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Ultimate Captain America/SHIELD Agent

by yo go re

Today's the Fourth of July, so we decided to review something thematically appropriate - unfortunately, Jubliee is the only one who can create fireworks, and she's already been reviewed. On to the second choice!

Lost for decades in the frozen depths of the Arctic, Captain America returned to a nation he barely recognized, once again ready to defend her at all costs. Now leading the Ultimates, he continues to sling his shield against tyranny and oppression.

That's right, the Ultimates, not the Avengers: the theme of Series 27 was all about the Ultimates, so we get this extra-fancy Captain America, rather than the normal version. As you can tell from that bio paragraph, his origin is identical to the one from the 616 universe: it's just that instead of being frozen for 20 years, he was frozen for 60. It makes for a much bigger culture shock, but if the timeline keeps sliding like this, it's also going to turn Steve Rogers into Buck Rogers at some point.

Ultimate Cap's costume is mostly identical to the normal version - red boots and gloves, white arms, stripes on the abdomen and blue everywhere else - it's just that his version is more martial: instead of pirate boots, he has laces; instead of flared gloves, his have equipment pouches on the backs; he doesn't wear chainmail, but kevlar; instead of wings on his mask, he has seams that make it look like something that was really assembled. He also wears a brown utility belt, with pouches and a canteen all around.

Unfortunately, Cap's mask sits a little too far down on his head - the eyes don't line up right. This could have been fixed if the mask had one of those "spacer discs" later hairpieces had, but it was too early for that. His hair was new, at the time, and he's got a really dull look on his face. Basically, he looks better with the mask on - just pull it up a skosh.

The figure includes a shield, naturally: it's the same one all the Captains America come with, so you know the deal: sculpted rings, hole in the back, etc. While he has extra hands to replace the gloves if you take them off, the set is missing the "ring" that plugs into the back of the shiled so you can mount it on his arm. I was all ready to call this a rare mistake with my set, but a bit of research reveals it's a fairly common error. Better have a spare handy if you plan to get this one.

Run by General Ross and later General Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a clandestine military organization dedicated to creating or controlling the most powerful super-humans in the world, including the X-Men, Spider-Man and the Ultimates.

Rather than blue and white jumpsuits, the Ultimate SHIELD Agents dress like real military personnel: which is actually rather smart, because SHIELD is supposed to be an espionage outfit, right? If that's the case, why do their agents generally wear the most conspicuous clothes imaginable? It would be like if CIA agents in our world dressed like magicians' assistants.

The Agent is wearing a light green and beige camouflage uniform with green boots and gloves. The jacket is a new piece, with brown webgear sculpted on. The lapels and even the vented panels on the back are sculpted elements, so this is very impressive. His bootlaces are painted on, as are the pockets on his pants and the SHIELD logo on his left shoulder. You can remove the jacket if you want, but there's not much point: he has a grey shirt beneath, but the arms are still camo, so it doesn't look like a real outfit.

He has a new helmet with goggles pushed up on the forehead, which would be great for Vipers if Hasbro would license out GI Joe Minimates. The helmet is removable, of course, but the SHIELD Agent doesn't get a hair piece to cover his head - instead, he has short hair painted directly onto his head, suggesting a high and tight buzzcut that's starting to grow out.

Other than the helmet, there's only one accessory: an assault rifle taken from Assault Armor Punisher. There's a peg on one side, but no hole anywhere to plug it into. Got a sharp implement? Poke your own! That's what I did.

This set was the one in Series 27 that came with a variant figure - in this case, WWII Ultimate Captain America. Unfortunately, this is also one of the series that my local comicshop screwed me out of, so I had to buy elsewhere and the variant was already gone. Yeah, boo hoo hoo. I lead such a terrible life. This is a nice set, though the seemingly common missing wrist-ring is an annoying thing to be lacking.

-- 07/04/11

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