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The Marvels
by yo go re

When the sassy best friend becomes important.

Monica Rambeau's life changed forever at Westview, where her exposure to reality-altering energy imbued her with the power to perceive and manipulate all energy along the electromagnetic spectrum.

Sure, it may seem odd that repeatedly interacting with the effects of Wanda's magic would give someone light-based powers, but is it really any stranger than Monica's comicbook origin, where it happened because she smashed a villain's interdimensional computer while it was plugged in? Sometimes it feels like creating Marvel's mutants was the smartest thing Stan ever did: you don't need an accident, you don't need an origin, these characters can just do these things because they can, now let's get into the stories about them. Bring the drama, spill the tea, get into the fights, go go go!

MCU Monica appeared in the first Captain Marvel, but she was just a kid there, so Wandavision introduced a different actress. Teyonah Parris. Like comic Monica, she has big natural hair. It's always nice when that's sculpted well, because that's harder to do than just applying a texture to a big sphere centered on her head.

Captain Marvel/Photon/Pulsar/Spectrum/Photon again has always worn a black and white costume, so her MCU counterpart sticks with those colors. In Wandavidion, that was a simple shirt that seemed to be a stanard part of a S.W.O.R.D. uniform, but by the time of The Marvels, it seems more like an actual costume: like, you may notice the white lines going up her chest are different shapes on the left and right, and that seems like a weird choice, but then you realize those aren't just stripes or a pattern, but gaps between molded armor plates that sit above the suit beneath.

Because of that armor, the front of her suit is more black than the back is. That may also be a matter of paint budget, because there are lots of sculpted details on her back, but it's blank plastic. Is that thin black line on her stomach meant to stop right on her sides, or are there supposed to be matching ones behind her, breaking up that vast field of white? We know Hasbro is always looking for corners to cut, and "paint on the back of a toy" is one of the first things to go, so who can tell? Certainly doesn't feel complete.

Monica's shoulders look pretty large, but it's just armor, not muscle. Her joints are all the normal stuff: barbell head, swivel/​hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed chest, balljoint hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. It's funny that the black outline on the front of the stomach is shaped perfectly to hide a hinged ab crunch, and yet that's not something Hasbro is into using at the present time. The figure doesn't have any accessories, just alternate fists.

The right leg of this series' Build-A-Figure, Totally Awesome Hulk, is included here.

Other than Alex Ross's story idea, Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau have never really interacted in the comics. But giving them a connection in the movies makes sense, and has clearly led to a neat new network of characters.

-- 11/09/23

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