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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Another pair of variants, another piece of back-of-the-card text that tells us jack squat:

All-powerful protectors struggling against a heart of deepest darkness!

Good contribution, Diane. This pair of variants comprises Sentry and Hyperion, two fellows who both belong to one of Marvel Comics' most treasured traditions: blatantly ripping-off Superman. Hyperion, Wundarr, Gladiator, Sentry, Virtue... and that doesn't even get into the list of characters who are just on Supes' level, like Namor, Thor, Wonder Man, Captain Britain, Blue Marvel, Captain ☠☠☠☠, and many others. No, we're talking about characters who are literally pastiches of Clark Kent, where the author set out to create a Captain Ersatz of the big blue boy scout.

There have actually been multiple Hyperions in Marvel Continuity: they all come from various alternate realities, so some have been heroes, others villains, and they all looked exactly alike; that means you can have this guy be on whichever side of the battle you want, and it'll be right. Also, obsessive fans like Rustin will have to buy multiples.

This release sees the introduction of a new body, and this seems like a good opportunity to remind everyone that it's not a "buck" - as long as there are people out there getting it wrong, we'll keep trying to set them right (with your help, of course: spread the word, loyal minions!). The body is very thick and muscular, suiting a knock-off Superman like Hyperion (though the Sentry is usually drawn a little more slender, which may be a problem when the repaint comes out). It's beefy enough that Hyperion stands 6¾" tall, which fits with the trend of Marvel Legends getting bigger and bigger. All the costume elements are painted on - that means it will be easy to use this mold for future figures, but it does short change us on one of Hyperion's most distinctive features: the way he rivets his underwear on (think Magneto's collar).

Okay, not all the costume elements are just paint: there's no way the giant, folded-over tops of his pirate boots could be faked. Plus, he's got the cape that's mandatory for all Superman clones [but not actual clones --ed.], which is actually done in two pieces: the drape-y part, which plugs into the center of his back; and the bit that reaches up over his shoulder, and plugs in slightly higher. Though it's shaped to match his shoulder, the piece hovers a little - but since it's PVC, run it under hot water for a little bit and you'll be able to bend it down to where it belongs.

Since this is a new body, Hasbro didn't skimp on the articulation. Hyperion has rocker and swivel/hinge ankles, swivel boots (and the folded part is a separate piece, so it turns as well), double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged neck and a balljointed head. That means he can actually look up when he's flying, proving yet again that Hasbro is better at this than Mattel. The hands and forearms aren't quite the same size, so there's a distinct break at the wrist. Not a broken joint, just a break in the sculpt.

Other than the two pieces of his cape, Hyperion doesn't come with any accessories. What were they going to give him, a chunk of Argonite (the metal that strips him of his powers)? Of course not. He is one of the three figures in ML4 to come with pieces of the Hit-Monkey Build-A-Figure, though: the arms. Arms as in "the things the hands are attached to" and arms as in "guns." So lots of arms.

The original, villainous Hyperion was part of a team called the Squadron Sinister, along with several other pastiches of DC Comics characters, including Nighthawk, Doctor Spectrum, and the Whizzer - so yes, the Avengers were fighting an evil JLA. The heroic version of Hyperion was part of the Squadron Supreme, who starred in an amazing book by the same name. Whichever version you want this figure to be, he's a great one.

-- 04/29/13

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