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Chasm

Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

A "retro" figure from 2022.

A near-fatal battle between Peter Parker and his clone, Ben Reilly, leaves Ben rising from the quantum goo as the villainous Chasm.

Well, that's more than I knew about this character before getting the toy! I thought he was just "creepy-style Spider-Man," I didn't even know he was Ben Reilly. They just can't decide what to do with that poor character, can they? For a while he was a major villain, but I guess he's gone back to being a hero... for all the good it's done him if he got turned into this! After moving to Las Vegas and then back to NY, Ben got a job offer from the Beyond Corporation© to be their corporate Spider-Man, as they were looking to privatize superheroics. You'll recognize the Beyond Corporation© as the terrorist cell disguised as a patriotic American corporation from Nextwave, so it's no wonder things got a little silly by the end of the storyarc. Yes, including "quantum goo."

When Beyond©'s evil plans were in danger of being revealed, they opted to scrub their labs. They flooded the lower levels with quantum-shifting polymers in a psycho-reactive medium - goo that molecularly rearranges anything it touches, destroying evidence far more thoroughly than burning it. Okay, that makes sense. Being the king of the sadbois, Ben decided to throw himself into the goo because he didn't get to be the main Peter.

As the Corporately-Trademarked Spider-Man, Ben had been wearing a fairly standard Spider suit - in fact, you can even get it as a toy in this same series! I honestly cannot recall any other time one series of figures included two versions of the same character from a single issue of a comicbook. Like I said, I didn't know any of that when I bought Chasm: like Poison, he was just a neat evil-looking Spidey-themed villain.

"Purple and green" aren't exactly unheard-of colors for a villain, but certainly not like this! Ben is still wearing a version of his previous suit: triangular pattens on the chest, stripes down the arms, etc. Tha majority is black, with the parts that on a normal Spider-Man costume would be red instead here a lilac color. His eyes and the center of the spider symbol on his chest are turquoise, while the jagged spider on his back stretches out to become a dividing outline between the black and lavender portions of his costume. It's a really cool, unique look, no matter what character is wearing it.

Chasm mostly uses the same pec-hinged body we've seen with Peter and Kaine in the past, though not entirely: the piece that goes in between the shoulder balls and the torso is smaller than every other use of this mold, making the trapezius muscles look like they're sticking out farther than usual. Looking back, it becomes apparent Yondu used the same ones, though Speedball did not, which helps pin down when the change happened. It's weird they'd just retool that part, and nothing else. It's not the same insert seen on the skinny or oversized bodies, either; did they lose the tools for the original somehow? The head also feels slightly too large, to a very minor extent, but you can pretend that's an effect of all his hair being jammed under his mask.

Part of Ben's goo-adjusted costume was the return of his external webshooter bracelets. These have sculpted segments, though you might not see them too often: another side-effect of the stuff was tendrils of quantum goo perpetually drifting off him like smoke, and to show that, the figure includes energy swirls in translucent green. Sure, you could put them around his shins, like we did for the Human Torch, but they look better on his forearms. Just remember that these were designed for a much different size of character, so you'll need to stretch them a bit no matter where you use them. There are no other accessories, not even alternate hands. Because Hasbro is cheating you.

As the second-rate blonde "brother" of a brunette hero who loves a redhead and is too hard on himself, it should really come as no surprise that Ben Reilly eventually hooked up with Madelyne Pryor - it's like they were made for each other! Heck, as clones, they could have literally been. Even if you don't care about Chasm as a character, he's great as a creepy evil-Spidey design. And Target marking this series down made the toy cost closer to what it should.

-- 10/02/23


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