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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

For the most part, Hasbro was really good about giving us new characters with their Marvel Legends line - other than the Spider-Man movie Legends, almost half of which were direct re-releases, they pretty much stayed away from the figures that ToyBiz had already done. And even when they did make a toy of a previous character, they'd be in a different costume. That doesn't explain Vision, though.

Originally built to destroy the Avengers by the humanity hating super-android Ultron, Vision became everything his creator was not. Imprinted with the brain patterns of Wonder Man, Vision's emergent sentience caused him to betray his programming and join the Avengers as a hero, where he served honorably for decades. As an Avenger, he met and married the powerful mutant sorceress the Scarlet Witch. Unfortunately, their relationship was doomed from the start, as first Vision and then the Scarlet Witch went insane, causing havoc and death for the Avengers. Since then, Vision has been repaired and reprogrammed, and has restarted his life alongside a brand new incarnation of the Avengers.

We previously had a figure of Vision in Marvel Legends 7, and he was wearing this exact costume. Did we really need another? Well, maybe.

The profile up above suggests that this Vision is meant to be the version who is currently running around with the Young Avengers, but it's quite clearly not. That vision still wears the ghastly combination of red, green and yellow, but his costume is entirely different than what we get on this toy: this is clearly the same guy who showed up in ML7.

The paint is good, with a nice match between painted and molded colors. The diamond on his chest is metallic gold, matching the gem on his forehead. His eyes are solid black, and the red on his face is dark enough to not be an ungodly eyesore when viewed next to the green cowl. The green used for this figure has less of a blue tint than the ML7 version, and the yellow has less red, so the figure is just much "yellower" overall. There are no painted shadows, so the sculpt has to carry all the weight.

Vision uses the body introduced with Silver Surfer, and it works for him. He does get new hands, which seem designed to allow us to duplicate Vihz's famous cover pose: left hand held out before him, right hand clutching his cape. That pose, by the way - originally drawn by John Buscema but copied by numerous others - is actually based on the first appearance of the Golden Age Vision, an alien lawman. He held a similar pose when he was introduced, and every subsequent version has been an homage, knowingly or not, to the Jack Kirby character. That's kind of neat, and a lot better than Yellowjacket's "comic-inspired" hands.

The figure gets no accessories, unless you count his cape. It's removable (with some work), and made from a thick, fairly stiff material, unlike the ML7 Vision's cape. There's no clasp at the throat, and the collar comes up higher, as well. And although his hands seem designed to mimic the cover pose, the cape isn't.

Each of these Wal*Mart-exclusive Legends comes with a piece of Ares, the new Build-A-Figure. Vision gets the right leg, which is adorned with a heavily armored greave, a steel spike on the front of the toes and a sheath strapped to his thigh. It's a large piece, and articulated with a balljointed hip, double-hinged knee and balljointed ankle.

ML7 was one of the hardest series to find, surpassed only by the Mattel-level screwup that was ML6. So in that regard, yes, a lot of fans missed out on Vision when he was originally released in 2004. But to release a figure that is, for all intents and purposes, the same as the one we had before? Not cool. Hasbro could have done his white version or the Young Avengers costume, and either would have been a new take on the character, adding a bit more value to this BAF series.

-- 01/26/09

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