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Cosmic Spider-Man

Spider-Man: Homecoming
by yo go re

In 1979's Micronauts #8, astronaut Ray Coffin was possessed by the Enigma Force and became "Captain Universe." The idea was that anyone could be so possessed in a time of need, but despite a few tryout stories in Marvel anthology titles, the concept never proved that popular. Until Spectacular Spider-Man #158, when the force joined with Spider-Man.

With incredible strength, stamina and cosmic senses, Spider-Man battles tirelessly on the side of universal justice.

Yay, another Universal Justice Warrior, which means this isn't Spider-Man when he got the Captain Universe Spidey, it's the Earth-13 Peter Parker who was introduced in the "Spider-Verse" crossover; his history is basically the same as our normal Pete, except he never lost the powers. In the 616 universe, Spidey got the powers during "Acts of Vengeance," and burnt them out saving Long Island from a Tri-Sentinel. Apparently Earth-13's Spider-Man was more judicious in their use, so the powers stuck with him, rendering him basically a god... as long as he stayed in his home dimension. So he could protect all the other Spider-Folk, but he couldn't actually take the fight to Morlun and his family.

There has been a Cosmic Spider-Man figure before, but that was a long time ago - it was part of a ToyBiz two-pack called "Strange Transformations" that was exclusive to FAO Schwartz, which should give you an idea of just how long ago we're talking. This one uses the same new body as Spider-UK, which is slightly bulkier than the average Spidey, most likely as an effort to show his increased power level. His costume still has the little wrinkles around the joints and on his butt, despite the fact that it's not spandex, but rather a molecular shell formed around the host.

The figure gets a new head. Although it's fairly thick, like Spider-UK's was, that one had the big "Spidey eyes," this one just gets little normal-sized eyes. They're blank white, and the area over his mouth and nose is the traditional red mask with black webbing - basicaly, it's like he slipped the Captain Universe mask over his Spider-mask.

The figure gets a second new head. This one shows Pete unmasked, which is how he often looked in "Spider-Verse." He's also got himself a full beard, but it's neatly trimmed and his hair is only stylishly shaggy - do not mistake him for a hobo. It's pretty weird, isn't it, that we got an alternate-reality Bearded Peter Parker head before we ever got a normal one?

The figure gets a third new head. This one is just a plain white dude face under a mask, meaning this is the first-ever Captain Universe figure (as understood separately from "Cosmic Spider-Man" - that is to say, not Peter Parker, but some total rando who's been given the powers). Whoever he is, he's got a slight frown and wrinkles on his forehead, but otherwise looks generic enough to suit the interchangeable nature of the Captain Universe mantle.

The paint is very nice. The lower part of the costume is white, but it's a pure, blank white, not one with painted-on shadows. The blue is metallic, which looks great, and the large constellations are painted crisply. The stars spattered around on the blue are fairly consistent from one sample to the next, suggesting that they're a tampo, not something randomly applied. It would have been fun if the white were glow-in-the-dark, at least on the big stars, but no such luck.

For a body that's only on its second use, the joints here are surprisingly loose - maybe it's just my figure, but the hinged in the chest and neck are both wobblier than we expect from Hasbro. Also, despite the fact that the legs have double-hinged knees, the design of the sculpt means you can only get the knees into a 90° angle, which is very low for a modern figure.

Sadly, we don't get any accessories other than the bonus heads. Captain Universe's powers are usually illustrated as glowing yellow patterns around his hands, which is why everybody who's ever made a custom of him has taken the effects from Firestorm. But those are Mattel accessories, so Hasbro didn't have access to them, and they weren't about to mold new ones just for this figure. Still, it would have been a great opportunity to reuse those Havok effects again. Maybe you'd like to borrow the ones from Shocker.

We do get a piece of this series' Build-A-Figure, the Vulture's wings. It is, in fact, the outer tip of one of the wings, and is as tall as the figure itself. No wonder these wings needed to be split apart, rather than being sold with the Vulture himself!

One time, Steven Anne (the toy buyer responsible for making Walgreens a regular destination for collectors in the past couple years) asked on Twitter what characters people would like to see as Marvel Legends exclusives. We suggested Cosmic Spider-Man, made from translucent or GitD blue plastic and using the Spider-body - clearly that idea is a far cry from this one, but getting the real thing in a wide release is better than only being available at one store.

-- 11/20/17


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