield of course, but it's been redesigned slightly for this movie - no, we're not just talking about the fact that it's now painted blue instead of red for some reason. Stealth? Does he put a different coat of paint on it before each mission? Come to think of it, did he ever actually use a blue shield in the movie? You can find lots of production stills and set spy photos that show the actor using it, but those scenes in the finished film have it in its normal colors. Were the directors planning on having it look like this the whole time, but then changed their minds? Anyway, the star is a slightly different design, and the straps on the back are bigger and more detailed. He also gets two pairs of hands: a set of fists, a saluting right hand, and a pointing left hand. They swap out easily.

Since he's wearing his new costume, this figure probably would have sold by itself. But he doesn't have to, because he's got a BAF piece. Like Bucky, he's got a leg of the eventual Mandroid.

This is yet another good Marvel Legend. In fact, if you're a fan of the "Steve Rogers, commander of SHIELD" era from the comics, this is nice enough to serve as a 616 stand-in (assuming you didn't buy a Steve Rogers figure one of the five dozen times Target restocked him).

-- 04/07/14

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