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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Any superhero team has a few fill-in-the-blank power slots it has to fill. There's the leader, the girl, the strong guy, the kid and, of course, the flier. You're nothing without air support.

Before the battle between good and evil mutants
escalated to the brink of genetic war, carefree millionaire Warren Worthington III was the high-flying, heroic Angel. Warren Worthington is a mutant who can fly by means of natural wings, which span 16 feet from tip to tip. Archangel's entire anatomy is adapted for flight: his bones are hollow like a bird's, his body is virtually devoid of fat, he possesses greater proporionate muscle strength than a normal human, his eyes can withstand high-speed winds, and a special membrane in his respiratory system allows him to extract oxygen from the air at extreme velocities and altitudes.

It hasn't been that long since X-Men Classics gave us a figure of Archangel, but that wasn't about to stop ToyBiz from releasing the character yet again. Fortunately, that look was a pretty radical departure for Warren, so getting him again isn't like getting yet another Spider-Man.

Angel shares his limbs with Daredevil and Deadpool, but his chest is all-new: it has to be, to deal with those wings. Not your average appendage, eh? He moves at the toes, ankles, boots, knees, hips, waist, abdomen, fingers, wrists, gloves, elbows, shoulders and neck, plus one joint where each wing sprouts from his back.

The sculpt is good, but it probably would have made more sense to re-use parts from Archangel rather than Daredevil. At the least, both versions of Warren should have similar faces, but there's nothing to suggest these guys are the same person. Even with recycled parts, there's enough to set Warren apart. There are the wings, obviously, but his hair is poking out the top of his mask, too.

The wings are beautiful. They're not the best we've ever seen, but they're still great - more than 100 feathers per wing, each detailed with tiny barbs and vanes. There's a series of dark stripes that are supposed to be on the tips of the feathers, but often miss. Still, that's no reason not to buy. The last time ToyBiz made a figure of Angel, he had bendy wings, but this time they're solid - the only movement is the hinges on his shoulders.

Angel is one of the variant figures for ML10, sporting two versions of his costume - the standard one red, the chase blue. The red first appeared in Champions #8, when Warren's exceedingly gay disco costume had been damaged and he needed a new one before hosting a press conference. Of course, that one had yellow gloves and boots, while the figure's white pegs him as being from his time with the Defenders.

In any case, the red costume was based on a costume he'd gotten years earlier, in X-Men #62. Found nearly dead in the Savage Land, Angel was nursed back to health and given a new costume by a guy known as the Creator. Angel, bright guy that he is, continued to wear the blue costume even after he learned that the Creator was actually Magneto. A few months later, Mags returned and stole the suit back, revealing that it was a plan to leech off Warren's mutagenic energy or something similarly stupid.

Thing is, the blue suit looks much more angelic (soaring through the heavens and all that) but the red is more plentiful. If you can find the blue, get it - not because it's rare, but because it's better. Both costumes have a white segment down the center and a golden halo on the chest. It's a simple logo, but nothing could suit him better. To keep the colors looking their best, the interiors of Warren's hips are molded from the same color as his costume, while the interiors of his shoulders are molded in white - no paint to scrape off means no ugly joints.

To help Angel live up to his name, he comes with a clear stand, similar to the one that first came with ML6's Doop. The Doop-stands have been redesigned so they'll support heavier figures, but the plastic on many has already proven to be rather weak. The clear stuff is fine, but watch out for the bits that are hazy white - they're the ones that give way.

In any other series, Angel's stand and his giant wings would have been enough to substitute for a base, but since this is ML10, he also comes with a piece of a Sentinel. He's got the left leg, an 8 3/4" monstrosity that moves at the ankle and knee. The leg's outer shell looks like it's been assembled from various metal plates, just as it should, and inside you can see overlapping pistons and wires. Darn fine sculpt from hip to heel. Looking at this thing, you can tell how big and how nice the assembled Sentinel is going to be.

Angel comes with a reprint of X-Men #5, which picks up right where the reprint included with Toad left off - Professor X has just been injured by a bomb blast, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants had escaped. This issue doesn't particularly focus on Angel more than any other hero, but it does offer us the chance to see Magneto, the evil mastermind who's usually so calm and regal, running around like a Scooby-Doo villain and also presents the mystery of just how it's possible for Iceman to use his powers to defeat fire jets.

When ML10 was revealed, Angel was one of the figures that nobody really cared about. Now that he's out, though, he turned out to be one great figure, a fine addition to your collection.

Which hero has worn the most embarrassing costume over the years? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.


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