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Movie Daredevil

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

I want to make one thing clear right away: movie Daredevil has absolutely no reused parts.

He dwells in a world of eternal night - but the blackness is filled with sounds and scents, tastes and textures most men cannot perceive. Although attorney Matt Murdock is blind, his other four senses function with superhuman sharpness. He stalks the streets at night, a relentless avenger of justice: Daredevil, the Man Without Fear!

As previously mentioned in my Spider-Man Classics Daredevil review, DD has long been one of my favorite characters. Thus, when the movie got the greenlight, I was really looking forward to it. It stars one big DD fan (Ben Affleck), is directed by another (Mark Steven Johnson) and has a cameo from yet another (go see it).

I was disappointed to learn that there would be no official movie line of figures. Only a standalone DD as a Wal*Mart exclusive, released alongside Marvel Legends Series 3. As DD started to turn up across the country, fans were complaining that ToyBiz was once again up to its old tricks, reusing molds to make new figures.

The charge was that DD was built from X-Men movie figures: Magneto's torso, Cyclops' legs, etc. But see, that's why you come to OAFEnet for your information; Daredevil does not re-use any parts. He's 100% new, from horn to toe. I'm not really sure who started the rumor, but man oh man, are they ever dumb!

The facial sculpt is great. Though we're only seeing the lower jaw, you can tell it's Affleck under the cowl. His jaw is set in a determined frown, and the eyes are dark. He's even got the two tiny horns on his temple. The only thing missing is the stubble; if you've got super-sensitive skin, a razor's not going to feel great in the mornings.

Oh wait, here it is! A few months after the first figures showed up, a second wave of them started quietly appearing on store shelves. While the sculpt of the head is the same, the shape is slightly different - a sharper chin, fuller crown, stuff like that. Was the head remolded, or is this just a case of a different factory doing better work?

Johnson recognized how stupid a red spandex costume would look, so he wrapped Matt in crimson-tinted leather. The figure's costume has the "folds" that real leather would, and is sculpted with all the ribbing and flex panels that the real thing has. The knuckles of the gloves are painted silver, suggesting that he wears brass knuckles. His boots are intricately detailed with enough straps and buckles to make sure they stay put no matter how he flips or jumps around. Slung from his hip is the sheath in which he keeps his nunchucks.

While movie Daredevil looks great with his Spider-Man Classics brothers, he doesn't stack up in the articulation department. While he has 25 points of movement, he's still surprisingly static. His hips and shoulders are just peg joints, a fact that really hurts his poseability. He's got a ball-jointed head, but that just means he can look all around while standing still.

The right ankle joint on my figure was loose when I bought him, but some "glue surgery" fixed that right up.

Rather than a flat red, movie DD has several tones of vermilion expertly applied to his body, giving him the illusion of highlights and shadows. He comes with a nunchuck that fits in the holster on his hip and is constructed with a real metal chain.

Like all the Marvel Legends, Daredevil comes with a detailed base. A reproduction (molded in brown instead of grey) of the one that came with the regular Daredevil figure, his is a small ledge and stained glass window, which really suits the character. The stonework is all sculpted well, and the windows are stickers. There's a wall-mounting bracket, and a clear plastic wand allows him to "leap" off the sill safely. Though since you can't pose him very well, the jump won't look very good.

He comes with a reproduction of Daredevil #164, an important part of Frank Miller's legendary run. In this issue, a supporting character learns DD's secret identity, so readers get a retelling of DD's origin. It changed a few things around (something that's happened quite a bit to Matt), but did it in the service of a good story.

ToyBiz has said that it would consider a full Daredevil line depending on how the movie does this weekend. We could get Jennifer Garner's Elektra, Colin Farrell's Bullseye and even Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin. How cool would that be? Especially Elektra. If the full line never comes to fruition, movie Daredevil could be the next Trenchcoat Blade - the sole worthy representation of a movie that deserved better.

-- 02/15/03

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