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X-Men Origins: Wolverine
by yo go re

Look, it's one of Wolverine's mysterious ex-spy buddies. Again. Yay.

Maverick is nearly Logan's equal in hand-to-hand combat. His fighting skills are enhanced by his ability to absorb kinetic energy and convert it into blasts from his fingertips. Tortured by his past, he hopes to reconstruct his memory, and take his revenge on those responsible.

Maverick is a toy with an interesting history. Much like Havok, he was solicited for release in the early series of the '90s X-Men toyline, but got repeatedly pushed back. For a long time, the only way to get him was in an exclusive two-pack, and eventually a solo repaint was released, but there never was a normal single-carded release of the character. Hasbro, however, made him one of the first 3¾" figures in the Wolverine Origins line.

When he was introduced in X-Men #5, Maverick was a pretty typical '90s character: meaningless name, stupid suit of armor, mysterious background and a wholly undefined set of powers. He's obviously knocked straight out of the Cable mold, right down to the big shoulder pads and the guns. Even getting his own short-lived ongoing series did nothing to raise him above "complete nobody" status... and yet he gets a toy. Yes, the design of the figure appropriately matches the artwork, but it's still a crap design to begin with.

The figure's articulation is almost up to par, but there's one key area missing: wrists. He has a ball and socket head, balljoints for the shoulders, elbows, chest, hips and ankles, swivel thighs and double-hinged knees. All that stuff is great - it allows him to move with the best of them, and the joints are all strong enough to hold a pose - but the lack of any sort of joints past the elbows is weird. It's not a deal-breaker, but it is disappointing.

Maverick stands 4⅛" tall, so if you like his design but hate Marvel, you could always pass him off as a G3 Joe. Maybe he's some mercenary Cobra hired. His inexplicable facemask has been done well, including the ridiculous unicorn spike on the brow. Honestly, what is that thing? His hair is sculpted very nicely, and falls over the top edges of the headgear. It's funny how every source talks about how Maverick's armor is completely sealed against the outside, and yet you can see right here that his mouth and jaw are exposed.

Maverick's accessories include a small pistol that doesn't quite fit in its holster the way it should, and a Finnish Valmet 76 rifle that's a bit larger than it should be. Both weapons are unpainted grey, but they're detailed well. Additionally, if you pop the figure's head off, you can remove part of his armor: the shoulder pads come off together, but oddly, the collar is a separate piece. I don't know if Hasbro is planning to re-use these bodies the way they do their GI Joe molds, but the ribbed torso under Maverick's armor could probably serve double duty as Mr. Sinister.

Like Deadpool, Maverick is part of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine line, but is still based on his comic counterpart. Yes, Maverick is in the movie (sort of), but unlike some folks, the transition has left him almost unrecognizable. Instead of an East German kinetic absorber, he's an Asian guy with some sort of gun fu. Unless someone told you they were the same guy, you'd never guess it. This toy, however, is based on the comics, and thus will also be suitable for your Wolverine and the X-Men animated collection, if you don't mind the clash in styles. Sure Maverick could be better, but that doesn't mean he's not good.

-- 05/04/09

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