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Avengers (Gamerverse)
by yo go re

You have to believe in second chances.

Abner Jenkins suits up in his Mobile Armored Cyber Harness as MACH-I.

If the name "Abner Jenkins" sounds familiar, there's a reason for that: he was originally the Beetle, longtime Spider-Man foe. When Onslaught seemingly killed a bunch of heroes, Baron Zemo had his newest incarnation of the Masters of Evil pose as the heroic Thunderbolts, so Abner took all his engineering and aeronautics expertise and designed a new suit and a new identity.

We don't know who's in charge of designing Marvel Legends these days, but someone deserves credit for this one: rather than creating an entirely new mold for MACH-I, the majority of his body is taken from Ultimate Beetle! A perfect choice, because not only does it maintain at least a small connection to Abner's orginal identity, the techno details in the sculpt translate to MACH-I's design really, really well. Remember how there were little spherical pods all along Ultimate Beetle's arms and legs? The same kind of things can be found on MACH-I's chest and shoulders, meaning the few new pieces we do get blend with the existing ones seamlessly. Maybe it's because both costumes were designed by Mark Bagley, but that still seems like a total coincidence.

The costume's helmet looks like something out of early-90s GI Joe - not the colors necessarily, but definitely the shape of it feels like something that would have been worn by Battleforce 2000 or some forgotten Cobra trooper. The eyes are sinister and angular, while the lower face is covered by a respirator that sticks out far enough to look like a little snout. More pods run over the top of the head, and there's a thick antenna attached behind the left ear.

While Beetle had a typically villainous colorscheme (purple and green), MACH-I needed to appear heroic, so he's blue and white. There are actually two shades of blue on him, both metallic: a lighter shade covering the lower parts of the arms and legs, and a darker shade near the center of mass. The eyes, vents, and Thunderbolts logo on the chest are all red, adding just a little flash of additional color to spice up the look.

The articulation is the same as it was on Ultimate Beetle, of course: ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. The shoulder pads are attached to the chest armor, but they're PVC, so they'll move when you raise the figure's arms. His flight pack is permanently attached, too, so don't dream of letting anyone else borrow it. Considering how much it looks like Beetle wings, it really is surprising no one put together his identity until he revealed it.

MACH-I comes with the head of this series' Build-A-Figure, videogame Abomination.

Despite a few previous plans, this is the first time there's been a MACH-I action figure. We've now got him, Songbird, Citizen V... Moonstone doesn't count because she'd need to be Meteorite for this team, but we're finally getting a nice selection of Thunderbolts action figures.

-- 08/03/20

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