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Iron Man Legends
by yo go re

What, again?

Robot. Maniacal genius. Science experiment gone wrong. Ultron is the supreme weapon of mass destruction and a mortal threat to the Avengers - and all of humankind.

It's a good thing Ultron has a tendency to build copies of himself in alternate bodies, because it's taken a lot of tries to get a really good version of him. The Art Asylum one was inventive, but small; the Four Horsemen's was big, but kind of a hot mess; Diamond Select got the look right, but were working in a different scale; Hasbro made one - actually, two - that were okay, for repaints, but hardly ideal; the movie Build-A-Figure is outside the scope of this discussion, being a different reality's take on the character, and thus not expected to look like the rest. So we've had many an Ultron, but still plenty of room to improve. Enter this first series of Iron Man Marvel Legends, taking one more shot at him.

Well, right off the bat we can say they got the head right - not always a guarantee, huh ToyBiz? (Yeah, 15 years later and we're still not letting that go.) He's got the triangular eyes, the antenna bars over his ears, and the wide jack o'lantern mouth. A ridge over the top of the head is sculpted with slightly sunken circular ports, and he even seems to have small nostrils, just like the art. The same details were present on the last ML Ultron, but this isn't a reused sculpt.

In fact, none of this is a reused sculpt - every bit of him is new! Judging by the design, this is Ultron-8, who debuted in Avengers #161. His body is fairly smooth, not sculpted to look particularly like human muscles (because he hates humans), though the lines etched into the surface do keep him looking interesting. (The ones on the pelvis make it look like he's wearing normal civilian underwear, though.) There are three spikes on the top of each shoulder, and a smooth square outline across the chest. Since this was the period when Ultron was building his bodies out of adamantium, the plain silver paint suits him. The eyes are bright red, and the mouth is dark grey.

A new body means new articulation. Familiar, but still new. Ultron has swivel/hinge ankles, swivel shins, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a swivel waist, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, a hinged neck, and a balljointed head. The elbows and knees are the new style, with no visible pins sticking through the hinges, making for a smoother look. The flares sticking out over his shoulders are separate pieces, held in place by the assembly of the arm; it's the same thing War Machine introduced, and allows them to move with the arms instead of getting in the way. The figure stands about 6¾" tall, which makes him bigger than many figures, but wouldn't he want to look intimidating?

Ultron has one open left hand, a pair of gripping hands, and a pair of closed fists. There's also a... thing. It's a translucent red-orange energy effect, a stream of Kirby dots, with no clear indication of how it's supposed to be used. Ultron is often drawn with energy like this billowing from his mouth or eyes like smoke, but we only get one of them, and he's generally shown with two - you know, for symmetry's sake. Best we can tell, you're meant to tuck the lower end of the piece into his mouth, and have it trailing out through his cheek. [Put it in sideways, dum-dum. Hasbro's own promo photos explain it. --ed.] It does look kind of cool, but again: two of them. He should have two of them.

Speaking of having two of something, he gets one piece of the series' Build-A-Figure, Ursa Major. In other words, he does not have the right two bear arms. Just one right bear arm.

When the major complaints we have with a figure are that one of his antennae is bent minorly and his accessory feels unbalanced [don't mind him, folks, he's an idiot --ed.], you know you've got something good. Many tries, but at last we've got the Ultron in Marvel Legends! ...at least until the next one comes out and is somehow better.

-- 09/08/21

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