Back ages ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the potential line-up for Marvel Legends 13 was leaked online. The series, unofficially called "Bring On The Bad Guys," was to feature all villains, from the characters to the BAF to the pack-ins. Wait, the what?
Each figure in the series was supposed to come with a pack-in "Henchman" accessory, featuring some of the Marvel Universe's most popular cannon fodder. These army builders would have included a Hand ninja, a Hellfire Club Guard, an AIM beekeeper... stuff like that. Of course, by the time that info leaked, the henchmen idea had already been dropped, but the fan response was still wildly positive - so much so, in fact, that two of the would-be figures were revived and bundled together as a release from Marvel Select.
With their home, the Broodworld, destroyed,
the Brood travel the universe in search of the strongest, most powerful entities to serve as hosts for their spawn. An alien, insectoid, warrior race, the Brood must implant eggs into other living beings until they hatch and fully consume their host, gaining any powers and abilities the host possessed. Because their society depends on the survival of the fittest, the Brood will continue to stop at nothing in their quest for complete domination and perfect procreation of their kind.
Bug-like aliens that implant eggs in a living body, which then hatch and take on physical aspects of the host? Sound familiar to anyone? It should - Chris Claremont has made no secret about the fact that the Brood were directly influenced by Ridley Scott's Alien. But lest you think they're a complete rip-off, consider this: the Brood, with their hive mind hierarchy, were introduced in 1982's Uncanny X-Men #155; the xenomorphs wouldn't be given the same traits until James Cameron's Aliens, released more than four years later. Now, who's copying who?
Phil Ramirez really captured the Brood's thick, segmented carapace and its freaky anatomy. The bug has a stubby, potato-shaped body supported by spindly little legs. The two front "arms" are actually long tentacles - last time ToyBiz gave us a Brood figure, they looked more like hard spikes. It has two barbed tails, and a flat triangular skull. Instead of insectoid mandibles, it has a jaw with long, thin teeth. Creepy! The surface is rough and pitted, as something biological would tend to be, and there are anatomical structures on the belly, including two pseudopods that may either be legs or just something to help cheat him into a standing position.
The paint apps are really nice, with a black wash that's crept into all the tiny cracks and crevices. Its mouth and eyes are a dark red, and the teeth are a dirty beige. The Brood all have unique marking on their foreheads, much like a whale's fluke - it's a way of distinguishing individuals. The one on this figure is solid black and has crisp edges. Articulation is sparse, but suited to the alien. The drone moves at the head (balljoint),
shoulders (balljoints), all four hips (still balljoints) and finally, a peg joint for each tail.
The Brood is about 3" tall and 8" wide - depending, of course, on how you pose him. This may actually be a little bit small when compared to Marvel Legends figures, but only slightly - pretend this Brood hatched out of some short guy. Considering how many different heroes have run afowl of the Brood over the years (hell, one of them is even a recurring character in "Planet Hulk"), this will fit with pretty much any Marvel collection. Just make sure you don't let it near you while you sleep.
For millions of years,
the extraterrestrial Skrulls have roamed the galaxy in search of worlds to conquer. Using their shape-shifting ability, the Skrulls dominated planet after planet and built an interstellar empire. After entering the Milky Way Galaxy, the Skrulls encountered the Kree empire and the resulting war has lasted to this day. Amidst all of this, the Skrulls' primary objective is the domination of Earth itself. And where the Skrulls cannot succeed by force, they have tried to achieve through infiltration of Earth's governments and organizations. To date, every attempt has been thwarted by Earth's heroes and protectors.
As we mentioned in our First Appearance Thing Addendum PoA, the Fantastic Four had to avoid being seen as superheroes when they started, which is why their first stories were so sci-fi heavy. Since the debut featured giant monsters - a Marvel staple, in those days - the second issue was built around that other sci-fi cliche, the alien invasion. Recognizing the FF as a threat to their plans, a group of Skrulls impersonate the Four in order to discredit them. Not surprisingly, the aliens lose. They were no match for our mighty Earth hypnotists.
This little green man was sculpted by Dave Kawano & Phil Ramirez. He's a plain Skrull soldier, wearing the standard purple jumpsuit with dark blue accents. He's actually pretty wimpy-looking: usually comicbook figures have big, exaggerated muscles, but not this guy; he's got thin arms and legs and his midsection is neither toned nor sexy. The head is really nice, though - it's big and oversized, with huge pointed ears and that trademark rippling chin. He's an angry alien! Probably an inferiority complex.
The Skrull is approximately 6" tall, which makes him one inch shorter than the Super-Skrull. That's fine: Supes is genetically enhanced, so it makes sense he'd be bigger everywhere it counts. The articulation is pretty much on par with all the other Marvel Select figures: he has hinged ankles, balljointed hips, peg wrists, balljointed shoulders and a balljointed head.
Though he's brandishing a weapon, the Skrull doesn't have any accessories. How's that work? His crazy, crescent-shaped Skrull gun, which seems to have a yellow ball of energy pinched between its prongs,
is a sculpted part of his right hand. Sure, it'd be nice if it was removable, but you have to keep the price in line somehow, right? The paint apps are good all over, with washes to bring out the detail, and a nice contrast between the purple suit and the silver wrist and ankle bands. The gun is a metallic red. There's a bit of brown on his green face, which is kind of strange, but it works.
With their shape-changing abilities, Skrulls have proven a popular foe for tons of heroes over the years. In fact, one of the single greatest issues of Captain America showcased the kind of rampant paranoia that would exist if Skrulls were revealed in an important position.Sure, you could pretend that your collection is already full of Skrulls, just that they've cleverly disguised themselves as other heroes and villains, but that's lame - who wouldn't like a plain Skrull to call their own?
This is a great set. For one price, you get two complete figures that wouldn't seem out of place next to any of your Marvel figures. They both look great, have good articulation, and are entirely vanilla versions of alien races we haven't gotten before. Buy several - these are good army builders, and will give your heroes a true threat to fight.