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Miles Morales

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
by yo go re

Took ya long enough.

A Brooklyn native and just 13 years old, Miles Morales is a Spider-Man unlike any we've seen before.

Into the Spider-Verse came out in 2018, and it's taken until 2021 to get any Marvel Legends based on it. (Yes, there was a repaint two-pack at the time, but that doesn't count.) Like, the movie was in production for four years, meaning they started it in 2014; even assuming that date was just for broad story concepts and not character design, Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed they had their first "perfect" shot (one assumes meaning "fully locked and finalized") a year and a half into the process. So the character designs must have been done way in time for Hasbro to make figures. Maybe they didn't have faith in the movie's giant appeal?

The biggest flaw with the Target two-pack was that neither Miles nor Gwen had heads that even remotely resembled their animated counterparts. Comicbook Miles has very short, close-cropped hair; animated Miles has a more natural look. Boy managed to have "pandemic hair" a year before it happened, and still made it look good. The set does include an alternate masked head for him, complete with sculpted webs, but the unmasked head is the big draw. And side note, since it's implied he just spray-painted one of Peter's old costumes black, wouldn't he pass out from huffing fumes all night in that mask?

The body is new, which is unnecessary: we were all so desperate for good Spider-Verse toys we'd have gladly taken the teen body with the Homecoming debate club jacket, but Hasbro did better. This body is even skinnier and smaller than that one. He's wearing his purloined costume, which gets sculpted webs where red-and-blue Spidey would have them, because again: it used to be Pete's costume. He's not super comfortable with skin-tight spandex yet, so he's wearing baggy shorts over it, and has a hoodies and a jacket, because it gets cold up among the skyscrapers. The sneakers? Hmm, probably just a force of habit. It's not like they prevent him from sticking to walls. Or windows.

A new mold does not mean lesser articulation: Spider-Boy has swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs hidden up under the legs of his shorts, balljointed hips, a balljointed waist, hinged chest, swivel/hinge wrists, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a barbell joint for the heads. Because the neck is so skinny, the heads are the type where the balljoint stays with the head rather than the body - it means a better range of motion, but you know we always worry about whether the right end will pull out of the socket when it's time. Still, this is precisely as poseable as a Spider-Man should be.

Although we get our choice of either fists or thiwps, hands with the fingers spread wide would have been nice, too - you know, like when he's sticking to the window for the leap of faith scene? A head with the mask just pulled up off his eyes but not off his head would also have been cool, but also more expensive and less iconic.

The colors on the toy are good - solid black for the suit, a dark blue-grey for his shorts, bright red hoodie, dark teal jacket, all that. The eyes on the mask are pristine white, and the symbol on his sunken little chest looks appropriately graffiti-ish. The only thing missing are some more apps on his sneakers: the soles are white, which is fine, but even if putting the white panels on the sides would be too close to the original Jordans, they should have at least included the white over the toes to break up all the red. Seems like an easy enough custom, though.

This series has a Build-A-Figure of Stilt-Man, and Miles gets the, uh... collar/harness? It's not a usual part of the body that's easy to name.

We may not have had a Spider-Verse Legends line when the movie was actually out, but there's no question this figure today is better than one we would have gotten back then.

-- 05/10/21

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