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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Until Isaiah Bradley came along, there was only one "Captain Blackmerica."

USAgent charges boldly into battle!

We're used to these ML bios not saying anything, but this one takes saying nothing to a whole new level! John Walker joined the army to follow in his brother's footsteps, but was disappointed to discover that he'd enlisted during a time of peace. He underwent a process to give him super powers, and started touring the country as a patriotic hero named Super-Patriot (not that one). Around that time, Steve Rogers was fired as Captain America, and so the identity and costume were vacant. The Committee on Superhuman Affairs brought in Walker to fill the role, but things didn't go too well. Eventually Rogers got the name back, of course, but rather than leave Walker out in the cold, Steve handed down the costume he'd been using in the interim, and USAgent was born.

Since Steve Rogers was prohibited from wearing red, white and blue and from calling himself Captain America, he just went by "The Captain" and wore red, white and black - so basically, a big middle finger flipped at the people who fired him. The suit is all spandex, no chainmail, so this figure uses the same molds as ML2 Captain America - the only differences being the specific design of the utility belt, and the forearms (USAgent has big pirate gloves, rather than short ones).

Rather than having vertical stripes all the way around the abdomen, the USAgent suit has a panel on the chest with horizontal stripes and a single black star over the right breast. The idea behind the costume was that it was clear to the average citizen that this was still Cap, just with the numbers filed off, and that comes through loud and clear. Looking at USAgent really says "almost Cap, but not quite." The dark colors also match his darker outlook (and the grim tone of comics in the '80s).

The head is a new sculpt, as well, and it's a nice one. USAgent is much more of a jerk than Captain America is, and that's conveyed wonderfully by his grumptacular expression. They could have simply repainted an existing head, but this was a better choice - we've never had a 6" USAgent, so it's nice that he gets to look distinct.

USAgent has very good articulation. He moves at the head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins and ankles. The range of motion on the ankle joints is equivalent to a rocker joint, allowing you to keep the feet flat even when the legs aren't straight. There's a sizeable gap between his hands and his forearms, thanks to the size discrepency between the molds.

USAgent gets the same accessories that Captain America did, which causes a bit of a problem. Yes, the gun and knife make sense for him - he's violent and angry - but in redesigning his belt, Hasbro took away the holster and sheath that would have held the weapons. Whoops! He also has the same shield, which means it's now come with all three series of the new Marvel Legends. Unfortunately, USAgent's shield isn't supposed to have the star in the center: the first shield Steve Rogers used as The Captain was blank silver, but the second (which was handed down to John Walker with the costume) had concentric circles in black, red, white and a solid black center. Eh, if it bothered me that much, I'd paint it.

Since this is a filler series, it doesn't have a Build-A-Figure - instead, we get one of the Heroscape bases, like the Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man have. Considering that they're completely modular among all the lines, we're really liking this trend. The ML bases are darker than the ASM ones, but lack the A logo of the Avengers ones.

Ever since Captain America came out in (the original) Marvel Legends 1, fans have been repainting him black to be USAgent. Thankfully, that can finally stop because we've got an awesome official version. All we need now is for stores to start putting ML3 on the shelves so everybody can stop feeding the scalpers.

-- 12/17/12

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