Two names haunt the line of Marvel Legends. Two names consistently strike terror into the hearts of Marvel Legends collectors everywhere. Those two names are Wolverine and Iron Man.
The problem is that these characters show up way too often
in the ML line. Iron Man is far less prolific than Wolverine, but since he's a less popular character, his constant appearances can be grating. Wolverine, on the other hand, is an extremely popular character, especially with the kiddies. Thus, we get Wolverines out the wazoo. Sometimes, this creates a rather glaring problem. Take, for example, Series 7 of ML, which featured new versions of Iron Man, Ghost Rider, and Wolverine as its most heavily packed figures. All of these characters had been seen before in ML, so why were they packed heavier than figures we've never seen before, like Apocalypse, the Vision, and Hawkeye, who all proved a pain in the ass to find?
However, as much as we like to bitch and moan about the number of Wolvies out there, the truth is a number of the figures are actually decent, comic-accurate variations of the old ca-knucklehead. Take, for example, the Logan figure of Series 11.
While the "Logan" label seems to imply that this figure represents a civilian version of Wolverine, that's really only half true. The main version of the figure represents Wolverine from the classic storyline "Days of Future Past," in which war was declared on mutants after the murder of Senator Robert Kelly. In that storyline of an alternate future, Wolverine is one of the few mutants still alive.
He has aged a bit, which is why the figure can't really be considered a standard civilian version of Logan.
The Reed Richards-esque white streaks of hair near his temples is a dead giveaway. Other than the new head, which decently mirrors Wolvie's snarl from the iconic cover of the reprinted Uncanny X-Men comic included with the figure (#141, the first issue to have the "Uncanny" modifier), the figure is pretty much entirely recycled from the Frank Quietly-inspired New X-Men Wolverine figure from the short-lived but recently revived X-Men line.
It's not a bad sculpt at all. It's squat and muscled like Wolverine should be, with wrinkled civilian pants (as opposed to skintight spandex). Unfortunately, since the Quietly costume featured a bare-chested Logan, this figure has nipples poking through his painted-on shirt. Fortunately, since Logan gets a rubber jacket to cover his upper body, the nipples aren't as prominent. The jacket, despite being made of that annoying rubbery material that begs to become ripped and cracked, seems to have held up okay - for the time being.
The variant gets a new head sculpt, with close-cropped hair and a smirking, younger face. Other than that, the only thing that separates the figures is paint (and one accessory that I'll mention in a minute). While the main figure has the brown jacket, black shirt, and green pants he wore in the story arc he represents, the variant has a darker brown, almost black jacket, a wife-beater style sleeveless undershirt, and some weathered blue jeans.
The articulation is the same on both figures, and it's exactly what we got from the Quietly Wolvie: balljointed head and shoulders, peg biceps, double-hinged elbows, peg forearms, hinged wrists and fingers, a hinged chest joint, peg waist, balljointed hips, peg thighs, double-hinged knees, peg shins, and hinged ankles and mid-foot joints. The ankles are severely restricted by the pants, and the jacket somewhat restricts the arms, although Wolvie can still be posed fairly easily even with the jacket on. If you don't like the articulation, you can still find the Marvel Select version of DoFP Wolverine easily enough.
One annoying thing about this figure, particularly where the variant is concerned, is that Logan's claws are permanently extended. While it makes sense for the future Wolverine, it makes less sense (as in, "no" sense) for a Logan trying to blend in with non-mutants to constantly have his claws extended. Pop-off, interchangeable hands would have made great accessories.
As it is, aside from the jacket, Wolvie gets a pretty cool chopper to ride around on (since he is, after all, part of the "Legendary Riders" series).
A reworked version of ML7 Ghost Rider's bike, the chopper has turning rubber wheels, not to mention a fairly detailed v-twin engine, wicked exhaust pipes, and a flame motif. There's also a hinged plastic oval on the bottom that can be pivoted out as a sort of kickstand, although a real kickstand would have been cooler. Wolverine sits really well on the bike, and it's a decent size in proportion to the figure. In a cool move, the "modern" Logan's bike is cleaner and has more vibrant colors than "future" Logan's bike.
One more thing though: the variant gets an extra accessory. If you bought the main figure, you might have noticed an empty space in the plastic tray that holds the figure in the package. In the case of the variant, this hole is filled by the final accessory: Logan's cowboy hat. While it sits a little high on the head, it fits nice enough for a 6" figure, and in my opinion it's a cool enough accessory to make the variant a better buy.
As much as I may want to hate this figure for adding not one, but two more versions of Wolverine to the ML ranks, it can't be dismissed so easily. It's a good figure of a comic-accurate Wolverine design. However, unless you want your Logan forever in the future (and forever hatless!) I recommend the smirking variant, if you can find it.
What do you like, future civilian Logan or present-day civilian Logan? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.