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Logan & Charles Xavier

by yo go re

Logan takes place in the year 2029, where mutant births have become extremely rare. The defenders of mutant kind, the X-Men, are long gone, and the only remains of them are an old and struggling Charles Xavier and a weary Logan. Logan's vaunted healing factor has slowed, and at times doesn't seem to work at all. When a young mutant needs his help, Logan has to unsheathe his claws once more. His job isn't over yet.

When it comes to comicbook movies, it's hard to surprise us nerds: with stories taken from comics we've already read, we know what's coming. The trailers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier did a nice job of concealing who he was, but as soon as we heard the title, we all knew what was up. (This is, of course, entirely separate from the plot of that film, which was not taken from the Winter Soldier story in the comics.) When the trailers for 2017's Logan came out, they made it look like it would be (very very) loosely adapting "Old Man Logan" - particularly selling the idea by opening with Charles' plainive line, "Logan... what did you do?" It seemed to play into the story we already knew, so we thought we knew what was coming.

Shocking swerve!

Logan was part of the "dad-ification" of fiction trend that was happening at the time, so ol' Jimmy Howls isn't wearing a battle uniform or even something more casual; Dads don't get to be comfortable. His work clothes are still black, but now they're cotton or wool instead of leather. He's wearing a plain suit for his chauffeur duites, though it's looking a bit rumpled by this point. He uses the Nick Fury legs, with the ankle joints, and gets a new chest with the top few shirt buttons undone. He is an ex-hero, though, so the chest and shoulders are broader than most "suit body" characters. The new torso doesn't have a neck hinge, just a barbell-style balljoint combo.

The figure includes two heads, one calm (but angry), the other with the mouth open in a shout. They've both been beat to hell, with scrapes and bruises on the right eye and the side of the forehead. The portraiture on these heads is vastly superior to the Origins figure, with absolutely no question who this is meant to be. And no, it's not just that half of it is hidden behind that big beard: the hairline is in the right place this time.

Logan's also got extra hands with the removable claws - two sets, though both are fists. Why two? Because Logan was rated R, and so for the first time the character wasn't required to hold back. Like, one of the best sequences in X2 was Wolverine defending the school from Stryker's troops, but it was still completely clean; Logan was free to portray the actual consequences of fighting a guy with knives in his hands, so the second set is splattered with blood. They could have just included the extra blades, rather than full hands; maybe then we could have gotten a "stuck half way out" claw (something that would have required a new mold).

The second figure in this set is not young Laura, alas, but the elderly Charles Xavier. Very elderly. Confusingly elderly. According to X-Men First Class, he was 12 in 1944; 18 years later in 1962, he was 24; by that math, he'll be 68 years old in 2029. Way to embrace comicbook time, movies! If we assume only one of those First Class ages are correct, then by the time of Logan he's hovering somewhere around the 100-year mark.

Time has not been kind to Charles Xavier. He's living just below the US/Mexico border rather than his estate in Westchester, and he's apparently had to pawn his fancy wheelchair and downgrade to a more mundane model. It's the same seen in the Magneto/Professor X set, though for this release it's fully assembled - the packaging had to be wider than the other "X-Movie" Marvel Legends to accommodate it.

Gone are the fancy dress suits, to be replaced by believable "old man" clothes: plain slacks, a plaid shirt, and a comfy sweater. The shirt we've seen before, and the sleeves, but the body of the cardigan is definitely new. We can even see hints of his suspenders sculpted (and painted) along the edges of the opening. The plaid pattern isn't quite identical to the movie costume, but it's close enough. Since both figures in this set use the legs of the suit body, it's easy to see that there are actually two versions of it: the one with the ankles and the one without aren't the same sculpt, with the wrinkles on the shins differing slightly. Don't expect us to split the blog listings out quite yet, though.

The likeness on the last Prof. X figure was good (the Patrick Stewart one was, at least - the James McAvoy was unrecognizable), but the one here is superb. Like, the two Hugh Jackman heads were good, but this is even better. Like Black Widow or Wasp, we'd rank this right up there with Hot Toys' quality, just done at half the size and 1/10th of the cost. The paint is a deft touch, even capturing his liver spots, and he's sculpted with his wispy hair and beard. Whoever Hasbro hired to do this work should be proud of themselves. We've never seen a better Patrick Stewart likeness at any scale. Any scale.

Days of Future Past took place in 2023; Wolverine went back 50 years to 1973, and successfully changed the timeline, so the Sentinels never hunted mutantkind to near extinction. But time is like a river: even if you throw a huge stone in, it's going to try to follow its original course. So in the new history, Transigen Reasearch (a division of Alkali, Inc.) started putting mutant-gene suppressing chemicals in the corn syrup that went into everything, and by 2005 no more natural mutants were being born (fun fact: Deadpool's little buddy Russell was one of the last ones). Add to that "the Westchester Incident" in 2028, and even in the "better" timeline, mutants are nearing extinction at just about the same time they would have anyway. Some things may just be inevitable. This set would have been an SDCC exclusive if there had been an SDCC this year, but it ended up being available from Hasbro's site instead, like the Hellfire Club. But now, how about a set of "haircut" Logan and X-23?

-- 12/26/20

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