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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

When Namor was released in ML2, the fanboys bitched that he wasn't wearing his little green panties. Now that he's been released in this oddball numberless Hasbro ML series, they're bitching that he is. Do you ever wish you could just hate someone to death?

Short tempered, arrogant and often outright hostile Namor towards the surface world, Namor is nonetheless a wise king and powerful champion of his native Atlantis. He lived for many years among the inhabitants of the surface world, and is himself the son of a land-dweller. Despite his experience with the world above, he remains disdainful of the weak, short-lived cousins to his people that crowd the continents above and pollute the seas and sky. He has rushed to the defense of Earth and his comrades (few are those he would call friends) in the super hero community in the past, but he always serves the interests of Atlantis first. He has alternately warred against and lived in peace with the surface world, and remains an uncertain factor in world politics.

So the previous Namor was, indeed, wearing a short-lived and mostly forgotten costume that comprised boots, long pants, a vest and a heavyweight championship belt. The suit was introduced in 1973 and almost immediately disposed of. Oddly enough, however, it did make a return appearance in 2006, about the time of the very good Civil War crossover. Was it just a random thing, or was this yet another example of an artist using action figures as a model for their art?

An oft-repeated complaint about this series of Fantastic Four Legends is that they look too "toy like." That somehow these don't live up to the standards of previous Legends. Well, you might be able to that argument for some in the line, but not Namor. The sculpt is completely buff, even if it's not as "ripped" as the ML2 Namor's. Plus, the muscles are less cartoony. The detailing on his bracelets is better, and his trunks have individual scales. There's lots of detail all over - perhaps if it were "sharper," people would like it better?

Standing 6¼" tall, this Namor is just a bit shorter than the ML2 version. He moves at the head, shoulders, chest, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles, and all of them are balljoints. Considering that every balljoint is actually two joints (a swivel and a hinge working together) he actually has 28 points of articulation - two more than the last version. And people say Hasbro doesn't give their figures enough joints. Pfft.

Even the paint is good. Namor's molded in pink, then given a bit of an orange wash to capture all the deails. His trunks are solid green, and the bracelets and belt are gold. The proportions are mostly good, though his neck looks a bit long. Maybe his head should be bigger? Not as big as the ML2 Namor's comical melon, but a bit larger than it is.

As before, Namor has a huge undersea sceptre. It's a new design, much more ostentatious than the last one, hard as that may be to believe. Is anyone out there a big Namor fan? Does he actually carry these things in the comics? I admit, I only know him from guest appearances in Fantastic Four and such, where he's more concerned with showing Sue how long he can hold his breath than with carting around the trappings of his office. The thing is about 7¼" tall, and insanely ornate. The detailing in the sculpt is superb, and the red paint on the gems is crisp.

Namor is part of a BAF series, which means no nifty waterspout display base. Awww. Instead, Ronan's right arm. Yay! It's weird, though - the elbow bends better when it's turned around backwards, due to a quirk in the way the glove is sculpted. Ronan must be a lefty, because there's no way he's going to be holding a hammer with his fingers splayed like that. The elbow, shoulder and wrist are balljointed, though the mobility of the wrist is somewhat hampered by the big metal pad on the back of his glove.

The fanboys bitching about the Hasbro/ToyBiz switch swore not to touch any Hasbro Legends. They did this because they imagined the toys would take a huge drop in quality. Well, two series of ML have already proved them wrong, and the FF series continues it. Anybody who passes up on Namor because he's too "toyish" is only hurting themselves. This isn't the best figure in the line, but it is good, and deserves a spot in your collection. Imperius Rex!

-- 11/18/07

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