So far, there's been something missing from DST's Marvel Zombies toys: food. Sure, the three Marvel Select figures had Silver Surfer pieces, but those were part of the display base - they don't really count. With their first Minimate release of 2008, however, that shortage has been addressed.
We already explained why
zombie Giant-Man was even more skeevy than his 616 counterpart, but as the back of this package says, One of the few remaining humans left on Earth, Black Panther was held captive by Giant Man and lost several limbs to quench the zombie's unrelenting hunger. Seriously, Giant-Man kept T'Challa drugged and unconscious, so he could amputate a midnight snack. Creep.
"Zombie Attacked Black Panther," as the figure is known, depicts the aftermath of his encounter with Giant-Man - which means there are several new Minimate parts to be had here! We start with his right arm,
which has been removed at the elbow; it's just a little stump, fully bandaged to prevent (further) blood loss, and he has a makeshift crutch lashed to it. Why does he need a crutch? Because he's also lost his right leg below the knee. Therefore, the figure doesn't have a foot; instead, a bandage wrap plugs in its place, dagling in mid-air.
The new pieces are nice, though the crutch is a bit too bendy.
T'Challa's face is painted on his head, and he includes a separate mask to re-create the way he looked in the comic. Like the masks worn by the newer Batman Minimates, there are no spaces to allow the face to show through; rather, the face is painted on the mask, as well. The mask slips on and off easily, and of course features pointy little ears. Of course, to really match the comic scenes, have Black Panther carry around Wasp's head.
Panther's partner in this set is a zombie he never really interacted with, Iron Man: When his world was overtaken by zombies, Iron Man was fortunate enough to feast on Galactus himself and absorb a fraction of his limitless power.
Tony Stark was changed into a zombie by the Fantastic Four, but after they left the universe, he was pretty much in charge.
It's tough to pin down what era the Marvel Zombies universe is supposed to represent, since a lot of characters are wearing their '70s/80s outfits, but people like Nextwave (Agents of HATE) and the Winter Soldier are running around, and the Silver Surfer had never been to Earth before. Iron Man is wearing the red and yellow armor with the pointy mask, though of course it's got a lot of scratches, scrapes and inky shadows all over. His back is curiously detail-free - did they miss a paint app there? You have to wonder, though, why they didn't re-use the "repulsor blast" hand from the original Iron Man Minimate.
Iron Man's mask is removable,
so he can bite people with his jagged zombie teeth. The mask plugs into holes on the sides of his head, and though it looks like it should rotate up, it doesn't - if you want to do that, you'll have to just squeeze it onto his head-block. That's kind of a let-down. Obviously something that wraps around the front of a cylinder isn't going to be able to slide effortlessly to the top, but still. Even the pictures on the box show Iron Man with his visor flipped up - they had to know we were going to try it.
In the original announcement of these figures - which Diamond Select conveniently doesn't archive anywhere on their website - it was touted that Iron Man could pull apart to simulate the damage he took in the comic: namely, being blasted in half by the Surfer. In other words, the figure could be taken apart at the waist. Just like every other Minimate. Bonus points to DST for having a little bit of fun with the press release,
but that same page also indicated that the set would include non-devoured limbs for Black Panther - something that we definitely didn't get.
If you look around online, you'll see a lot of complaints about the Zombie Attacked Black Panther and Zombie Iron Man set - the fans are upset that we're getting Zombies versions of these characters before regular versions, but honestly, isn't that being just a bit petulant? These are neat new characters with good designs, and the construction doesn't have the sorts of problems last year's Minimates faced. This is a nice set to own, even if it doesn't feature the "real" versions of its characters.