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Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

Get in the robot, Shinji. I mean, "Peni."

We've been buring through Series 7 of the Spider-Man Legends for one reason and one reason alone: so we can tell you about SP//dr before Into the Spider-Verse opens. SP//dr is the Spider-Totem from Earth-14512, but it's not the same kind of hero most of the Spideys are: rather, it's a gigantic mech-suit co-piloted by 14-year-old Peni Parker and a radioactive spider. Yes, the spider helps pilot the robot. It rides in a little compartment inside, and hangs out with Peni when she's off-duty. Peni got the job as SP//dr after the last pilot, her father, died in action. That's pretty savage! I hope they at least rinsed the suit out before they put her in there. Oh, and because Spider-Man's story echoes across the universe, the scientists overseeing Project SP//dr are Peni's aunt and uncle, May and Ben.

There are seven figures in this series, and if you buy six of them (Doc Ock didn't have to come with a BAF piece, because he's a classic, popular villain, and because his arms were already claiming all the extra space in his packaging), you'll get the pieces you need to assemble the mech suit. And since it is a mech suit, you can even build it without all of them, and just pretend that part is off for repairs or something.

Depending on how you choose to pose SP//dr, the toy stands about 8⅜" tall, though there's obviously going to be some flexibility in that. It's hard to accurately judge the scale, but there are a few times when SP//dr is standing next to human characters, and taking that as a guide, this toy is a little short. But again, it's just comic art, and you can easily find panels this size is perfect, and others where it would have to be double the size to even be close to correct. As it is, it looms nicely above all your other Spider-Men, which is really what we want from the toy, no?

SP//dr has a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel and balljointed shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, balljointed and swivel hips, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. For a gigantic robot, this sure is flexible! The knees are especially great, because they allow it to crouch in a typically Spider-Mannish way that you wouldn't neccessarily expect from a giant mech. The shoulders don't peg in very securely, so they'll probably pop out of place when you move the arms, but they go right back in just as easily.

The suit is dark grey, with red, yellow, and black paint. At first glance, it doesn't look like a Spider-Man robot, but if you imagine the silver is blue instead, it starts to come together. Particularly on the trunk, where the red covers the upper chest and back, then has a line running down the abdomen to meet the red belt around the waist; that's the same pattern Spidey's costume has! Then you'll notice the way the paint goes down the outside of SP//dr's arms to join the red gloves, and the fact that she almost seems to have red boots, and the parallels are... well, if not "clear," then at least "present."

The eyes are certainly Spider-shaped, though. (Note: that's Spider-shaped as in "shaped like the eyes on Spider-Man's mask," not "shaped like a spider" or even "shaped like an actual spider's eyes.") There are large yellow lenses with black outlines around them, set on a pointy red head. Four silver coils poke out of the back of the scalp, reminding us that this is a machine, not a mask. One thing we do miss, however? Peni is a teenage girl, and so she customizes her belongings with stickers of her favorite characters and designs - including her mech suit. Putting random anime tampographs on the toy would have been way too expensive, so you'll just have to pretend.

Like we said, SP//dr is going to be a part of Into the Spider-Verse, and is getting a toy in that movie's line. It's a much different design (dropping the Eva look), but that figure has one advantage this one does not: it includes a Peni Parker figure. Remember when Legendary Heroes Pitt had a Timmy to hang out with? It's like that. The piece is 3⅛" tall, and only moves at the shoulders and head, but at least she exists. Of course, if you want her, you'll either have to buy the movie SP//dr, or know somebody who has it and will let you borrow Peni.

SP//dr's "Neon Genesis Spidergelion" design is definitely a departure from the standard "What If" Spider-Man, but it works. Works really well, considering that Peni Parker and SP//dr are getting the movie treatment much faster than Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, or even Miles Morales did. This comicbook version of the hero is a suprising choice for a BAF, but it's got a good sculpt and really fun articulation. And it will be a terrifically unlikely addition to your "Spider-Verse" collection.

Scarlet Spider | Elektra | Cloak | Dagger | Daredevil | House of M Spider-Man

-- 12/13/18

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