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Hope Summers

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Well, at least she's easier to find this time.

Will the one destined to save the mutants spell doom for mankind?

Why, how delightfully vague! This is the second toy made of Hope Summers, so we've already told you about her origins as the first mutant born after Scarlet Witch's "no more mutants" thing; what do we talk about this time? How about her powers. The X-Men knew she was a mutant, but obviously nobody knew precisely what she could do until she reached puberty. While living in the future. With nobody around her but Cable. So now you get to imagine this grizzled old soldier explaining to a lonely 12-year-old with no other friends or confidants what a period is and how to fashion her own tampons out of, I don't know, pinecones or shell casings or something. Poor kid. Yeah, she's a snot now that she's back in the present, but we're lucky she turned out sane at all!

Hope shares her body with the SHIELD women, and we're fine with that. The anti-Hasbro fanboys love to reminisce about how flawless ToyBiz was, but apparently forget the horror that was the ToyBiz female body. Even at its best, it was still not as good as this mold. I'm not sure what Hope's exact age is (and since she spent her formative years leaping through time, she probably doesn't either), but she mostly seems to be portrayed as a teenager - the only downside to this sculpt is that it makes her look older than that. She does get new shins, for her armored kneepads and cloth wraps, and matching bits on her forearms (though those are separate pieces held in place by the hands).

Despite her name, it's important to remember that Hope isn't actually related to the Summers family: Cable only raised her, he didn't father her. As far as we know. And yet she still looks a ton like her aunt Rachel. The face does match the body, in that it looks more adult than you might expect. It might be fine on a younger frame, though, so maybe we're reading too much into it.

Her outfit is mostly a metallic green - partly because it helps play to the "is she the reincarnation of Jean Grey" thing the comics have been dancing around, and partly because redheads always wear green. There are yellow stripes, which mostly have crisp edges, and silver for the armored bits. The brown bits - the cloth wrapped around her arms and legs, and also her flowing, tattered cape - have a lighter tan drybrushing to bring out the details and make the fabric look aged. It's nicely done. There's no shading on the hair, just solid red, but it's a lovely shade - a tad darker than most toy redheads, so she doesn't look like a clone of Poison Ivy or anything. The hair keeps her head from having a full range of motion, but all the other joints are free and unencumbered.

The cape/poncho is removable, if you so choose, but her main accessory is a big honkin' gun - she's definitely her father's daughter! It's a large piece, more than 3½" long, and loaded with enough detail to keep it from looking like a weapon you'd see in the real world. This piece originally came with Forge, and had a band of bullets that plugged in back there, but they're not included with this release. The gap's on the underside, so you won't see it often - it's no big deal.

Hope doesn't come with one piece of the Series 1 BAF, Terrax; she comes with three. She not only has the head, she also comes with his trademark axe, done as two pieces. Why two pieces? No idea. Maybe it was easier to tool it that way? Maybe it was to fit it in the package better? Whatever, doesn't matter. The important thing is we got it. Can you imagine how silly it would be to release a character known for a certain specific accessory and not include that accessory? Who would ever do such a thing?

So, did you notice that we teased you with the promise of explaining Hope's powers, then went off on a tangent about her menarche and never went back? Or had it slipped your mind until we mentioned it just now? She's been described as "a voodoo doll of the mutant race": basically, she can access anyone's mutant powers. It's unknown whether it's limited to mutants in proximity, like Mimic, or whether she can use them from anywhere. But there's no way to show that on an action figure, which is why we get the gun instead. Hope is an unexpected choice to get a Legend, but she's done well.

-- 03/26/12

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