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AoA Weapon X

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Hey, this is a rarity! A Marvel Legends series that has a figure of Wolverine! And he's got a variant, too! Neat!

Weapon X was a loner and, initially, an unwilling recruit to the X-Men. He reconsidered after meeting the team's telepath, Jean Grey. The two had an instant connection and eventually became lovers. Soon after, the X-Men were on a mission and Jean Grey was captured. Weapon X left the team and went on his own to infiltrate the Sinister's labs and was able to free Jean. Not willing to return to the X-Men, Logan and Jean worked on their own. After months of guerrilla warfare, they were contacted by Sinister who revealed Apocalypse's plan to attack the humans in Europe. Logan and Jean delivered this information to the Human High Council and learned of the Council's plan to launch nuclear missiles on America to stop Apocalypse. Jean went to warn America, but Weapon X stayed. When Logan reached America he saw Jean murdered by a plasma blast from Prelate Alex Summers. Enraged, Weapon X murdered Jean's killer and sat by his lover's side as the nuclear warheads fell on America. Somehow, the missles failed. Weapon X disappeared in the chaos that ensued and has not been seen since.

It's interesting that such a short character has such a long biography. All that, and yet no explanation of what the Age of Apocalypse actually was. Feeling neglected, Charles Xavier's son decided that his father would have spent more time with him if not for the constant fight against Magneto, so he traveled back in time to kill the villain before he could cause any problems. Xavier, ever the humanitarian, jumped in front of the blast, saving his friend and wildly re-writing history. Magneto took up Charles' cause, trying to create harmony between human and mutant, but Apocalypse appeared and things went to hell.

Much as Poe hates Wolverine's normal blue and yellow costume, even that's better than what he was wearing in the Age of Apocalypse, which is probably supposed to be some sort of black stealth suit (like the one he wore when operating as "Patch" on Madripoor) but instead looks like a dancer's unitard. There are a few red details scattered about, but the figure looks less like a government-trained killer and more like an extra in The Nutcracker. His hair is black with a brown wash, and his arm hair is painted on. Not sure how he managed to get those red tattoos - his healing factor should burn them off in a couple hours.

The best part of the original design is that Logan's missing his left hand. When he went to rescue Jean from Mr. Sinister, he ran into Prelate Scott Summers. The two fought brutally, and paid a price - Scott severed Logan's hand with his force blast, proving that there are some things even a healing factor can't take care of. He now wears a metal cap on the end of his arm, and only has claws on one hand. Awww, poor guy.

AoA Weapon X has wilder hair than most of the ML Wolvies, but Kubert really drew the little guy with a big mane, so it's an appropriate choice. The face doesn't really look like Adam's artwork, and as a consequence it ends up a little generic. Overall, it's reminiscent of the weirdass Robot Fighters Wolverine from 1997. The torso and arms are the same Dave Cortes sculpt as Brown Costume Wolverine (with the new pieces created by Eric Treadaway and Cornboy of the Four Horsemen), but at least it's a less obvious rehash than the ML11 Logan.

The figure is articulated at the toes, ankles, boots, knees, thighs, hips, waist, torso, neck, shoulders (both balljoints and lateral slides), biceps, elbows, forearms, wrist and fingers. The wrist joint is weird, because both it and the forearm joint are pegs, so they both provide the same kind of swivel - was that really necessary? Wouldn't a hinge wrist have been better in this case? The stump-cap does indeed turn on the left arm, but that obviously doesn't serve much of a purpose. The figure is barely 5¾" tall, which means he's got the approrpiate level of dwarfism that the character needs.

ToyBiz tried something new with AoA Weapon X's packaging. There's a piece of plastic folded around his claws in an effort to keep them straight. It doesn't quite work (in truth, this figure has some of the worst claws I've ever seen on a Wolverine figure, astoundingly warped), but it's a step in the right direction. It just needs some more work.

There are two variants in this series, and - surprise, surprise - Wolverine is one of them. His variant actually draws from a few points in his AoA story. First, in Weapon X #2, Logan freefalls onto a burning blimp, which then explodes as it crashes to earth. He walks out of the flames, of course, healing as he goes. To that end, he's got a crispy-fried head that looks similar to the ML6 Deadpool. The sculpt on this head actually seems a little better than the normal one, but the paint doesn't match the rest of the body at all. And the fire burned off one of his ears, but he's still got his tattoos? Weird.

The other difference comes from issue #4. With his good arm shot to hell and just beginning to heal, Logan has to find a way to stop the cyborg, Donald Pierce, from stopping the attack on Apocalypse. With no other resort, he revealed his big secret: he may have lost his hand, but he still had his claws. They were retracted when Summers blasted him, but it was better to let his enemies think he'd been crippled. The variant Weapon X has both sets of claws popped, making that point of articulation on the stump actually useful.

Enough people are already grumbling about having to buy another Wolverine variation to complete Giant-Man, but it's even worse than expected: the standard and the variant each come with different pieces of the bug guy - the left hand and right boot, respectively - so in order to complete your BAF, you must add two more Wolverines to your collection. A variant is supposed to be a nice extra for collectors who want it, not a necessity for everyone. Unless ToyBiz starts giving away free hands or feet to those who want them, this is a decision to be frowned upon.

Both figures come with the same reprint comic, Weapon X #1. There's really no reason why they couldn't have included #2 or #4, instead, since those would apply to the variant figure, as well; as it is, we're dumped into the middle of the story anyway, since it was continued from a prequel comic.

AoA Weapon X is a decent figure, but if he didn't come with Giant-Man parts, he wouldn't be a must-buy by any means. We've gotten two alternate-reality Logans in the past month or so, but just like the comics, House of M is much better than Age of Apocalypse.

-- 06/18/06

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