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Daredevil

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

It's been nearly a year since there's been an actual Marvel Legends series on store shelves - and two full years since there's been a series that wasn't an exclusive of one form or another. Sure, there have been two-packs and whatnot, but as far as an actual series? It's been a long time.

Somersaulting through the night air in a costume woven from the scraps of his murdered father's boxing robe, Daredevil seeks just one thing - justice. He scans the night-shrouded city with his phenomenal radar sense, and listens for the well-known heartbeats of his father's killers; men who walked free from a courtroom bought and paid for with mob dollars. Rendered fearless by the loss of everything he loved, he is a leaping, spinning form, defying death with every move. No man is a more natural acrobat or athlete, and few are his equal in the martial arts. His discipline is so strong that even as his soul rails in torment, his heart maintains the still quiet of a master fighter.

Marvel Legends, as you know, grew out of Spider-Man Classics, and the second series of that line was famous for its Daredevil figure (and even moreso, that figure's yellow variant). It's a nice turnaround, then, that what may end up being the final series of ML includes a yellow Daredevil - and that this time, he's the normal figure.

Daredevil gets a new body... new to the 6" scale, at least. Like the various recent Humans Torch, this figure uses a downsized version of the the recent 12" Icons sculpt. It's a nice piece, muscular but lean, and looks much better than any of the ToyBiz versions. The Icons sculpts have a distinctive look when they're reduced, and DD rocks it well. Technically there should only be one D on his chest - the Icons figure had the modern version standard, with the yellow variant, so this torso was designed with that in mind.

Matt's face is spot-on, as well. He's stern but not cartoony, with heavy brows knitted above his eyes. His mask's horns rest right on his forehead, the best placement of these features since the SMC release. He has strong cheekbones, evident even beneath the fabric of his mask and, true to the character of Daredevil, he seems to be frowning - Spider-Man is the joker, and Daredevil's seriousness is what usually sets him apart.

The paint work is acceptable, but not spectacular. He's yellow and brown, of course, but overall the colors are paler than you might expect. Compared to the infamous Yellow Daredevil, his limbs are pure yellow, with no red to make the color richer and more solid. On the plus side, his brown is lighter, as well, making it clear this isn't black. Yes, some people were confused. Hell, even comic artist Tim Sale['s colorist, since Sale himself is colorblind --ed.] thought it was red, so there you go. DD's eyes and the holster on his left thigh are one shade of red, while his belt and the logo on his chest are another. Finally, he has a silver app for his belt buckle.

The figure is just over 6" tall, since unlike Mattel, Hasbro knows how to stick to a scale for its toys. Articulation is that excellent blend of ToyBiz and Hasbro's best: swivel/hinge neck, shoulders, wrists, hips and ankles; swivel biceps, waist and thighs; and double-hinged elbows and knees. Unlike the last two versions, his shoulders aren't comically oversized, either, making for an overall nicer look. Oh, and unlike many Hasbro Legends, his hands are a normal size - perfect for holding his white billy clubs!

Fittingly, Daredevil has a variant - of course, it's his red costume. Same sculpt, same articulation, same accessory, just new paint. The body of the suit is dark red, while the gloves, boots, belt, logo and holster are a lighter shade - so basically, the opposite of the Face-Off version. If you want a modern Daredevil, this is the best version, period. Red Daredevil is definitely the variant, but it's hard to say what the ratio is: finding a shipment that hasn't been picked over is pretty much never going to happen, so we can't say if he's available in equal numbers or is rarer than the standard yellow version. Hey, at least it's not one every 42 cases, right?

Both Daredevils come with the same piece of the ML4 Build-A-Figure, Nemesis. This is the crotch, which shows us that Nemesis will be yellow, translucent, and covered with orange speckles. Oh, and the hip swivels are going to be the kind that go up into the torso at an angle, rather than horizontally into the crotch. Is anyone really a fan of those? And if so, what mental impairment plagues them?

It'll probably come as no surprise that I was looking forward to a new Yellow Daredevil. You know, just like Shocka would look forward to a new Groundskeeper Willie or Poe would look forward to a new... whatever fickle thing he's decided to be this week. I'd never trade in my Spider-Man Classics YDD (not after what I went through to get him, or the years he's spent as my avatar), but it's no stretch to admit that this is a fan superior toy.

-- 11/30/09


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