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Cyborg Spider-Man

Spider-Man Retro Collection
by yo go re

A new look for Spider-Man? How disarming!

Cyborg Spider-Man has enhanced cybernetic capabilities in addition to all the powers of Earth-616 Spider-Man: web slinging, wall crawling and heightened spider senses. Villains are no match for this Spidey's advanced cyborg technology!

That's written just vaguely enough that it could represent either the normal 616 Spidey, as seen in the "Revenge of the Sinster Six" storyline (you can probably guess it came out in the '90s) or it could be the Spider-Man of Earth-2818, one of the many who turned up in the "Spider-Verse" crossover - he'd upgraded a lot by the time he appeared, but this was where he started. Although the Sinister Six story wasn't adapted for the cartoon, Cyborg Spider-Man was way too toyetic a design to pass up, so he did have a 1996 ToyBiz figure for this 2020 Retro Collection Target exclusive to homage.

"Revenge of the Sinister Six" was Erik Larsen's introduction to the Spider-Man after Todd McFarlane left, so part of the point of the story was excusing the differences in the way Todd drew the costume and the way Erik was going to - in fact, Peter even jokes about not making the eyes too large, or else he'd look like Felix the Cat. So while the head is new, with its bandana and technological eyepiece, the remaining mask lens is the huge McFarlane type.

Most of the body is an existing mold, of course, with the yellow utility belt and the bandages around the leg being new parts, but the most distinctive part of the design is the robotic left arm. Yes, just like Cable and Winter Soldier. It's got precisely the sort of segmented mechanical detailing seen in the comics, including the pods around the bicep, the ball-bearing knuckles, and the plates of samurai armor on the shoulder. It does look slightly larger than the right arm, which may seem like a mistake, but it's not: this isn't actually a robot arm, it's a robot cast; Spidey suffered a hairline fracture in his arm, and this device went over the arm to help it heal fast; thus, it absolutely should be larger than the bare arm.

The red and blue are very vibrant, with a cartoony feel. There's no shading on the belt, leaving it a flat yellow. Similarly, the arm has been molded in silver and left unpainted, so that doesn't quite match the silver on his monocle. The brown strap holding the eyepiece on blends in with the red, but that's not an easy thing to avoid. Technically the entire suit should be covered in stitches and rips, but that would have added a lot of paint app costs to a store exclusive.

Since he only has one human arm, Cyborg Spider-Man only gets one bonus hand: a fist, to replace his thwip. The figure also includes a length of webline, because it's not like anything else would have cut it. Maybe the unmasked head painted with some scrapes and a black eye?

Cyborg Spidey's fellow Retro Collection exclusive, the black-and-white Negative Zone Spider-Man, is a lot easier to find than this version. But unlike some Target exclusives we could name, he still wasn't hard to get, appearing regularly on their website and being eligible for shipping or even in-store pickup. Why can't everything be that easy? The "cyborg" design is a classic, recognizable look that makes for a wild toy in your collection.

-- 12/21/20

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