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Deadpools Assemble

by yo go re

Following the path blazed by the various "~ Through the Ages" sets, this year at SDCC we got a box set that's nothing but four Deadpools. But because he's kind of a nut, it's less about him at different stages of his life, and more about him playing dress-up as different characters.

Wade "Deadpool" Wilson is an assassin-for-hire, and his job sends him on a lot of crazy adventures! Whether he's traveling back in time to fight in world War II, wielding a mystical hammer against the Norse God of Thunder, stealing high-tech suits of armor from Iron Man, or dressing up in his best friend's clothes, there's always fun to be had, and lessons to be learned.

The fun starts right on the box for this set: in keeping with the "Deadpool takeover" theme, the top of the packaging has a standard image of Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine and Spider-Man, but they've all been given Deadpool faces. Ha ha ha! Irreverent!

Our first figure is "Captain Ameri-Pool," who was never actually seen in the comics - he comes from the cover of Cable & Deadpool #45. When Deadpool and his pal Bob, Agent of Hydra, were caught in a hiccup in the space/time continuum, they found themselves bouncing randomly around the timeline, and eventually ended up in Germany during World War II, where they met Captain America and Bucky. Violent, fowl-mouthed Bucky.

This figure gets the scale-mail chest cap from the TTA "World War II" Cap, as well as the boots and fake glove-cuffs (including the left glove, which is sculpted with straps and a peg where the included shield can plug on). His belt is Deadpool-specific, with Wade's circular logo on the buckle. This belt was previously used for all the members of the Deadpool Corps - at least, for all the members that have bodies.

If you don't want Cap-Pool to look so bulky, you can remove the chest cap to reveal the painted torso beneath it. He's still got the black star and a few painted scales and shadows, so he still looks good. The Cap mask is a full-head piece, painted with black circles around the eyes, and if you take it off you'll find Wade's grisly face.

In addition to all the pieces of clothing we've already mentioned, Captain Ameri-Pool comes with a shield. The outer edge is a dark metallic red, the center is black, and then there's a Deadpool "mask" logo in the middle. As promised, the shield plugs onto the figure's left arm. There's also a plain Deadpool head packaged next to Cap in the tray. Clearly it could be given to any of the figures in the set, if you felt like it.

Next we have Thor-Pool, a version of the character who who's the opposite of Captain Ameri-Pool: he actually appeared like this in the comics (Deadpool #37), but not on the cover. Go figure. Having been told by Loki that he was his father, Deadpool agreed to go on a mission for "dad" in exchange for Loki freeing Death. When Thor dropped his hammer, Deadpool was there to pick it up. Surprise!

Wade's Thor costume is brighter than Thor's Thor costume. He has the yellow and black boots, the yellow wristbands and the big red cape (which makes it hard for the figure to stand, unless you have him posed perfectly upright, it must be said), but the center of his suit is a vibrant blue with black discs - the reverse of Thor's usual pairing of a black suit with blue discs. Since Thor went bare-armed at the time, we get to see the red and black of Deadpool's usual costume there.

Naturally, this figure re-uses a Minimate Thor hat, but that does create a bit of a problem. See, when he became Thorpool, Wade didn't wear a mask: he kept his face covered, but it was more of a battle helmet, like Dr. Fate wears. This Minimate tries to convey that with the line painted down the center of his face, but it only works so-so. The main problem is that this hat is molded with Thor's long blonde hair as part of it, hair that Thor-Pool didn't have.

Beyond the winged hat and the cape that clips over the shoulders, he of course comes with Mjolnir. Sort of. If you look really closely, you'll notice that the inscription on the weapon actually reads "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be unworthy, shall possess the power of Thor-Pool." So clearly some sort of shenanigans are going on.

While Captain Ameri-Pool came from the cover of a book and Thor-Pool came from the interior, Cable-Pool kind of splits the difference. Wade did dress up as (and call himself) Cable-Pool in Deadpool & Cable #26, but this particular design is based more on the cover than the interior art. Because on the front of the book he wore brown gear like this, while inside he wore yellow.

The pads come from Series 31's Retro X-Force Cable, with a slightly different paintscheme: the collar is grey instead of blue, the straps are black instead of brown, and the X logo on the front is now a Deadpool logo. He has black wristbands, brown holsters on his thighs, and big black boots that have a red circle on the front - a sculpted circle, not just paint, so those aren't the same bootfronts Retro X-Force Cable wore.

One feature that does come from the inside of the comic rather than the cover is the hair. On the front of the book Wade was only wearing his mask, but inside he put on a wig. You can choose which version you like better. As a neat nod to Cable's powers, there's a flash of gold energy sparkling around Cable-Pool's left eye.

Actually, other than the gold, the pattern on this face is the same as the one on the head packaged next to Captain Ameri-Pool. And since Cable-Pool's armor is all removable, we've got ourselves a free bonus "plain" Deadpool! Granted, the boots aren't very conducive to a normal Deadpool look, but hey, that's why the set includes an extra set of feet (and a pair of black ankle straps)! As far as vanilla Deadpools go, this one's not too shabby. The only thing he's really missing is a belt.

And then we come to the weak link of this set. Captain Ameri-Pool was from a cover, Thor-Pool was from an interior, Cable-Pool was from both... and this figure is from nothing. It's called "Phonics-Killer Iron Deadpool." Yes, Phonics. Yes, it's a joke. No, we don't get it. Obviously it's a pun on Iron Man's "Phoenix-Killer" armor, but why? To be funny, a joke has to relate to something; non-sequiturs are all well and good, but they aren't jokes by themselves. If you're going to call it the Phonics-Killer, you've got to, like, give him some books or something. It's a set-up with no punchline. Or a punchline with no set-up. And whatever it is, it's not funny.

Anyway, it's clear this figure is just an excuse to get some more use out of the complex and expensive Phoenix-Killer molds. There's no shame in that. It's not like they have any other opportunities to bring this chump out: it appeared once, was destroyed, and that's it. So if Art Asylum decides to pull those tools out of storage and paint them red and black, who can blame them?

But that's looking at it from the company's perspective. As a fan and a customer, it's pretty lame. If they really wanted an Iron Man, why not the "Iron Deadpool" armor he wore in Deadpool #7? Or, sticking with the Avengers theme, why not Hulkpool, from the Hulked Out Heroes miniseries? If someone decides to put this armor into the comics in the future we might warm up to it, but right now it's none too impressive. The ball's in your court, comics creators.

However, AA probably knew people would be lukewarm toward the giant armor, so they included a small surprise with this figure. If you dismantle the Phonics-Killer armor (god, that name is stupid), you can use the included yellow boots, gloves, and waist block to create Deadpool in his X-Men uniform. No, not this X-Men uniform. And not this X-Men uniform, either. This X-Men uniform is the one he made himself when he wanted to join the team, circa Deadpool #17.

Since Wade wasn't wearing a sanctioned X-uniform, it didn't actually fit very well. The shirt was too small, so it was stretched to the breaking point, it exposed his stomach, and the sleeves were too short to reach his gloves. Plus, like a Generation X Halloween costume (the actual generation, not the X-Team), his costume has the X-Men logo printed across the chest. His brown belt is the same one Captain Ameri-Pool was wearing, but it has a yellow X-logo buckle.

The figure's head is based on the same cover as the rest of the uniform: it's a plain Deadpool head, but the right eye is open wide and the left eye is squinty; the only thing missing is the big goofy smile you could tell he had on his face! As far as free bonus figures go, this was a great option. If you don't like the giant suit of armor, you can ignore it forever!

But wait, we're not done yet. I was on the fence about this set until we were shown all the accessories it comes with. We already mentioned a lot of extra pieces, but there's another entire tray full of additional bits and weapons and gear we haven't even glossed over yet. Here, we'll put in list form, like Poe always tries to get away with when talking about articulation (not because we're lazy, but because it makes the total look more impressive):

  • two shotguns
  • two machine guns
  • a "spinning" Mjolnir
  • two swords with brown handles
  • two swords with black handles
  • two swords with black handles and translucent green blades
  • a silver blaster
  • a blocky silver shoulder-mounted gun
  • a brown pouch/holster
  • two large black guns for the armor
  • four silver pistols
  • one silver blaster pistol
  • a silver knife
  • two yellow glove flares
  • a red glove to replace the pegged one Cap had
  • a flight stand
  • four clear display stand bases

Holy crap! There have been entire series of Minimates that didn't have this much stuff with them! Most of the pieces obviously belong to one specific figure, but a lot of them you can pass out amongst the crew however you see fit. You know what? If reusing the Phoenix-Buster molds meant they could afford all this gear? We're okay with it!

This set makes sense as an exclusive: it's goofy enough to appeal to the Deadpool fans, but is too repetitious to really work as a mass-market release. Three of the figures in the set are cool, and the fourth one is hiding a cool one inside it - plus there's a fifth figure, if you strip Cable down. Overall, this is a winner!

-- 08/05/13

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