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Zombie Banner 1

Zombie Lab
by yo go re

Physician, heal thyself!

After the outbreak, Dr. Banner was in such a rush to develop a vaccine that he injected the serum and virus in his own body. After a while, he too turned into a zombie with a bit of human left in him. He disappeared.

Wow, we knew things weren't going to work out perfectly for ol' Dr. Banner, but we didn't expect them to go south this fast! Yes, having finished up the first wave of Zombie Lab figures, we move on to the second - and with it, a new chapter in the story, which jumps forward in time a little bit and, in addition to introducing a team of Americans to Independence Day the problem, immediately gives the doctor a bad ending. Aww, sad. So long, Doc; we hardly knew ye!

Just as the character art on the first figure's box made him look completely different than the toy does, the art here still looks like a stranger. The toy gets the same head as before, just given "zombie" paint apps - meanwhile, the art shows a bug-eyed madman who looks like he's had his face dunked in a deep fat frier. Who knew zombism made your hairline recede?

Zombie Banner is wearing the same clothes as before, so his shirt and pants are the same molds. Most of the pants: there's a new rip on the left thigh. It has no paint, so it doesn't immediately stand out. The jacket, however, is plainly a new mold with a tattered lower edge - something that would be superb, if the original toy had been wearing a labcoat instead of a white sport coat. If he had been, then this torn-off one would make a drastic visual change between the two figures, one with a coat down past his knees, the other with it ending by the waist. Oh well. At least he gets the open "clawing" hands to further sell his ravenous undead nature. No more holding accessories for you, Banner!

Which is fine, since he doesn't really have any. Or rather, he has the same three things all the zombies are coming with: the disarticulated human arm, which, okay, yes, that's fine, but also the "drooping entrails" stomach piece and the dangling spine, both of which only look right on a figure that's not wearing a shirt. Banner's jacket helps blend the entrails a bit better than they normally would, because you can't see the sides and are free to image his shirt is still there, but the waist piece is larger here because of the pants and belt than it would normally be, so the guts are pushed outward a little instead of hanging straight down. So really, most of his accessories do nothing for him.

We do get the art card with the Zombie Lab chapter on the back, and the stylized figure stand. The base is a chunk of grey pavement with cracks and pits, two pegs for the figure's feet, and three holes for... something? A smooth circular element near one edge may be intended as a manhole cover, but it's drastically too small. While this stand is better than a plain plastic plate, it could have been better: remember when Hasbro's Star Wars used to come with modular bases that could tile together? Or Kill Bill's Crazy 88? These bases should have done something like that, tessellating so you could form a gigantic display without having to leave unsightly gaps between them. Oh well.

From a story standpoint, it's a shame Banner went zombie so early, and that he willingly did it to himself: usually these things serve as a karmic punishment, a la anyone in (a good) Jurassic Park who thinks they can control dinosaurs being eaten by them before the end of the film. The toy itself is nice, but the uninventive accessories bring it down a little.

-- 11/02/18

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