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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

It has to suck being known as "the 'boring' Summers brother."

With control and precision, Havok processes cosmic energy to send plasma waves blasting from his super-charged body.

There's an issue of X-Factor where Alex Summers talks about the pressure he feels to live up to Scott's reputation. Cyclops doesn't get enough credit for being the badass that he is (or "was," as the case may currently be), but Alex recognized it. Anyway, for most of his existence, Havok's personality trait has been "lacks confidence and drive," which isn't much to build a superstar character around. That's why every so often he'll go evil or militant or something, just because writers are trying to find something to do with him.

The latest attempt was putting him in charge of the Avengers Unity Squad after the events of AvX, and that's where this costume comes from. John Cassaday went back to Neal Adams' original black suit and just gave it a modern spin, adding light colored gloves and stripes on his boots, but basically leaving everything else alone. The toy uses the small body, which makes sense, but also presents a problem: Cassaday's version of the costume wasn't pure spandex; the shirt may have been, but the pants were actual pants. Like, Havok went to the mall and bought himself a pair of black trousers that he then wore into battle. To really be accurate, everything from the waist down on this toy would need to be new, which is probably more money than you want to spend making a Havok action figure. Giving him Captain America's forearms was probably all we could hope for.

Well, that and the head. Gotta have a new head. The modern costume keeps the silly head-rings, but shrinks them down so they're actually touching his scalp instead of hovering above it. The face isn't as expressive as the last toy's, but that was sculpted by Sam Greenwell and this was sculpted by... someone. Hasbro doesn't let sculptor credits leak out. It's a good sculpt, just not as good as what we got before.

Oh, and let's talk paint. The skintone is dark and bluish, not a bright pink, but the eyes are crisply applied. His gloves, belt and boot-stripes are silver, as they should be, and the gem on his forehead is red. There's a bit of spillage along the edge of the headgear, but I ordered my set from Entertainment Earth rather than gambling on finding them in stores, so that might be better on other samples. One thing that's wrong and won't change, however? The chest. For some reason, Hasbro opted to paint the circles on his chest blue instead of a proper silver. The idea was probably to show him powering up his blasts, but when he does that, all the light bits on his costume start to glow - the gloves, the crown, everything. Not just his chest. And even then, it's a very pale blue, not the bright shade seen here.

Havok comes with some new accessories, inspired by Scarlet Witch's magical effects. Those were flat with circles and spikes, while these are conical with circles and spheres. Yes, they've already been used for some other figures, but they were first available with Havok. Thing is, his powers don't work this way. He gets circles of energy on his chest, and while he may partially aim with his arms, the energy doesn't come out of his hands, so pieces that clip onto his wrists aren't quite accurate. If you pose him carefully, though, you can kind of fake the correct look.

He's also got a piece of this series' Juggernaut Build-A-Figure, the right leg. And we're surprised to find that it doesn't have a swivel at the top of the boot!

Havok is a plain figure, but then, Havok is a plain character. The new energy effects are kinda cool, even if they're not true to the comics, and the blue paint on his chest is easy enough to ignore.

-- 01/30/17

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