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Ms. Marvel

The Marvels
by yo go re

Sometimes the first draft is better.

Kamala Khan has encountered much in her Ms. Marvel adventures, but nothing could prepare her for a cosmic adventure alongside her idol Captain Marvel!

Let's compare and contrast! Peter Parker: starts out local, gets taken to Germany, goes to outer space, meets aliens. Kamala Khan: starts out local, gets taken to Pakistan, meets aliens, then goes to outer space! Different! Okay, technically they were genies or interdimensional gods or something, not "alien" aliens, but still: Ms. Marvel's already gone through more than the average new superhero. Oh, and I totally forgot she also bootstrap-paradoxxed her way into time travel, so she's way ahead of Spider-Man's superhero pace. Advantage Khan!

Kamala gets a new costume for The Marvels, a bit more "costumey" than her original thanks to the overlapping patterns on her arms and legs. The basic design is the same, with a dress-like "burkini" featuring a large lightning bolt shape covering the entire front, but it no longer looks like a homemade conglomeration - maybe SHIELD [it's SWORD now --ed.] sets her up with something better when she gets yoinked into their world. Honestly, this toy may have an excellent sculpt, but the old costume looked better than this one does - not as "over-designed."

The face on this figure looks more adult, too. Yes, obviously it's been a year of real-world time and a teenager is going to physically age a bit in that time, but there's something about either the sculpt or the Photo Real paint that makes her look like she's old enough to rent a car. Old enough to attend her school reunion - college, not high school. But hey, no more mask covering her eyes! Guess she's getting more comfortable with her role.

One thing the redesigned costume does is allow for more variety in the placement in the colors. Like, her dress used to be solid blue, but now there are large red sections cutting through it (which contribute to the "busy" feeling). The sections are divided by gold outlines, and she gets some substantial matching stripes on her legs, plus gold pads on her shoulders and the soles of her boots. Yes, boots now, no longer sneakers. And of course, she's still got her Nega-Band bangle on her left arm. But because they're cutting every corner possible while also needlessly raising prices, the decorative green paint apps are only on one side of it, instead of going all the way around.

Articulation is unsurprising: swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips (that don't do a lot because of the costume), a balljointed chest, swivel/​hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a barbell head. There's not a ton of range in that joint, either, what with her long hair and her scarf. A split up the right side of the dress allows her leg to move more than it otherwise would, but we're assuming that's just a feature of the toy, not an actual costume element. Not a lot of slit-thigh burqas out there, I'd imagine.

The figure comes with alternate hands, but her exciting accessory is Goose the Flerken. Or, well, probably not Goose, unless Flerkens are much longer-lived than Earth cats are. And can change color. Instead of orange and white like Goose was, Goose Jr. is gray. And has six curling red tentacles erupting from their mouth. So, you know, little changes. Subtle ones, hard to spot. The cat part is either meant to be more kittenish, or fluffier - the proportions of this one are more exaggerated and cartoony than Goose's.

Ms. Marvel may be the smallest figure in this series, but she's also a new mold, so it's a bit surprising she gets the Totally Awesome Hulk Build-A-Figure's torso. Must have been more about space in the packaging than space in the budget.

It's nice that we don't have to wait very long to see Ms. Marvel in action again, and to get a hungry, hungry Flerken, but we certainly wouldn't mind if she goes back to a simpler costume in the future.

-- 11/13/23

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