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Black Bolt

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

We finally get to complete the Illuminati? I'm speechless!

Black Bolt is a monolith of a man. His silent presence radiates a sense of control and authority. As king of the Inhumans - a human subspecies created by the alien Kree - he wields a power vast and terrible. He is cursed never to speak, for even the slightest utterance from his lips carries the power to destroy. He communicates with his fellow Inhumans and the outside world through his wife Medusa, whose understanding of his intent is nearly total. With her and his council of mighty warriors and keen thinkers at his side, Black Bolt defends his people fiercely. He will stop at nothing to see that the Inhumans are safe from the perils of the outside world.

Black Bolt's real name is the improbably ridiculous Blackagar Boltagon, but no one ever calls him that: every other hero he interacts with refers to him as Black Bolt, which seems really disrespectful for someone who's literally a king. That'd be cheap for any kind of leader. Imagine if some foreign dignitary called Barack Obama "Barry," or if George W. Bush had refered to Queen Elizabeth II as "Liz." And yet people get away with "Black Bolt" every day. I guess that's what happens when you can't speak for yourself.

Black Bolt gets a new body - or at least, he would have, if Marvel Legends 4 had been released when it was supposed to be. While we were waiting, this sculpt was used for the Target-exclusive Adam Warlock. It's nice to see a figure that isn't made from the same body as everything else. Black Bolt is muscular but not huge, which fits with how he's usually depicted in the comics. His thighs look like they were incorrectly assembled, but that's just the way they're sculpted - they haven't been swapped. Both hands are open, and the left hand has the fingers slightly splayed.

The most identifiable element of Black Bolt's costume are the ridiculous wings under his arms, and this figure doesn't shy away from them. The wings are softgoods, so they'll move with the figure, but their accordion-hinge folds can get kind of messed up in the package. The wings attach to the figure's waist, lats and elbows, via small plugs that fit into the body tightly - no worries about them pulling out.

Original plans called for Black Bolt to be one of the ML4 figures to get a variant - his would have been blue, to match the way comics used to be colored. You know, "badly." Thankfully, someone realized that was a stupid idea, and dropped it. Black Blot is appropriately black, and the silver elements on his costume are perfectly crisp. The only exposed skin on the figure is his jaw and around his mouth, and the little antenna on his forehead is a sculpted piece.

Black Bolt has no accessories, so his only pack-in is Holocaust's left leg, the assigned piece of this series' Build-A-Figure. At 4¼" tall, it's not all that much bigger than one of Black Bolt's legs, but it definitely has bulk thanks to its armored design. Like all the other pieces, the leg is trans yellow with red spots painted on the surface.

Black Bolt is yet another well-made Marvel Legend. Not "well-made for Hasbro," just well-made. He's right on par with the best of the ToyBiz stuff, and the only annoyance being his arm-wings: I'm just OCD enough to wish they folded up perfectly every time rather than bunching, but then again, I'll take five minutes to unkink a twisted phonecord that isn't even mine. [and yet you always leave the office a mess; why is that? --ed.] Black Bolt's a good figure, and it's disappointing he's likely to be the only Inhuman we ever get.

-- 12/14/09


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